Yacht charters & boat rental in Key West – Borrowaboat (2023)

## Guide To Sailing In Key West

On a Key West yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore South Florida, Florida Keys and Bahamas within an easy sail. From big game fishing boat rental to a shopping and partying sailing vacation, a South Florida sailing holiday is going to be an unforgettable experience.

Made famous by Ernest Hemingway both from his notorious antics there and in his book 'To Have and To Have Not' and now a major yachting centre, Key West is the ideal location for fishing charters and longer sailing charter holidays.

Historic sights of interest include Ernest Hemingway's old home (now a museum), Fort Zachary (a pre Civil War fort and now a museum) and the old Key West Lighthouse (you guessed it - a museum!). People tend to end up here at the end of the Ocean Highway linking mainland South Florida to the Florida Keys for the fun to be had.

For those into snorkeling there is plenty on offer with different coral reefs around the islands. Beaches are excellent and thanks to the climate, you can enjoy this year round. There are some notorious bars and the nightlife can be a bit wild, and in places like the Perry Hotel (with its large marina) you can be a little more relaxed.

Key West is a great charter destination for a wide variety of reasons. Leaving the key on your charter yacht, be it bareboat or with crew on a private charter, let's take a look where else you can go in the next section.

## Explore Key West By Renting A Yacht

On your Key West yacht charter you may want to head for somewhere a little quieter and away from it all. About 20 miles off Key West is the Marquesas Keys, the only coral atoll in the western hemisphere. These are completely uninhabited, and despite rumours of a Spanish gold bullion ship sinking nearby in the 1620s, you're not allowed to bring a shovel!

Further out from Key West are the Dry Tortugas islands. This is half a day's sail by sailboat but once there you will find unrivalled snorkeling and not a little history in Fort Jefferson, a civil War era fort. As with the Marquesas Keys, these seven islands are largely uninhabited.

Heading north from Key West now, and following the Ocean Highway you will find a variety of things on the Florida Keys. Key Largo (home to former President Donald Trump) has golf courses and a range of resorts that will put a smile on children's and adults' faces alike. Smaller resorts such as Duck Key, Little Palm Island and Ocean Reef Club are also up there for letting your hair down.

Heading up onto mainland South Florida on your Florida Keys yacht charter, you'll hit Miami and Fort Lauderdale. For those who enjoy the Ocean Reef Club as much as swimming over the reefs on the Marquesas Keys, South Beach is the place to hit in Miami, and further up the waterways, Fort Lauderdale itself has a range of entertainments.

Biscayne Bay around Miami is a fantastic water sports playground. Everyone from sport yacht sailors to superyacht cruisers and yes, fishing boat users are out here, feeling the year round sun and the general vibe around Miami. Just inland is the intracoastal waterway that is a maze of rivers and canals that you can enjoy in almost any direction from Downtown Miami.

### **How To Get To** **Key West**

### **Key West** **International Airport**

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Served by airlines from all over the world, Key West International Airport has direct flights from much of Europe and the US. You can take a bus or taxi to the marina from where your yacht charter will start.

## Marinas In Key West

As with much of South Florida, there are a lot of smaller marinas and mooring fields around Key West. Let's take a look at the four largest.

**Perry Hotel** **& Marina:**

The largest marina on the Florida Keys, Perry Hotel & Marina has space for private charter and bareboat charter charteryachts including fishing boat, motor boat, sailing yacht and catamaran charter yachts.

Berth Characteristics:

288 berths

Max Length 137m (450 Feet)

Max Draught 3.6m (12 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, gym, supermarket, restaurant.

**Sunset** **Marina:**

This mid-sized marina is also a yacht charter hub with charter companies and boat owners offering private yacht charterand bareboat charter sailing catamaran , sailing yacht, sport yacht, luxury yacht rental, fishing boat and motor yachtrental.

Berth Characteristics:

130 berths

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Max Length 18m (60 Feet)

Max Draught 1.8 m (6 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, supermarket, restaurant.

