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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:29 am 
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During the week after Christmas 2013, I'm hoping to sail my getaway on the Gulf. Where would you recommend launching? I'll be driving in from Maryland. So, it will be a long trip no matter where I head. I'm just planning to drive, camp and sail. Cheap as I can.

tmrock


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
You could go to Pensacola, FL. Sail in the bay and access to the gulf. Key Sailing is located there. Great Hobie dealer. Or go to Panama City Beach, Sunjammers is inland a bit but another good dealer. I say these two locations because if you have any problems they are there. Key Sailing is actually on the water. The Rent out boats also......


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Location: Clear Lake Iowa
Ocean Springs Yacht Club Mississippi.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:28 am 
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Location: sarasota,fl
Up north (around Pensacola) in January the water gets down in the low 60's so you need to dress for cold water, dry suits can be uncomfortable when it's in the low 80's (air temp). During that time of year I only go out on nice days when other boats are out, and tend to stay closer to shore. We also like to snorkel and scuba dive but during that time of the year we prefer to go down to the keys where the water temp gets down to around 75 and in the winter and the trade winds are very steady around key west that time of year.
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:32 am 
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Location: Clinton, Mississippi
What Bob, sxracer and wess said....also from west to east:

AL-Dauphin Is. West End-not sure about camping
AL-Orange Beach-East End of Marina Rd.-On bay but near Perdido Pass-not sure about camping
FL-Navarre Beach-Easy access to sound by Juanas-camping on north side of sound
FL-Panama City-St. Andrews Sate Park-A few campsites you can pull boat right up at-On bay, but near pass
FL-St. Joe (Peninsula) State Park is awesome-worth inquiring as to launching possibilities

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Jerome Vaughan
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:45 am 
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Thanks for the advice. A couple years ago I took my kayak to Jacksonville around New Year's. I was surfing it in the ocean. I used a wet suit and dry top that kept me comfortable. I believe that combination should work again. I appreciate your insights and launch information.

Keep it coming.

tmrock


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:33 am
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Location: Florida
There is a public boat launch across from the Venice Yacht Club near the Venice inlet and another at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota. We sail year round here with water temps in the mid to high 60s in winter. The Venice launch gets you into the Gulf pretty quickly with no bridges. Ken Thompson gets you into Big Sarasota Bay which is a great sailing venue, or you can go right out New Pass (draw-bridge) or Big Pass (65 ft fixed over the bay, no bridge at the pass). There are other public launches but they all launch onto the inter-coastal in places that require dealing with bridges and other hassles. They're basically there for power boats.

These places are all near the beach so the camping is going to be the hard part. Beach property around here usually means multi-million dollar high rise condos.

Oscar Scherer State Park is a great place to camp affordably (I'm assuming tent or pop-up). It's about 5-6 miles from Venice and a little under 20 to Ken Thompson.

You could also look up in Manatee County. There are several launches on the Manatee River which is quite wide there and takes you out into the mouth of Tampa Bay. There are probably camping options closer there.

Keep in mind if you're sailing in and out of passes you need to keep the tides in mind. You could find yourself fighting a 6 mph current with a 5 mph breeze. Been there; Done that.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:43 pm 
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I recommend using the public boat launch on the east end of Dauphin Island, Al. Then sailing around to the North side of the island and sailing to Petit Bois Island and Horn Island. You can camp on both islands, just make sure you bring enough supplies and stay north of the barrier islands. My friend and I sailed this route a couple of years ago on my H18 and had a blast!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:19 pm 
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Very cool advice from everybody who has posted! Thanks. I'm beginning to look forward to this venture more than ever.

tmrock


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:23 am
Posts: 522
Location: Lake Norman NC
cape san blas
Really good place to Hobie in Florida panhandle
Former Hobie Admiral Gary


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