Approach depth:    Minimum 6’ at mean low tide
Depth in anchorage: 8’ to 12’

Buttonwood Harbor

Buttonwood Harbor is one of the best kept secrets of Sarasota Bay. The charts lend an appearance of the harbor being shallow or nonexistent. This is a beautiful anchorage with many dolphin and manatees that will often come alongside your boat in their curiosity. Buttonwood Harbor is extremely well protected from all points of the compass and a strong wind creates only ripples. Access to the harbor is off the intercoastal where it turns west at the north end of Sarasota Bay. Follow the intercoastal to red marker 18  and leave the intercoastal at approximately 244 degrees. This will take you toward Longboat Key. Shortly an intersection mark will come into view and a well marked channel. There is shallow water on either side once you approach the intersection marker. The intersection marker is better taken to the north. The channel will split and head north and south. Go south to green marker 15 (may have been knocked down). In the event that it is gone, go to red marker 16 and turn to port. The anchorage runs from 15 (or 16) perpendicular to the channel and goes east approximately 100 yards and 150’ to 200’ south. If there are to be several boats anchoring, it is recommended that the boats raft up due to the rather limited area of the anchorage. Be careful to stay in the channel until you pass the mentioned markers as there is shallow water on either side.

Ken McKinney
March, 2016


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