Sailboat Chartering With or Without a Captain
You can choose from four types of sailboat vacation:
Leasing the sailboat without a captain
The sea has no secrets for you or your crew and you are capable of bringing the sailboat back to port even if a hitch happens during your trip.
Chartering a sailboat with the captain
You are not practiced enough yet and you prefer to have a captain on board to help you with the bowline knot.
You want to learn to navigate or you wish to enhance your knowledge. Sailboat leasers offer courses for every level, for groups, couples, for a weekend or for the whole week.
Cruise with a captain and cook
You watch them raise the sails and manipulate the sauce pans, while you take it easy. The Moorings offer "cool" cruises or the luxury of a 50 to 76 feet sailboat. This is the perfect method to try out sailing with family or friends.
Choosing the Right Charter Company
We have met many sailboat leasers and visited their boats.
We have retained the name of two serious companies that have boats from 32 to 50 feet and are like new, well equipped and clean. Their documents are reliable and the personnel charming.
These societies are known, and have an important fleet in good working order. In the event of a technical problem while leasing the boat, you will immediately be helped and compensated.
The boats are rented for a day, a weekend or for a week. You can lease them any day of the week.
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Miami Beach Marina
390 Alton Road, Suite A
FL 33139 - USA
Tel: 1.800.537 0050 or 1.305.532-8600
fax : 1.305.672-2039
Ideally based in Miami and Key West, Florida Yacht leases sailboats of the Hunter brand, from 37.5 to 45 feet and catamarans Fontaine Pajot and Jeanneau from 35 to 40 feet. Florida Yacht is also based in Key West.
In Florida, The Moorings is based in St Petersburg on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, two hours from Orlando and Disney World.
Prices vary depending on the season and the boat. The Moorings is more expensive than Florida Yacht in all categories and for all weeks.
We suggest two seven day itineraries:
from Miami to Key West
from Miami to Miami
Best Time for Sailing the keys
The Keys benefit from a subtropical climate. You can sail all year long but, like everywhere else, there is this fantastic time of the year and less favorable periods.
The best periods are: March, April, May, end of November and beginning of December.
The periods of tourism affluence: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year
Possible cold front periods: End of December, January and February.
Hurricane months, humidity and mosquitoes: June to November, with a peak in July, August September, and October.
Choosing a Sailboat
The marinas cannot always accommodate boats that are too big. Also the draft of your boat should not exceed 4.5 to 5 feet and the beam 13.5 feet to 14 feet.
We prefer mono hull from 40 to 43 feet long. They combine space and comfort and generally find a space in the small marinas of the Keys. These boats are also better equipped than the smaller sailboats. Catamarans rarely find a dock large enough in the marinas and must anchor outside.
Besides basic equipment, we have found options offered by Florida Yacht and The Moorings (not all boats have the same equipment).
- Canopy that protects the boat's cockpit
- AM/FM Stereo Cassette
- Cold or hot showers on the back deck
- Microwave oven
- TV, video (on certain boats of Florida Yacht)
- Lifejackets (The Moorings)
- Annex (dinghy) with motor
- Electric winch to raise the two anchors
- Automatic pilot connected to GPS
- Rolling system of the main sail inside the boom and an automatic winch
- Snorkel equipment
- Portable telephone (The Moorings)
If you want to get used to your sailboat or the local navigation conditions, The Moorings offers the presence of a captain for the first afternoon.
Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys, by Captain Frank Papy. Good basic information about places to visit, marinas, underwater activity, etc. Excellent maps describing the entrances to ports and marinas, usually difficult in access because of shallow waters.
Diving and Snorkeling guide to The Florida Keys, by Halas and Kincaid. Excellent guide for skin diving and snorkeling. Description of coral reefs, exotic fish and sunken Spanish Galleons. Indication of depth and the level of difficulty of the different sites.
Ask your charter company to lend you these books.