Find Boat Rentals, Watersports & Marinas
The Upper Keys:
In Key Largo and Islamorada, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas has two exclusive locations, Mariners Resort Villas & Marina and the Historic Tavernier Inn
Each year, thousands of commercial, recreational and pleasure boaters visit the Florida Keys to fish, dive, snorkel and enjoy a wealth of activities on the water, including kayaking and paddle board sports.
Know Before You Go
The Florida Keys’ surrounding waters are protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, extending from south of Miami westward to encompass the Dry Tortugas, excluding Dry Tortugas National Park. FKNMS has spectacular and unique resources such as coral reefs, shipwrecks, seagrass beds and fisheries that are the source of commercial and recreational activities like diving, fishing and boating.
This page is designed to help provide visitor with simple, sea smart and safe boating and reef etiquette tips, as well as share informational resources to better acquaint first-time and repeat pleasure boaters with on-the-water guidelines and important features of protected Florida Keys waterways.
The Middle Keys:
In the Middle Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas has the Village at Hawks Cay Villas on Duck Key, Indigo Reef Resort Villas & Marina and the Coral Lagoon Resort Villas &
Tips for Fishermen & Boaters
(courtesy of Reef Relief)
- Practice good seamanship, and safe boating. Maintain a safe distance from other fishermen, and divers. Do not troll over or near divers. Stay at least 100 feet from a red and white diver down flag and watch for bubbles.
- Know and observe size and catch limits; release any fish you can’t eat. Florida law requires a fishing license. Applicable size, bag limits, and seasons must be observed when harvesting seafood. NOTE: Avoid throwing fish carcasses and wrung lobsters overboard or into canals, as they decompose and degrade water quality.
- Use reef mooring buoys if available. Otherwise, anchor in sandy areas away from coral and seagrasses so that anchor and chain do not drag or grate on nearby corals or tear-up seagrass beds.
- Accidental boat groundings damage the reef. Consult tide and navigational charts and steer clear of shallow areas (shallow, seagrass beds appear brown in color). Accidental boat groundings damage coral and seagrasses, and fines are imposed for such damage. Remember, “Brown, brown, run aground. Blue, blue, sail on through.”
- Avoid disturbing wildlife, harassing fish and invertebrates; it only makes them wary of people.
- Keep boating speeds and noise to a minimum, and avoid boat wakes near isolated mangroves. When in a diving area, slow down to an idle speed.
- It is illegal to dump trash at sea; plastic bags and other debris can injure or kill marine animals. Try to retrieve fishing gear and equipment, especially monofilament line. Bring your trash back to shore and recycle it.
- Camping, campfires, and collecting of any kind is prohibited on all National Wildlife Refuges. Personal watercraft and airboats are prohibited in all National Parks and Wildlife Refuges in the Florida Keys.
The Lower Keys:
In the Lower Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resorts & Marinas has the Coral Hammock Resort Villas and Kings Point Marina
Select “Monroe” county for Florida Keys public boat ramps
Right: Boat ramp at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Photo courtesy of Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation
Learn more about waterway speeds, vessel registrations, requirements for personal watercraft, updated information about boating safety, divers-down and marker systems.
Tips for Snowbirds & Annual Boaters During High Boating Season
1. Do annual maintenance. Make sure your maintenance is up to date. The manufacturer’s recommendation is to service the engine “at 100 hours or annually, whichever comes first” whether you do it yourself or take it to a dealer or service shop.
2. Inspect the water pump. If the pump has dried out or the impeller has disintegrated or is broken, the next time you run it may cause severe damage. It is recommended to start every (boating) season with a new one.
3. Check the fuel filter. If sitting unused for three months or longer, today’s ethanol-enhanced fuel can precipitate out water. Remove the filter and pour some fuel into a cup to inspect it. Remove any water from your tank and change the filter.
4. Top off the batteries. Use distilled water, not tap water. Sun and heat in the south can evaporate water in the batteries quickly. Clean and tighten all terminals. Start your engine and let it warm up to be sure it has a good charge before leaving the boat ramp or dock.
5. Maintain your trailer. Avoid a blowout from an under inflated tire, by checking the tire pressure. Re-grease the hubs or buddy bearings annually. Remember to put the drain plug back in before launching it on the water.
6. Inspect your life saving equipment. Inspect and/or replace any expired flares, fire extinguishers, damaged life jackets. Keep plenty of PFD’s on board, including extras for guests and sizes that can fit children.
7. Use sewage pump-out facility and biodegradable bilge cleaner and never discharge bilge water at the reef.
8. If you run aground; immediately turn the engine off, and tilt it up if possible. Do not try to motor off. Wait until high tide to remove the vessel. Call for assistance when necessary.
9. Before heading out, check weather conditions. Strong winds and rough seas can result in poor visibility and reduce safe interaction at the reef.
Visit our blog next Tuesday with updated experiences in the Florida Keys…