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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:47 pm 
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I'm taking a Hobie 16 down to the Florida panhandle and will be in the vicinity of Greyton Beach, Seaside, Seagrove, Rosemary Beach. Does anyone know of any good places to sail in that area? I'd like to get the 16 down to the gulf via beach wheels. Need a place to park and rig up without baricades or dunes between me and the water. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:05 am 
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What did you come up with for launching your cat? My family owns a house in seagrove but i have not come up with a good place to launch there short of sailing there from pcb and back again.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:57 am 
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We found beach access on the Gulf at Inlet Beach, the next little community east of Rosemary Beach. If you were driving east on 30A from Seagrove, go all the way to the point where it T's into highway 98 and turn right towards Panama City. In just over a half mile you'll make a right turn on S. Walton Lakeshore Drive. It will take you staight to the beach at a point where there's a break in the dunes, fences and beachhouses where you can get a Hobie down to the beach. After the boat comes off the trailer, you'll have to cross about 60 yards of sand, so don't try this without Cat Trax. There is a power line right over the point where sand meets the pavement, so be sure to back down onto the beach far enough so that when you raise the mast you won't hit it. You'll also need to be careful not to get your drive wheels more that a few feet off the road as the sand is very loose. Front wheel drive works best here as it allows you to back the trailer farther off the road and past the power line without getting the drive wheels into the soft stuff. Stay to one side of the access area so you won't block it for anyone else, especially the beach patrol.

Allow me to elaboarate a bit about the beach patrol. I'm glad they're there and appreciate what they do, but . . . There is a sign about 30 yards inside the access point that says "No Vehicles Beyond This Point". We backed our car and trailer off the road and onto the sand to rig up, but did not go beyond the sign, not even close. Nevertheless, a police officer came by and told us we couldn't rig up there. He also told us we needed a Captain's License to launch off the beach. We thought that was a load of BS, put politely explained to the officer that we hadn't gone past the sign, we had pulled this boat all the way down from Louisiana and were ignorant of the Captain's license. He allowed us an hour to get our boat launched and get the car off the beach, which we did. Deputy Fife was also concerned about where we were going leave the boat overnight. He was OK with us parking it behind the friend of a friend's beach house as long as we pulled it all the way up to the dune line. At the end of the week we unrigged an loaded in the same spot, fortunately we didn't see Barney again. You might want to check on the Captain's licensce but surely it's only applicable to operators taking passengers out for hire.

Parking is also a problem. Once you offload the boat, there is no where to leave your vehicle. You'll need to have someone with you that can drive your vehicle and pull your trailer somewhere else. I assume that you'd sail back to your beach house at Seagrove. If someone were just sailing for the day, there is a public beach park a few hundred yards west of the S. Walton Lakeshore Drive access point. You've got to navigate through a neighborhood to find it, but someone could leave the car there.

