Welcome to the boating and fishing enthusiast's heaven on earth!
Sail Magazine named Punta Gorda one of the top 10 Greatest Places to Sail in the U.S.
Yachting Magazine selected Punta Gorda to be one of the top 50 Best Yachting Towns in the World
Its location on the beautiful, scenic Peace River and Charlotte Harbor makes Punta Gorda ideal for incredible water oriented recreational activities with waterways that lead to numerous fun destinations and amazing sunsets with quick access to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Punta Gorda area is home to serious cruisers, day-trippers, racers, kayakers and devoted anglers. The many miles of unspoiled shoreline along Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River provide the perfect setting to relax and exhale! Fisherman find utopia in these waters which are known for fighting species like snook, redfish and, of course,the legendary tarpon at Boca Grande Pass.
If you dream of being a cruiser, this is the perfect home for you and your vessel! Many area boaters love to share their experiences navigating “the great loop”, or heading down to the Bahamas & Dry Tortugas.
Exploring the miles of unspoiled shoreline, barrier islands and white sand beaches by boat is the best way to experience SW Florida’s hidden jewels.
The Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW), which runs just east of the Gulf of Mexico, provides access to Sanibel, Captiva, Ft . Myers Beach, Boca Grande, Venice and Sarasota. Intriguing island & mainland restaurants dot the ICW both to the north and south.
Those who live in the Punta Gorda/Burnt Store Marina area are truly blessed with these great boating opportunities and can enjoy wonderful, affordable resources to be near or on the water. Explore whether having your boat behind your home, in a marina or on a trailer is right for you.
We hope this information will help you get your feet wet and provide you with all the information you need to explore boating in our beautiful waters.
Punta Gorda Isles (PGI) Has a fabulous canal system that runs 45 miles with 90 miles of concrete seawall maintained by the city. Most of the canal system offers deep water sailboat access with no fixed bridge, though a portion of the canals do have a fixed bridge to clear and lead out through Bass Inlet(13’8”), Sailfish Inlet(13’), or Tarpon Inlet (13’6”). The entry points to the canal system are dredged to 6’ mean low water. The canals generally range in depth from 8’-15’ with more shallow depths close to the seawalls. There are a variety of homes along the canal system that range in vintage from the 1960s to present. Most homes have docks and or lifts in place. There are also undeveloped lots which will accommodate new custom homes. The boat ride out of the canal system can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour out to the Peace River or through Ponce Inlet to Charlotte Harbor. Cruising through the canal system you will find a plethora of boats ranging from flats boats to trawlers and large sailing catamarans.
Burnt Store Isles (BSI) Is a canal system that spans 9 miles with 18 miles of seawall. This portion of the canal system generally boasts slightly wider canals and is located just south of PGI with all vessels leaving this portion of the canal system through Alligator Creek into Charlotte Harbor. The city removed a lock that was installed at the entry point to the creek, though the original lock walls remain, making this a narrower passage. There are no bridges in this area. Boats stored in this area are required to be kept on lifts (unless they have been grandfathered). Consequently, you will not find as many deep keel sailboats in this area. The city has been maintaining the inlet to a mean low water level of 5”, and dredges Alligator Creek (though it may initiate dredging to 6’ in the future). BSI experienced more houses being built starting in the 1980s and continues to experience new construction today.
Pirate Harbor, and Port Charlotte
Living in these communities also allows residents to have their boat right on their own dock directly behind their home on a canal. Most properties have unrestricted access to open water, though a portion of the Port Charlotte waterways are limited by fixed bridges.
Burnt Store Marina
Burnt Store Marina is one of SW Florida’s largest deep-water marinas offers unparalleled access to the Gulf of Mexico via Charlotte Harbor. This full-service marina features 525 wet slips for boats up to 100’, plus over 275 dry slips, a boat launch, two onsite restaurants, golf, fitness, boat rentals, and tennis. The marina also has a Freedom Boat Club and Sailtime base. Burnt Store is located on the shores of Charlotte Harbor, just 10 nautical miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The main channel is dredged to 8’. The marina is located at the heart of a laid back gated resort community.
Cape Harbor Marina
Cape Harbour Marina is located in Cape Coral, off the Caloosahatchee River, just a three and one-half mile run to the Gulf of Mexico (just off mile marker 92) accommodates 78 vessels up to 65’ in the water as well as vessels up to 34’ in their dry storage facility. The Complex offers luxury condominiums as well as several gated enclaves of Estate Homes with private docks . The marina boasts great access to the Gulf via the Sanibel Causeway fixed bridge (70’ vertical clearance). Enjoy restaurants and shopping in the waterside village. www.capeharbor.com
Tarpon Point Marina
Tarpon Point Marina is located in Cape Coral, off the Caloosahatchee River. Tarpon Point Marina is also located just off the I.C.W. at marker #92. This marina has 216 slips and can accommodate vessels up to 100’. Inside the marina basin depths range from 8 to 12 feet. Tarpon Point has access to the Gulf via the Sanibel Causeway fixed bridge (70’ vertical clearance). The marina is part of a luxury gated resort community complete with luxury condominiums, custom estate homes, a Westin Hotel, fine dining and shops. These marinas have access to expert mechanical, electronic, canvas, boat hauling, bottom cleaning, and maintenance facilities.
