Fort Lauderdale Waterways

Tropical Fort Lauderdale is best known for its beaches, miles of boating canals and logging in more 3,000 hours of annual sunshine.    The city is blessed with 300 miles of navigable waterways and 24 miles of pristine beaches.  Lose yourself along the Intracoastal and winding inland waterways to experience the “Venice of America,” a nod to the countless canals and channels that welcome boaters.  The scenic Intracoastal Waterway is lined with marinas, waterfront restaurants, and nightspots that entice the casual to serious boating enthusiast and offers close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

Since I specialize in Waterfront Properties, my clients want to know all about the waterways, the sports, how big of boat, how deep, how wide, closest marinas, how long to get out to the ocean . . . you get the idea.  So, hopefully, this information will be useful.

And, whether you currently own a boat or not, you can enjoy the experience of boating by trying it out through “shared ownership” or renting.  Here are a couple of options:


Fort Lauderdale waterways are crossed by several drawbridges that require a request for opening and there are other bascule bridges that have a regular schedule for openings.  There are two inlets that provide access to the ocean in Broward County 1) Hillsboro Inlet at the northern tip of the county and 2) 17th Street Bridge at the southern tip of the county.  All bridges can be accessed by calling the bridge tender on channel 9.  Visit for detailed information.


South Florida is home to many Marinas.  If you choose a dry lot, you will need to find a home for that beautiful boat of yours, so be sure to check out which marina is best for your needs.  Of course, there are private clubs too.  A waterfront home may be a better choice whether it is on a canal or the Intra Coastal; there are virtually limitless options.  It really depends on what kind of boat you own and how quickly you want to get to the ocean.

Boat Ramps

If you live on a dry lot and park your boat along side your home, then you will be interested in knowing how quickly you can get your boat in the water and out to sea.   For a complete listing of ramps visit

Private Yacht Clubs

I can’t begin to tell you how many customers ask me to search for homes that will accommodate their yachts or even lots to build a home for their yacht.  This is how committed South Florida, and specifically, Fort Lauderdale is to yachting.  If yachting is already a way of life, you may want to join one of Fort Lauderdale’s three private clubs:

Lauderdale Yacht Club is the oldest private club  Member-owned and family-focused, this club has been a main stay on the landscape in Fort Lauderdale since 1938.  Many Fort Lauderdale children have learned their sailing skills here.

Located on a private channel off the ICW just north of the 15th Street Gas Docks, or about 2/3rds of a mile north of the 17th Street Bridge.  Approach to the channel is well marked and red range lights for center of the channel are located at the SW corner of the club property.  The only transient/visitor docks are located on the north side of the club.  Depths on the north side are about 6 feet with a high spot on the north middle channel.  The Club requests that you call the Dockmaster, Christine on her cell at 954-818-1457.  The office number is 954-527-2209 and VHF channels are 16 and 69.

One of the top private clubs in the nation since 1947 is the Coral Ridge Yacht Club   The clubhouse and marina offer stunning views of magnificent yachts, the Intra Coastal Waterway, Sunrise Bay, and the historical Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

The marina can accommodate vessels from 18 to 100 feet and offers complete marina services as well as short-term dockage for visiting boaters.  For more information on the Marina, contact the Dockmaster:  954-566-7886 x 218;  cell 954-849-0015 or

Built in 1960 and sold in July 2017, the Lighthouse Point Yacht and Recreation Club will be getting a facelift in 2018. This property has 33,482 square feet of buildings on 6.7 upland acres and 2.9 acres of submerged land in its 78-slip marina. Its facilities include a clubhouse, a restaurant, an Olympic-sized pool, a fitness center, and 10 tennis courts.

Boat Show

It is accurate to call Fort Lauderdale the “Yachting Capital of the World.”  The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the world’s largest in-water, annual boat show since 1959 at the Bahia Mar Resort and Marina.

Visitors are able to see over 1,000 boats and 900 exhibitors at 7 different locations the city.  You can even visit by Water Taxi.  Generally, this is the first week in November and you can count on all of the “power’ “yacht brokers from around the world and name brand boat makers to bring out the latest and newest in boating.

Anyone who has an interest in boating and its related industries makes it a point to be here.  It is most definitely an International event.  I have clients who come year after year, and it is definitely a great time to buy a home or sell a home because of the ‘traffic.’

Here are links for the Annual Boat Show:

Boat Parades

The Fort Lauderdale Boat Parade is a site to behold.  It is has been an annual event since 1972.  This event has been judged as one of the top 10 parades in the world among 50,000 parades, so you know it has to be good.

The parade is held on the second Saturday in December.  It begins on the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale, along the docks west of Stranahan House to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Parade travels East to the Intracoastal Waterway as it continues North to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. It’s 12 Miles of the “Greatest Show on H20.” The parade takes approximately 2 and 1/2 hours to view from one location (starting locations stagger as you travel north).

Private boats, giant showboats and corporate mega yachts will be adorned with hundreds of thousands of lights, music, entertainment, decorations, celebrities, musical groups, beauty queens and many other exciting entries expected to be viewed by over one million spectators. Parade highlights: Grand Marshal Showboat, Galleria Mall Reindeer Barge and the Santa Showboat.

Boat entries are now being accepted (Cost to enter a private boat is ONLY $35)

The Pompano Beach Boat Parade is slightly smaller and is held on the second Sunday in December and is sponsored by the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce.  The 2017 Parade marks its 55th year.

The parade starts at 6:30pm. Boats leave Lake Santa Barbara and head north to Hillsboro Boulevard.  Boats may be entered for Free.  Chance to win 1 of 3 cash prizes! Captains get goody bags filled with great items from Chamber members PLUS a free DVD of the boat parade, t-shirts and social media exposure for your business!


If you are looking to experience the open waterways on a grander scale, then cruising may be the way for you.  There are many destinations to experience right in our own backyard – whether looking for a quick three or four day get away south to Key West and Cozumel or a longer trip to the Caribbean.

You can leave right out of Port Everglades, located in southeast Fort Lauderdale, which is home to the two largest cruise ships in the world, Royal Caribbean’s “Harmony of the Seas and “Allure of the Seas”.

And, of course, just a little further South is Port Miami with additional cruise lines.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claims the state is “the Fishing Capital of the World.”   Fort Lauderdale is one few places in the world where fresh water fishing and salt water fishing is possible within 20 minutes for the angler.  This area has more than 200 types of fresh water fish and there are numerous deep sea fishing fleets located within just miles of Fort Lauderdale.  Whether you own your vessel or want to charter a boat, the options are abundant.

Please see our specific entry on Fishing at


The Fort Lauderdale area is known for its water sports, thanks to its beaches, waterways, lakes and fabulous weather year round.  There are so many fun options this area has to offer whether you want to rent equipment, purchase equipment, or source instructional courses.  Comprehensive listings can be found at