Key West Boat Rentals & Charters
Key West, Florida
About Key West
The Florida Keys are an archipelago of over 1500 islands stretching off the southern coast of Florida. Key West is one of the most popular for tourists and it’s also considered the southernmost city in the United States. It’s known for its laid-back beach culture, beautiful white sand beaches and for being a haven for rest and relaxation. While being known for its Floridian elegance, it is a very different Florida than Miami or Naples. It has a modest charm without the flashy money of some other Florida cities.
The best time to visit Key West is between March and May when the winter crowds have gone and prices drop. The weather is perfect at this time, in the 70s-80s, with minimal rainfall compared to the rest of the year. The summer months see far fewer tourists due to heavy rains and high humidity. If getting wet doesn’t scare you, booking in the summer will secure you a trip at a much lower rate, but at the risk of running into hurricane season.
Getting to Key West can be expensive. There is an airport in Key West that services several routes in the United States, but fares are typically steep due to its smaller size. A popular option for travelers going to Key West is to fly to Miami or Fort Lauderdale and then rent a car to drive down to Key West. This can be a more economical option and will allow you to visit other parts of the Keys as well. There are also express ferries and other boat options to get access to Key West by water.
Boating in Key West
Key West is a fabulous destination for boaters. The entire area of the Florida Keys is a designated National Marine Sanctuary, meaning that there are additional rules and regulations for boaters that are crucial to know to avoid breaking the law and getting fined. You can take a boat on your own to explore the reefs offshore, opt for a charter around the best spots for fishing, enjoy the sunset from a catamaran or go kayaking.
While boating in Key West, it’s important to pay attention to the backchannel depths and navigation markers. Inexperienced boaters can get themselves into trouble if they cruise too quickly or end up in shallow waters. Pay attention to the markings when navigating the channels and you’ll be just fine.
Embarking on a fishing charter while in Key West is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget. Travelers can head out on full-service charters and expect to catch snapper, grouper, tuna, and the occasional shark. The boats are fully-equipped and the crew of deep-sea charters are knowledgeable and provide an excellent experience.
Catamaran rentals are popular in Key West thanks to the calm winds and water that provide a comfortable sailing experience. For visitors in need of an adrenaline rush, there are countless jet ski rental facilities as well as parasailing opportunities.
Chartering a yacht for a day of cruising, relaxing and watching the sunset is a popular choice for many travelers staying in Key West. Booking up your yacht charter early is recommended, as the island is very small and boats can be booked up during the busy season.
Boating Events in Key West
Key West is home to many sailing regattas, boat races and other waterfront events that take place throughout the year.
One of the most popular is the Key West Super Boat International Championships. This takes place over several days and includes exhibitions of race boats on display, launching and racing of boats, boat parades and other live entertainment and events during the week. The power boats that are showcased during this event are among the top in the world, and many people come to watch the offshore racing and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
The Key West Fishing Tournament attracts anglers of all ages, from seasoned fishing professionals to young novices trying their hand at making the best catch.
Other Things To Do in Key West
While on land, there is plenty to experience while in Key West. For literature lovers, a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s house is a must. Mallory Square is a hub for restaurants and shops on Key West and it provides a great view of the sunset. Duval Street is another great option if you’re looking to indulge in retail therapy or grab a bite to eat.
Marinas in the Keys
There are several marinas for boat rentals and charters scattered throughout Key West. The majority of the marinas are on the northern side of the island, but they run from the east to western sides. Galleon Marina and Conch Harbor Marina are great choices. City Marina at Garrison Bight is noted for fishing boats and charters. The Key West Historic Seaport is another top-rated marina on this part of the island. On the south side, Casa Marina Beach House is a good option for boat rentals.