Cross the Okeechobee Waterway with Shurhold!

Ready to embarking on a boating adventure? Join Team Shurhold as we set sail across Florida's hidden treasure, the Okeechobee Waterway. Stretching between the Gulf of Mexico at Ft. Myers and the Atlantic Ocean at Stuart, Florida, this intricate navigational route lets you experience the state's stunning waterways and marine landscapes firsthand.

For passionate boaters and maritime enthusiasts, navigating the Okeechobee Waterway promises unparalleled boating experiences amidst Florida's scenic backdrops. However, undertaking this journey requires careful preparation and understanding of the intricate system of locks that dot the route.

Essential Boating Equipment for a Safe Okeechobee Voyage

As with all marine expeditions, ensuring you have the requisite safety gear and equipment is paramount. Before launching your vessel into the waters of the Okeechobee Waterway, ensure the following are onboard:

  • Fenders: Equip your vessel with at least two appropriately-sized fenders to protect against unexpected impacts.

  • Adept Crew: To handle the locks and unforeseen challenges, a crew of at least two seasoned sailors is crucial.

  • VHF Radio: An essential communication tool, especially when coordinating with the Lockmaster.

  • Life Jackets: Safety first! Ensure there are enough life jackets for everyone onboard.

  • Safety Knife: A versatile tool that could prove invaluable in emergencies.

  • Gloves: Optional but highly recommended to ensure a good grip and protect against potential injuries.

Mastering the Art of the Okeechobee Locks

The lock system, while fascinating, requires precision and attention to detail. To navigate them:

  1. Communication is Key: Begin by establishing radio contact with the Lockmaster using channel 13. Their guidance is invaluable, so follow their instructions to the letter.

  2. Deploy Fenders: Position your fenders on the side of the boat that will be adjacent to the lock wall. This protects your vessel from any accidental scrapes or bumps.

  3. Secure Your Position: As you approach the lock, reach out for the lock wall lines – one at the bow and another at the stern. These ropes will help you control your boat's position as the water level changes.

  4. Stay Alert: As the water level shifts, maintain your boat's proximity to the lock wall. Await the Lockmaster's clearance before continuing your journey.

Remember, every boating expedition is as much about the journey as the destination. Relish the experience, uphold safety, and immerse yourself in the unique maritime charm of Florida. And as always, Shurhold is here to ensure that your boating adventures remain Clean-N-Simple! Safe sailing!