Forum Index |  Albums |  Classified Ads |  Catamarans For Sale |  Calendar |  Submit Events
Announcements
New Discussions
Adding a Jib to a Mossie
by Gary Fleming. 12/07/17 11:29 PM
F101 finally in production
by Jake. 12/05/17 06:49 PM
Tradewinds Regatta?
by samc99us. 12/05/17 04:30 PM
Easy way to really learn the Racing Rules
by Mike Fahle. 11/28/17 07:30 AM
Dynema trap lines diameter?
by mmadge. 11/25/17 08:10 AM
foiling chasing UFO
by northsea junkie. 11/23/17 03:12 AM
New Mystere 4.3 in Central Florida
by Mike Fahle. 11/22/17 04:46 PM
36th America's Cup
by waterbug_wpb. 11/21/17 12:10 PM
Fatality During Clipper Race
by Redtwin. 11/20/17 07:56 AM
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Hop To
#180374 - 05/31/09 11:58 AM Beach Access in Miami  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 121
John McKnight Offline
member
John McKnight  Offline
member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 121
Miami, FL
Beach Access in Miami

Saturday, May 9, 2009, was a bellwether day for catamaran sailing in Miami. For the first time ever, some of the boat owners were unable to get to Hobie Beach to launch their boats. I have been sailing beach cats in Miami for thirty years. I have been launching from Hobie Beach all those years. Originally, Hobie Beach was just a hot, dusty wide spot on Virginia Key along the Rickenbacker Causeway which nobody else wanted to use. Catamaran owners started launching here sometime in the late 70s. I was told before I arrived in Miami, during the 60s and 70s that all the catamaran owners would launch from Hobie Island. Hobie Island is the first island on the causeway before you cross over the Powell Bridge. I am told it was not unusual to have 50 to 100 catamaran lined up on the island on a good weekend. There is even a sign designating it as Hobie Island. The Hobie Beach on Virginia Key was wider and there were no trees to interfere with access to the water. The sand was also better than on Hobie Island. So, Hobie Beach became "the place" for beach cats in Miami, and it has been that way for the past 35 years. Some years we called the beach Prindle Beach. We would hold a volleyball game each year between the Hobie Fleet and the Prindle Fleet. The winner of the volleyball game got naming rights to the beach for the following year. But the name Hobie Beach has endured. To many non-sailors, Hobie Cats have become synonymous with beach cats.

Over the years things have gone downhill for us on Hobie Beach. It all started sometime in the 90s when the county decided to "improve" the area. They first put in a frontage road and a bicycle path. That was not that big a deal. We still had plenty of room to launch our boats and not many other beach goers were using "our spot." Well, big problems started in the late 90s when the county saw fit to plant a bunch of palm tree on the beach. The trees were planted to beautify the causeway. This shade started attracting regular beach goers to Hobie Beach, and there were fewer spots to park because the palm trees blocked some parking spots. The shade attracted beer drinkers, music blasters, dog owners, domino players, sunbathers, bar-b-queers, and swimmers. That was okay. If you would get to the beach by 9AM there was room on the beach to back in and the other folks would come later and fill in around our boats and trailers. It was fun, it was lively, it was Miami, and it was a party every weekend down there. Everybody seemed to get along, we shared the beach. Hobie Beach had several things that attracted beach goers. It was free, and it was closer than driving further out to Crandon Beach or Bill Baggs State Park. It had a sand beach, and there was a rest room. You could park your car right on the beach. You could bring your dog. You can't park your car on the beach or bring your dog to Crandon Park. Plus if you went to Crandon Beach or Bill Baggs Beach you had to do the "Bataan Death March" from the parking lot down to the beach lugging all your beach paraphernalia. Not fun, I did it recently. It also costs you an additional $5 on top of the toll you had already paid to get into the parks. So, it was small wonder we were getting crowded out of Hobie Beach.

But despite all the competition for spots on Hobie Beach, we always managed to do our thing for all these years. All that started changing about two years ago. That is when the bicyclist discovered Hobie Beach. This has developed into a beach access disaster for us catamaran sailors. In the last few years, bicycling has become a huge sport. The bicyclist evidently needed a place to park their cars while they went for a bike ride out to the end of Key Biscayne or Virginia Key. So they now park on Hobie Beach. They arrive early, often before sunrise. There are hoards of them. On weekend days, they now take up every parking spot in the paved parking lot and every parking spot on the beach. For the most part they are not using the beach at all. They are just parking their cars on the beach. There are some of the bikers who are also triathletes. The triathletes do like to use the water just off the beach to practice their swimming. But I would estimate that the triathletes are only a small percentage of the total number of bikers parked on the beach. The end result is that we cannot back our boats down to the water on Hobie Beach. The bikers are not using the beach, but they are blocking access to the beach for us or anyone else who would like to use the beach for something besides a parking lot. This all came to a head, as I said earlier, on Saturday, May 9, 2009. When sailors showed up to launch their boats for the Chicken Key Race, it was pandemonium. The frontage road was jam packed with biker's cars. This is a dead-end road. Traffic was gridlocked. Many of the sailors left to find another place to launch. In this case they went back to Hobie Island where they found a place to launch. So after 30 some odd years of launching off Hobie Beach, we have finally been pushed out by the bicyclists. Who would have thought it would come to this?

