Houseboats?

One of my bucket list things to do, is rent a houseboat for the month of May and take it to the Marquesas for a concentrated tarpon-on-fly fishing expedition. Years ago, Sunchaser had 55 ft. houseboats at what was once Murray Marine on Stock Island. One of those would have been perfect for the job. They said they slept up to 14 people, but I think 8 would be more comfortable. Needless to say, they are long gone and the company only operates from lakes these days.

I am just curious to know if there are other companies in the Keys that do the same thing. Maybe someone knows of someone who owns a houseboat and rents it out? I saw one of the ads on this Forum for houseboat rentals but they are in Key Largo and the boats are small. I'm looking for at least a modicum of luxury here, since it may be my last trip to the Keys....these days you just never know.

Anyway, then myself and a small group of invitees, would have this platform at our disposal for an entire month. No getting soaked on runs to the Marquesas, where it is still quite fishable during a blow....it's just that getting there becomes prohibitive. Not to mention the other kinds of fishing for permit, muttons and bonefish......plus snorkeling for other tasty delights from the sea. It should be a month to remember.

Just hoping someone might be able to help here and this is not for this coming May....next year at the earliest. Thanks.
.......Rick

Replies

  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Captain
    Hmmm... Good question. I'll ask around and see what I can find.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • BiohazzardBiohazzard Posts: 221 Officer
    There is a guy in a small three story building on Islamarada that rents large house boats. Double deckers as I recall. Almost rented the second floor appartment of his back when the wife and I were young pups. FYI he is a jerk.
  • BD27BD27 Posts: 1,179 Officer
    Permit Rat and anyone else that will read this.
    If you ever rent a houseboat ANYWHERE Please do yourself a favor and buy a few of those battery operated CO detectors. A few years back my entire family rented a house boat and everyone of us ended up in the hospital ! Thank God no one died , we had people on board from age 2-in their 60's. Carbon Monoxide almost **** out 3 entire generations of my family. We still have family members dealing with complications from the incedent. THIS IS NOT AN EASY POST FOR ME , PLEASE LISTEN TO WHAT I AM SAYING ! This has brought up some seriously bad memories for me and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I am not sugesting that you don't do the trip it sounds like a great idea , just please be carefull

    Bill
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,679 Moderator
    A month is a bit long but it may be possible to find a "mothership" for a week or so.
    Won't be a houseboat I think.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • BD27BD27 Posts: 1,179 Officer
    BD27 wrote: »
    Permit Rat and anyone else that will read this.
    If you ever rent a houseboat ANYWHERE Please do yourself a favor and buy a few of those battery operated CO detectors. A few years back my entire family rented a house boat and everyone of us ended up in the hospital ! Thank God no one died , we had people on board from age 2-in their 60's. Carbon Monoxide almost **** out 3 entire generations of my family. We still have family members dealing with complications from the incedent. THIS IS NOT AN EASY POST FOR ME , PLEASE LISTEN TO WHAT I AM SAYING ! This has brought up some seriously bad memories for me and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I am not sugesting that you don't do the trip it sounds like a great idea , just please be carefull

    Bill

    I want to add to this that 15 of us were taken to the hospital in 3 ambulances on day three of a week trip in the morning. It was on a freshwater lake and the boat ramp was just a mile or 2 away. There is little chance that we would have been able to make it back from the Marquesas
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Captain
    BD... Great advice! Won't be lost on me! :beer

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,679 Moderator
    Got TA Go wrote: »
    BD... Great advice! Won't be lost on me! :beer

    Rob

    Agreed . I've slept below deck on a few commercial boats in the keys with generators running. Never thought about it.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • DogDocDogDoc Posts: 686 Officer
    Got TA Go wrote: »
    BD... Great advice! Won't be lost on me! :beer

    Rob
    Thanks also, BD...Neighbors up here lost their son this summer at a hotel because of CO from leaking vent pipes...don't leave home without a CO detector.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Thanks Rob and others. BD, thanks also for the heads up. Certainly good info and it is very regretful that you had to learn the hard way. Thank God no one was killed.

    For me, I would never hire a boat that did not have screened windows. And if the breezes were real light, I'd take the boat outside (as opposed to inside Mooney Harbor) where we could be away from the bugs and then I would sleep outside under the stars. That has always been my thing on a boat....I hate cabins.

    Thanks also Louie. It really doesn't matter, as long as the boat is big enough and comfortable enough. A 40+ ft. trawler might do the trick. But I would want a bareboat arrangement. Hell, by now I would think I had the credentials to be able to charter one on my own in the Lower Keys. I've made just a few trips to the Marquesas in my day, even at night. :wink


    Anybody remember the ITT houseboat that used to moor off Riding Key in the backcountry? I was the lead guide for that operation, for the last two years that it was out there. Then ITT got a new president who went about "trimming the fat" from the corporation. I guess the houseboat was just that....an 85 ft. long hole in the water into which they were pouring too much money. Don and Marianne Nelson ran the operation and he and I and a few other guides, tried to take it over, but to no avail. THERE would have been THE mothership for Mooney Harbor!!!!!
    .......Rick
  • 91tiger91tiger Posts: 548 Officer
    I know you are wanting to do it on your own but Blue Moon Expeditions, bluemoonexpeditions.com runs mother boat operations in the Lower Keys/Marquesas and Everglades Park. They just sold the boat you see on their site and are going to a 60 something foot Buddy Davis. I know you don't need guiding so they do offer do it yourself self guided packages. You basically use their boat as a floating hotel with great food. They are super nice people and have outstanding service on the overnight trips. The food is fantastic. If you call Captain Johnston and tell him what you are interested in doing I'm sure he could quote you a price for whatever type of trip you would like. The only downside I see is that would obviously be a high demand time for him to run fully guided tarpon trips from the ship.
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