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Hey all, I’m new to boating and new to the forum. I’m looking for sandy beaches to take the boat out for a short cruise before being able to park and play for a while. Preferably something that easy for novice boaters. I have a old 19ft fiberform sterndrive that we recently bought. It’s my first boat with very limited boating experience. It’s a trial to see how much boating we’ll accomplish with two young children and decide to upgrade or sell depending on usage. We went to Fort Mcree last weekend and had fun. I’m just curious what other options there are. Thanks!
 

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Jaded Old Phart
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If you want a long boat ride, there's the spoil islands in the ICW in front of Hurlburt Field.
 

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If you want a long boat ride, there's the spoil islands in the ICW in front of Hurlburt Field.
One of those is called Spectre island. Nice place to hang out. There are also islands across from Galvez landing near Perdido Key.

With an old boat and limited experience, a Sea Tow membership is a must.
 

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TJ McBoatFace
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Depends on where you launch & how far you want to ride. Truthfully, drive around find a place that isn't crowded, has the amount of sand & people you want to be around and call it good.

Here's the soundside beach near Portofino.

 

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New to boating..... So how much chain on your ground tackle.....Ground Tackle = Anchor line, chain and anchor.

One of the biggest things we see is not having enough chain.....Then you can't get anchored. Then your snagging other peoples anchor lines or.....Never getting hooked up and running into other peoples boats.

I bring this up because it's seen all the time....New boat owners don't know.

If your out there by yourself and cn't get anchored up....That's one thing.....But if you get around a bunch of boats and it's a Lil breezy....and you get 3 or 4 other boats involved because you can't anchor due to not having the right ground tackle your gonna have a bunch of made Hornets on your hands and it's going to ruin the glorious day.

But a anchor 1 size up from what it says......add the length of the boat in 1/4in chain.


I bring this up to head of problems for you......I see it happen all the time.
 

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If you are new to boating, consider a safety course. They are usually offered locally by the coast guard, us power squadron, etc.

Covers a lot of stuff you may know and some you probably haven't thought of.

Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk
 

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Watch some videos on boat ramp etiquette, load your boat away from the ramp, once you put your boat in the water, get it off the ramp as quickly as you safely can, people are waiting for the space. Go watch the ramp you expect to use on a Saturday morning for an hour, trust me, it's good entertainment, and you will get an idea of the flow of traffic and will see good and bad examples of what to do. Also, if you aren't comfortable with backing a trailer, go practice in an empty parking lot, you don't want to be the guy that pulls up and down on the ramp 25 times when folks are behind you in line. Good luck.
 

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Fort McRee area for your purpose is about as good as it gets other than on calmer days, for us we actually prefer to anchor off Ft. Pickens beach on the Gulf side. The above advice about anchor rode (chain), safety, and boat ramp etiquette is all very good advice.
 
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