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Boat Rentals?

So this may just be a pipe dream, but a few buddies and I are wanting to do a guy's fishing trip and take a boat from the east coast over to the Bahamas. We all live over in Clearwater and none of us have boats, we just belong to boat clubs over here. I've been trying to look online and the only things I can find are mega companies with either giant yachts with a skipper included for insane amounts of money, or halfday boat rentals that they obviously wouldn't allow us to make the week long trip we're looking for. Are there any places on that side of the state that do week long rentals for the sort of thing we'd need? I'd say we're looking for something probably in the 30' range, definitely doesn't have to be new or fancy, just needs to run. Or possibly companies that connect private individuals with each other to rent? Or failing all of that, any captains out there that want to make a week long run to the bahamas and we'll pay all the expenses? Apologies if this post doesn't belong here. Thanks in advance for any help!


  • Aquaholic IVAquaholic IV Posts: 1,036 Officer
    Your last option is the most reasonable, there are many Captains with boats that charter Bahamas trips.  As far as rentals, no one would ever let you rent a boat to go to the Bahamas and further, If you have never done it, probably a good idea not to the first time.  There are restrictions on check in once you arrive, limits on fish taken and a special manner that you can bring fish back across.  Must check in with customs when you arrive back.  "A boat that just runs" is not what you want making a crossing, I wouldn't do it without twin engines and knowing the boat, fuel consumption and dependability.  Depending on your insurance, most do not cover out of the country and most don't cover towing from the Bahamas.  It is a well known fact that lower units and entire engines are a sought after commodity in the Bahamas.  I apologize for really sounding negative but hopefully my rant will discourage what could be a dangerous and costly adventure that you would regret.  If you send me a PM, I will give you a few names of Captains that might do it.  You will also need lodging once in the Bahamas and secure boat storage.  I would also consider a flight to the Bahamas and chartering a boat there but I understand that takes some of the adventure out of the picture.
  • CasualFishermanCasualFisherman ClearwaterPosts: 5 Deckhand
    No worries on the negativity, all feedback is appreciated. Working up a PM right now. Thanks!
  • brianbbrianb Posts: 2,502 Captain
    Recommend you fly over and do some charters.  Honestly does not sound like you guys know what you're doing and the BS is not some magical place where you automatically catch fish.  I recommend Spooners Lodge, Andros run by Carolina Gentleman. You'll enjoy yourself MUCH more. 
  • CasualFishermanCasualFisherman ClearwaterPosts: 5 Deckhand
    Yeah, I mentioned in my PM to aquaholic that I reread the post and it came across pretty green, but we do know what we're doing. I've captained multi day trips out to the middle grounds anywhere between 80-100 miles out on more than a few occasions, and the other guys on the boat have similar amounts of experience. We don't own boats now, but we all have in the past, so we do know what we're getting into. The only thing we aren't familiar with is dealing with customs coming and going. We have researched hotels with dock slips over there. We're planning on making the run over day one and then just taking day trips out from the hotel every day. 
  • brianbbrianb Posts: 2,502 Captain
    Then you should know enough to know that any rental boat, taking a HUGE leap of faith that you can find one, I'm sure you can't, will be adequately maintained to be safe there and back, the electronics will be crap and you all still have no idea where fish are.  Fly over, book 2-3 charters, hit the casino, have fun, anything else seems like a much worse idea to me.  
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