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  1. #1

    Okeechobee Waterway in a day

    Planning on going across the waterway 9/7/12 starting at the St Lucie lock and going all the way to Ft Myers and staying at a hotel over night. Then we'll head back the next day. Has anyone done this ride and maybe offer some tips. Are there a lot of no wake zones in the system. From what I've read so far there aren't many. The total ride should be about 124 miles and I'll be using my VXS that go 90 miles on a tank. Stop for gas at Indian Town Marina, Rolands Marina and La Belle Marina. I've called them all and they advise that they have gas and open. Thanks for any advise.


  2. #2
    83Gator's Avatar
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    Slingshot, sounds like a great trip and I'd like to add it to my site (see sig. below) if you GPSing it. Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by slingshot View Post
    Planning on going across the waterway 9/7/12 starting at the St Lucie lock and going all the way to Ft Myers and staying at a hotel over night. Then we'll head back the next day. Has anyone done this ride and maybe offer some tips. Are there a lot of no wake zones in the system. From what I've read so far there aren't many. The total ride should be about 124 miles and I'll be using my VXS that go 90 miles on a tank. Stop for gas at Indian Town Marina, Rolands Marina and La Belle Marina. I've called them all and they advise that they have gas and open. Thanks for any advise.
    1) its not the most exciting ride, not many twist's or turns. but no speed limit, but a few no wake area's, i'm only really familiar with the last 30 miles of that run, between labelle and Ft Myers, there are two no wake zones in that stretch.

    2) re: Fuel.

    I believe yor ok with Roland Martin, but not at Labelle Marina, i've check with them twice by phone and they refuse service to PWC's so if you called them be 100% sure you told them you were on a pwc and 2x check with somebody in charge if its an important fuel stop, your next options is Jacks Marine which is just past the Franklin Lock. If you really need it, I Live in ft myers and ride that area between ft myers and labelle pretty often, i'd be happy to make arrangements to bring you 10 gallons or something either to Ft Myers or Alva, so if that helps, i'd be more than happy to make the drive out and hook you up.

    Enjoy the trip !
    my local group has talked about doing the opposite, from ft myers to the lake and back, its quite a trek, and some long straight stretches, but its pretty cool. you'd have to find a hotel in Ft Myers where you could dock your ski, your options are limited downtown, but maybe you can dock at the Ft Myers Yacht basin and walk or taxi to a hotel downtown, did you already locate one ?

    I or some of my buddies might also consider escorting you back half way on Saturday, to the labelle lock or something.

  4. #4

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Spimothy Leary View Post
    1) its not the most exciting ride, not many twist's or turns. but no speed limit, but a few no wake area's, i'm only really familiar with the last 30 miles of that run, between labelle and Ft Myers, there are two no wake zones in that stretch.

    2) re: Fuel.

    I believe yor ok with Roland Martin, but not at Labelle Marina, i've check with them twice by phone and they refuse service to PWC's so if you called them be 100% sure you told them you were on a pwc and 2x check with somebody in charge if its an important fuel stop, your next options is Jacks Marine which is just past the Franklin Lock. If you really need it, I Live in ft myers and ride that area between ft myers and labelle pretty often, i'd be happy to make arrangements to bring you 10 gallons or something either to Ft Myers or Alva, so if that helps, i'd be more than happy to make the drive out and hook you up.

    Enjoy the trip !
    my local group has talked about doing the opposite, from ft myers to the lake and back, its quite a trek, and some long straight stretches, but its pretty cool. you'd have to find a hotel in Ft Myers where you could dock your ski, your options are limited downtown, but maybe you can dock at the Ft Myers Yacht basin and walk or taxi to a hotel downtown, did you already locate one ?

    I or some of my buddies might also consider escorting you back half way on Saturday, to the labelle lock or something.
    Thanks Brother, That's the information I wanted to know. Didn't know that about La Belle Marina so I'll call ahead. I've already run my ski's on a full tank and with very aggressive riding (40mph to 60 mph w/ wot of 70 mph from time to time) I hit my low fuel buzzer at 71 miles and sputtered to a stop at 90 miles gps. I'm staying at the Legacy Harbor Inn in Fort Myers which is approx 63 miles from Roland Martins so if need be I could make it to the hotel no problem from there.

    We will be leaving out of the Hotel on Saturday 9/8/12, at 0800 with plans to catch the 0900 opening of the Franklin Lock. You all are welcome to come along with us but be forewarned, we will be stopping at the TIKI BAR at Rolands.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by slingshot View Post
    Thanks Brother, That's the information I wanted to know. Didn't know that about La Belle Marina so I'll call ahead. I've already run my ski's on a full tank and with very aggressive riding (40mph to 60 mph w/ wot of 70 mph from time to time) I hit my low fuel buzzer at 71 miles and sputtered to a stop at 90 miles gps. I'm staying at the Legacy Harbor Inn in Fort Myers which is approx 63 miles from Roland Martins so if need be I could make it to the hotel no problem from there.

    We will be leaving out of the Hotel on Saturday 9/8/12, at 0800 with plans to catch the 0900 opening of the Franklin Lock. You all are welcome to come along with us but be forewarned, we will be stopping at the TIKI BAR at Rolands.
    imho it would be sacrilegious to NOT stop at the tiki bar ! I've stopped there before and had a bite, its not bad !

  6. #6
    john07ex's Avatar
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    Can you show this plan on google earth or screenshot of it?

  7. #7
    TheElite0ne's Avatar
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    I've done this trip in the opposite direction. Started in Cape Coral and went all the way to Stuart. Spent the night at the Monterrey Hotel and then rode back the next day. 270miles total. Great run... See sig for link to video of the trip.

    Things to consider...


    • check all 5 locks! - The Moorehaven lock was closed all summer due to Manatee stuff. They just opened it up a few weeks ago but make sure all 5 locks are open.
    • The first and last lock (Franklin west side & Port St. Lucie east side) are on a locking schedule due to water restrictions. I believe Franklin only locks on the odd hours. So find out the schedule and get there at least 15-20mins early
    • Fuel - There are no places to fuel inbetween Rolland Martin and Jacks Marina. Also, Jack's Marina closes at like 2pm on the weekends. The next fuel stop is between the bridges in downtown Ft. Myers. Plan to have enough fuel to make it from Rolland Martin's to Downtown, and if you get lucky to fill up inbetween then so be it.

  8. #8
    TheElite0ne's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by john07ex View Post
    Can you show this plan on google earth or screenshot of it?

  9. #9
    john07ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheElite0ne View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    great thanks.. how is riding the ochobee? many weeds or really low ares when you try to cross it?

    270 miles total both ways? or one

  10. #10
    TheElite0ne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john07ex View Post
    great thanks.. how is riding the ochobee? many weeds or really low ares when you try to cross it?

    270 miles total both ways? or one
    270 miles round trip from ramp to hotel and back... plus a little tooling around.

    If its windy the lake can be pretty shitty. Most of the lake isn't any deeper then 4' so in high winds you get that high frequency annoying 2-3 footers. On the jet boats we just took the shortest possible straight line across the lake to the lock on the east side. There is a channel which the larger boats need to use in order to cross but I wouldn't worry about it on a ski. There are a few little Alligator sun pad islands right in the beginning on the west side but just give them a 100 yard berth and you'll be fine.

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