This week’s installment of our Florida Cruising Guide features Cape Coral.
Although it is Ft. Lauderdale that has garnered the reputation as a yachting hub, and “The Venice of America,” because of its many canals, it is actually Cape Coral that has more canals than anywhere else on earth! The Cape Coral Peninsula has over 400 miles of navigable waterways. With an area of 120 square miles, Cape Coral is actually the second largest city in Florida after Jacksonville.
Cape Coral is on the West Coast of Florida. It is bordered in the south and east by the Caloosahatchee River, and in the west by Matlacha Pass. The city of Fort Myers lies across the Caloosahatchee River to the north, and Matlacha and Pine Island lie across Matlacha Pass to the west.
With those miles and miles of canals and waterways, Cape Coral is truly a boaters paradise. Combine that with beautiful sunsets, great fishing, and cool breezes, and Cape Coral offers a tremendous yachting experience.
Navigation and Nautical Details: Cape Coral
Renowned for its luxurious Gulf Coast beaches, verdant golf courses and family attractions such as the popular Sun Splash Family Waterpark, Cape Coral is an appealing destination to visit – particularly by boat!
According to US Harbors, the Caloosahatchee River flows generally southwest from its source in Lake Okeechobee and empties into San Carlos Bay at Punta Rassa. Cape Coral, and its extensive network of canals, lie just Northwest of Redfish Point on the north side of the river, 7 miles above the mouth.
The river has an average width of about 1 mile, to a point 3 miles above Fort Myers, and then narrows to little more than the width of the channel, which has been dredged to Lake Okeechobee.
A dredged channel, part of the Okeechobee Waterway, leads from Punta Rassa to Fort Myers. The channel is well marked by lights, day-beacons, and ranges. In 1995, the mid-channel controlling depth was 8 feet.
Dockage and Marinas
The City’s waterways, which are overseen by the Marine Services Division of the Parks Recreation Department, can be accessed through the use of five (5) improved public boat ramps including:
- BMX Boat Ramp(freshwater access)
- Burnt Store Boat Ramp
- Horton Park Boat Ramp
- Rosen Park
- Yacht Club Boat Ramp
A privately marked channel leads to a marina in Cape Coral Yacht Basin just west of Redfish Point. In 2002, the reported approach and alongside depths to the marina were 5 feet. Berths with electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, launching ramps, and a pump-out station are available. They can also provide hull repair and engine services.
Deep Lagoon, across the river from Cape Coral, provides good anchorage and moorings for drafts up to 7 feet. In 2004, the reported controlling depth in the privately marked channel leading to the lagoon was 5 feet.
More upscale accommodations and complete marine services can also be found at the Gulf Harbour Marina, which is a state of the art marina featuring floating concrete docks. They can accommodate vessels up to 97 feet in length, and have 30 and 50 amp power, potable water, and air conditioned bath houses and laundromat. There is also a full service fuel dock that offers both diesel and 90 octane (ethanol free) gasoline.
Activities On and Offshore
Cape Coral is emerging as the crown jewel of Florida’s increasingly popular Southwest Coast. Within easy reach of the Gulf, Ft. Myers, and Sanibel Island, Cape Coral has been experiencing a renaissance of late, attracting tourists, and many new residents alike.
Besides all of the boating, riverfront, and watersports activities, there is the very popular Sun Splash Family Water Park and a growing little history museum, the Cape Coral Historical Museum , which commemorates the town’s past with its famous rose gardens and exhibits depicting bygone eras. The area is also known for its wildlife, including the iconic burrowing owls, which were featured in the book and movie, Hoot.
Kayakers and hikers may catch a glimpse of the elusive creatures at the Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve.
There is a burgeoning downtown restaurant scene, where you can find anything from gourmet burgers and craft beer, to traditional Peruvian and Cuban eateries with a touch of an exotic flair.
Hassle Free Cruising
Did you know that our On Demand Yachting solution has been designed to remove all of the challenges of yacht ownership? That means among the many benefits of membership, we can help you find the best route to any area you want to visit by yacht, and not just in Florida.
With our low-cost fuel services, our contacts at marinas, and with skilled service technicians world-wide, we can provide you with hassle-free cruising to the Cape Coral, or just about any destination you desire!
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.