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 Carrabelle & Apalachicola - Profile

Location

Carrabelle and Apalachicola are two small cities on the mainland behind a long series of barrier islands.

Carrabelle is the beginning of a break in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

When coming from the south, cruisers must pass from Tarpon Springs (north of Tampa Bay) to the St. George Sound behind the barrier islands near Carrabelle. The sound stretches approximately 35 miles westward from Carabelle and includes Apalachicola Bay Aquatic Preserve and the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge. This means that the area is ecologically sensitive and additional rules may be in effect where fishing is concerned.

Otherwise, it is a welcome area to anchor and cruise leisurely. There are plentiful marine supply stores and marinas in the area.

There are numerous approaches to the St. George Sound and Apalachicola Bay, but there are two primary approaches suggested by local boaters for deep draught cruising vessels:

Position 29° 46.47'N, 84° 40.90'W (East Pass)

Position 29° 36.93'N, 84° 57.595'W (Government Cut)

Clearance

This is NOT a recognized Port of Entry by the US Customs and Border Protection.

See USA Formalities for full details on clearing into and out of the USA.

If you are arriving from abroad, customs clearance and immigration procedures must be conducted in the nearby port of Panama City before proceeding to this area.

Docking

Dockage and moorings are plentiful in this area. Marinas are located in Carrabelle and Apalachicola, but it is possible to anchor in many areas of the St. George Sound and Apalachicola Bay.

Specifically in Carrabelle, cruisers intending to "jump" to Tarpon Springs or Tampa Bay will stage here and prepare for the 150+nm crossing. Cruisers that have made the northbound journey will occasionally spend time in this area in order to make repairs or refuel/provision, especially if having come the "slow route" through the Nature Coast where there are less provisioning options.

The approach via Government Cut has some shallow spots, but stay to the channel and 6-7ft draught should clear okay.

Keep in mind that Apalachicola and Carrabelle are separate cities and many miles away from each other. Apalachicola is the larger of the two towns and cruisers report having more success with repairs and provisions.

Port St. Joe is a few miles to the west of Apalachicola and serves as an alternative to either Carrabelle or Apalachicola. There is only one marina there for cruising yachts, but it is reported to be of a high standard. The Port St. Joe barrier island entrance is a few miles north of the town and extends the crossing by a few miles.

Last updated July 2017.

Apalachicola City Wharf
Water Street , Apalachicola, FL
Tel:+1 (850) 653-9755
Opening hours: 24/7
Free city quay with dockage for yachts up to 80ft. No amenities but close to everything downtown. $30/day flat rate. Contact Apalachicola City Police Department upon arrival.
Apalachicola Municipal Marina
1 Bay Avenue , Apalachicola, FL 32320
VHF Channel 16
Opening hours: 0600 - 1000, daily
Full service marina with dockage for 15 yachts up to 60ft. Some amenities: 30/50amp power, water, toilets, pump out. No showers. Grocery store within walking distance. Popular staging marina prior to gulf crossing.
C-Quarters Marina
501 Saint James Avenue , Highway 98 , Carrabelle, FL 32322
Tel:+1 (850) 697 8400 ,VHF Channel 16
Full service marina with dockage for 68 yachts up to 100ft. Fuel available. All amenities: 30/50amp power, water, toilets, showers, pump out, laundry, grocery. Hardware store, grocery, restaurants nearby.
Marine Systems Dockside Marina & Boatyard
292 Graham Drive , Carrabelle, FL 32322
Tel:+1 (850) 697-3337 ,VHF Channel 16
Marina and boat yard with dockage for yachts up to 60ft. 50-ton travel lift. Some amenities: power, water, toilets. Some repairs, fiberglassing, diver available. Bottom painting services.
Moorings of Carrabelle
1000 Highway 98 East , Carrabelle, FL 32322
Tel:+1 (866) 821-2248 Fax:+1 (850) 697-3950 ,VHF Channel 16, 68
Full service marina and attached hotel with dockage for 150 yachts up to 150ft (constrained by draught). 30/50amp power, water, toilets, showers, laundry, pump out. Diesel and gasoline available. Discounts for dockage if staying at the hotel. Many services nearby including grocery, hardware store, restaurants and shops.
Port St. Joe Marina
340 Marina Drive , Port St Joe, FL 32456
Tel:+1 (850) 227-9393 Fax:+1 (850) 227-9394 ,VHF Channel 16
Full service marina with dockage for 112 yachts up to 120ft. All amenities: 30/50amp power, water, toilets, showers, ice, pump out. Fuel available. Grocery, hardware store, hotels, bars nearby. Some repairs available by mobile mechanics.
Scipio Creek Marina
301 Market Street , Apalachicola, FL 32329
Tel:+1 (850) 653-8030 Fax:+1 (850) 653-4280 ,VHF Channel 16
Opening hours: 0600 - 1800, daily
Full service marina with dockage for 15 yachts up to 100ft. All amenities: 30/50amp power, water, toilets, showers, pump out. Diesel and gasoline available. Some repairs available. Walking distance to restaurants, hotels. Downtown a few blocks away.

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