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Florida Keys, Sarasota: New Mooring Field

By Cruising World — last modified Jan 24, 2013 02:30 PM
This Florida Gulf Coast city has laid out the welcome mat for cruisers.

Published: 2013-01-24 00:00:00
Countries: USA

As reported by www.CruisingWorld.com

The City of Sarasota, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, has laid out the welcome mat for cruisers by opening a new 99-acre designated, engineered mooring field, which wraps around the beautiful downtown Bayfront Park/Marina Jack complex. The city, which leases the deep-water harbor from the state, has 35 of the planned 109 mooring balls ready for sailors looking for an easy-access, extra-fun port-of-call.

Operated and managed by Marina Jack, long-term, daily, and monthly rates are offered for up to 60-footers that have proof of vessel registration, insurance, and a signed mooring agreement. It works like this: radio ahead (VHF 16/71, 7 am-7 pm daily), steer off Sarasota Bay’s Intracoastal Waterway, between markers 8A and 10, tie up at the fuel dock and register with the harbormaster, who assigns a numbered mooring ball. If needed, direction in securing the mooring line will be provided. After hours? Tie up to a ball and check in the next morning.

Rates are reasonable (daily fees start at $18 for up to 29 feet.) and include marina amenities, a mooring staff providing patrol and assistance, gas/diesel dock, ship’s store, pump out vessel, temporary use of a slip for loading/repairs, a floating dinghy dock (at H dock) and a dinghy beach (O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill), shower/restrooms, trash/recycling, potable water, mail services, laundry facilities, WiFi, restaurants, and scheduled for March, a free launch to take boaters to and from the marina.

Plus, the mooring field is only a short stroll to Sarasota art galleries, sidewalk cafes, bakeries and bars, entertainment from live theater and opera to movies and music, a Saturday morning farmers’ market, Whole Foods, a library, churches and banks, renowned Selby Botanical Gardens, and buses to Lido Beach and fashionable St. Armands Circle.

“You can stay for a day or indefinitely,” Dockmaster Sam Chavers, Jr. said. “It’s a great place to hang on a mooring!”

Note: A new ordinance only allows anchoring 150 feet outside the mooring field or from any waterfront property.

Info/Rates: Mooring Field Harbormaster: 941-955-9488; dockmaster@marinajacks.com

By Janis Frawley

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