Stuart FL for one night.

We stayed at the free dock at city hall in bustling down town Stuart. There is a 4-hour limit posted on signs, and no overnighters.

We arrived at 3:15pm and the Plan A was to simply anchor off the dock a few 100 feet between the dock and the St Lucy ICW. There were two sailboats and one trawler anchoring off on the Thursday night that we were in town.

When we got back four hours later at sunset, several locals suggested we just stay on the dock. “This county is pretty chill.” i.e. not hot tempered. Having a little rebel blood in our veins: That Plan B actually worked for us.

PROs: Several restaurants all walking distance. Floating cement docks in “good” condition. (Zero evidence of hurricane damage.) We called Parks & Rec at city hall to verify the dock was in good shape and available for transients to go ashore for a few hours. They welcomed us and our Plan A was “No problem at all! That what it is there for.”

Plan B didn’t exist yet. LOL. There are municipal restrooms and showers open to the public during daytime in the city hall building. They have 316 Stainless Steel ‘prison’ heads but things were acceptably cleaned and attended to.

CONs: it is not very protected from wakes and weather. This dock is part of a city Boardwalk. So, there is a lot of foot traffic and joggers. So groups of young people are louder than others, and there is one commercial Tiki Party boat that drops off and picks up there.

The dock is long, so the din from the bars/restaurants , and sidewalk musicians won’t bother most cruisers. But it’ll be too noisy for some others.

The “slips” to the right of the cement floating dock offered some protection from the wind and wakes. Our 39 x 14.5 ft trawler fit. Be ready to use fender boards and fenders and an extra spring line. Avoid spending long ours on the open face front docks, but technically we aren’t allowed to spend long hours there.

Funny story: before pushing off this a.m. Shelly and I both decided to use the city hall’s public restrooms and bring our trash in.

As we were slowly walking back to our boat to start the engine and push off, two police officers passed us (walking with purpose) on the long dock walkway. We are slow compared to anyone on foot.

We both thought, “We’re Busted” for staying overnight! Our Hearts beating harder than normal as we watched as the the two peace officers walked up then right by Shellerina and continued to simply inspect everything else going on on the city’s docks! Lucked out!

There are no signs of staff, dock hands, or rules enforcement. So, make your own decisions. My Bottom line: I think I recommend this place on a day with NON-stormy weather, and a Plan A approach to visit a welcoming town. For lunch, dinner, or whatever YOU dare! <wink>

The pic crosshairs above show where the free dock is in relationship to other famous marinas in this town. We stayed at Sunset Bay on our Loop Dec 2021.

That place is on the “wrong” side of the railroad bridge that will be closed for a few months soon. So look up that detail. This free dock is on the east “right” side and will not be impacted by the St Lucie waterway shutdown due to maintenance on that well used RR bridge.

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