That is the bad news, but there is some good news on the horizon. In the next few years the Rickenbacker Causeway will be undergoing a major revitalization. Last year I visited with James Martincak, who is the Rickenbacker Causeway Manager for Miami Dade County. He has showed me the voluminous plans for renewing the causeway. In that master plan, they have set aside a launching beach for catamaran and small sailboats. That area will be adjacent to the current catamaran rental concession on Hobie Beach. It will extend from the east side of the rental concession down to about where the posts are in the ground, about 200 feet it looks like to me. Directly across from this beach will be 9 extra long parking spots which will accommodate a car and trailer or a motor home. Yes, motor homes will be allowed to use these 9 spots, also on a first come first serve basis. This is a huge concern to me. I am afraid when motorhomers discover these spots; we could be beaten out of parking once again. I have expressed my concern to James Martincak about dual use for these parking spots. His thinking was that not many motor homes use the causeway now, and the spots should be available for cars with boat trailer parking. You will no longer be able to leave your car and trailer on the beach. The car and trailer will have to go in one of the 9 parking spots directly across the road from the sailboat beach. If we have more than 9 boats, which we seldom do, you will have to park your car in one of the other available parking spots, and, I guess, disconnect your trailer and put it in another spot, if you can find one. Many of the boats that participate in the CABB events sail over from the Miami Yacht Club or the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove. Controlling the restricted parking and beach access could be a big problem. There will be signs designating the beach for sailboat launching, but it remains to be seen if these signs will be heeded or enforced. In the end, we could potentially have a fabulous place to launch. They are going to bring in large quantities of sand to widen the whole causeway. They are doing this primarily for hurricane erosion protection for the road bed, not for the beach goers. The extra sand could definitely work to our advantage for launching. I am hoping we will see a further resurgence in catamaran sailing when the beach is completed. I think our sport has been in decline, because sailors have become disheartened with the crowds and competition for a spot on Hobie Beach in recent years.

In the interim, I am recommending that we launch from Hobie Island to avoid the congestion at Hobie Beach. The congestion has become untenable. Several of the cat sailors have been using this spot on Hobie Island for a number of years with little problem. The beach there is narrower than Hobie Beach, and there is a bit of a drop off from the frontage road to the beach, but it is all manageable. You may have to angle your car and trailer a bit to fit on the beach. We will be trying this venue for our next event, Saturday, June 13. I will post this article on our CABB forum on Catsailor.com. If you would like to comment or add a suggestion on this situation, please do so. What do you think? The link directly to our CABB forum is in my signature block below.

John

John McKnight
Commodore, Catamaran Association of Biscayne Bay (CABB)
(305) 251-7600
CABB Forum: http://www.catsailor.com/forums/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=CABB

--Advertisement--
#186603 - 07/30/09 07:56 PM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: John McKnight]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
like2sail Offline
stranger
like2sail  Offline
stranger

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
It's about time the city of miami did something to support boating. Over the past decade they have caved in to developers and making money. There are less marinas, beach front access for the public, and increased fees, all with the canned statement "we are just reacting to pricing that is competitive with market demand", or "it's in the best interest of the residents", or other bla, bla, bla. Sure hope they improve Hobie beach, and other areas around Miami to provide access for beach boats, wind surfers, kites, ... I know the city, the county and so. fla tourist offices just love to advertise it: People on the beach, colorful sails, sun, "come spend your money miami!!"

I'm looking for a Hobie and the biggest obstacle is the lack of reasonable places to launch, and places to beach a small sailboat. A couple of years ago I call Bill Baggs and they said flat out "no boats, of any kind on our beachs"! Why thank you, my tax dollars at work.

Trying to find a place to store the Hobie, at a resonable price near the coast is also a challange!

I'll still get the Hobie! Maybe just have move out of So Fla to find that ideal Hobie beach ;-)

I remember sailing out of Hobie Beach back in the early 80s. And I've rented from the Miami Cats off Rickenbacker, and I also launched a Hobie from Hobie Island.

I was by Hobie Island several weeks ago and it was packed with beach goers and wind surfing. How do you launch from there?

