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Partly cloudy starting tomorrow morning, continuing until tomorrow afternoon.
Lat24° 43' 59.88''
Lon-81° 1' 21.0''
Marathon and the popular boating area of Boot Key are located 45 miles northeast of Key West and 78 miles southwest of Key Largo off of the Hawk Channel and Intracoastal Waterway near Mile Marker 1195. One of the biggest yachting centers in the Florida Keys, many cruisers stop here to stock up on stores and relax after making the fairly remote passage down from Key Largo, the last real source of supplies and amenities before Boot Key and Marathon on the journey south to Key West.
The most popular boating area in Marathon is Boot Key Harbor. Although not shown in the images above, Boot Key Harbor is lined with marinas and filled with hundred of moorings that boaters use up at record speed. If you want a space to tie up at or a mooring to tie to, you will want to get here early or call ahead to arrange a space. There are restrictions and limits on length of stay in Boot Key Harbor, so you will want to check with mooring operators and marina operators for details on these time restrictions.
Use NOAA Chart 11453.
Boot Key Harbor is approached most often via the Knight Key Channel, which is located off the Intracoastal Waterway near Mile Marker 1194. The only caveat to the Knight Key Channel passage is that your boat must be able to clear the 19-foot fixed vertical clearance of Seven Mile Bridge at its eastern end. If you cant clear the low span, you will have to head farther to the west under one of the higher spans west of Pigeon Key, and then head back east toward Boot Key Harbor. Alternatively, you can approach the entrance to Boot Key Harbor from the outside passage in the Atlantic Ocean (Hawk Channel).
From the ICW, you will want to exit the channel at green daybeacon 19 and flashing red 20 east of Bethel Bank, and then set a course south for the unnumbered flashing white light that marks a shoal on Knight Key Channel. Once you have cleared Seven Mile Bridge, you will plot a course for flashing green 1 and red daybeacon 2 at the beginning of the channel into Boot Key Harbor.
Once you have picked up flashing green 1, and red daybeacon 2, you can then follow the series of daybeacons into Boot Key Harbor. Your only major obstacle is a 24-foot closed vertical clearance bascule bridge near red daybeacon 14. Hail the bridge tender on VHF Channel 09 for opening details if unsure.