Miami & Florida

The American boating spirit

Every February, boating enthusiasts gather in Miami, Florida, for what is still one of the best-known American boat shows. On the program: out-of-this-world boats and a binge of high-powered marine engines, which is quite usual in the USA, but highly disorientating for Europeans. Amid this motorboat madness, multihulls - both power and sail - nibble away at more and more pontoons each year. The Miami International Boat Show has even become a must for those who like to sail two or three hulls. And going to Miami itself also presents an opportunity to escape from the show for an hour, a day or a week... It’s well worth the trip to discover all that Miami and Florida have to offer, especially for multihull sailors!

For many non-Americans, Florida remains a dream destination where skyscrapers, turquoise waters, beaches and coconut palms combine to create a tropical, modern atmosphere. It’s an image that’s cleverly cultivated but is actually quite close to reality. In the very south of the United States, Florida, and Miami in particular, already gives a taste of the Caribbean. Add a healthy dose of South America too - mastering a few words of Spanish can really come in handy. The third most populous state in the USA, with over 21 million citizens, Florida derives most of its revenue from tourism, including boating. A feature that comes as no surprise if you look at a map, since it’s also the only state bordering by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida, the land of boating

The location of the “Sunshine State”, as the Americans call it, has also enabled the development of a true ecosystem around pleasure boating. With 2,170 kilometers / 1,348 miles of coast (comprising 5,450 mi/ 13,600 km of actual shoreline), about 30,000 lakes, some of them very large, and 1,700 rivers, Florida is brimming with possibilities. Add to that the famous Everglades, that giant swamp... In the end, you could almost say that Florida is half water!
In fact, the state boasts over 1,000 marinas, i.e. approximately one marina for every 10,000 people - not a bad infrastructure, given that by 2022, over one million pleasure boats were registered in Florida. It has to be said that all forms of pleasure boating can be enjoyed here, from canoeing to deep-sea fishing, not forgetting water sports and, of course, sailing. Multihulls have been quick to make the coast their own, especially as many of the marinas are “multi-friendly” and there are also plenty of mooring balls. These marinas are almost always full, since many Americans from the northern states and Canadians leave their boats here year-round, attracted by the much milder winter climate...

Perfect conditions for multihulls

Another reason for Florida’s boating popularity is, of course, the conditions, starting with large, relatively sheltered stretches of water for safe sailing. For starters, there’s the Intracoastal Waterway, a strip of water protected by islets that allows you to sail along much of the east coast of the United States. To the south, there are vast stretches of water that are well protected by the Florida Keys, and the area between Tampa and Sarasota is again sheltered by a string of islands.
Added to this are very pleasant temperatures most of the year, rarely dipping below 18° Celsius (65° F), but regularly climbing above 35°C (95° F) in summer. Be warned, however, that we’re not yet north of the Tropic of Cancer: 0°C (32°F) has been recorded in Miami, and snow is sometimes observed in the north of the state... In concrete terms, South Florida enjoys 3,150 hours of sunshine a year, or 262 days, which isn’t bad considering that even cloudy days are pleasant.
Wind conditions are also ...

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