Florida Keys Cruising Houseboat Rentals
How does this all work?
Upon checkin, KeySea Houseboats will help you get all your provisions (food, water, drinks, bait, tackle, luggage, etc.) onboard and stowed away. There will be an orientation covering houseboat operation, boundaries and charts, favorite anchorages, weather, fueling, extra provisioning and general questions. After that, off you go on your houseboating adventure! At the end of each day out on beautiful Florida Bay, you'll return to Largo Sound/Pennekamp State Park Moorings and tie up at one of the reserved safe and worry free anchorages. At the end of your rental, you will call us from a predetermined spot and the captain will meet you on our private dock.
Can we drive the houseboat?
Yes! That's the idea! Being able to decide where you'll go and when you'll go makes it so great. You will need to have experience driving a boat to rent from us. You will be in charge of safe navigation, determining safe anchorages for the days depending on the winds and where you are, anchoring and chart reading. The waters you will be navigating are shallow and are typically 3-6 feet deep.
Where can we go?
Our KeySea Houseboat Rentals boundaries are Card Sound Bridge and Dosenberry Creek. There is a TON of water and mangrove islands to visit in these boundaries. Fishing and kayaking spots are plentiful.
How many can go?
The houseboat is set up for maximum comfort for four. There are two beds - one double bed and a fold out double futon in the living area.
What is the rental period?
The entire rental period is from 12noon on the first day to 12noon on the last day.Check-in time is 12noon on the day of departure. We want you to have enough time to get all your provisions onboard, go through the orientation and be ready to go! If you are running late, it's not a problem as long as you get underway no later than 4:00pm. This is the latest time to get to the mooring field before sunset and become familiar with your boat- there is no running the boat at night. On the last day, the houseboat will need to be back in the marina by 12noon.
What if we arrive too late on the departure day?
Like we said before, you must be off the dock by 4:00pm - meaning you have to be here no later than 2:00pm to get all provisions onboard and go through the entire orientation - if you don't make that time, we'll have to pospone until the next day. Depending on the time you arrive, we'll work together to get everything ready for an early departure the next day. The latest time for check-in is 6:00pm - you can stay onboard, at the marina, the first night, if need be. If you will be arriving later than that, a hotel will be needed for that first night.
Do we need to pay an Everglades entrance fee and take the Boater Education Course?
Yes! If you plan on crossing the Intercoastal Waterway in Blackwater Sound into Everglades waters, you are now required to pay a park entrance fee and take a quick online boaters course. The entrance fee is $30 per vessel and covers all the guests you have on the boat for seven days! If you already have a National Park Pass, bring it - that works! The boating course is free!
You can pay your entrance fee online, ahead of time at https://yourpassnow.com/ParkPass/park/ever.
You can take your Everglades Boat Education Course at https://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/boater-education-course.htm
Can we get provisions nearby?
Absolutely! There is a Publix grocery store about 1.5 miles away and a Winn-Dixie grocery store about 2 miles from the dock. There is also a Diver's Direct about 3 miles from the dock. You can get it all right here in Key Largo!
Can we plug things in?
You can charge basic items such as a cell phones but for longer charging needs you, you'll have to bring your own. We do not have the battery power for CPAP machines, underwater lights, fans, etc. If you plan on bringing something that must run for a length of time, you must bring your own battery power to run it.
What do we have to keep our food and drinks cold?
There is a small fridge available - just a bit bigger than a dorm room size - for some essentials. We will have a large marine cooler(s) available with ice for the bulk of your cold-items.
Is there freshwater onboard?
We do have a 110 gallon fresh water tank for your trip. This water is used for fast showers/rinses and washing dishes. While it is potable, we do recommend that you bring gallon/bottled drinking water for your trip.
What is already on the houseboat?
The houseboat will come equipped with:
Flat screen TV for DVDs - must run the generator, at sea, for this
Basic kitchen equipment
Dishes, glasses, cutlery
Garbage can with liners
Outdoor Propane BBQ Weber grill
State of the art touch screen GPS
All Coast Guard required safety equipment including life jackets, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher and flares
What should we bring?
Packing is easy! You don't need much! Key Largo has some pretty mild weather year-round - in the spring and summer, when it's a bit warmer - some shorts, tee-shirts and hats are recommended. In the fall and winter months, light long-sleeve shirts and long pants are useful - keep everything light. Because we are in the tropics, rain can develop (and pass) pretty quickly - a light raincoat would be useful. Be sure to check the weather for your vacation time! I must say - The sun can be very intense, year-round, no matter the temperature outside. We HIGHLY recommend sunscreen, sunglasses and hats all the time - it's no fun to be sunburned on vacation! As for everything else:
Camera and batteries
Cell Phone and Charger (we have both AC/DC power)
Bug Repellent (no open flames allowed, so leave the citronella candles at home)
Fishing gear (if doing more serious fishing beyond our basics)
A good book
Are there any fun items included?
Yep! There is a fishing double kayak that you can take with you. We will also include two adult masks & snorkels with adult adjustable fins for your use. There will be two fishing poles with basic fishing gear, as well.
Are there any places to rent kayaks and paddleboards?
Of course! We actually include a double kayak with the rental! It's free! We want you to have a great adventure and a kayak is a great way to explore the more hidden parts of our waters (or to kayak into a local watering hole.) As for paddleboards, it's easy to rent them from Florida Bay Outfitters, less than a mile from the docks, prior to departure.
How do I reserve?
Awesome! We are excited that you want to come and "Be the captain of your own adventure!" It's easy - please fill out the reservation request and we'll get right back to you or give us a call directly at 305.394.3096. There is a 50% deposit to hold your reservation. The remaining amount is due upon arrival and prior to departure. We accept cash, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. If you would like to pay by check, arrangements must be made ahead of time.
Can we bring any animals with us?
No, animals are not allowed on board for any reason.
Is a security deposit required?
Yes. Before departure, a $1000 security deposit will be required. This is a separate credit card charge and will cover any damages, replacements and fuel. Any damages will be deducted from this amount at the end of your rental. If any items are missing or broken, the replacement cost will be taken out of this amount. If there are any damages to the boat or rental equipment, it will be taken out of this amount. This deposit will be returned to you, minus fuel, within 3 business days.
What is the cancellation policy?
Less than 60 days ahead of departure time: 0% deposit refunded
If we are able to rebook your timeframe, you will receive a full refund minus a 10% cancellation fee.
All cancellations must be in writing.