This map depicts the “Powerboat Section” of Punta Gorda Isles due to bridges.
All other canal homes in Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles do not have bridges which prohibit a Sailboat from accessing the harbor.
Select the Image Above to Enlarge the Map
Other Area Marinas
Laishley Park Municipal Marina
Laishley Marina is conveniently located in downtown Punta Gorda on the Peace River. The marina has 94 slips, 47 trailer spaces and a public boat ramp. It is one of Punta Gorda’s Freedom Boat Club’s locations. The marina is steps away from Laishley Crab House and Scoops & Bites Ice Cream Shop named Trip Advisors #1 Ice Cream store in America. The channel depth into the marina is 7-8’ and bridge clearance on the neighboring Rt. 41 bridge is 43’.
Fisherman’s Village Marina
The Marina at Fishermen’s Village offers over 100 slips in a protected marina just off Charlotte Harbor and the Peace River. Controlling depth is roughly 7’ at mean low water. This location offers access to a variety of shops and restaurants just off the docks, Fishermen’s Village, and is in walking distance to downtown Punta Gorda.
Isles Yacht Club
The Isles Yacht Club Isles Yacht Club located in Punta Gorda Isles, offers a 45 slip fully equipped marina. It is a private club offering extensive amenities to its members including a restaurant, tennis, billiards and much more. Many area residents keep their boats there.
Punta Gorda has been recognized as one of the world’s top fishing destinations. You can fish in the quiet of the mangroves or along a sandy beach; or you can compete in the prestigious “World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament” in Boca Grande, or the Flatmasters Fishing Tournament series in Punta Gorda. Whatever appeals to you as a fisherman can be had in the Punta Gorda area.
|Destinations||From Burnt Store Marina||From Ponce Inlet Punta Gorda|
|Boca Grande/Gasparilla Island||10||16|
|Don Pedro Island||18||24|
|Barnacles Phil's Restaurant||17||22|
|St. James City||26||32|
|Ft. Myers Beach||35||44|
|Florida Keys & Key West||145||152|
|South Seas Resort & Marina||21||26|
Bait & Tackle Shops
You Don't Need To Own A Boat
Freedom Boat Club
You can join the Freedom Boat Club …It is the oldest and largest boat club in the nation. It provides an affordable option to boat ownership at 145 locations nationwide and delivers a hassle-free recreational boating experience for its members . Membership includes access to various power and sailboats. Punta Gorda has two locations (Laishley Marina & Burnt Store Marina), plus there in another in Bokeelia on Pine Island.
Sailtime – Fractional ownership plan for Sailboats; American Sailing Association, School
Miscellaneous Boating Information
Area tides average 1.5-2 ft.
Depths Intercoastal 8’-15’
- Rt 41 bridge on Peace River 43’ vertical clearance
- Sanibel Causeway- 70’ vertical clearance
- Boca Grande Pass to/ from Gulf of Mexico- 20’- 40’ depths MLW
- Peace River
- Caloosahatchee River
- Myakka River
- One of the best boating apps is Navionics …A favorite among cruisers, sailors, fishermen and divers. Provides tidal data, detailed charts, sonar, plotting data, GPS and other advanced features.
- Southern Waterway Guide
- Maptech Cruising guide of Florida and Bahamas
- Local Chart: Charlotte Harbor- waterproof chart #O1E
Is located in the heart of SW Florida, and is the second largest bay in the state of Florida. It can be accessed from the Gulf of Mexico via Boca Grande Pass and connects with the Peace River to the north & Caloosahatchee River (via Pine Island Sound) to the south. It boasts miles of unspoiled shoreline (84%) and is replete with fish and wildlife, and is known as the “Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World”. When cruising to the area’s barrier islands (Sanibel, Captiva, Boca Grande, Cayo Costa), you will venture out through Charlotte Harbor. The harbor averages roughly 9’ in depth and is a great place to hoist your sails or open up the engine and cruise over to the Gulf. Boating is truly a pleasure on the uncongested waterway where It is easy to enjoy a leisurely day of cruising and having fun!
Charlotte Harbor also offers access to waterfront restaurants, great fishing, white sand beaches, and is part of the Intercoastal Waterway system.