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On a Key West catamaran charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore much of South Florida and the Florida Keyswithin an easy sail. Whatever you want from a Florida Keys yacht charter, from its beautiful beaches and excellent food to its excellent resorts, a catamaran charter Key West is going to be an unforgettable experience.
First made popular by writer and journalist Ernest Hemingway, Key West is now a fun and relaxed holiday destination at the end of the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys.
Smathers Beach with its bike paths, beach chair rental and water sports activities is worth a stop on your visit to Key West. The longest beach on the island, Smathers Beach has all you need for a day offline enjoying the sun, sea, sand and water.
Ernest Hemingway wouldn't recognise much of the island today as it stands. Progress has changed it from the somewhat wild, out of the way hideaway it used to be in the 1930s. Those after something a little more authentic should head out to Stock Island beyond the US Naval Air Station. Stock Island yacht club by the Perry Hotel will give you an idea of what Key West used to be - relaxed, fun and a little rowdy at times, you will find locals prefer this to life on the main island, 15 minutes down the road.
Like the rest of the Florida Keys - Key Largo and Little Torch Key among them - Key West has a character of its own in all its modern, grown up ways!
A Florida Keys yacht charter can take you west to the Dry Tortugas National Park or east as far as Fort Lauderdale. Heading west on your South Florida yacht charter you will get to enjoy the Marquesas Keys and Dry Tortuga, both quiet islands and worth a visit. On Dry Tortuga you will find Fort Jefferson, an old military emplacement very popular among sailors today. Drry Tortugas National Park has reefs and is excellent for snorkeling and fishing too.
Heading east towards Florida Bay you will find a number of decent little islands with their own charms. Bahia Honda State Park has the darkest night skies on the Keys and if you can moor in the marina you will see the universe in a way you'll struggle to find elsewhere on the US East Coast. Further along the Overseas Highway you will find Key Largo with its golf courses and holiday resorts - a favourite of former President Donald Trump - and Little Torch Key with its adults-only private island resort that was a haunt of President Truman in his day.
Ultimately you will reach Biscayne Bay on the east coast of Florida with Miami South Beach and Fort Lauderdale, great charter destination in their own right.
To the west of Biscayne Bay and off the coast of the Everglades is a different charter destination - Florida Bay. This is a 220,000 square kilometre set of mud flats and narrow channels that will challenge an experienced sailor yet, even with its average three foot depth of water will be something completely different for you on your bareboat charter or private charter. The wildlife from manatees to wading birds are almost unique in the world and well worth a visit if you can get an experienced skipper to help you navigate them.
From snorkeling among colorful fish to exploring a national park, sunbathing and yes, the excellent sailing, a Key West catamaran charter has it all. Book your sailing vacation with Borrow a Boat today!
You don't need to worry about being an experienced sailor or even sailing the boat out of Key West or Stock Island Yacht Club with Borrow a Boat! A Key West crewed charter (private charter) on a motor boat or sailing catamaran can mean you do as much or as little physically sailing the yacht as you like on your yacht charter holiday.
A skippered yacht charter or will mean that the skipper will be aboard with their own cabin to attend to all your needs. A crewed yacht rental will involve one or two crew on the boat trip who will cook, sail and make suggestions as to your best destinations on your sailing itinerary. With their local knowledge, even if you're an experienced sailor you can enjoy a perfect yacht charter holiday.
One of the advantages of a crewed yacht charter sailing vacation is that you can go longer distances from the yacht charter base. A longer run to Fort Lauderdale or the Bahamas is achievable on a Key West crewed catamarancharter.
As to you? You can just enjoy the breezes and views on your luxury yacht charter, or if you fancy learning a bit about sailing, help the skipper or crew to get the boat from A-B.
A Key West crewed yacht charter will cost a little more (typically €150 a day for a skipper and €100 per crew member) and it's the done thing to thank them with a tip at the end of the week.
