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 Boating on Florida's West Coast 
add a new dimension to your vacation.
 

Boats are used here for family outing to the beautiful beaches as well as for fishing and going to your favorite dockside restaurant.  Our Florida vacation home with boats make for a great family vacation.

One of my favorite quotes is what Ratty said to Mole in Kenneth Grahame's beloved classic, The Wind in the Willows 

"There is nothing - absolutely nothing -
half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats. 

In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. 
Nothing seems really to matter, 
that's the charm of it.".


This is a picture of one of our guests that brought their own fishing boat and is fishing close to one end of Anclote Key island the state park and game preserve.

Notice the swimmers in the background that are enjoying the water on the other side of the sand bar that comes off the end of the island.

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Boys and boats. 

Boys of all ages are fascinated with boats. 

This a picture of 3 local boys in their boat going our for a day of fishing and enjoying the beach at the island.

This boat is smaller than the boats that are available with our homes.

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This is the type of boat that we have all our homes on the water. It is a 15 foot long fishing boat. 

Some of our guests bring their own motor and in that case the boat is free.  If you want to use our 15hp motor then we add $150 to the rental of the house.

 

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This is the island called Anclote Key.  This is one of our guests boats that they brought with them.  

When our son was 12 he was taking our boats out to Anclote Key with his 12 year old friends. He is now 22 and is still taking his friends out the islands on the boats we have at our vacation homes, but his friends now wear 2 piece swim suits..  Click to email me


This is me, Dan, doing a little maintenance on one of our boats.  We keep the boats in good shape.  

We provide life jackets, fishing poles,  anchor, and other boating things that come free of charge.  This boat is US Coast Guard rated for 4 people or 550 lbs.  With the 15 hp motor the boat will go about 15 to 20 MPH depending in the weight of the folks.


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Speckled Trout for Dinner tonight !

The gentleman on the left is one of our regular guests.  These are 2 real nice Speckled trout he caught within 1 mile of our vacation homes.
  
The fellow in the right is one of the best Florida fishing guides, Rich Knox.  If you like I can give you his phone number and he can "put you on the fish".  If you bring your own boat or use one of ours, and you are interested in fishing then going out with Rich one of the first days you are here is an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of fishing in this area.

For more about fishing, check out the FISHING page on our web site.


"The Minnow"

This boat was abandoned on Anclote Key.  From time to time there are very interesting things that "wash up" on the island. 

Using our boats you can go out to Anclote key and walk along its 5 mile length, exploring for treasures including shells, "boats", crab traps, and who know what !

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The following hints and tips are NOT a replacement for boating knowledge and common sense. You are responsible for operating the boat safely, in good weather, and for NOT injuring members of your group or others.

    Boating - THE LAW      SAFTEY      GENERAL

 Getting Started - Before Boarding the Boat

There are live oysters and barnacles around the docks and seawalls that are very sharp.  Always wear shoes.  If you fall in BE CAREFUL and do not lacerate your feet.  

It is recommended that you carry a cell phone in a zip lock baggie.  This is for unforeseen emergencies.

 Always check the weather, thunderstorms move VERY FAST.  Do not take the boat out in a thunderstorm.  If you are on the island and a storm hits, stay on the island until it passes.

 The BOAT BOX must be on board when the boat is used.  It has Flares, Whistle, and Registration. The MARINE PATROL may stop you and check for these items.

 I supply you with 5 gallons of gasoline in the boat tank and an extra 5 gallons in the spare gas can.  This ten gallons is already mixed with oil, 1 pint (one half quart) of 2 cycle outboard oil per 5 gallons of gasoline.

 If you buy extra gasoline, you must put 1/2 quart of 2 cycle outboard oil in the gas tank before you put in 5 gallons of gas.  Doing it in this order insures that the oil and gas are well mixed.

5 gallons of gasoline should get you to Anclote Key and back twice, depending on the number of people in the boat.  This assumes that you have not overloaded the boat and that it can "get up on the plane".

 If you buy additional gasoline, you must mix 1 pint (one half quart) of 2 cycle outboard oil per 5 gallons of gasoline. PUT the oil in the tank FIRST.

 You must have 1 wearable life jacket for each person on board.  Cushions you sit on do not count as a wearable life jacket.  MARINE PATROL may stop you and check for these items.

 Always leave the dock with a full fuel tank.

Getting in the boat and STARTING MOTOR

 Keep FINGERS from between BOAT and DOCK.

Stay LOW when getting into and out of the boat so you do not fall.  It is best to be touching the boat/dock with both hands and feet when you are boarding and getting out of the boat.  The safest is to get down on your knees on the dock, then into the boat.

To drive the boat, sit on the right side of the engine with legs straddle the rear seat.

Your left foot will be in the small opening just behind the rear seat and in front of the motor.  Your right leg/foot will be toward the front of the boat.  Use your left hand to steer and work the throttle.  Your right hand will be used to pull the starter cord.


"The gas tank"

Make sure the fill cap on top of fuel tank is loose to allow air into the tank as the gasoline is sucked from the tank by the engine.  If you fail to do this, a vacuum will form in the tank and stop the fuel flow, killing the engine.

