Anyone run a big boat from Miami to the West Coast?

Looking to run a 34 ft twin outboard from Miami to the west coast sometime this summer. Just wondering what would be better, run down around the tip or go thru Lake Okeechobee? Time is not a big issue. Not sure what will take more miles? I personally would think going south and then north will be a nicer ride but not sure how far south to go to get good water to get to the gulf. If we go thru the lake, pretty much the same and we need to make sure the locks are open and there is good passage? 
Big Game :Glass


  • dragon baitdragon bait Posts: 7,363 Admiral
    depending on the final destination would dictate course
    this might help
  • snappernappersnappernapper Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    If it's an Outboard the keys route is your quickest/ dependable route... You can make your turn north just past the channel 5... Your shallowest water will be 5.5ft. I stay away from the locks because if your timing is off it'll kill your whole day. I've done Miami to Tampa in a day in a large boat. 

    Bring on the 2011- 2012 season!
  • Frosty1Frosty1 Posts: 140 Deckhand
    I would do the around the tip option. Its a great ride with great scenery. Lake O is a boring ride and the locks are a nightmare
  • offshore17offshore17 Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    I did allot of research because I was bringing new boat from Naples to fort Lauderdale. It's about the same either way. I ran a 36 convertible sportfish with a 3.5 foot draft thru channel 5 in long key and came up Atlantic. If you download the navionics app and get the subscription you can type in your route and it shows turn by turn. I heard the locks are a pain sometimes and closed for maintenance others plus you can't beat the view thru keys.
  • catchemupcatchemup Posts: 219 Deckhand
    edited May 15 #6
    There was a half hour fishing show today about fishing across the state thru Lake O waterway might find it informative and a good source of info. Perhaps the episode will repeat as a rebroadcast if you can find it online. The pertinent info is:

    The Obsession of Carter Andrews ..was shown today on the Outdoor Channel TV cable channel at 3PM.

    FYI I just checked and the show will rebroadcast twice this Sat and once on Sun. Worth watching.
  • gheftyghefty Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    Take the ICW south from Miami, once you get to the Channel 5 bridge just south is Islamorada you will head west to the Yacht Channel marker before turning north toward Cape Sable then pick your destination on the west coast. Keep an eye on your charts and you will be fine. It’s a great trip.
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