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.

Canal Living

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.

Marina Living

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.

Fishing

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.

Bait & Tackle Shops

Rio Villa Bait & Tackle

Address: 113 Rio Villa Dr., Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Phone: (941) 639-7166

Downtown Bait & Tackle Shop

Address: 120 Laishley Ct, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Phone: (941) 621-4190

Fishin Franks

Address: 4425-D Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33980

Phone: (941) 625-3888

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

Boat Rentals

Holidaze Boat Rentals

Address: 1200 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Phone: (941) 505-8888

Caloosa River Boat Rental

Address: 1728 Cape Coral Pkwy E, Cape Coral, FL 33904

Phone: (239) 691-4099

Boats and Fun of Cape Coral

Address: 138 SE 30th Terrace, Cape Coral, FL 33904

Phone: (800) 991-3259

Boat Rentals of Cape Coral

Address: 1202 SE 9th Ln, Cape Coral, FL 33990

Phone: (239) 771-7141

Cape Coral Discount Boat Rentals

Address: Cape Coral, FL

Phone: (239) 961-9301

Sailboat Charters

Boating Excursions

Yachting Vacations Inc. (Sailboat Charters)

Address: 3160 Matecumbe Key Rd, Punta Gorda, FL 33955

Phone: (941) 637-6634

Website: http://www.yachtingvacations.com/

Holiday Water Sports Fort Myers Beach

Address: 200 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Phone: (239) 765-4386

Website: https://www.holidaywatersportsfmb.com/

Kingfisher Fleet

Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda, FL

941-639-0969

Miscellaneous Boating Information

Area tides average 1.5-2 ft.

Depths Intercoastal 8’-15’

Bridges

  • Rt 41 bridge on Peace River 43’ vertical clearance
  • Sanibel Causeway- 70’ vertical clearance

Passes

  • Boca Grande Pass to/ from Gulf of Mexico- 20’- 40’ depths MLW

Rivers

  • Peace River
  • Caloosahatchee River
  • Myakka River

 

Boat insurance

 

Learning Options

Fishing Captains

Fishing Guides

Bryan Ball941-815-1758
Andy Boyette941-769-1582
Tom Fisher941-628-4687
Tyler Gulau941-456-0261
Mat Haag239-633-7133
Roger Harris941-916-0398
Scott Hughes941-628-4247
Ralph Jones941-625-2494
Ron Jones941-628-0105
Dan Latham941-628-6869
Chris Law941-286-3521
Ryan McGee941-391-1073
Rhett Morris941-505-8481
Bruce Morris941-740-1061
Tony Pabon239-980-1976
Fred Vandenbroeck941-661-4996

Apps

  • 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.

 

Cruising guide

 

Chart #’s

  • Local Chart: Charlotte Harbor- waterproof chart #O1E

 

Charlotte Harbor

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.