Florida offers some of the most diverse cruising grounds found in North America. There are freshwater lakes, brackish marshlands, and myriad island archipelagoes—the Florida Keys being most famous. Florida also boasts intriguing alongshore cruising and serves as the premier jumping-off spot to explore the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
One of the best ways to enjoy this boating wonderland is to charter a “bareboat”: a cruise-capable vessel that you captain yourself. Here are five great sources for bare boating in Florida.
Southwest Florida Yachts
This firm offers power vessels such as Grand Banks trawlers and sailing yachts such as the Island Packet 31. Rates start at $390. You can embark from North Fort Myers or from Cape Coral.
This firm offers you the choice of power cruisers like the Mainship 430 or sailing vessels like the Voyage 440 catamaran to explore the Florida Keys. Rates start at $478. Points of embarkation range from Miami to Key West.
Homeported in Sarasota, MissLED is a 36 Grand Banks available for bareboat charter. Head north towards Tampa or voyage southbound through Pine Island Sound. Rate for one week is $2,495.
Based at the Hyatt Sarasota, Chitwood Charters offers a fleet of Grand Banks trawlers, from 36- to 49-feet LOA. Rates begin at $450 and you can enjoy shell beaches, sunrises and playful dolphins.
Suncoast Adventure Center
Points of embarkation include St. Petersburgh, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Their fleet includes powerboats ranging from 28-foot Sea Rays to 92-foot Lazzaras and sailing vessels from Hunter 22’s to Jenneau 53’s. Visiit their website or call for rates.
For more great watery vacations, visit: www.visitflorida.com.