A bareboat charter holiday will mean that you can take the charter yacht out on your own. Generally for vessels up to 20 metres LOA on a sailing license such as an RYA Day Skipper or ASA 104 Bareboat certificate, you will have total responsibility for the yacht.
You will need to think about your sailing itinerary, victualling, possible secondary ports should a marina be full, as well as issues like weather and mooring fees.
On a bareboat catamaran charter you will be asked to pay for insurance in the form of a security deposit to the chartercompany on departure or through buying charter insurance before you leave the yacht charter base on your sailing trip.
When searching a geographical area on Borrow A Boat you can filter by the below charter yacht types. There is also the option to further filter your searches by price, the number of guests, cabins or bathrooms, what year the catamaran was launched, the boat length and the boat manufacturer.
Sailing Charter Catamaran: Luxury catamarans are stable and spacious type of sailboat charter, with quick sailingperformance, and and have been gaining in popularity in recent years. Better for larger groups, they have lots of room for water toys such as a paddleboard or even jet ski, and are big enough for a little privacy. A catamaran charter luxury yacht is easy and comfortable for novices not used to heeling and are loved by families due to their extra space when compared to a monohull sailing yacht. Typically far more luxurious than a monohull sailboat boat charter, the larger catamarans have en suite toilets and showers in the cabin as well as ample entertaining space in the saloon and on deck.
Motor Catamaran: These power catamarans are relatively new but have also been gaining in popularity as the two hulls keep the boat more stable when compared to a monohull. The wider beam of these motor boat also mean more deck space and as they don’t have sails or a mast, they have a lot more space on deck than a sailingcatamaran rental or monohull. For a luxury catamaran charter, consider taking a crewed catamaran charter sailingvacation with an experienced skipper.
On your Key West crewed catamaran boat rental or bareboat charter sailing holiday you can explore the Florida Keysand wider South Florida. Here we suggest a 7 day sailing trip and a 14 day yacht charter holiday on your charter yacht:
5 days - Dry Tortuga, Marquesas Keys and Western Florida Keys: From your Key West marina you will first set sail for the Marquesas Keys where you can enjoy the fishing and snorkeling. After a day and a night ashore, head west to the Dry Tortugas National Park where you can get to grips with the unique history of the islands. After your second night here head back east to Key Largo where you can enjoy swimming among colorful fish at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, before turning your bows back west and returning the charter boat to the charter base.
14 days - South Florida and Florida Keys: Perhaps better on a private charter with crew and skipper taking care of your every need, you will island hop east towards the world class charter destination of Biscayne Bay. The barrier island of Key Biscayne off Miami is a quieter destination than downtown Miami though you may use this to relax after a night out at South Beach. Sailing back via islands like Long Key, Duck Key and Boot Key, you can take in the best of the Flroda Keys on your two week catamaran charter Key West.
If you are on a skippered catamaran charter you do not need a license to sail out of Key West, you can just turn up at the marina and go.
You do need a sailing license if you are on a bareboat catamaran charter. You will need to check with the charter agent but here are some examples of typical sailing qualifications that will allow you to charter in most countries:
International Certificate of Competence: This is issued on request by your European sailing authority and you should automatically qualify with certain national sailing qualifications.
RYA Qualifications: If you have the following qualifications you will typically be able to take a bareboat charter out of Key West (but it is worth checking as per above), these include Day Skipper (sail or motor endorsement), Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster.
American Sailing Association (ASA): The ASA 104 Bareboat certificate is commonly accepted but also check as per above
US Sailing: The International Proficiency Certificate is widely accepted and The Bareboat Cruising Certificate is also accepted in many cases.
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.
You will typically pay 50% up front on reserving the catamaran 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.
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 and they can typically send someone from the charter base
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the catamaran before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Bring warm weather and cool weather clothing if it looks like the weather can be cool as well as warm and remember at sea it can be cool in the evenings.
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. If you choose to have a skipper on board your catamaran you won't require licences.
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