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Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

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Oslo, Norway
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Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

We are going to stay a couple of nights on Key West and one of the days, we would like to rent a small boat and snorkel Looe Key. We would prefer to do it on our own instead of an organized trip. Any tips for companies that rent small boat at an affordable price? We will have a car so we can drive over to Big Pine Key or any other place if needed.

Any other tips for good snorkeling that we can reach from Key West are also more than welcome! Thanks in advance!

Pjk
New Jersey
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1. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

When Sunny Days was running a trip from Key West to Looe Key on a relatively fast catamaran, the Reef Express, it took 50 - 60 minutes one way, so I wouldn't suggest boating there on a rental.

Having written that, Sunset Watersports rents boats by the hour.

But snorkeling at the reef on a smaller boat like the Floridays can be a nice morning or afternoon out. And there's even Fury's Double Dip trip, a two stop snorkel trip to the reef with limited number of people (and sometimes limited room on the boat)

Pjk

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

it will probably not be "affordable" to rent a boat to sail all the way out to Looe Key, even if leaving from Big Pine Key.

Renting a motor boat is almost never affordable when compared to the reasonable price of a group trip, which is usually about $35-40/ per person.

A charter boat, with a captain, for a small group (6 people or fewer) will cost about $500 for a half day and about $700 for a full day. That's the cost of a boat out of Key West, so Big Pine might be a little cheaper, but is that affordable to you?

Fort Myers Beach...
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3. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

I would say do not rent a boat. The keys have many, many spots that are shallow and unless you know the waters I wouldn't do it. You have a good chance of spending your day trying to get your boat back into deeper water. Also since you do not know the dive sites and what is where you may not find the good spots and waist your day doing that.

If you have a car I would drive up to The Looe Key Dive Center on Ramrod Key about MM 26. They will take you out on the reef and go to three differant dive sites. the boat leaves at 10:00 AM and gets back to the dock around 3:00 PM. It's a great day of fun for you and the kids.

Westchester, New...
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4. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

Innerspace out of Big Pine Key takes up to six passengers. So depending on how many in your group, it might almost be like a charter!

Oslo, Norway
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5. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

Thanks for the good tips! We are only 2 people so it seems like renting a boat is not an option with those prices. We might go with one of the companies that take only a few people. We have done quite a bit of snorkeling before (not on the Keys though) and the organized tours are usually a bit of a rush.

Any other places to snorkel? We are driving down from Miami and were also planning to take a snorkeling stop somewhere on the way. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for all the great advice!

Miami, Florida
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6. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park at MM 102 is an awesome place to snorkel. I have been going there since the late 70's when my dad used to take me... There are of course plenty of other places between Key Largo and Key West but Pennekamp is my favorite...

Florida
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7. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

Inner Space on Big Pine is a fine outfit. I've been out with most of the snorkel boats on the island. I don't think you will find it rushed. But it doesn't take an hour to get out there. I used to live right there on the harbor in Big Pine and had a 20ft boat ... it was six miles to the reef ... and the channel is well marked, no real problem with avoiding the shallows. Still a snorkel charter *is* the best option.

You might consider a snorkel from shore. If you drive out to Boca Chica Road (turn left at the Circle K just when you get onto Big Coppitt -- about MM10) there is a narrow beach ... pull on your mask and fins and swim straight out from the beach. When you get into about 12 feet of water you will find yourself swimming over lovely, soft coral gardens. It's the nicest "shore diving" I know in the Keys ... and I have dived and snorkeled and cruised on a sailboat up and down the length of the Keys ... Google boca chica road big coppitt for a map. Hope that helps.

Edited: 18 December 2013, 19:50
8. Re: Rent a boat to snorkel Looe Key

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