Florida is a world-class vacation destination. You can find everything from famous family-friendly theme parks to deep sea fishing and relaxing beaches. However, did you know that the state is also one of the premier destinations in the United States for boating? Within the borders of the Sunshine State, you'll find some of the finest marinas, diving areas, supply stores, restaurants, and hotels you'll ever experience. Snorkeling in the reefs, sailing, and fishing for fresh and saltwater game are just a few of the activities available to you in the boating lifestyle of the state.
Check out the five destinations below that are favored by locals and tourists alike, and experience some of the best boating that Florida has to offer. Whether you're looking for a big party or a quiet, secluded cruise, you'll find it in Florida.
Anna Maria Island, Florida
Located south of Clearwater, Anna Maria Island is a good choice if you want a small town feel. Despite the seven miles of white sand beaches and blue water, tourists don't overwhelm the little town. Drift along, enjoying the Gulf Coast and let your worries float away when you have nowhere to be and no need to watch the clock.
You may think of Miami as a hot party spot, but it's also a wonderful place for boating. You'll find nine marinas in the city, including the Miami Beach Marina, which has an impressive capacity and a reputation for excellent service. Fishing enthusiasts can search for marlin and amberjack, while scuba divers and snorkelers can explore the coral reefs. This is also a convenient place from which to launch if you're headed out to the Bahamas.
Tampa Bay & St. Petersburg, Florida
If you prefer calmer waters of the bays and rivers, the Tampa/St. Petersburg area may be for you. History buffs can spend hours exploring the army fort from the 19th century at Egmont Key. For an added bonus, cruise out past the white sand beaches and take advantage of the docks at Caladesi Island state park. The restaurants and other amenities in this area cater to boaters as well, so you'll find capable service staff who can help you with whatever you need.
Pensacola Bay, Florida
For those who prefer the snap of the sails to the roar of an engine, sailing a boat in Florida on the Pensacola Bay area holds the promise of adventure. If you're new to sailing, you can even get lessons from the sailing academy here. Rent a kayak and paddle your way through all that Mother Nature has to show you, or if speed is more your style, try out a jet ski or motor boat. When it's time to take a break from the water, you'll find amazing food and golfing ashore.
The Florida Keys
Spanning 160 miles and 800 islands, the Florida Keys are a mecca for boaters. The weather is pleasant year-round, thanks to a warm climate. If you don't have your own watercraft, you can rent one, along with all the equipment you need from one of many rental businesses. Almost 300 square miles of ocean awaits you, filled with fish, beaches, and some of the most beautiful sunsets that Florida has to offer.
Plan Your Florida Boat Trip
No matter where you plan to start your adventure in Florida, remember that anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, must pass an approved boater safety course to operate a boat with ten horsepower or more. You'll want to take care of that before you hit the water. If you're from outside Florida and you completed your course in another state, bring proof of that with you. You may also need a fishing license if you plan to do that in Florida waters. Once you have those things taken care of, pack your fishing and scuba gear, and head to Nautical Ventures to find your dream craft today!
For some, fishing is the ideal sport for both adventure and relaxation. Regardless of how you choose to spend your fishing time, being out on the water can be a rewarding experience. Some individuals enjoy the adventure and physicality of kayak fishing, while others prefer the comfort and space of boat fishing. Inexperienced fishermen can give it a try and learn from an expert by taking an excursion with a professional or renting a boat or kayak.
There are some key differences between kayak fishing and boat fishing, so it is important to learn more about the two to better determine which one is a better fit for you. Or, you may find that you enjoy both.
It's no secret that fishing from a boat will provide you with things that a kayak may not. For example, when fishing from a boat, you have:
In contrast, kayak fishing involves the challenge of packing efficiently for the trip since every item you add will add weight and reduce the available space for your personal movement. Some fishermen love this challenge and enjoy the idea of being minimalistic and efficient as a form of sport, especially since kayaks allow access to areas boats cannot easily travel to. Kayak fishing is also a rapidly growing sport with tournaments held all around Florida each year. Many people are able to catch fish that some are not able to do on a boat.
Depending on the type of fishing experience you want to accomplish, kayaks and boats give you different types of access and adventure. One significant difference of kayak fishing is a kayak's ability to maneuver into shallow water and inlets, allowing one to explore more remote destinations. Smaller inlet fishing can be a truly enjoyable experience due to less fishing traffic. You can also launch a kayak from nearly any shoreline access location, whereas a boat requires a proper ramp to ensure safety. A boat however can also allow access to your favorite fishing location in a short amount of time in comparison to a kayak, since it can quickly cover a large expanse of water.
