Few things are more Florida than cruising the Gulf in a boat! Boating with friends and family makes a memorable trip to the SunCoast, so explore the many ways to go Boating in Florida! From Sarasota boat rentals to guided boating tours, you'll be sure to have a blast.
Sarasota Boat Rentals
Getting around Sarasota by land or by sea can provide many hours of glorious entertainment and excitement. It can be a calm place to relax out on the water or on the beach, puttering around the bay and marinas that dot the landscape. The area is full of enticing excursions but nothing is more exciting than giving boating a try. Whether it is giving a go at the helm from Sarasota boat rentals or hiring a crew to show you around, there are many ways to experience fun on the water in and around Sarasota.
Siesta Key Marina
One of the things to look for when booking a boating excursion is experience. How long a company has been in business matters when it comes to service, respectability, and safety for guests. Siesta Key Marina has served the community over 50 years and is running. Two families run the marina and dedicate themselves to serving their customers with high standards built on trust and excellence. To check out boat rentals, some key aspects of the marina:
- Grab bait, fuel, and tackle for fishing
- Only full access marina in Sarasota
- Local owners onsite
- 243 dry storage racks
- Easy access to Intercoastal Waterway and Sarasota Bay
Marina Boat Rentals
Renting from the marina is easy and enjoyable. Rentals are for half or full day with a choice of sizes. Fishing boats are rented as well as bait and tackle when requested. Families are encouraged to review the available options.
Family Boating Adventures
Boating with the family is simple and affordable. Comfortable, spacious boats can accommodate up to 10 people with a 20 foot Deck Boat. A larger Tritoon Boat or 25-foot Pontoon Boat accommodates up to 17 people for larger gatherings, parties, and trips. Many people choose this option to go out sunbathing, fishing, and exploring. A local captain who runs the boat can take everyone around and show them the ropes. Load up with drinks, towels, and whatever is needed to enjoy the excursion. Snorkeling and swimming are also encouraged off the boat where possible. Boat into one of the many waterfront restaurants for a unique dining experience. Don’t forget to look for wildlife like manatees and dolphins.
Beer Can Island
Aside from how to rent a boat, there are many places to actually take it out on the water and explore. Beer Can Island and Longboat Pass Sandbar are great options for visitors to hang out. Longboat Pass is located between the north end of Longboat Key and the south end of Anna Maria Island. Beer Can Island allows boats to congregate on its shores during the proper tide and check out a sandbar with lots of shells and sand to explore for kids of all ages.
City Island was initially formed to create a deep canal. Presently, there are many family destinations people love to visit including Motor Aquarium and Sarasota Sailing Squadron on the peninsula. A public park and restaurants round out the fun for families who visit the island. Be sure to check out some of the dining options.
South Lido Park
Luxury resorts are all around St. Armands and Lido Beach. Old Florida is within reach in this quieter destination. South Lido Park has a popular sandbar with picnic tables and places to rest. It is more peaceful than other parts of the island. Be sure to come ready for some relaxation and quiet.
Egmont Key State Park is a wildlife lover’s dream. The island is north of Anna Maria with careful attention paid to preserving natural and historic areas. Private boat is the only way to access this beautiful area of Sarasota. Bring a light lunch and binoculars to spot wildlife. Boating around Egmont is like being in a sanctuary. For those who love peace, quiet, and the serenity of nature, Egmont Key is the perfect spot.
Intracoastal & Sarasota Bay Boat Navigation Tips
The Intracoastal and Sarasota Bay waters are beautiful but can be dangerous if people aren’t careful. While there are many ways to enjoy the Bay, there are also challenges to look out for. Shoals, sandbars, and passes can cause trouble for any boater in any season. Ocean water, tides, and other nautical issues can arise anytime. Some tips to keep in mind when boating around the bay:
- Watch out for bad weather and Red Tide reports. High and low tides can be only 2 feet apart in difference of water depth. Shallow water changes a lot in boating
- Shallow water is always a concern here so be on the lookout. Brown water indicates shallow seagrass beds while white-tinted water means an underwater sandbar is near which are often more shallow than they look
- Look out for water depth as the area is very busy with boaters and others will be navigating the area too
- Manatees are endangered animals who hang out in the bay to feast on seagrass. Look for zones that require minimum wake speed (boat fully off plane and settled in the water with small wake if any and vessel traveling with bow slightly elevated) to avoid hitting them as they will not move out of the way of a boat
- Have distress numbers ready to dial for safety and emergency issues
- Have nautical charts, digital GPS devices, and information handy while in the water. Use the US Coast Guard app to stay out of trouble
- Hire captains and crews to navigate if unsure how to get around safely
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