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With the tight economy forcing American boaters to reconsider expensive trips abroad, the appeal of Florida yacht charters has increased dramatically in the past two years. Perhaps not on par with a Virgin Islands yacht charter, there are still plenty of points of interest while cruising along the South Florida coast, especially for charterers who also enjoy scuba diving.
While the Florida Keys may be known for their fishing and scuba diving locations, both Broward and Miami-Dade counties have some of the best spots to scuba dive in the nation. From natural reefs to sunken ships, it’s amazing what can be found off the shores of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Many of the reefs and wrecks can be found in 60 to 80 feet of water, making South Florida a great choice for both novice and advanced divers.
Here are some of our top picks:
First, Tugboat Jay Scutti (off Ft. Lauderdale)
Sunk in Sept. 1986, this 95 foot tug was seized by the government in a drug smuggling operation. It was bought at auction by a man who renamed it the “Jay Scutti,” after his son. The wreck lies in 70 feet of water and is centered between a 45 foot wreck named “Moonshot” and another named “Pride,” a 95 foot sailboat. All three wrecks are tethered together by a cable. Divers can usually explore two of the wrecks in one dive. Lots of fish inhabit the Jay Scutti, and it’s possible to enter the wreck through various openings.
Second, Hammerhead Reef (off Ft. Lauderdale)
Located just south of Port Everglades and running to the Dania Pier, this two and a half mile reef is famous for its sharks, rays, and large grouper. The front portion of the reef is in 60 feet of water, while the back side plunges to 80 feet. In some spots, the reef rises to nearly 20 feet. Tons of marine life call this reef home and make it a great spot for reef diving.
Third, Miami Beach Wreck Trek (off Miami Beach)
It’s pretty impressive how artificial reefs have been created by linking multiple wrecks together via a guide cable. The Miami Beach Wreck Trek is a shallow dive, about 50 to 60 feet of water. It begins with a pair of army tanks on the southern end. As they swim north, divers encounter several tons of limestone boulders and more wrecks like the “Rio Miami,” a 105 foot tug which sits upright in about 65 feet of water.
Fourth, also off the Miami Beach coast is a trio of sunken tug boats. The “Belzona Ona,” lies in 85 feet of water. About 75 feet away is the second tug, “Belzona Two,” in 60 feet of water. The deepest of the trio, “Belzona Three,” is a 100 foot tug at a depth of 85 feet.
Finally, not far away is the “Belcher Barge #27,” a 195 foot steel barge that was sunk in 1985. The barge flipped on its way to the bottom, but experienced divers can penetrate it and swim the ship’s entire length.
Please comment to let us know about your experiences diving these awesome Florida dive sites!
In addition to cruising in south Florida, Bahama yacht charters are great options for closer-to-home getaways. Contact our local charter guides for more details in Miami, the Florida Keys and nearby Bimini, Bahamas.
This entry was posted in Yacht Charter Educational and tagged Miami Beach Wreck Trek, Belcher Barge, Belcher Barge #27, SCUBA, dive sites in florida, Miami, Tugboat Jay Scutti, SCUBA diving, Hammerhead Reef, Ft. Lauderdale, The Belzona TrioPosted on
“For us, FLIBS represents the launch of the winter charter season,” says Jana Sheeder , President of SailAway Yacht Charters and 1-800 Yacht Charters. “This is our chance to introduce our clients to the winter season’s best options for Florida yacht charter vacations. Additionally, many of these yachts will consider relocating to the nearby islands to accept Bahamas yacht charter bookings.”
“If we see a ‘must have’ toy that we feel will enhance the charter experience for our clients, we’ll be the first to promote it to the charter yacht owners. There is truly something for everyone at FLIBS.”
