Key West, located at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys, offers boaters a unique and enticing experience with its stunning waters and maritime charm. The surrounding waters of Key West are a haven for boaters, offering a diverse range of activities and attractions that make it a prime destination for both seasoned sailors and casual boaters.
All operators affiliated with GetMyBoat must adhere to and uphold legal and regulatory compliance in line with local guidelines. This entails obtaining appropriate registrations, passes, and permits, and meeting all vessel and captain requirements. It also includes using designated docks and approved boating areas for commercial activities, adhering to any other stipulations dictated by local laws and facility regulations.
To provide assistance, we have compiled essential information for boating in Key West.
The 2022 Florida Boating Safety Act (SB 606):
The 2022 Florida Boating Safety Act, also known as SB 606, was enacted to enhance safety in water activities starting on January 1, 2023. This legislation focuses on improving water safety by enforcing stricter regulations for those who break the rules, setting guidelines for boat rentals, and implementing enhanced operational standards for boat rental services.
When renting a boat, it's mandatory to have commercial boat insurance to cover any financial responsibility for potential boat damage or injuries to individuals using the rented boat.
We collaborate with Boat Charter Insurance to help you secure the appropriate coverage for your vessel.
Title and Registration of Vessels:
To title or register a vessel, individuals need to visit the county tax collector or license plate agent. Proof of ownership can be provided through different legitimate documents like a bill of sale, builder's contract, manufacturer's document, federal marine document, or another relevant record. If a boat needs to be titled, this should be done before proceeding with the registration.
For additional guidance, refer to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Florida Fish and Wildlife:
If you charge for guided sea fishing trips, obtaining a specialized license such as a Charter Captain or Boat License is necessary. In Florida, adherence to U.S. Coast Guard regulations is mandatory for those guiding saltwater fishing expeditions. Individuals operating boats for hire must possess either a Captain's license or a Merchant Mariner Credential.
A Charter Captain License allows certified captains to work on various boats, requiring a valid Coast Guard License for operating vessels carrying passengers. Any boat used by a charter captain for business purposes must be either commercially registered or have a U.S. Coast Guard certificate indicating its suitability for commercial use.
Charter Boat Licenses are specific to designated vessels and are only valid for the assigned boat, intended for commercial operations. To obtain this license, proof of the vessel's commercial registration or a special certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard permitting business use is required.
To acquire an FWC Charter Captain license, possession of a Coast Guard Captain's license is necessary. For details regarding the Coast Guard Captain's license, individuals can contact 1-888-427-5662. Additionally, comprehensive information about USCG charter boat captains is available on the USCG website.
Every captain must possess a valid U.S. Coast Guard license and provide a copy to the Commission for verification. A Master's Captain's license is essential for vessels carrying more than 6 passengers, while a 6-pack license suffices for vessels with 6 or fewer passengers. The captain is responsible for the safety of the boat and everyone on board. For more information on obtaining this license, inquiries can be made at Mariners Learning System - USCG. Use the promo code GETMYBOAT10 for 10% off all products.
Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:
Some locations permit boat drop-offs and pickups for rentals, and the following are a couple of them that have specified passenger zones. Prior to confirming your arrangements, it's essential to confirm the pickup and drop-off procedures with the marina or dock.
- 11th Street Public Boat Ramp: Located at 11th St, Key West, FL 33040
- A & B Marina at 700 Front St # 105, Key West, FL 33040
Boating Safety Card
If a captain is not included in the booking, the renter is required to have boating knowledge in order to operate a vessel. Obtaining a Boating Safety Card is crucial for individuals planning to operate a boat in Florida with an engine exceeding 10 horsepower and were born after January 1, 1988.