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Boat Rental for beginners

London
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236 posts
11 reviews
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Boat Rental for beginners

Is it possible to rent a boat if you're inexperienced? Or is that not a good idea?

I've seen lots of postings which say to go to Lover's Key etc by renting a boat. If we do manage to get a boat is this something that's easy to do? My other half is saying that going out in the open water with no experience would be a very silly idea.

Any help gratefully appreciated.

Sussex
Destination Expert
for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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1. Re: Boat Rental for beginners

We rent boats from Marco (Rose) Marina most visits.

I had no experience of being responsible for a boat before we started visiting Marco & whilst I understand your apprehension, there really is nothing to worry about - it is a great day out!

The good people at the marina will take as much time as you need to ensure you are confident of controlling the boat & navigating your way around the 'backwaters'. I do not know if it is the case with all boat rental companies in the area, but certainly Marco Marina do not permit you to take their boats into the open sea (Gulf) - you are restricted to the water behind the barrier islands. These waterways are both sheltered & well marked with numbered / colour coded posts. These are all shown on the chart they give you, so it is a simple matter of following the numbers! Any problems, you have a radio on the boat & you can chat to the marina to sort things out.

The backwaters are great - you will typically be surrounded by mangroves but there are opportunities to 'park' the boat on the back of barrier islands and walk a short distance to the Gulf side where you will find the most beautiful deserted beaches.

On most trips we see dolphin (pretty much guaranteed) manatee (likewise), Osprey (ditto), spotted eagle rays. bald eagles, various herons & egrets & last year we came across a group of roseate spoonbills.

My boys like to fish and there are some great opportunities when you are out on your own boat.

Check the weather the day before and if things look set fair - go for it, its a great way to spend the day.

Western NY
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for Marco Island
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251 reviews
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2. Re: Boat Rental for beginners

I suggest staying in the Marco Island canals and Marco River if you aren't an experienced boater. The canals have a slow speed limit and no wake which will make it much easier to manuveur. Lover's Key will be too much for an inexperienced boater.

Marco River Marina has great canal maps and will give you a quick training. The pontoon boats are easier to "drive" than other types. You can do a half-day rental to get your feet wet first.

Dayton, OH / Marco...
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for Marco Island, Everglades National Park, Goodland
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3. Re: Boat Rental for beginners

My father had a power boat on Marco. But I'm not a big expert on boating.

To go from the Marina off Bald Eagle to Lovers Key (Bonita)could be a 3-5? hour trip, on way, in a pontoon boat. I don't know the exact time but I do believe it is a LONG trip by pontoon.

If you have never boated before I don't recommend it. Johnson's Bay and Keeywadin are close and doable to the newbie. Beware boats seem to fly in the rivers around Marco.

Sussex
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for Mana Pools National Park, Marco Island
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932 posts
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4. Re: Boat Rental for beginners

I agree that Lovers Key would be too much from Marco / for an inexperienced boater.

Keewadin Island is very comfortable for a day (or even 1/2 day) trip from Marco, however, and does give you a lovely cruise through the mangroves and access to the most fantastic beach (you moor / anchor of the leeward side of the island, and walk 75 yards of so across the barrier island to the Gulf side). We have been the only people on this impressive stretch of beach on more than one occasion & it is a lovely feeling.

London
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5. Re: Boat Rental for beginners

Thanks to all of you for your responses, they are really helpful. I think if we do decide to go to Lovers Key we'll stick with a charter. Maybe hiring a boat to go around the canals or to Keeywadin will be a better option.

Once again thank you all.

6. Re: Boat Rental for beginners

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