#223888 - 11/11/10 08:10 AM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: like2sail]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
BenK Offline
stranger
BenK  Offline
stranger

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
Wondering what the situation is like on Hobie Beach now. Has the construction been completed? Is it practical for beach cat launching?

Had beach cats in the 80's and early 90's and eventually gave up and quit launching there due to increasing grid lock.... recently acquired another beach cat and am looking for launch options around the bay.

Thanks for any intel anyone may have.

#224172 - 11/15/10 06:12 AM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: BenK]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
like2sail Offline
stranger
like2sail  Offline
stranger

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
I went by yesterday to see how it was progressing. Looks like the windsurfers have a good access to the bay, all the way from the toll both to the bridge. On the other side of the bridge I looks like the only one with Hobie access to the bay is the concession for Miami Cats. Drove down the parking area and I didn't parking spots long enough for a pickup and trailer, and no visible hobie launching area. Maybe I missed the spot. There is still more work to be done as you near the Sea Aquarium, maybe they will put some launching point there?

#227527 - 01/25/11 08:12 PM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: like2sail]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 465
sail7seas Offline
addict
sail7seas  Offline
addict

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 465
FL
>Our new launch facility is open and ready. It is right next to the catamaran rental concession. There is a rope across the beach. You simply lower the rope and put your car and trailer on the beach for the day. Put the rope back up to keep non launchers out of that area. It is a wonderful setup, we have been waiting for this for two years. I have not launched there yet myself but have talked to those who have used it and I get good reports. I have visited the site many times and it looks great. Our long wait is over. Our seven paved parking spots do not have the reserved signs yet and I don't know what is going on there. I will see how things go on the 30th and check on the signs after that.<
John Mcknight

#228492 - 02/11/11 12:06 PM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: sail7seas]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
like2sail Offline
stranger
like2sail  Offline
stranger

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
Great to hear. And I was giving up hope!! I'll have to go by and see how the terrain is for launching. Do you happen to know if you need beach wheels to get the boat to the water?

#228495 - 02/11/11 12:51 PM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: like2sail]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 121
John McKnight Offline
member
John McKnight  Offline
member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 121
Miami, FL
It is best if you have beach wheels. If you have to back your trailer all the way down to the water at the new Cat Beach, you might get stuck in the sand. If you have four wheel drive, you might be able to get away without beach wheels. We used the new launch beach on Jan. 30, 2011 and it work out just great. See the story on the subject I am posting today.

#235032 - 07/21/11 10:23 AM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: John McKnight]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
oscark Offline
stranger
oscark  Offline
stranger

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
The"improvements" made to Hobie beach were great ideas in theory... But the reality is that cars are parking in the long spaces without regard for its intended use (no signs are posted). Also, the crowd on the weekend has become huge with barely a space to launch between beach towels.

Are some folks using Hobie Island west of the bridge? Is that still the favored spot? Where is the best-recommended location for launching now? I'm willing to drive anywhere. I have been using the south end of Matheson Hammock park though it is a bit shallow for a long distance.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Oscar, WETA sailor

Last edited by oscark; 07/21/11 10:25 AM.
#236976 - 08/30/11 05:20 PM Re: Beach Access in Miami [Re: oscark]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 121
John McKnight Offline
member
John McKnight  Offline
member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 121
Miami, FL
Just to let everyone know,the CABB Beach is working perfectly. We are able to park our cars and trailers right on the beach and leave them there all day while we go sailing. We don't need to use the 7 long parking spots across from the launch beach. There is a an unlocked chain across the launch beach. You simply drop the chain and back your car and trailer down onto the beach. We have been using the beach since January when it opened with no problems. The only potential problem is that there is only room for seven or eight launchers. But even at the CABB events we have never had more than 8 boats trying to launch on the same day. We can handle any number of boats if they sail over from the Miami Yacht Club or the US Sailing center. We have had as many as 13 boats at our CABB races. The beach goers are learning not to set up on the CABB Beach, because we ask them to move if they do. This has not been a big problem. The beach is working exactly as it was envisioned three years ago when they were planning the rejuvination of the causeway. If you have any questions give me a call. John McKnight 305 251-7600


Moderated by  Damon Linkous 

Search

Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 19 guests, and 300 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
NilsonPardal, corrinezhan, pussycatcatman, Shotsailor, PointDume
7726 Registered Users
Top Posters(30 Days)
Jake 6
Timbo 3
P.M. 2
Forum Statistics
Forums27
Topics22,268
Posts266,191
Members7,726
Most Online554
May 12th, 2017
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.009s Queries: 15 (0.003s) Memory: 0.8156 MB (Peak: 0.9822 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-12-15 00:38:23 UTC