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Author Topic:   Okeechobee Waterway
rzarranz posted 02-25-2012 09:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for rzarranz   Send Email to rzarranz  
I am planning a trip across Florida on the Okeechobee Waterway. [Solicits readers to give] any information [but later clarifies this to mean that readers are to give only their own, first-hand information] on this route. I am looking for speed limits, lodging information [that is first-hand information about lodging], and the like. Thanks. Of course. I will be on my 1994 Outrage 21.
jimh posted 02-25-2012 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Try a GOOGLE search. Mine turned up this document:

See the speed limits under the sub-heading

68D-24.011 Okeechobee Waterway Boating Restricted Areas

jimh posted 02-25-2012 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My GOOGLE search found this website:

It seems to be a website that tries to collect and organize information about travel on waterways.

jimh posted 02-25-2012 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This GOOGLE search found a lot of information on lodging.
rzarranz posted 02-26-2012 01:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for rzarranz  Send Email to rzarranz     
I appreciate the Google information, but I already have that information. I am looking to see if anyone has first hand knowledge of the route.
Dave Sutton posted 02-26-2012 07:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dave Sutton  Send Email to Dave Sutton     
It's an interesting shortcut between east and west coasts, two routes across, one straight across and one is more along the shoreline. Water depths change a lot and at times it's not usable by other than small boats. The link that Jim put up for the Dozier reports is excellent and is what I use for my "real time" planning information. You can also call the locks and see how things look. Small boats crossing are never an issue. You can spend several interesting days just exploring the approaches on both sides as well as the lake itself. Good fishing, just an interesing place.


jimh posted 02-26-2012 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thank you for clarifying that you are only seeking first-hand information about the speed limits, lodging, and the like. I emended your original article to indicate that so your time is not wasted with information that is not first-hand.
jimh posted 02-26-2012 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
rzarranz posted 02-26-2012 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for rzarranz  Send Email to rzarranz     
Dave. You have obviously done the trip before. How long should I plan for. How many days each way? Do you have any suggestions as to where to stop overnight? Thanks
L H G posted 02-26-2012 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
I have some experience with the route, and have wanted to do it for years. In 1987, I ran the leg from St.Lucie/Stuart though the canal over to the Lake in my 18 Outrage, and down the rim canal to Clewiston and back. It was a long day. It was OK, but not very interesting and I have never bothered to do that leg since.
Just a man-made canal, with two locks. the no wake zones are boring killers. Once on the lake, it's pretty boring on the open, somewhat muddy water. The Rim Canal, was OK, but nothing to rave about.

That was then.

Last winter, I decided to check out ths situation again, choosing to drive back to the East Coast from the West, by cutting directly across the state ot WPB, and taking the route through Clewiston on the Lake shore. I'm glad I did, and since you are nearby, I would recommend you do the same thing. Drive up there in your car and check it out, and then determine what you want to do, if at all.

The run up the River to the Lake looked OK and even interesting, but once to the general area of the Lake, forget it. The area is all agricultural and has turned seedy if you ask me. We drove over to see one of the locks close up, and quickly put up the windows in the car, locked the doors and got out! There was no pleasure boat traffic at all.

Forget finding any places to stay overnight in the Lake area. You would not want do it if you are traveling by boat. There was a rundown place called Roland Martin Marina with a motel, but you would not want to stay there.

If I was to make the run, go all the way in one day, and probably use the open lake route. Once to Stuart, there are nice places and you are in good company.

As you have probably suspected, I have crossed this separate trip off my list for good. The only way I would do it is if I was doing an "Around Southern FLorida" circumnavigation cruise. It would be the worst leg of the trip, and I would make the whole crossing in one day for sure!

jimh posted 02-26-2012 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I visited the South shore of Lake Ocheechobee in c.2001. I found it as Larry described: uninteresting and in decline. It was a disappointment.
rzarranz posted 02-26-2012 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for rzarranz  Send Email to rzarranz     
Gee what can I say. One man's poison is another...
I work in Clewiston where they have just completed a new hospital, have a great Holiday Inn and the historic Clewiston Inn is under new management and a great place to stay. I eat at Roland Martin's Marina Tiki bar almost weekly and food is never short of wonderful. Service is superb. I really was just looking for info about the waterway but I guess you guys just stay in places way beyond me. I like old Florida and look forward to the trip.
L H G posted 02-26-2012 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
As Rick Perry said recently: "OOPS"

But as person with "local knowledge" to the Waterway, Clewiston and SW FLorida, I'm wondering why you didn't tell us? You seem to already know the lodging information you were asking about? I thought I was helping you out, but I guess I wasted my time. Sorry for the bad press. Maybe others will be more upbeat about the Waterway trip.