**Oceans Edge Marina:**

This mid-sized marina is a yacht charter base with charter companies offering private and bareboat charter of sailingcatamaran, sailing yacht, luxury yacht, fishing boat, speed boats and motor yacht rental.

Berth Characteristics:

111 berths

Max Length 15m (52 Feet)

Max Draught 3m (10 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, supermarket, restaurant

**Stock Island** **Yacht** **Club & Marina:**

Close to Perry Hotel on Stock Island, this is a yacht charter base with charter companies offering private and bareboat charter of sailing catamaran, sailing yacht, luxury yacht, fishing boat, speed boats and motor yacht rental.

Berth Characteristics:

101 berths

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Max Length 33.5m (110 Feet)

Max Draught 2.3m (7.5 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, supermarket, restaurant

## Suggested Sailing Routes From Key West

The Florida Keys are a major charter destination thanks to having so much to offer. Let's take a look at a couple of sailing itineraries for you and your fellow charter guests to enjoy.

**7 Days -** **Marquesas Keys and Dry Tortugas:** As a first step, head west out of your Key West marina to the Marquesas Keys, a beautiful atoll supposed to be the location of buried gold. Spend a day and a night here. On day 3, head west again to Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas. Enjoy two nights here, to fully appreciate the islands. Spending night six off the Marquesas, return to base at Key West for handover.

**14 Days Florida Keys and South Florida:** Perhaps on a private yacht charter, head east and north to islands like Duck Key, through Florida Bay and on to Key Largo, before heading up Biscayne Bay and into Miami before exploring the inland waterways around Fort Lauderdale. Island hop back, perhaps hitting Vaca Key's Dolphin Research Station and islands like Marathon as you return to the charter base.

## Best Times To Hire A Yacht In Key West

Unlike Europe, the sailing season in the this part of the world runs from November to May - perfect for a dose of winter sun. The NE Trades are settled and you will encounter weather between 25-35 degrees C.

Within this period, March and April after the winter northerlies have passed are cooler yet the sailing is just as fun as the rest of the year.

For those who want to try something a little outside their comfort zone, August and September are said to be the very best sailing months of all.

There's a problem with this - many yacht charter fleets will not be in the area thanks to hurricane season that runs between July and November. If booked and a hurricane is on its way your holiday will be cancelled. There is no minimising the danger of being in the region in a hurricane - there is no high ground and with the general trend for ever fiercer storms, it is not an experience to even risk being around for.

## The Climate

**North East Trade Winds**: These are regular and can get up to F6 at times, but steady and predictable.

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## FAQs:

### What should I consider when hiring a Yacht or Boat?

The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.

### **What are the Marinas in Key West?**

There are a number of smaller marinas and mooring fiends in the Key West area. The largest is Perry Hotel & Marina with 288 berths and space for yachts up to 137m LOA. The three other reasonably large marinas are Sunset Marina, Ocean's Edge Marina and Stock Island Marina. Boca Chica is another larger marina but this is only open to people in the US military and their families.

### When are the best times to hire a boat in Key West?

Miami is in the northern Tropics and this means blissful trade winds and comfortable temperatures year round. The cooler part of the year from November to May is better for yacht charters simply because the hurricane season coincides with the hotter and wetter part of the year. As ever, if serious chill is the name of the game, then come out outside of school holidays.

### Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Key West?

You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.

### What happens if my Yacht breaks down?

If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.

### What should I think of before I hire a Yacht or Boat in Key West?

You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat hire before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Dress for warm weather but do have something for tropical rains - light but waterproof.

### What Qualifications Do I need to hire a boat or yacht?

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If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a skipper on board your yacht charter you typically don't require licences.


How much does it cost to rent a yacht in Key West? ›

A luxury yacht rental in Key West starts at around $9,000/day for 12 guests. Catamaran charters in Key West start at $729/day and can reach up to $1,500/day for up to 12 people. The average cost for a Key West sailboat rental is, on average, about $1,100/day for 6 people.

