Dry Tortugas Boat Permits & Mooring Buoys

Garden Key Harbor

Required Boat Permits

Boat permits are required for all vessels entering in the park before any recreational activity. Even if you are not planning on visiting Fort Jefferson, a boat permit must be filed on Garden Key. Recreational boating permits may be obtained in-person through a self-registration system at the main dock house. Permits are free.

Boating permits apply to all recreational vessels including kayaks and dinghies, vessels operating under a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA), and commercial fishing vessels. The only vessels exempt from this rule are those transiting the area without interruption.


Learn more by visiting our Boat Permits page.

If you are boating in the park and have questions, park staff monitors VHF Radio Channel 16. Visitors should also be aware of the Research Natural Area as well as park rules and regulations.

 

Mooring Buoys

The mooring buoys are designed to hold up to a 100 foot recreational vessel. You are responsible for your vessel, inspecting the buoy, and checking that the buoy is holding as intended.

Report any problems to NPS staff. It is intended to be used when weather and sea conditions are appropriate for the intended recreational use such as diving or snorkeling. It is not intended for use in all weather and sea conditions nor as a long term mooring.

  • Approach slowly from downwind / current.
  • To secure your boat to the mooring, run your line from a cleat on your boat through the loop in the end of the mooring pick up line and back to a cleat on your boat.

  • Use sufficient scope (rope length) to minimize pull on the anchor. Rule of thumb, if the buoy is being pulled underwater increase the scope. If there is an upward pull on the mooring, increase the scope.

  • Sailboats should not leave sails up when they are tied to a mooring.

  • You are responsible for your vessel, inspecting the buoy, and checking the buoy is holding as intended. Report any problems to NPS staff. It is recommended to leave someone on the vessel at all times.

  • LMBSE: N24° 37.833 W82° 55.187 Located on the east side of Loggerhead Key,use for access to the island's beaches, swimming,snorkeling, and visiting the historic structures.
  • LMBSW: N24° 37.8031 W82° 55.546 Located on the west side of Loggerhead Key,use for access to the island's beaches, swimming,snorkeling, and visiting the historic structures.
  • Avanti (Windjammer) Wreck: N24° 37.4162W82° 56.574 Built in 1875, this three-masted 261.4 foot vessel sank in 1907. Portions of the ship at the surface with depths down to 21 feet. Please refer to the Windjammer brochure for more information.
  • Offramp: N 24 40.156 W 82 54.506 Isolated reef outcroppings with Staghorn coral on the western side. Depths 25 feet and shallower.
  • The Maze: N24° 36.532 W82° 56.969 Coral caverns, swim-through pinnacles and straight up vertical relief. Depth 20-60 feet.
  • Davis Rock: N24° 41.209 W82° 54.440 Large crevices run through the middle of this pinnacle reef. Depths from 20-45 feet.
  • Texas Rock: N24° 40.820 W82° 53.125 Plan on 2 dives to explore the entire reef. Large crevices, caves, swim-through, cracks, pinnacles and lots of vertical relief. Look for the giant anchor. Depth 20-60 feet.

Additional dive and snorkel sites can be found around the park that do not have mooring buoys. Please consult with a Ranger for more information.

Last updated: February 10, 2021

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Mailing Address:

40001 SR-9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Phone:

(305) 242-7700

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