I sailed from Inlet Beach down to Seagrove and back a couple of times. It's about eight miles on the water. We had a blast. It's a beautiful area. Unfortunately there is a lot of hassle involved with beach launching these days, if you find a spot, but I'd do it again.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:57 am 
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Well that is a bummer about parking it on the beach. There is no way to pull the boat to our beach house. I normally vacation at my parents house in PCB, but I really would like to sail down to seagrove and spend the night there and sail back the next day.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:02 am 
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If just for one night, I think you could get by with pulling it up behind someone else's beach house to the dune line. The beach house owners don't own the beach behind them. If you really wanted to do it right, just knock on a door and ask someone if they'd mind if you left your Hobie on the beach behind them for a night or two or three. I doubt they'd object.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:03 pm 
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There use to be beach access in Greyton. I am sure it is still there since they have the "Rags to Riches" Regatta every summer. You would have to have someone drive your car/ truck back for you.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:54 pm 
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Beach access at Greyton anymore is just for locals with a 4x4 and permit. I'm not sure what they do for Rags to Riches. Maybe they open it up for a day or perhaps the race organizers tow your boats to the water.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:32 am 
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At Rags To Riches someone with a permit hauls your boat to the beach for you.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:23 pm 
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1992 was last time I was there. Raced in the RR Regatta. Need to go find my plaque. Cannot remember what pace I got. Top 3 I know. Same H16 I race spend the night in the gulf. Ex GF's dad was sailing it back to Seagrove made a long tack out, when he Jibed over the went. The windward hull had a hole in bottom of the hull, was full of water. They were located on the other side of St Andrews Pass the next morning. That was a long night!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Grayton Beach has access. If you have Cat Trax, you can push down the same road that permitted 4x4's are allowed to use, pretty long haul in soft sand. Another option is to launch off the boat ramp at the end of Holtz ave (where the Red bar is) into the lake and then sail to where the lake empties into the Gulf. There is usually only a 50ft stretch that is dry right at the beach, tough, but doable without CATtrax. Sometimes it is even open all the way. This lake/boatramp/outlet trick might work for some of the other lakes behind the panhandle dunes, there is a string of them from Destin to Panama City.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:32 pm 
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One other tip is that beach regulations are by county and can vary quite a bit. The county website and/or www.municode.com typically has the local ordinances online. Some of them, like South Walton county (Grayton/Seaside/Seagrove) have some that look to allow boats on the beach like 2010-05 that say that objects too heavy to move off the beach can be left on the beach if moved to the toe of the dune... A H16 would likely pass this test.

http://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentCent ... /View/2279

It is also important to know that there are usually ordinances as to how fast and how close you can sail to the beach or swimmers. Often you are required to sail straight out for several hundred yards at "idle/minimum steerage" speed. Great trick with an onshore breeze and breakers.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:22 pm 
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Thanks for the updates. Very timely too, I'll be putting your info to good use in the next few weeks!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:51 am 
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I just got back from a great week down on 30A. We rigged up on the first access road at Grayton Beach, the one to the right of the 90 degree left turn that would take you to the Red Bar as you are driving into town. We found the best way to launch and rig up was to back the trailer down the east side of the access road (sand seemed a bit firmer there) just a bit past the last beach house. Once the mast was stepped and all out gear was on the trampoline, we walked down to the beach and found a willing local with a permitted 4x4 to pull our trailer down to the waterline (75 yards across soft sand) where we unloaded. Then we pulled the trailer back up to the access road, hitched it to my car, and a buddy drove it away. From there, we sailed down to Seagrove Beach where we spent the week. I confirmed with a police officer that no beach permit was required to pull my Hobie 16 up to the dune line behind our condo, as per Mechols' previous post. He elaborated that I wouldn't be able to leave it on the beach at a park such as the one at Grayton. It had to be behind private property. I didn't bother to ask the condo management (One Seagrove Place) if it would be alright with them, sometimes it's best not to if you don't want to hear the answer. Nevertheless, I parked the boat over to the edge of their property and sometimes behind a neighboring beach house. I don't think the condo commandos ever knew it was there.

However, we ran into a glitch at the end of the week when it was time to retrieve the boat. We pretty much did the same process as above in reverse except that we rolled the boat up to the trailer on Cat Trax. It wasn't a big deal. The problem was that I had backed the car (fwd GMC Acadia) too far down the access road, on the west side of it, and got it stuck in soft sand. We dug out the front wheels and got a couple of guys to help push us out so it turned out alright, but the lesson is not to get too greedy and try to back too far down the access road.

In between launching and retrieval, the sailing along 30A was great. Legendary white sand beaches, crystal clear water, beautiful shades of greens and blues. Wind typically blew around 10-15 with relatively calm seas. We saw dolphins, tons of flying fish, and even a sea turtle. The stretch of beach along 30A from Grayton Beach to Rosemary Beach has a great "beachy" feel and is very family oriented. I highly recommend it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:47 am 
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I learned to sail in the ocean in Sea Grove. Love that place.


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