How much does it cost to charter a boat in Key West? ›

How much is a boat rental in Key West? A boat rental in Key West ranges from $325 all the way to $600.

How much does it cost to rent a boat in the Keys? ›

Boat rentals start at $100 and are available for an hour, a day, or a week. Let us know what you need, and we'll work with you to find the best fit for your group. Prefer to be closer to the water? Call us at (305) 684-9031 to book a rental today, and don't forget to ask about our snorkel tours and boat charters too!

Do you need a license to rent a boat in Key West? ›

In fact, there are so many rules that it can be hard to keep up with them all! One of the most common questions we get from customers trying to rent a boat is whether or not they need a license to do so. The short answer to that is “no.” However, you do need to be familiar with proper boating safety.

Can you stay on a boat in Key West? ›

Many vacationers want to know how to stay on a boat in Key West. The answer depends on the size and type of boat you're interested in chartering. There's a wide range of choices, from a luxury yacht that sleeps eight or more on the high end, to something more intimate, like a 30-foot sailing sloop for two.

How much does it cost to charter a boat from Miami to Bahamas? ›

Motor yacht from Miami to the Bahamas

On average we can say that the average weekly cost of a 100-foot sailing yacht is between $ 50,000-100,000 while for a motor yacht of the same size it is between $ 50,000 and 80,000.

What is the cheapest way to get to Dry Tortugas? ›

The cheapest way to get to the Dry Tortugas is by The Yankee Freedom Ferry, an authorized concessionaire of the park. The daily catamaran ferry to Dry Tortugas departs from Key West.

Can you charter a boat to Dry Tortugas? ›

There are just a few ways to get to the Dry Tortugas by sea, and only Key West Charter Boat can book you on them all: public ferry, private sailing catamarans, and high-speed ocean-going powerboats. Call us or fill out a quote form for information on Dry Tortugas charters. Or book online now.

How much does it cost to fish in Key West? ›

See The Key West Deep Sea Fishing Boats
These Trip rates are for 6 persons or less
4 Hour Trips$ 800.00 - $ 1100.00
8 Hour Trips$ 1300.00 - $ 2000.00
10 Hour Trips$ 2000.00 +
To Learn More About Options, Availability and Pricing Call 305-292-7212 Text 786-847-3808
1 more row

What is required to rent a boat in Florida Keys? ›

You don't need a boat license as such when renting a boat in Florida. For many people, however, you will need a Boating Safety Education Identification Card. This isn't a license, but rather proof that you have taken an approved Boating Safety Course.

Can you take your own boat to Sombrero Reef? ›

Be advised that it is an open water journey for the entire trip. You can also bring your own boat or rental, or take part in a charter or a snorkeling/diving tour. With a depth ranging from 2-30 feet, Sombrero Reef is a favorite spot of saltwater divers and snorkelers of all experience levels.

What is the most likely cause for someone to fall overboard? ›

The most likely cause of falling overboard is standing up while the boat is moving. When a boat is moving it is more likely to be swayed back and forth by boat waves or rough water. This causes people on small boats to lose their balance and fall overboard.

How long does it take to get a boaters license in Florida? ›

If your course provider automatically sends a request to FWC for your card, you should receive that card within 2 to 3 weeks.

Where is Houseboat Row in Key West? ›

"Houseboat Row" originated in 1957 in Key West when a few floating dwellings moored in Cow Key Channel tied up to the seawall at South Roosevelt Boulevard.

How long does it take to go from Miami to the Bahamas by yacht? ›

The journey by boat can be as short as 2.5 hours, so it's an excellent choice for a Miami to Bahamas one-day trip.

How much does it cost to charter a yacht from Florida to the Bahamas? ›

US $20,000- $24,000 / week 2-6 guests. Rates All Inclusive!

