Sailing out of Anna Maria Island waterfront properties could not be easier. Anything north of Manatee Ave Highway 64 has direct access to Tampa Bay without passing under a bridge. The channel between Anna Maria City and Key Royale, Holmes Beach, is maintained to allow access by large yachts to Galati marina, and the sheltered canals and most boat slips lining Bimini Bay offer depths of at least six feet.
Once out into Tampa Bay, a large body of water is accessible to all keelboats, with only a few shallow spots or dredge spoil banks to beware. To the east, under the Skyway Bridge, the bay stretches up to Saint Petersburg and Tampa. To the west, leaving Tampa Bay for the Gulf of Mexico is right around the corner of Bean Point, or via the deep shipping channel north of Egmont Key.
The Intracoastal Waterway tracks south inside the barrier islands, but can be too narrow to maintain sailing angles, and is interrupted by several scheduled bridge openings. To the north the ICW continues at Pass-A-Grille.
Down the coast, the next large sailing area is Charlotte Harbor, then Florida Keys.
Without leaving Tampa Bay, many destinations are available for a day trip or an overnight anchorage. Egmont Key is a popular stopping point, with trails, ruins, and beautiful beaches. De Soto National Memorial offers an interesting glimpse at the first European explorers’ arrival. For overnight trips, Gulfport, Apollo Beach and Saint Petersburg have amenities, shops and restaurants.
Sailboat charter is available from Spice Sailing Charters. For dinghy and small multihull sailing, boat rentals are available at Bimini Bay Sailing, South Bay Boulevard. Galati Yacht Sales has slips, restaurant, fuel dock, Travelift and service yard for up to 80′ vessels.
Along with Anna Maria Island’s fine white sand beaches, fabulous fishing and boating, sailing is another recreational activity that’s right on the doorstep.