Yacht charter & boat hire in Key West at the best price, +45,000 boats worldwide. From $80 for a day/week or more! Skippers available.

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Yacht Charter Key West

## Guide To Sailing In Key West

On a Key West yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore South Florida, Florida Keys and Bahamas within an easy sail. From big game fishing boat rental to a shopping and partying sailing vacation, a South Florida sailing holiday is going to be an unforgettable experience.

Made famous by Ernest Hemingway both from his notorious antics there and in his book 'To Have and To Have Not' and now a major yachting centre, Key West is the ideal location for fishing charters and longer sailing charter holidays.

Historic sights of interest include Ernest Hemingway's old home (now a museum), Fort Zachary (a pre Civil War fort and now a museum) and the old Key West Lighthouse (you guessed it - a museum!). People tend to end up here at the end of the Ocean Highway linking mainland South Florida to the Florida Keys for the fun to be had.

For those into snorkeling there is plenty on offer with different coral reefs around the islands. Beaches are excellent and thanks to the climate, you can enjoy this year round. There are some notorious bars and the nightlife can be a bit wild, and in places like the Perry Hotel (with its large marina) you can be a little more relaxed.

Key West is a great charter destination for a wide variety of reasons. Leaving the key on your charter yacht, be it bareboat or with crew on a private charter, let's take a look where else you can go in the next section.

## Explore Key West By Renting A Yacht

On your Key West yacht charter you may want to head for somewhere a little quieter and away from it all. About 20 miles off Key West is the Marquesas Keys, the only coral atoll in the western hemisphere. These are completely uninhabited, and despite rumours of a Spanish gold bullion ship sinking nearby in the 1620s, you're not allowed to bring a shovel!

Further out from Key West are the Dry Tortugas islands. This is half a day's sail by sailboat but once there you will find unrivalled snorkeling and not a little history in Fort Jefferson, a civil War era fort. As with the Marquesas Keys, these seven islands are largely uninhabited.

Heading north from Key West now, and following the Ocean Highway you will find a variety of things on the Florida Keys. Key Largo (home to former President Donald Trump) has golf courses and a range of resorts that will put a smile on children's and adults' faces alike. Smaller resorts such as Duck Key, Little Palm Island and Ocean Reef Club are also up there for letting your hair down.

Heading up onto mainland South Florida on your Florida Keys yacht charter, you'll hit Miami and Fort Lauderdale. For those who enjoy the Ocean Reef Club as much as swimming over the reefs on the Marquesas Keys, South Beach is the place to hit in Miami, and further up the waterways, Fort Lauderdale itself has a range of entertainments.

Biscayne Bay around Miami is a fantastic water sports playground. Everyone from sport yacht sailors to superyacht cruisers and yes, fishing boat users are out here, feeling the year round sun and the general vibe around Miami. Just inland is the intracoastal waterway that is a maze of rivers and canals that you can enjoy in almost any direction from Downtown Miami.

### **How To Get To** **Key West**

### **Key West** **International Airport**

Served by airlines from all over the world, Key West International Airport has direct flights from much of Europe and the US. You can take a bus or taxi to the marina from where your yacht charter will start.

## Marinas In Key West

As with much of South Florida, there are a lot of smaller marinas and mooring fields around Key West. Let's take a look at the four largest.

**Perry Hotel** **& Marina:**

The largest marina on the Florida Keys, Perry Hotel & Marina has space for private charter and bareboat charter charteryachts including fishing boat, motor boat, sailing yacht and catamaran charter yachts.

Berth Characteristics:

288 berths

Max Length 137m (450 Feet)

Max Draught 3.6m (12 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, gym, supermarket, restaurant.

**Sunset** **Marina:**

This mid-sized marina is also a yacht charter hub with charter companies and boat owners offering private yacht charterand bareboat charter sailing catamaran , sailing yacht, sport yacht, luxury yacht rental, fishing boat and motor yachtrental.

Berth Characteristics:

130 berths

Max Length 18m (60 Feet)

Max Draught 1.8 m (6 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, supermarket, restaurant.

**Oceans Edge Marina:**

This mid-sized marina is a yacht charter base with charter companies offering private and bareboat charter of sailingcatamaran, sailing yacht, luxury yacht, fishing boat, speed boats and motor yacht rental.

Berth Characteristics:

111 berths

Max Length 15m (52 Feet)

Max Draught 3m (10 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, supermarket, restaurant

**Stock Island** **Yacht** **Club & Marina:**

Close to Perry Hotel on Stock Island, this is a yacht charter base with charter companies offering private and bareboat charter of sailing catamaran, sailing yacht, luxury yacht, fishing boat, speed boats and motor yacht rental.

Berth Characteristics:

101 berths

Max Length 33.5m (110 Feet)

Max Draught 2.3m (7.5 Feet)

List of additional services: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, currency exchange, supermarket, restaurant

## Suggested Sailing Routes From Key West

The Florida Keys are a major charter destination thanks to having so much to offer. Let's take a look at a couple of sailing itineraries for you and your fellow charter guests to enjoy.

**7 Days -** **Marquesas Keys and Dry Tortugas:** As a first step, head west out of your Key West marina to the Marquesas Keys, a beautiful atoll supposed to be the location of buried gold. Spend a day and a night here. On day 3, head west again to Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas. Enjoy two nights here, to fully appreciate the islands. Spending night six off the Marquesas, return to base at Key West for handover.

**14 Days Florida Keys and South Florida:** Perhaps on a private yacht charter, head east and north to islands like Duck Key, through Florida Bay and on to Key Largo, before heading up Biscayne Bay and into Miami before exploring the inland waterways around Fort Lauderdale. Island hop back, perhaps hitting Vaca Key's Dolphin Research Station and islands like Marathon as you return to the charter base.

## Best Times To Hire A Yacht In Key West

Unlike Europe, the sailing season in the this part of the world runs from November to May - perfect for a dose of winter sun. The NE Trades are settled and you will encounter weather between 25-35 degrees C.

Within this period, March and April after the winter northerlies have passed are cooler yet the sailing is just as fun as the rest of the year.

For those who want to try something a little outside their comfort zone, August and September are said to be the very best sailing months of all.

There's a problem with this - many yacht charter fleets will not be in the area thanks to hurricane season that runs between July and November. If booked and a hurricane is on its way your holiday will be cancelled. There is no minimising the danger of being in the region in a hurricane - there is no high ground and with the general trend for ever fiercer storms, it is not an experience to even risk being around for.

## The Climate

**North East Trade Winds**: These are regular and can get up to F6 at times, but steady and predictable.

## FAQs:

### What should I consider when hiring a Yacht or Boat?

The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.

### **What are the Marinas in Key West?**

There are a number of smaller marinas and mooring fiends in the Key West area. The largest is Perry Hotel & Marina with 288 berths and space for yachts up to 137m LOA. The three other reasonably large marinas are Sunset Marina, Ocean's Edge Marina and Stock Island Marina. Boca Chica is another larger marina but this is only open to people in the US military and their families.

### When are the best times to hire a boat in Key West?

Miami is in the northern Tropics and this means blissful trade winds and comfortable temperatures year round. The cooler part of the year from November to May is better for yacht charters simply because the hurricane season coincides with the hotter and wetter part of the year. As ever, if serious chill is the name of the game, then come out outside of school holidays.

### Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Key West?

You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.

### What happens if my Yacht breaks down?

If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.

### What should I think of before I hire a Yacht or Boat in Key West?

You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat hire before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Dress for warm weather but do have something for tropical rains - light but waterproof.

### What Qualifications Do I need to hire a boat or yacht?

If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a skipper on board your yacht charter you typically don't require licences.