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The fuel hose clicks onto tank and clicks onto motor.  It will not work if you connect it backwards.  There is an arrow on the primer bulb that shows the fuel flow direction.

 Each day, you must squeeze the primer bulb to pump gasoline from the tank into the engine.   When you begin squeezing the bulb it will be soft, then get harder and harder until you cannot squeeze it very much at all.   This means the gas line is full of gasoline.


The starter cord is locked when the engine is in gear, so you cannot START the motor when it is in gear.  The lever in the front of the motor shifts the motor between forward, neutral and reverse.

 You will need to choke the motor once per day.  Pull choke out to choke the motor. Pull motor cord, it will start then die.  Push chock in to turn it off, then start motor.

 The TILT lever controls the down or up position that the motor is “locked” in.


When sitting as instructed above, when you grip the twist throttle with your left hand, it works like a motorcycle, rotate toward you to go fast, away from you to go slow.

 Kill switch must be on RED BUTTON or it will not start.  To STOP, push red button and hold it or remove kill switch.  Always wear kill switch lanyard around your wrist so the engine will stop if you fall overboard.

 To stop the motor, either pop the kill switch lanyard off of the kill switch, or simply push in on the kill switch.  Either method will stop the “spark” and stop the engine.

Be careful not to over rev the engine when you start it.

 


Make sure cooling water is coming out of motor.  Do not leave dock if it water is not squirting out.

 Check cooling water frequently while driving boat.  Running the motor only 2 minutes without cooling water coming out will burn up motor and you loose your deposit.  Driving the boat through floating grass can obstruct the cooling water intake.  To clear the grass, you must to stop the boat, raise the motor, remove the weeds, and resume your journey.

Floating Sea Grass can obstruct cooling water, stop and remove grass from motor.  If you BURN UP the ENGINE your boating is over and you loose your deposit.  Cooling water should be squirting out in a hard stream.

Going fast and making sharp turns can be dangerous.

An extra Kill Switch is located under the tiller handle.  If you loose the kill switch with the lanyard, you can use this kill switch to run the motor, and you will be charged $20.00 for a replacement kill switch. (Or you may purchase an identical kill switch for about $8.00 and I will never know that you lost the original.)


LEAVING THE DOCK

 Make sure all ropes are in the boat so they do not get in propeller.

 Always shift outboard motor into and out of gear at LOW engine SPEED.

 NO WAKE zones, slightly faster than idle.

The channels follow the seawalls. Be careful of submerged rocks and other obstructions.

The rule for the red/green markers on channels is Red Right Return (RRR).

If departing from Gulf Harbors, the Spoil Islands and Oyster Reefs are just outside of the channels...   Oyster Reefs are on south side of South Channel, and on north side of North Channel .

Check the cooling water outlet frequently, if it stops then stop the motor.  If the flow of cooling water is obstructed for as little as 2 minutes, it will melt the engine.

Always wear shoes in the boat and especially if going to Anclote Key.  To help prevent sting rays from "stinging" you, you should do the  STING RAY SHUFFLE while walking in the water..

The Marine Patrol may stop you and want to see boat registration, flares, whistle, and life jacket(s).

Check fishing laws at BIG “K” north on US 19.  I believe a fishing license is required if you are over 16.  The fishing license for 1 week for out of state residents is about $15 to $17.00


We have never had one of these boats capsize.

If boat CAPSIZES,  STAY WITH BOAT.  It is easier to find you, the boat floats, and you can use anchor to hold boat from drifting.


ANCLOTE KEY

When approaching Anclote Key from the north end, stop the motor in knee-deep water, tilt motor up, and pull boat to shore.  The entire east side of Anclote Key is VERY shallow and grassy/muddy…  good for fishing but not for getting “to the beach”.

DO NOT take the Jon boat on the Gulf Side of Anclote Key or the Sand Bar.  The waves can be big and dangerous.  

You should always wear shoes, do the STING RAY SHUFFLE, and bury the anchor in the sand on the beach to prevent the boat from floating away when the tide rises.  

Do not take boat on Gulf Side (WEST) on Anclote Key or the Sand Bar.  

SANDBAR - Approach east side only, the side closest to the shore..  It is VERY shallow on south end.  Good for sand dollars on the Gulf Side. In 2 or 3 feet of water, dig your toes into the sand, and explore about 1 to 2 inches down in the sand, you will feel the sand dollars with your toes.


Fishing


Returning to the dock

Red Right Return is the rule for channel markers.     Tie boat up, bow and stern to dock.

Do not put fingers between boat and dock.

STAY LOW when getting out of the boat.  Do NOT let anyone stand up on the seats and step onto the dock.  Keep your center of gravity low.

At night, carry removable items out of boat and put by back porch so they do not disappear..

Always raise motor out of water when not using motor.  This prevents it from corroding due to the salt water. Latch on left side of motor locks it down or up.

 DO NOT PUSH DOWN on the tiller handle to raise motor, instead, reach to the back of the motor housing and pull forward.


 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2002 Samuel Roach. All rights reserved.