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Need Boat/Lake Help Near Mt. Dora, Florida


XH2Oskier
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Hello, my name is Jim and I'm a longtime lurker, first-time poster. I grew up in Wisconsin, skied briefly in the Brown's Lake Aquaducks in the late-80s before life got in the way. I managed to get a Sport Nautique for a few years in the late-90s when I lived on Lake Washington, near Seattle and near the Rock River in Janesville, WI. Then life got in the way again.

 

Now I find my life is finally directing me to Florida, where I hope to purchase a home on a lake and resume skiing again, but I need some assistance. One of the homes I am considering is on a very small lake near Mt. Dora, called Horseshoe Lake. It apparently has a channel into neighboring Lake Carlton & Lake Beauclair (and beyond), but there are very few boat owners on the lake and no inboards that I can see. I'm trying to locate someone with an inboard in that area, who can confirm for me that I can actually get an inboard into and out of Horseshoe Lake and at least into the other two lakes to ski. Anything beyond that is gravy.

 

Any insight or assistance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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Sigh..... Mount Dora is full, and the area is a dump.

 

Sort of just kidding. There is a canal that they just recently cleaned out connecting... well all the way to the Atlantic Ocean from Lake Horseshoe and I’ve done it in sections. The canal in question is doable in an inboard but it’s tight. I’ve only done it in my Skiff. There’s a sunken course in Beauclaire that I put in about 5 years ago. Floater on Dora. I’m across street from Lake Ola and have Carlton half block away from my house.

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Since the canal was just recently dredged (I know the guys who did the dredging), this is the deepest it’s going to be. Just keep in mind that even if you can get through now you might not be able to in the future. Not sure what type of boat he has, but the guy with the large tan house paid to have it dredged.
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Hey Danny. Did not know you were on here. This is Todd, John and Ted’s gimp skier on Sloewood Dr. That canal is rather deep (maybe 3’ now) with our water level at its average height. The concern I see with that canal is keeping it clear of debris due to lack of use. There’s not much reason to go into Horseshoe unless you’re one of the 4 docks on the lake and very few people know it exists. I’m trying to get motivated today and will go through it to gauge further inboard possibility. I’ll take pictures. I will say if that canal doesn’t get much use this year it’ll close back up. At the same time They also cleared the canal out on Dora going to the defunct Dora Lakes subdivision on clayton.
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@Wish Depends on the canal and body of water. I’d say if I owned waterfront on a chain, canal front would be my first choice. But the OP is looking at a house on Horsehoe Lake which requires a short canal run to bigger better water. In our chain in the past 7 years I’ve lived there we’ve never fallen to low levels but we also hadn’t had a drought either. Keep in mind the Harris chain is controlled water levels as is most water in FL.

 

Jim, just rode through the canal. The first 30’ is dog legged with a fallen cypress tree that was cut through. I forgot about this tree. I’ll have to admit, you may have to guide an inboard through this but really tree needs to be cut wider. Other than that with frequent use I feel an inboard can run this canal easy under our typical and pretty steady water levels. I took a video of entire canal. I’ll try posting it or at least a few screen shots. Or send me a pm with your contacts and I’ll send it that way. About 5 years ago We considered a vacant lot on Horseshoe and 2 years ago looked at a house on Horseshoe when they decided to re-clear that canal. At that time the lily pads weren’t so predominant and the lake had potential for a 4 buoy course with really tight conditions. Honestly PP wouldn’t be able to run it because of its typical coming in hot approach.

 

 

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Oh here we go, sorry forgot how to post pics on here. Brain fart.

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That first pic is the problematic cypress. Not the best shot I could’ve gotten. I was trying to film, drive, and maneuver a 6 mo in my lap.

Second picture is the canal entrance from Carlton.

Third is canal exit to Horseshoe which is what the majority of this 100 yard canal is like.

 

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@Orlando76 About 7 years ago is when most of the lakes around here started becoming usable again. There are A LOT of central florida areas, starting with canals that were totally dry from about 2005 on till about 7 years ago. Many lakes were usable, but docks were totally dry under them.
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@ScottScott I’m a little confused. I’ve been born, raised and boating in Orlando area lakes all my life. I guess I didn’t pay much attention to lake levels in the 80’s but well aware of them since. In about 97-99 there was low time, then a year was record high, then low again about 02-04/05 when the hurricanes came. Shoot in 1999 we grew corn in the long canal going in Lake Louisa. Now the Army Corp messed up with Clermont chain and Johns lake keeping levels record crazy low up until the Hurricanes. From 04-12 I ran a ‘75 Ski Nautique up the Beauclaire canal along with my 23’ center console which is 1000’ yards from Horseshoe on the same Army Corp controlled water. Those two boats are a lot of boat for that long canal. But the last time I recall “low” water, where canals were unnavigable and sandbars was in 04/05. That’s a 15 year good period, I’d bet with those odds.
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I know the clermont chain was one of the worse effected for various reason, some as you mentioned via army corp, in 04/05. From that point clermont really took about 10 years to recover. I really only started boating about 6-7years ago. At that point the water levels had barely come back enough to get between lakes in clermont. Tiki bar had a beach that extended well past the docks. Water levels slowely coming up to the point the tiki bar docks were usable again within the last 5 years. Clermont is what i was exposed to mostly during that time, so i guess i cant speak for the whole area, but i do remember seeing a lot of dry beach under docks as i drove around other places also during that time.
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