Boating in Southwest Florida
Cape Coral with its beautiful waterfront homes, executive homes, waterfront condos and exclusive boating communities is located right in the center of a canal kingdom. Known as “little Venice,” the waters of southwest Florida from Boca Grande Pass south to Naples and Marco Island are full of surprises and enchanting destinations.
Waterfront Restaurants, What Fun!
Boaters can easily dock right up to waterfront restaurants for a meal or snacks. There are 400 miles of canals, more than the city of Venice in Italy! This canal system works as follows:
Direct access canals — are open to the river at all times and also called Sailboat access canals, are those without any bridges. Home prices starting in the low $300,000
No direct access canals — require boats to enter by passing under a bridge. Most bridges in Cape Coral are between 9 and 13 feet high; plenty of room for boats without a high radar arch. House prices starting in the low $200,000
Freshwater Canals — do not allow connecting with either the Caloosahatchee River or the Gulf of Mexico.
Home prices starting at $185,000 and perfect for the buyer liking water as there backyard but don’t care about boating in the open sea.
When you’re ready to begin finding or selling a home in the Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Fort Myers Beach areas, give Lilo a call at 239-699-0142, or email and she’ll help you get started.
Gliding down the Caloosahatchee River
When leaving Cape Coral, a boater can make their way up the Caloosahatchee River, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway System. There are numerous waterfront restaurants and marinas available.
My favorite is looking at all the beautiful Cape Coral Homes located on the canal and river. I as a long time boater can show you Cape Coral Real Estate and homes for sale right from the water.
W.P. Franklin Lock — Approximately 30 miles up the waterway you will come up to this first lock on the way to Lake Okeechobee. Leaving Cape Coral and heading towards the Gulf of Mexico a boater has a choice of many destinations.
Becoming a Waterfront Home Owner in Cape Coral FL Pine Island Sound — Going north at Marker 101 in San Carlos Bay will take you to Pine Island Sound. The waterway is clearly marked as this is a continuation of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Many waterfront restaurants along this route
Weekend boat traffic that can get pretty hectic.
Islands where you can anchor and wade ashore
Fishing is always good here because of the tides bringing in bait fish.
Dolphin watcher’s paradise. If you see dolphins do not stop your engine, just slow down, at the right speeds dolphins are liable to follow your boat and play in the wake.
Boating in Southwest Florida Warning:
There is a lot of what looks like open water here, but if you stray out of the marked channels, use caution and go slowly any time you leave the channel.
A set of charts is necessary for safe navigation in all waters and they allow you to find restaurants and marinas.
Cabbage Key — near the north end of Pine Island Sound, Cabbage Key is a favorite destination for many local boaters; they have a restaurant to enjoy.
Sanibel Island — Going south-west at Marker 101 will take you under the Sanibel Bridge and out into the Gulf of Mexico. After clearing the bridge and following the markers, Sanibel Island will be off your starboard (right) side. Many people go to Sanibel, anchor their boat, and go shelling; it’s one of the best shelling beaches in the world!
Boating in Cape Coral FL Caution should be used when anchoring here, do not get close to the tip of the island as the tidal currents can get very strong, boats can swing with the current so leave room for your boat to move.
Going directly out into the Gulf of Mexico you will see Ft. Myers Beach (FMB) on your port (left) side a few miles from the bridge. Many people anchor on the gulf side of FMB and wade ashore. If you follow the channel around Bowditch Point you will enter Matanzas Pass.
Matanzas Pass — After passing under the Matanzas Bridge you will enter the Anchorage area. Things to remember about Matanzas Pass:
Only slow speeds are permitted.
Many restaurants are located here with dockage available.
Home to the Ft. Myers Beach shrimp fleet.
Matanzas Pass will lead you to Estero Bay and you can travel the length of Ft. Myers Beach and beyond. Caution, stay in the channel the water is very shallow. Estero Bay connects to the Gulf of Mexico via Big Carlos Pass.
Want to Purchase a Boat?
The most popular type of boat in SW Florida is either a center console or walk around cuddy cabin type with outboard power. The size range most popular is a 24-28 foot. This will give you a stable boat and with the outboard power, you can get into islands and other shallow water areas. In the past, outboards were noisy and smelled bad, but no longer. Modern four-cycle outboards give good fuel economy, are easy to maintain, and dependable.
Please call Lilo at 239-699-0142 for a free list of homes and condos for sale