Cats Point Channel Inlet

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Gulfport, Florida United States
27° 43' 3.0'', -82° 41' 51.01''
St. Pete Beach
Cats Point Channel
Cats Point Channel
Cats Point Channel
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The image above is a view from the southeast looking northwest over the Pinellas Bayway Span “A,” a fixed bridge with a 18-foot vertical clearance carrying east-west traffic on 54th Avenue. This bridge limits the overhead vertical clearance for the passage from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) at the Maximo Point Bridge to the point where it rejoins at GIWW in Boca Ciega Bay. Once clear of the bridge pictured above, you can proceed to the east (right) toward Clam Bayou and Hart Creek where the marina facilities are located.

Navigating the Water:

Use NOAA Chart 11416.

Located off the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway-proper, the Cats Point Channel allows easy access to the eastern portion of Boca Ciega Bay, where a few good marina facilities are located in the Gulfport area of St. Petersburg. The Cats Point Channel is entered from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway just after you pass under the 65-foot fixed vertical clearance Maximo Point twin spans that are located at GIWW Mile 110.5.

From the GIWW at Mile 110.7, pick up red daybeacon “2,” which leads off to the north up the Cats Point approach channel. The controlling depth for the Cats Point Channel from the GIWW to the point where it joins back up with the GIW is six feet, but cruisers have reported some shallow spots in scattered areas of this channel. Also keep in mind that overhead clearance is limited by an 18-foot fixed vertical clearance bridge at Cats Point.

From red daybeacon “2,” head north to pick up green daybeacon “3,” red daybeacon “4,” and then flashing red “6” at the turn west near Frenchman Creek. After the turn, follow green daybeacon “7,” red daybeacon “8,” green daybeacon “9,” red daybeacon “10,” and then flashing green “11” into the narrow channel toward the Pinellas Bayway Span “A.” Once you have cleared the bridge, two lighted and two unlighted marks (visible in the image above) mark the channel as it empties into Boca Ciega Bay. Once you have cleared the marks, you can head east toward the marina facilities in Hart Creek or Clam Bayou, or head northwest toward the GIWW.

Local Notices to Mariners:

Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.

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