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Bill Arther's Blog

By Bill Arther | Agent in Punta Gorda, FL

Waterfront Real Estate: Sailboat versus Powerboat

Time to take some of the mystery out of the sailboat versus powerboat description often used to describe waterfront real estate (in Southwest Florida) and it's suitability for boating.

In the most basic form sailboat water would apply to any water suitable for a sailboat to operate in.  Typically, regarding real estate and waterfront property, when I say sailboat water what I really mean is that you can get in your sailboat or large powerboat docked outside your home in a canal or waterway and the water will be deep enough for a boat with a keel or a large draft to get out into open water.  Equally important is the ability to do this in an environment where there are no bridges that would prevent you from reaching suitable open water.  This is important because it creates some confusion when you are talking sailboat water.  Of course you know that you aren't getting under any low bridges in a sailboat, but many large powerboats are not suitable for going under small bridges either.  If you have a large powerboat, chances are you want a waterfront lot in the sailboat section of town.

Here in Punta Gorda open water generally refers to Charlotte Harbor, the Peace River, and the Gulf of Mexico.  Most people who buy property listed as ‘Sailboat Water' expect to be able to take their boat from their dock out to the Gulf of Mexico.  Trust me when I tell you that there is no substitute for local expertise when you are trying to determine if a waterfront property is right for you and your boat.  You will find property listed as sailboat waterfront with Gulf access where it is physically impossible to get your boat out of the canal and into open water.  You will find lots listed as sailboat waterfront with Gulf access because there is water out back that leads to the Gulf of Mexico - regardless of whether the canal is dredged, the water is deep enough, or the canal is navigable.  If there is water leading out to open water and there are no bridges, then it must be sailboat water - right? Wrong!

Powerboat lots are perfect for most small to medium sized powerboats - no sailboats!  If you have a powerboat it may be perfect for a powerboat lot in the area where you would like to buy, just make sure to do your homework and check it out first.  You will also want to consider that if at some point in the future you decide to get a bigger boat will this lot still be right for you.  It's easy to upgrade to a bigger boat if you own a sailboat lot, not so much with a powerboat lot...


By Genevieve Ramachandran,  Fri Jun 19 2009, 15:46
Good post Bill

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