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Reviews from Brian McMahon (13)


  • Anchorage Review for Gordon Pass North of R10 and 12

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon, Windchaser, on Apr 24, 2020
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Overall Rating:
    3
    Holding:
    3
    Wind Protection:
    5
    Current Flow:
    4
    Wake Protection:
    1
    Scenic Beauty:
    1
    Ease of Shopping:
    1
    Shore Access:
    1
    Pet Friendly:
    1
    Cell Service:
    4

    Depth in Gordon Pass 10 feet plus, favor red marker coming in. Shoaling is on the north side of channel. Anchorage is quite small and boat traffic is horrific. Many very large boats frequent the area and transiting Gordon Pass during the day is nerve wracking as nav. rules are not followed. Was OK for a one night stop over but wouldn't stay there any longer. The bright spot is the TowboatUS Naples team, which provided great local information and came by to check on me.

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  • Anchorage Review for Matanzas Pass

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon, Windchaser, on Jan 2, 2020
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Overall Rating:
    4
    Holding:
    5
    Wind Protection:
    3
    Current Flow:
    4
    Wake Protection:
    3
    Scenic Beauty:
    2
    Ease of Shopping:
    1
    Shore Access:
    1
    Cell Service:
    4
    WiFi:
    1

    I've used this anchorage several times in making passages along the coast. Easy to get in, good depth and good anchor holding. Exposed to wind from south and not very pretty, but perfectly acceptable for short stops during passage. Never seen it crowded.

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  • Anchorage Review for Peck Lake

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon, Windchaser, on Jun 5, 2018
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Overall Rating:
    4
    Holding:
    3
    Wind Protection:
    3
    Current Flow:
    3
    Wake Protection:
    4
    Scenic Beauty:
    5
    Ease of Shopping:
    2
    Shore Access:
    5
    Pet Friendly:
    5
    Cell Service:
    5
    WiFi:
    1

    Anchoring can be a little tough if not in the good mud and sand, but once set it holds well. Has good depth and easy access from the ICW. The deepest area is near to the shore of the barrier island, on the north side of the anchorage. Turn to port once you have turned off the ICW. The south side is very shallow. A nice beach is near on the Atlantic side of the barrier island, accessible only by water. A good spot to wait for weather and tide to jump off to the Bahamas, assuming provisioning was done already in Stuart. Be very careful going out St. Lucie inlet (avoid condition where wind is opposite the tide) waves can get dangerous.

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  • Marina Review for Safe Harbor Burnt Store

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon , Windchaser, on Mar 25, 2018
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Rating: 5

    This is the third year we have been using Burnt Store for transient dockage while cruising Charlotte Harbor. It is under new ownership (Safe Harbor Marinas) and continues to be a first class marina. WiFi connectivity has improved with antennas on the docks. The inlet channel was dredged recently and ongoing maintenance is evident. The harbormaster and dock crew are efficient, friendly and skilled. Fuel and holding tank pump out services are great. The marina is well protected from wind and waves...an excellent place to wait out bad weather. A recent addition for provisioning is a Dollar General store just south of the main entrance on Burnt Store road. Slip rental prices continue to be very reasonable for the area.

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  • Anchorage Review for Factory Bay

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon, Windchaser, on Mar 25, 2018
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Overall Rating:
    4
    Holding:
    5
    Wind Protection:
    4
    Current Flow:
    4
    Wake Protection:
    2
    Scenic Beauty:
    2
    Ease of Shopping:
    3
    Shore Access:
    3
    Cell Service:
    5
    WiFi:
    2

    Nice little anchorage for an overnight on the way to other places. Can fit about 10 boats in good depth (10'+). Do not even think about using Coconut Island in anything but flat conditions. With wind out of western hemisphere, entrance to Marco Pass is rough. Markers at the Marco Pass entrance are somewhat confusing as the channel splits three ways. Worth studying the chart ahead of time. Call TowBoat US on the radio for local knowledge. A few boats are being "stored" in the anchorage and would stay away from them. If wanting to shop will have to make arrangements with a marina or waterside restaurant to tie up dinghy and then Uber to the store. Winn Dixie has a dinghy dock but can not be directly accessed from Factory Bay by water.

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  • Anchorage Review for Indian Key - Russell Pass

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon, Windchaser, on Mar 25, 2018
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Overall Rating:
    4
    Holding:
    5
    Wind Protection:
    5
    Current Flow:
    3
    Wake Protection:
    4
    Scenic Beauty:
    5
    Ease of Shopping:
    1
    Shore Access:
    3
    Pet Friendly:
    4
    Cell Service:
    3
    WiFi:
    1

    Russell Pass is a very scenic and quiet South Florida mangrove environment. Water in main channels is generally deep (7-20'). Holding is good and boat traffic was low. Even in winter be prepared for no-see-ums when the wind dies down. Access to marinas, fuel and stores is quite limited after Irma. Only two marinas are open (Port of the Islands and Everglades Isles) but approach depth is restricted to 4-4.5'. Suggest Bahamian mooring to deal with the tidal currents.

