The question of whether you should rent a boat in Florida does not actually arise. Because when you stand on Florida’s coast, you can’t really help but wish yourself out on the water. So the question is not so much whether to rent a boat in Florida, but where. Because every bigger city has a boat rental and so the offer is large.
When to rent a boat in Florida
The best time of year to rent a boat in Florida is April through November. In the winter months from December to March it rains frequently and hurricanes are not uncommon in this corner of the world.
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What requirements do I have to meet to rent a boat in Florida?
If you want to rent a boat in Florida, you definitely need a driver’s license. A valid car driver’s license is sufficient for all persons who were born before 1.1.1988.
Younger people need a boating license if they want to rent a boat or have to complete the online course to receive the FBSE ID Card. In addition, every tenant must have an identification document (passport) with them and must be at least 14 years old when renting the boat. Children under 6 years of age must wear a life jacket. But this is always recommended for adults too.
The Florida Boating Safety Education Identification Card (FBSE ID) course can be completed on-site or online prior to traveling to the United States. Without this card, no boat can be operated here in the southern United States. The course to get the card is can be found at boatus.org/florida. Once completed, the card is valid for a lifetime. The card is not a boat license. There is no boating license in this sense in Florida. Nevertheless, you should always make sure that you receive a sufficiently long instruction.
Should I rent the boat locally in Florida or better from Germany?
If you already know exactly that you want to rent a boat in Florida and which one, then you can charter your future motorboat, your future yacht or another ship weeks in advance through a tour operator in Germany. However, the costs are higher when booking in Germany. You can also rent your motorboat, yacht or other boat directly at the holiday destination. On site you will find a large selection of boats and you can also view the boat live before you start your boat trip on vacation.
Apart from that, be sure to read the contracts carefully. Especially when it comes to insurance. For example, a skipper’s liability insurance, a fully comprehensive or partially comprehensive insurance, a theft insurance or a towing insurance are possible. Pay attention to the deductible with any insurance.
How and where can I find a boat for Florida?
There are some boat rental companies, both in Germany and in Florida. You will easily find a boat rental locally, whether you are in Miami, Key West or any other location.
But you should also find it on the Internet. Some pages are available in German.
Here are three boat rentals in Florida as an example:
- Click & Boat: After many years of experience, we recommend the provider Click & Boat. The Click & Boat platform lists many boat rentals and their associated boats. The site has a practical filter function with which you can specify the type of boat (sailing boat, motor boat, catamaran, RIB, jet ski, houseboat, yacht), the price, the capacity and of course the location. In our case, the latter would of course be Florida or your travel destination. At Click & Boat you can also choose Miami, for example. At Click & Boat you can also decide whether you want to rent the ship with or without a captain.
- Sunstate Yachts in Cape Coral: Cape Coral is the Venice of Florida and an excellent starting point to explore the waters off Florida by boat. A great travel destination is Sanibel Island in the Gulf of Mexico. If you want, you can book a boat tour to see the dolphins here in Cape Coral or take boat trips with a captain on the water.
- Speed Dock in Cape Coral: The provider rents out sport and family boats in Cape Coral. The motor boats have a lot of additional equipment to offer, such as navigation via iPad. The provider communicates in German.
- Get My Boat: Get My Boat is also a platform on which you can list various boat rental companies in Florida. Here you can choose by location, type of trip, price and group size.
Which boat should I choose for Florida?
That is a question that cannot be answered across the board. Most will probably choose a motorboat for their boat trip. Otherwise it depends on what you want for your trip. Whether you want to be fast on the water or cruising and the group size are just a few factors that you should include in your decision. Regardless, it is worth renting a boat with a sun canopy, as the sun burns hot from the sky in Florida during the summer months.
Yacht charter in Florida
People who have the necessary budget and want to pay the appropriate prices can charter a yacht from a boat rental company for a week or more while on vacation in the USA. A yacht charter is the provision of sailing and motor yachts for a specified period of time. That can be days or weeks. When chartering, you can choose between different options.
- Crewed Charter: With this option, you charter the yacht for the corresponding days or weeks including crew. The experienced skipper is responsible for the yacht and you can have fun while boating.
- Berth charter: You don’t want to have the whole yacht at your disposal while boating? In this case, you can also opt for a berth charter in the States. So you only buy your place in a bunk. But you can help decide which destinations you want to visit during the days or weeks at sea.
- Bareboat Charter: When you choose a bareboat charter, you are completely on your own when boating in the United States. No additional on-board personnel (crew) are provided here and the captain (skipper) must also be provided by the traveler. Here the charterer is liable for all damage incurred, but he can also freely decide which islands or other travel destinations he would like to discover during the days or weeks at sea.
Worthwhile excursion destinations by boat around Florida?
From the water you can explore the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico in an extraordinary way. The view from this side of the beach is completely different than from the land side. But the beautiful islands in the water are always worth a boat tour.
- Clearwater Beach: If you rent a boat west of Tampa on the west coast of Florida, you can take a nice trip to Clearwater Beach. The area is famous for its white beaches and warm waters. The small hidden islands such as Sun Dollar Island are particularly ideal for an afternoon excursion.
- Caladesi Park: Caldesi Park is located near Clearwater Beach and is home to a large number of bird species. The boat moorings allow you to explore the park from the water. If you want, you can also rent a kayak here and explore the mangrove forests with it.
- Keewaydin Island: The island can be reached from Naples and generally only by boat. Anchored is in the southeast of the island. The floating stalls invite you to have a snack and dogs are also welcome on the island.
- Marco Island: Marco Island is the largest of the Ten Thousand Islands and a true paradise for nature lovers and photographers. Ten Thousand Islands is part of the National Wildlife Refuge and is home to many animal species.
- Florida Keys: One of the most famous destinations for a boat tour in Florida is of course the Florida Keys. These stretch 120 miles from the southernmost end of Florida towards the Caribbean. A boat is the perfect means of transport to get to know this exceptionally beautiful landscape.
- Sanibel Island: Sanibel Island is located on the Gulf of Mexico, not far from Fort Myers. It is via a toll road for example from Ft. Myers can be reached from. You can of course also take a boat to the island. The island is particularly famous for its sunsets, the lighthouse and the fantastic long beaches, where you can look for shells.
- Captiva Island: The island of Captiva, which is often associated with the neighboring island to the south, is located near Fort Myers off the Gulf coast of Florida. Captiva Island is a great destination for those who love the great outdoors. For example, you can rent a holiday home there at the South Seas Island Resort and from there explore other islands and destinations in Florida by boat.
- Panama City Beach in North Florida: When you visit Florida, you often only think of Miami and Co. and will probably book your vacation home in the south. Northern Florida is often wrongly overlooked. Panama City Beach is a nice holiday destination here. Caribbean flair awaits you here on the kilometer-long white sandy beaches along the turquoise waters. But it’s also worth exploring from the vacation home the state parks and waterfront restaurants selling fresh local seafood.