rzarranz posted 02-26-2012 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for rzarranz  Send Email to rzarranz     
No, no OOPs I welcome your opinion. I have knowledge of the lake area but the other side I have no clue. I am totally unfamiliar with the Stuart area and the speed limits on the waterway. I know all the manatee zones in Lee county but have not been able to find anything further inland. I an mot sure if I can make it in one day across. Thanks for your info and believe me it is welcomed.
jimh posted 02-27-2012 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I guess I am not a devotee of "old Florida" if what I saw in c.2001 of the South shore of Lake Okeechobee was representative, at least as far as the boating potential. It looked like a nice place to go bass fishing in a lot of shallow, still, green water with plenty of weed cover, but the South shore of Lake Okeechobee would not be high on my list of cruising destinations. I think I first became aware of Lake Okeechobee in perhaps 1956--I was quite precocious in geography--and when I finally saw it in person it did not live up to the expectations I had formed in the preceding 45 years of hearing about it.
johnhenry posted 02-27-2012 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
I am sure it was a lot different before the Corps of Engineers and the State Government started messing with the water table, and pretty much ruining the Everglades and the Lake. They are nothing compared to to what they were. Lake Okeechobee used to be one of the finest fresh water fishing lakes in the country.
rzarranz posted 03-06-2012 07:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for rzarranz  Send Email to rzarranz     
Thanks for the input guys. Very little positive information here and I still did not get any suggestions on places to stay near Stuart, the end of my trip. I have decided to start a blog on the trip in case any one else is interested.
Check it out at:
L H G posted 03-06-2012 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
You might want to look at Cetacea page 78.
rzarranz posted 03-07-2012 12:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for rzarranz  Send Email to rzarranz     
Great pictures and it looked like a fun event. Not much use after eight years, I assume things might have changed a little. As a long time follower of this Board I am surprised at how stale it is getting. I see fewer and fewer post and mainly by the same folks.
Whalrman posted 03-07-2012 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalrman  Send Email to Whalrman     
Hi, there is camping at the St. Lucie locks. In Stuart there is Monteray Inn at the Palm City bridge on the starboard side as you are looking at the bridge to the north. In Stuart at the old Rosevelt Bridge, the city has a new marina there with a resturant and ships store,gas,oil. Good place to stop and ask arround there. Further down the river is Sandsprit Park in Manatee Pocket,Port Salerno,with good places to get a good meal.
rzarranz posted 03-08-2012 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for rzarranz  Send Email to rzarranz     
Thanks Whalrman. Hope to see you. Give me a shout if you see my boat The Beagle. I will be traveling the week after Easter.
jimh posted 03-15-2012 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
rzarranz--Maybe you can start another blog of your own--similar to the one you started about the Okeechobee Waterway trip--and blog about how you think CONTINUOUSWAVE is getting stale and the participants are the same people over and over. Here on CONTINUOUSWAVE we try to keep discussions on the topic. I thought you were interested in getting information about the water way, its regulations, and the accommodations. Now you seem like you want to use the discussion to start up a thread about the CONTINUOUSWAVE website and who participates here. I hope you are not upset, but CONTINUOUSWAVE does not try to collect and organize information about itself or about its participants. We try to stick to useful information about boating. And, we do enjoy first-hand information the most.
jimh posted 03-15-2012 11:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
rzarranz--I read your blog. That children's book you mentioned, The Lion's Paw, sound very familiar. I think I may have read it, too, when I was in the primary grades. I also remember some strange book about the Everglades involving some sort of a mechanical elephant. Do you know that one?

The BEAGLE looks like a very fine boat. I think it is a 21-OUTRAGE, one of my favorite boats of the post classic era. You could always get that new Yamaha engine painted white. I saw quite a few Yamaha four-cycle engines with white paint jobs recently in the Caribbean. In the tropics a white cowling makes more sense.

By the way, I hope I didn't put your nose out of joint with my initial remarks. (That's a little bit of irony....)

Binkster posted 03-22-2012 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
I made the trip across the lake back in the late seventies, on a 29' inboard boat. Going around the lake was too shallow. Across the center the water was 6-10 ft. deep, the wind was blowing and it was really rough steep seas with very short intervals. Wouldn't want to be in an open boat. Rest of the trip was uneventful and mostly boring. River can get pretty narrow, until you get into the Caloosahatchee River and Ft. Myers, my home for 30 years. In the spring, much of the upper Caloosahatchee is idle speed becuase of the damn manatees.

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