Florida Keys Boat Rentals
Visitors interested in Florida Keys boats rentals can find rentals up and down the Keys, everything from kayaks to take out to the backcountry to offshore center consoles for fishing trips. If you plan on staying for more than a couple of days and you want to be out on the water a lot, then Florida Keys boat rentals will save you money and add convenience to your vacation.
Powerboats come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from 11-foot skiffs to 30 foot powerboats are available for anyone who wants to be on the water. Florida Keys boat rentals are always equipped according to Coast Guard standards, which means there will be a VHF marine radio. Choose from pontoon boats, center consoles, flats boats, or even houseboats for longer stays. Most Florida Keys boat rental companies have half-day and whole-day rental terms as well as weekly rates. Most rental companies will require proof of your past safe boating experience.
Bring your own charts and gear because the radio is the only equipment most rentals come with. If you run into trouble on the water, dial VHF channel 16 and ask for SeaTow, the boaters’ aid service boaters use throughout the Florida Keys. The Coast Guard and Florida Marine Patrol vessels also monitor channel 16 and listen for distress calls.
One of many types of Florida Keys Boat Rentals
Florida Keys boat renters must absolutely know nautical boating rules like right of way and how to read nautical signs. They must also observe no-wake zones, and never pollute. Nautical rules include things like staying more than 100 feet from red-and-white diver’s flags, and avoiding touching sea grass and coral beds—know your boat’s draft and stay in blue or green water that’s deep enough for your boat. If the water is brown or white, you will scrape bottom. Obey the regulations of the Marine Sanctuary and Wildlife Management areas, so you don’t damage the coral reef with your Florida Keys boat rental. Officers patrol the areas and they will give you a ticket if they find you harming the ecosystem out on the reef on on the seagrass beds.
With that in mind, the State of Florida has some very stiff penalties for BUI—boating under the influence— infractions. Like car drivers, boaters are subject to sobriety tests. The BUI limit is .08 bac, and .02 for boat drivers under the age of 21. Penalties include fines, imprisonment, mandatory public-service housr and substance abuse counseling.
Personal Watercraft, Jet-Ski, Wave Runners
This is a broad category of Florida Keys boat rentals, since it includes many forms of watercraft. Jet skis, wave runners, jet boats, Hobie Cats, floating lounge chairs, paddleboats, kayaks, canoes and two-person glass bottom boats are rented from companies up and down the Keys. Each type has it benefits and all them will get you out on the water and having fun, no matter what style you choose. Water skiing and parasailing are more ways to exxplore the natural beauty of the Florida Keys from very different vantage points.
Sailboats are a fun way to be on the water in the Florida Keys. They can be rented daily or by the week if you’re here for longer. Some sailboat rentals will offer a captain to go along, if you are willing to pay more. Check out a local sailing and yacht club if you want to take a course in seamanship. They also hold small craft sailboat and offshore sailboat races.
If you’re staying near Key Largo, call the International Sailing Center at MM 104.5. They offer a one-day course as well as a 2-1/2 day certification course. These courses are for one or two people. If you’re more towards the middle Keys, the Offshore Sailing School at MM 61, has weekend or weeklong Learn to Sail certification courses. Graduates can earn their cruising certification during a week-long Liveaboard Cruise that goes out to Key West and then returns to Duck Key.