The good news is that at Nautical Ventures, you don’t have to choose one or the other. Our store has a variety of boats, kayaks and even SUPs that you can choose from. Many times, boat owners buy both and have a kayak or SUP onboard. This makes it so that you don't have to commit to one spot for your excursion because you can easily move to another location where the fish are biting.
Another factor to consider when deciding between a boat and a kayak is the overall cost. The cost to purchase and maintain a boat will, in general, be more than a kayak. For some individuals, the benefits to boat ownership outweigh the costs, since a boating lifestyle is one that many aspire to create. When factoring in the total cost of boat ownership, a variety of considerations should be examined.
Kayaks, although a less expensive option, still can in many cases reach 5-digit numbers. Depending on the type of fishing you do, and the amount of gear and electronics you want installed, the outfitting of a kayak can get expensive. This has been a very popular activity amongst the anglers in tournament fishing because they customize their kayaks to best fit their needs while they are out in rough waters.
Whether you are a beginner or advanced fisherman, you can start living your dream of owning your own fishing vehicle. Whether you are looking for a new fishing boat or are searching for a kayak for sale, check out the online inventory available from Nautical Ventures and schedule your boat or kayak service should you want to customize it.
With a rich history and unparalleled design, it’s no secret why people all around the world love Glastron. What other boat on the market has such an appealing American story and innovative design without compromising on safety? The Glaston “sweep spear” alone is the most well-known icon in the boating industry and is the equivalent to the Nike “swoosh.” For over 50 years, Glaston has been making milestones
Fishing has been practiced throughout the world for tens of thousands of years. Though it was once used primarily for survival and basic provision, fishing has since become a beloved pastime enjoyed by millions of Americans every year. Today, fishing is a sport, an art, a hobby, and a resource. Fishing offers the opportunity for peaceful time to yourself or a unique bonding experience with someone you care about.
Glastron boat specs are impressive, but they hardly do justice to the look and feel you get from Glastron boats. These vessels are great for fishing, watersports, or just cruising around. Style, comfort, and performance combine to create a boat with a long list of benefits.
When you’re looking for gift ideas for the special man in your life, look no further than then the best boat accessories for sale. It’s always easy to find new gifts for boaters if you know where to look. To help you with your search, check out our list of holiday gift ideas for him.
Few things compare with the sense of freedom and exhilaration that comes with owning your own boat. Whether you’re zipping across the breakers at full throttle, out for a wild ski adventure with the family, or floating about on serene waters that seem to be made of glass, a boat unlocks the world of water just for you. Owning a boat is about liberation and control, at once realizing themselves in your life. With your new boat, you’re able to explore and command new regions, conquer new hobbies, bring home new trophies, and perhaps most importantly, you can step away from it all. If only for a few moments at a time.
Modern boating technology is evolving, and people are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of a carbon fiber boat. If you’re wondering why to buy a carbon fiber boat, read about the benefits of carbon fiber over fiberglass. The key advantages of carbon fiber boats are in four main areas.
Have you just purchased your boat and have questions on what accessories are essential to fun on the water? Our Nautical Ventures boating team has put together their Top 5 ‘Must Have’ Boating Accessories for your consideration. This list does not include a Coast Guard Kit which is required for everyone’s safety. This Coast Guard Kit includes: 1 Approved Type 1 PDF or Personal Floatation Device per person, an approved sound producing device, visual distress signals such as flares, a first aide kit and a VHF radio.
Does the thought of rough seas turn you green in the gills and keep you onshore? Technology typically reserved for mega yachts, the Seakeeper is a revolutionary product designed for boats as small as 30 feet, and can eliminate up to 95% of boat roll, reducing the effects of seasickness. The Seakeeper is a lightweight gyroscope and is available in most new builds or can be retrofitted onto your current vessel.
Blackfin 212 CC Boat – Fishing Forward, Family Friendly.
Blackfin Boats is a 35-year old fishing boat icon whose world-renowned heritage earned them an early day reputation, “Overbuilt by any standard except the seas.” Blackfin’s reimagined, legendary boats are built to be both solid and fast, for the most versatile experience possible. Their starting model, the 212 Center Console, is built on the same principals as its bigger brothers.
Designed by master European craftsman, the DutchTender 26-foot boat exudes modern European design. For example, they incorporate an Axe Bow design adapted from their SuperYacht counterpart’s native to the Netherlands. This proven design provides a smooth re-entry in rough waters, along with a comfortable, dry ride. Deep gunwales add to the safety and enjoyment of the boat.
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