Located about 25 miles south of Ft. Lauderdale and 40 miles north of Key Largo, Government Cut is the main ocean entry into the Miami area at South Beach. Miami is a rich yachting area and thousands of boatesr either visit or maintain their yachts here every year.
The image above is a view from the east looking west over the jettied entrance to Government Cut. Off to the right (north) are the white sand beaches of Miami Beach, while Fisher Island bounds the left (south) side of the cut toward Key Biscayne, which is out of the picture. Farther back is the Port of Miami at Dodge Island (left side of the channel back from the inlet) and the Venetian Islands can be seen on the right side of the cut.
There are dozens of marinas in the Miami are that are in close proximity to Government Cut, but the closest is the Miami Beach Marina, which is located just inside the inlet on the north side in Miami Beach. (The marina can be seen on the right side of the inlet farther back in the image above near the two tall condominium buildings.) Beyond Government Cut, marinas are spread out north into Biscayne Bay, and the majority are spread along the east side of the bay, with more north toward the 79th Street Causeway Bridge.
Use NOAA Charts 11465 and 11467.
Government Cut is reached via a deep, dredged approach from the northeast with 38-foot minimum depths. From the Atlantic Ocean, set a course to intercept Morse (A) buoy M, which is located about 2.7 miles northeast of the inlet. Once you have picked up the Morse (A) buoy, set an approximate course of 248 degrees magnetic to pick up flashing red buoy 2 and flashing green buoy 3 farther to the southwest at Outer Bar Cut.
Past flashing red buoy 2 and flashing green buoy 3, you will continue to the southwest toward quick flashing red 4, flashing green buoy 5, and then quick flashing green buoy 7, which marks the northwest turn toward the center of the inlet. Once you have cleared quick flashing green buoy 7, head in past flashing green buoy 9, quick flashing red buoy 8, flashing red buoy 10, and quick flashing green buoy 11 into the inlet between the jetties. Flashing red buoy 10, and quick flashing green buoy 11 can be seen in the image above right outside the Government Cut jetties.
Past the inlet, Government Cut opens to the Port of Miami and a number of different routes break off the channel to allows access to various parts of the Miami area.
Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.