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  • Anchorage Review for Little Shark River

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon, Windchaser, on Nov 17, 2017
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Overall Rating:
    4
    Holding:
    4
    Wind Protection:
    4
    Current Flow:
    3
    Wake Protection:
    3
    Scenic Beauty:
    4
    Ease of Shopping:
    1
    Shore Access:
    1
    Pet Friendly:
    1
    Cell Service:
    1
    WiFi:
    1

    We draw 5' and access was very easy. Bugs were not bad in October, but deployed hatch screens. Enough room for 5-6 boats to anchor comfortably. Lots of mangrove shoreline and easy to access. Great place to be anchored "in the middle of nowhere". Some fishing traffic with minor wake. If staying for several days likely use Bahamian moor to keep anchor from fouling with rode.

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  • Anchorage Review for Double Breasted Cays

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon on Sep 1, 2017
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 35'
    Draft: 4.9'

    Overall Rating:
    3
    Holding:
    3
    Wind Protection:
    2
    Current Flow:
    2
    Wake Protection:
    3
    Scenic Beauty:
    4
    Ease of Shopping:
    1
    Shore Access:
    3
    Pet Friendly:
    5
    Cell Service:
    2
    WiFi:
    1

    Good place to stop awaiting slack tide or daylight. Better anchorage is to the west at Sand Cay South. Will be rough with wind blowing from the south.

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  • Anchorage Review for Double Breasted - Sand Cays South

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon on Jun 9, 2017
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 35'
    Draft: 4.8'

    Overall Rating:
    4
    Holding:
    4
    Wind Protection:
    4
    Current Flow:
    1
    Wake Protection:
    4
    Scenic Beauty:
    5
    Ease of Shopping:
    2
    Shore Access:
    4
    Pet Friendly:
    5
    Cell Service:
    2

    Tidal current is quite swift. When entering be careful not to be swept onto sand bars when current is abeam. Best to enter at slack water. Definitely use two anchors (Bahamian moor). Bottom is sand and holding is good. Not much room, 4 anchored boats max. Very scenic and snorkeling is excellent. Can shop at Grand Cay to the west by dinghy if wind is not blowing too much. No facilities or supplies at all on Double Breasted. Gave high mark to wind protection because land geometry good at calming wind-driven waves, not the wind. Islands are low with scant vegetation. Access is thru the north Double Brested anchorage. Can contact Rosie's on Grand Cay by vhf.

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  • Marina Review for Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon , Windchaser, on Jul 8, 2016
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Rating: 5

    Friendly, knowledgeable, secure and affordable. Travel lift with open, dry storage on limerock surface. Overflow storage just north of them at J&R Marine (they load and transport your boat to J&R at no cost). Power and water available. Nice open air lounge area with ice, cooking/ eating facilities, baths and showers, and laundry. Has wifi both locations. Highly recommend for off season storage. Access from Charlotte Harbor a little tricky, but not bad if you study/follow the directions they provide, and watch tides and water depth inland of lock. Lock operation very simple.

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  • Anchorage Review for Pelican Bay

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon, Windchaser, on Jul 8, 2016
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Overall Rating:
    5
    Holding:
    5
    Wind Protection:
    5
    Current Flow:
    5
    Wake Protection:
    5
    Scenic Beauty:
    5
    Ease of Shopping:
    2
    Shore Access:
    5
    Pet Friendly:
    4
    Cell Service:
    3

    Best spot we have ever anchored in. Anchor holding is excellent. Good wind/wave protection. Adjacent State park is wonderful. Ice and some sundries for sale there. Seasonal Manatee population is awesome. Many places to explore in the dinghy. Ferry service to mainland is great; they will transport some parts and equipment for a small gratuity.

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  • Marina Review for MS Dockside Marina & Boatyard

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon , Windchaser, on Jun 1, 2016
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Had boat taken out of the water at MS Dockside Marina in September, 2015, to replace propeller and shaft. The staff and owners are knowledgeable, accomodating and friendly. If you have a schedule to keep, suggest you stay actively involved in the process, particularly if new parts need to be ordered. Some items, like propellers, can take up to six weeks to get. They work very hard to keep the repair bill as low as possible and will let the owner purchase/supply parts if it saves cost. Very pleased with the workmanship and technical knowledge.

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  • Marina Review for C-Quarters Marina

    Reviewed by: Brian McMahon , Windchaser, on Jun 1, 2016
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 31'
    Draft: 5.0'

    The hospitality at C-Quarters is among the best. Tidal currents can make docking tricky, but staff are glad to help make the landing as smooth as possible. Just call ahead and ask for help. Bathrooms/showers are spartan. Boat repair parts and equipment are scarce throughout Carrabelle, but can be obtained in a few days if ordered from the area marine distributor. Notwithstanding these shortcomings, it was a great place to stop.

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