Article's Author: SFL Style contributor
Publish date: July 30, 2017
Renting a boat in Miami for a few hours or for an entire week is easy. Boating allows you to experience a much different aspect of the gorgeous city. It allows you to perform many types of water activities, see marine life, go fishing, watch the brightly lit stars at night, and enjoy some of the best sunsets on this planet.
So how does one get started?
Renting a boat in Miami is a piece of cake but it is vital that you go to the right place. While most rentals are decent, every now and then, you will get a piece of junk. So the first thing you need to decide is how long you want the boat for and how many people? The next thing depending on the number of people is the size of the boat. In general, the bigger the boat the more money you will need to come up with. You can rent a boat in Miami for an hour, half a day or even a week or longer.
Other things that you need to consider when renting a boat is any insurance premium, cost of gasoline, marina fees, and if there is extra charge for gear like fishing rods or jet skis. The cost also goes up if you want a captain for your boat. If you have never ever sailed in a boat, it is a great idea to get a captain on board.
When you book a boat, ask how old the boat is. Just like computers, the older ones do not function well. The newer the boat, the more gadgets and amenities you get. Secondly ask how many bathrooms there are on the boat; if you are just two people renting a boat this is irrelevant but if there is ten of you, you will need more than one bathroom. Since Miami is hot and people drink copious amount of fluids, you will also need to rush to the bathroom frequently.
Try and avoid sailboats with mast, as they are often finicky and sometimes limited only to the ocean side.
There are just way too many boat rental agencies in Miami to list here but the majority are located along South Beach and Miami Beach. Lesson one: boats here always cost more to rent; if you go up north, boats are cheaper. If you know nothing about boats and have never rented one, speak to someone at the hotel rather than someone at the marina; you are more likely to get a more favorable opinion from the former. Avoid reading reviews on yelp and other social media sites- most reviews are fudged and do not offer an honest opinion.
Once you rent a boat, the ideal place to cruise is Bayside, Biscayne Bay, Stiltville, Boynton Beach, and Elliot keys; here you will come across many beach side restaurants and the water is smooth. If you want to see the million dollar mansions go via Aventura or Palm Beach. If you are in the party mood, sail toward the Sandbar at the tip of Key Biscayne on any weekend and this is where nightlife is exciting.
Beware of the depth of water as it does change and to be safe, stay in the deep waters. If you do not pay attention you can get your boat wrecked or stuck in the shallow waters, especially in and around Biscayne Bay. Because of the heavy boat traffic over the weekends watch your speed, otherwise marine patrol is always present to hand out a speeding ticket.
Finally get boat rental quotes from several people and wait as long as possible. If the weather looks good, head to Key Largo and further north for the rental, as they are much cheaper than in South Beach.
The average cost of renting a NON-FANCY boat varies from $75-$300 per hour. The luxury boats with many amenities cost a lot more. But for a few hours, you will get to experience a thrill that is unmatched in beauty.