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Up a Not So Lazy River

Fort Lauderdale's Fabulous New River


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It's been said that the only way to see this remarkable city is from the water, as there are some 185 miles of natural and man made waterways. In a city that was largely dredged up out of mangrove swamps, which created both the land and its waterways, a cruise up the New River provides a cruising experience unlike any other.

And in case anyone doubts why this city calls itself the "yachting capitol of the world", this river trip will dispel any notions to the contrary, for you will see more boats in just a few hours than you've probably ever seen before. For boating is what this city is all about.

It all begins here: Looking inland toward the downtown from the Intracoastal. That's Lauderdale Yacht Club on the left. Watch out for those afternoon thunderstorms. They spring up suddenly and drop torrents of rain. It's best to start this trip early in the day in the monsoon season,  May-October.

Even the geology of the river is unique, for it is not a normal river as most people know them. It's not a drainage river, but is completely tidal saltwater. On a rising tide, the current flows upstream, even as far as five miles inland. Twelve thousand years ago, the lower Florida peninsula was a vast atoll, bordered by a coral reef on the eastern side. The New River was actually a cut or pass through the reef. As the earth cooled and ocean levels receded, this pass through the coral reef became this unusual river. It was cut by the tidal flow between what is now the Everglades and the Gulf Stream.

Because of this, the river does not silt up, and does not pose the usual threats of shifting sand bars and the like. It is cut deep into coral rock, and her depths do not change.

You'll be amazed to see that the water is clean, not muddy or badly polluted. It is also very deep, up to 60 feet in places with a minimum draft of 12 feet. It's not unusual to see 150 footers making their way up to the big yacht yards.

The Rio Vista River wends its way though
a posh neighborhood, but is not navigable to larger boats due to low bridges.

As you wend your way up this endlessly twisting river, the scenery is constantly changing. Lined with palatial homes at the mouth of the river where it meets up with the Intracoastal Waterway, with Las Olas isles to the north, and Lauderdale Isles to the south, it passes through Rio Vista, the highest ground in Fort Lauderdale, which is actually the top of the ancient coral reef. 


After passing through a neighborhood of graceful older homes in a setting of lush tropical foliage, rich with flowering tropical trees like the flaming red Poinciana and blue Jacaranda, you soon pass over the New River Tunnel and into downtown Fort Lauderdale.





David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version


David Pascoe's
Power Boat Books
Mid Size Power Boats Mid Size Power Boats
A Guide for Discriminating Buyers
Focuses exclusively cruiser class generally 30-55 feet
With discussions on the pros and cons of each type: Expresses, trawlers, motor yachts, multi purpose types, sportfishermen and sedan cruisers.
Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats
Selecting and Evaluating New and Used Boats
Dedicated for offshore outboard boats
A hard and realistic look at the marine market place and delves into issues of boat quality and durability that most other marine writers are unwilling to touch.
Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats
2nd Edition
The Art of Pre-Purchase Survey The very first of its kind, this book provides the essentials that every novice needs to know, as well as a wealth of esoteric details.
Marine Investigations
Pleasure crafts investigations to court testimony The first and only book of its kind on the subject of investigating pleasure craft casualties and other issues.