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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Central Florida Gulf Coast
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2002 Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
    Engine(s)
    Single remanned 5.7 MPI w/Bravo III Drive
    Posts
    3

    Marco Island to Key West

    Hello,

    I'm now an owner of a 'new to me' 260 Sundancer.
    I have a fair bit of experience with previous sailboats I've owned (35+') , but my 260 is my first powerboat.
    I want to experience New Years Eve in Key West this year (2016).

    Does anyone have advice or previous experience for making the hop from Marco Island to Key West (approx 90 miles)?
    What is the typical sea state towards the end of December? Will I be able to maintain a plane?
    Any comments would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Orlando,FL/Tarpon Springs,FL
    Boat
    Tiara
    Details
    1989 3600 Convertible. 9'6'' AB rib w/ 25hp 2stroke Yamaha. Furuno nav upper and lower helm.
    Engine(s)
    2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp diesel straight shaft.
    Posts
    746

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    Take it down by trailer. I wouldn't do it in your boat. Sorry just being honest. Dec can be dangerous with any front moving through.
    Kevin
    2002 300 Sundancer, twin 5.0L MPI (sold)
    1988 270 Sundancer,twin 4.3L and genset(sold)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Naples, Fl.
    Boat
    Searay
    Details
    2005 500 Sedan Bridge/
    Engine(s)
    Cummins QSM 11's/
    Posts
    651

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    David,

    You will need a flexible schedule if you plan this trip. There is no way of knowing until a couple days before what the seas will be and you won't know what kind of seas you will have on your return trip. We were there last New Years and although the winds seemed calm during our stay in KW, we were greeted with 6-8 foot seas once we got out to open water. Turned around and went back to the marina. The previous year, we had calm flat seas both ways.
    Another option for your return is to run along the coast via the yacht channel either on the trip down or on your return if the winds are out of the north east. Although it adds a bit of mileage (approx. 30 miles), you can take the opportunity to stop to see other parts of the keys.

    We we are planning on being there for New Years as well. We are staying at the Galleon Marina. If you do make the trip, feel free to stop by and say hello.
    "Retreat"
    Steve

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Boat
    Yamaha, Sea Ray
    Details
    2005 23' twin engine jet boat 1998 420 Aft Cabin
    Engine(s)
    twin jet 160hp. twin 3116 CATs
    Posts
    398

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    I've done this trip in both a 23' boat and in my 420AC. Both times I went the weather was perfect but the seas kicked up and that was in the summer time. It's not a hard trip but be prepared.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Boat
    SeaRay
    Details
    1997 330 Sundancer
    Engine(s)
    7.4 Mercuruser w/ V-Drives
    Posts
    502

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    2 years ago Dec 22, we took the boat from Sanibel to Clearwater. Trip started out nice, a little overcast but the Gulf was calm. Just about to Sarasota and the weather changed drastically. Winds kicked up and so did the waves. From calm to 5 footers in about a half hour. It was nothing the boat couldn't handle but it was not a pleasant couple hours.

    Around that time of year it doesn't take long for conditions to change.


    Kevin & Melissa
    Clearwater, FL
    "About Time"

    What a long strange trip its been!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Boat
    Yamaha, Sea Ray
    Details
    2005 23' twin engine jet boat 1998 420 Aft Cabin
    Engine(s)
    twin jet 160hp. twin 3116 CATs
    Posts
    398

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    This was Sunday about 20nm off Hudson, FL. Forecast called for 15-20kts and 4-6 with a small craft advisory. You never know what the weather will do.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    460 Sundancer 2005
    Engine(s)
    Cummins 480 CE
    Posts
    146

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    Cod is right about the flexible schedule. I made the trip several times in a 290 Dancer with no problems. Keep a close eye on the weather and go when it is good. With your boat you are only looking at about 3 and 1/2 hours. I would also leave Marco just after sunrise. Usually calmer winds early.
    Mike and Griselda



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Orlando,FL/Tarpon Springs,FL
    Boat
    Tiara
    Details
    1989 3600 Convertible. 9'6'' AB rib w/ 25hp 2stroke Yamaha. Furuno nav upper and lower helm.
    Engine(s)
    2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp diesel straight shaft.
    Posts
    746

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    If you'll notice everyone here that has done this trip goes in a boat with twins. You have a single engine with marginal fuel range for this trip. Can you do it? Well yes. Would I? No. I have made this trip several times and it's no joke. You will not have cell or good radio coverage. Your on your own. Put it on a trailer and go have fun!
    Kevin
    2002 300 Sundancer, twin 5.0L MPI (sold)
    1988 270 Sundancer,twin 4.3L and genset(sold)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    460 Sundancer 2005
    Engine(s)
    Cummins 480 CE
    Posts
    146

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin27 View Post
    If you'll notice everyone here that has done this trip goes in a boat with twins. You have a single engine with marginal fuel range for this trip. Can you do it? Well yes. Would I? No. I have made this trip several times and it's no joke. You will not have cell or good radio coverage. Your on your own. Put it on a trailer and go have fun!
    I understand your point but my 290 had a single 7.4L If the boat is properly maintained and you go when the weather is good it really is not a risky trip. The key is to not push the weather.
    Mike and Griselda



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2006 44DA
    Engine(s)
    Cummins QSC-500
    Posts
    366

    Re: Marco Island to Key West

    I have done that trip many times and Florida Bay/ Gulf weather can change rapidly, especially ahead of winter cold fronts. I personally would not do it in a single engine 260.

    2006 Sea Ray 44 Sundancer
    2000 Sea Ray 280 Bowrider
    2005 Sea Doo 205 Utopia

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