How much does it cost to rent a yacht for a week in the Bahamas? ›

Chartering a yacht in the Bahamas costs from $4,140 per day in high season and from $24,500 per week. Yachts are generally rented with a captain and the most luxurious vessels come with a crew. Check the mandatory and included extras with the owner.

How much does the ferry cost from Key West to Dry Tortugas? ›

Dry Tortugas Ferry Cost (updated for 2021)

How much is the ferry for a day trip from Key West to the Dry Tortugas? The cost for an adult is $190. There is a $10 discount for active duty members of the military, seniors ages 62 or higher, and full-time students (age 17+). Children ages 4 to 16 are $135 each.

How long is the ferry ride from Key West to Dry Tortugas? ›

How long is the trip from Key West to Fort Jefferson? The ride on the Yankee Freedom usually takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Are trips available year round? The Yankee Freedom travels to Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas National Park year round.

How much is a day trip to the Dry Tortugas? ›

The entrance fee for Dry Tortugas National Park is $15.00 per person and is good for 7 consecutive days. Any person under 16 years of age is exempt from paying an entrance fee (this includes international visitors).

Are the Dry Tortugas worth it? ›

Dry Tortugas National Park is fascinating both in its unique marine landscape and its history, and it's definitely worth the visit. Located at the tip of the Flordia Keys is the stunning Dry Tortugas National Park. It preserves seven breathtaking Dry Tortugas Islands.

How long is the seaplane ride to Dry Tortugas? ›

Travel time is approximately 40 minutes each way. Departs morning only. (The Full Day is more expensive then the Half Day because we hold a morning & an afternoon seat). *Children under the age of 2 years are not assigned a seat and travel on an adults lap.

What is the best way to get to Dry Tortugas? ›

How to get to Dry Tortugas
  1. Bring Your Own Boat. Bring your boat to Dry Tortugas National Park.
  2. Charters & Permitted Tour Guides. Take guided tours for fishing, diving, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing.
  3. The Yankee Freedom Ferry. Take a high-speed catamaran for day and camping trips.
  4. Key West Seaplane Charters.
Jan 8, 2021

Is Deep Sea Fishing worth the money? ›

With a professional and experienced guide, in the right place, deep sea fishing trip is an exciting adventure that's well worth your cash. The action is in some cases nonstop and the many various beautiful destination, as well as fish, caters to the dreams of many anglers.

Are fishing charters worth it? ›

Some of the benefits of charter fishing are:

It's much less expensive than owning a quality fishing boat – You will have access to all the best gear and tackle. It's a lot less work than owning a fishing boat – You can safely and efficiently learn the area, water navigation, and the top tips to catch fish there.

How much does a fishing charter cost in Key West? ›

Based on 12 charters surveyed, the cost of 8-hour fishing trips in Key West range between $850 and $1700. The average cost of an 8-hour trip is $1328.

Do you need a boat license to rent a boat in Florida? ›

Do I need a license to rent and operate a boat in Florida? The short answer is no; the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which regulates boating, does not require a “boating license”. However, it does require that you be familiar with boating safety, which can be demonstrated in different ways.

Do you need a captain's license for personal boat in Florida? ›

Yes. In addition to the requirement to successfully complete an approved boating safety course, you must also have an FWC-issued Boating Safety Education Identification Card - along with a photo ID - in your possession to operate a motorboat of 10 horsepower or more.

Do you need a boating license to rent a jetski in Florida? ›

Before your next jet ski excursion in Florida, it is important to be informed about some of the facts. When hoping to rent a jet ski for the day, you will need a boating license. Although obtaining a boating license for a simple excursion may seem excessive, having a boating license is important.

Do I need a captain's license in Florida? ›

To be a saltwater fishing guide in Florida, you must comply with U.S. Coast Guard (USGC) requirements. The U.S. Coast Guard (USGC) requires all operators of for-hire vessels to have a Captain license/Merchant Mariner Credential.


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