Boat rentals - duck key

Today is one of those days that seems like the world is conspiring against me. :banghead I'll save you the sob story, but a trip I've had planned for months to Duck key is now being impacted by boat repair delays. As it stands I'll now have to rent.

Does anyone have any recommendations for boat rentals in the Duck Key area? I am staying 3 nights at Hawk's Cay, and have rented dock space. I imagine I'll rent for Saturday and Sunday (possibly Monday as well). As this is a very unexpected additional cost, I am a bit price sensitive. But looking for something I can do some fairly basic fishing on with 4 adults and 1 4yr old child.

Based on the weather conditions which don't look all that great, Friday is already a wash, I'm not even sure if I'll get our front at all, or whether I should stick to the bay/gulf side.

Anyway, I'm leaving Friday morning, so I need to get this squared away fairly quickly. Any help would be hugely appreciated as I feel the weight of quite a few people's vacation entertainment on my shoulders.


  • SuperbowlsSuperbowls Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Tropical boat rentals in Marathon
  • TeamTekeTeamTeke Posts: 955 Officer
    Tropical is good. Also try Vacation Boat Rentals.
    Happiness is the journey, not the destination.
  • piner_wahoopiner_wahoo Posts: 3,325 Captain
    vacation boat rentals marathon
    CUSTOM CHARTERS u pick the boat- Capt.Harlan Trammell
    American Allegiance Charters -LOWER KEYS BACKCOUNTRY FISHING,LOBSTER dives, fish the 33' WORLDCAT w/ AOK+Allegiance!
    your boat or mine, my spots+my gear, your fish.
    checkout our new website-[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BiohazzardBiohazzard Posts: 221 Officer
    There use to be a Club Nautico rental outfit at Hawks Cay right at the marina but that was a thousand years ago.
    Worth checking I guess
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    I stayed in duck key a couple years ago and used vacation. They'll bring it to the dock for ya by water. One be mindful of, though.... You probably won't be hitting the water super early on day 1. Our guy was a bit late with boat, and then I received a half hour education course.

    They were pretty easy with and boat did.fine. Woefully underpowered, but I knew that going in. They also picked our boat up a day earlier than they had to and didn't charge us for it. Three days into vacation we had a cat 2 bearing down. They initially said that because evacuation had not been issued yet, that I was on the hook for the day leading up to impending and likely evac notice. I politely pointed out that we had a named.storm right off shore and as a result were blessed with sustained 40 mph winds... That we were packing in order to head N to take care of our boats etc. BUT.....if they thought that conditions were suitable.for boating I'd happily try to squeeze one in with their boat.

    They conceded. If I ever rent down there again I'd use em.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Piratelooksat40Piratelooksat40 Posts: 92 Deckhand
    Seabird Marina, is just right up the road about 5 miles. They have rentals.
  • NickNutNickNut Posts: 230 Deckhand
    Guys, thank you so much for all the referrals/suggestions. I ended up going with All Aboard Boat Rentals based on an avalanche of positive reviews online, and some very attractive rates, and I thought I'd write up my experience for the next guy...

    One of the things I did right off the bat was to head to the fuel dock nearby and top off the tank just to make sure that the tank was actually full. Most rentals do not have working fuel gauges, as was the case on the 22ft seachaser we picked up at their dock in Marathon (off coco plum). From my own research, the most frequent boat rental complaint I read about was reassessed gas charges that were exceptionally high (as a point of clarification, the complaints I read were for other businesses, not All Aboard, which was a major factor in my decision to use them). After $1.00's worth of gas, the tank was full, so we checked that potential hassle off the list. No worries there.

    The rod holders were strangely configured (and two were oddly thin/distorted and wouldn't have accepted the rod butts of our trolling set-up), and would have been a problem IF the seas in a state we could troll in. As it was, trolling was not going to be a comfortable option, and we stuck to the patch reefs and shallow water reefs for the weekend. It didn't end up being an issue for us, BUT it had the potential to be less than ideal.

    Everything else was great. The general attitudes of Cathy (the lady who processed the paperwork), and the guy who walked us through the boat were perfect. They got us on the water really quickly. They were ready for us at 7am whereas most of the other places were only open at 8. They also, very generously, gave me a 3-day daily rate for two days - saved us $50. The motor was brand spanking new (I think it had 70 hours on it or something), and as mentioned above woefully under-powered for the boat, which is to be expected in cheaper rental scenarios, and I wasn't expecting more. The seating as expected had taken some abuse, and some stitching had come undone - overall that was the only real cosmetic issues I saw, which to me were once again expected out of a cheaper rental. GPS/Chartplotter/Fishfinder combo (one unit) worked fine. Steering was smooth, throttle was smooth, prop was perfect. We brought all of our own equipment, but we were also supplied two gaffs (one small, one large) as well as a large igloo cooler, which was nice. The fuel dock (totally different business, no affiliation with All Aboard whatsoever) itself is WAAAAAAAY cheaper than our on-water options up here in Port Everglades, so we were really pleasantly surprised by that one - over $1.00 less per gallon. And since the dock is on the way out of the canal, there were no unnecessary detours/time wasters trying to find gas to fill up.

    One word of caution, the boat is due back at 5pm at the end of the rental, and the gas pumps are shut off at 5 as well. Don't be late or you'll have to return the boat without refueling, and there is a fee ($50??) for that. That said, if there is a line of customers, apparently the fuel station will stay open until the last customer is taken care of - due to the high winds, very few people were actually out and about, so we were the only ones at the dock at 5. After a 30 second review of the boat to make sure we hadn't completely effed it up, we were back on the road headed back to Hawk's Cay.

    Over all the rental experience was the most convenient and hassle free rentals of any kind I've ever had. I would HIGHLY recommend these guys. They really were great.

    I wish the fishing was better for us, but the weather really limited our options. That's fishing though.

    Thanks again for the suggestions guys.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    Good deal. I take it you didn't do any fueling at hawks cay. I made.that mistake one time thinking "how bad could it really be." I wantto say it was like 6.00 or more.

    Good call on fueling after pick up on day 1. I had never rented a.m.boat before our trip down there a.m.few years ago. Like most fuel gauges, ours was out. Day 1 turnedout to be one of our only slick days, so we loaded up and headed out for dolphin. I then realized I was out there under the assumption that they were honest about it being full upon delivery. Made me real nervous and as a result we headed in early and stayed closer than planned.

    We.also had messed up rod holders. Too funny.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
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