This entry was posted in News Special Events and tagged FLIBS, Montigne, Miami yacht charter, superyacht charter, Watertoys, Sycara V, Jana Sheeder, executive getaway south florida, president of 1-800 Yacht Charters, #, Miami, yacht charter miami, Mi Sueno, Ft. Lauderdale International Boat ShowPosted on
Miami’s premier superyacht marina, Island Gardens Deep Harbour, is under new management. The “upgrade” in management, in our opinion, is long overdue.
The new name for the Miami Superyacht Marina is Yacht Haven Grande Miami at Island Gardens. The marina opened in 2016 and is the annual home of the SuperYacht Miami Show each February.
Island Global Yachting (also known as IGY Marinas) will operate the rebranded Miami marina. This destination offers 50 superyacht berths – for yachts up to a maximum length of 550ft. In-slip fueling is available. High-power electrical service is also available.
The marina is located on Watson Island. The island is ideally located between Miami Beach to the east and downtown Miami to the west. Indeed, the views of the Miami skyline are postcard-perfect. The proximity to trendy area hotspots is unbeatable. This deep-water marina is always our first choice for our Miami yacht charter clients. Nevertheless, the marina was less than ideal for the yacht crews as they awaited the arrival of our charter guests. Specifically, the marina lacked a captain and crew lounge. Furthermore, customs and immigration assistance was sketchy at best.
IGY has resolved these issues. There is now a crew lounge, as well as a conference room. Additionally, concierge services are available including valet and laundry/dry cleaning. On-site dining is also available. In fact, the newly re-opened dock-side café, aptly named, “The Deck” is described by Forbes as “Miami’s Hottest New Restaurant.”
We’re excited to take advantage of the new services and amenities. Apprehension gives way to anticipation, as we await the upcoming Superyacht Miami show (February 2021). We are unsure as to whether the show will go on or be well-attended in 2021. In specific, Covid, the pandemic, the Coronavirus changed the landscape of events. What’s exciting about the show? As an example, in the past, we transported prospective clients to the show via yacht tenders. The car parking lot was poorly maintained. We found it simpler, cleaner, more in tune with the theme, AND more fun to arrive via boat. Arrival by car is once again an option, with IGY concierge services in place.
Many of the Miami superyacht charter vessels we represent attend this yacht show. In fact, February weather is ideal for our company President Jana Sheeder to shoot yacht inspection videos of our favorite superyachts [such as Benetti yacht 11.11 and Lurssen yacht Martha Ann.]
We’re excited to welcome IGY Marinas to Miami. Moreover, we look forward to commencing more Miami superyacht charter vacations from this rebranded location.
In conclusion, book a superyacht with us for your own private luxury yacht charter vacation today! Contact your yacht charter brokers at 1-800 Yacht Charters at 305-720-7245. If you prefer, complete our online inquiry form at https://www.1800yachtcharters.com/book-now/ .
We will be in touch with you right away to plan The Superyacht Experience™ for you!
This entry was posted in Special Events Educational Yacht Charter News and tagged business rebranding, Superyacht Marina, superyacht concierge services, Covid and boat shows, Lurssen yacht charter, yacht charter miami, superyacht concierge marina, Will there be boat shows in miami due to Covid, 11-11, Miami Skyline, Covid-19, Covid, Jana Sheeder, South Beach, customs and immigration, Coronavirus, special events and covid, president of 1-800 Yacht Charters, motoryacht Martha Ann, downtown Miami, Superyacht Miami 2021, boat show, martha ann, sobe, Miami Beach, 1-800 Yacht Charter videos, Covid-19 pandemic, Miami Boat Show, Yacht Haven Grande, Forbes, yacht charter videos, Superyacht Miami Show, Island Gardens, Miami Florida, Benetti video, Watson Island, IGY Marinas, yacht show, superyacht video walkthrough, Benetti, The Deck, yacht walkthrough, Miami, Miami's Hottest New RestaurantPosted on
There is an old saying in football. When your team is on offense, “take what the defense gives you.” In other words, make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
No one understands that mentality more than our head honcho, Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters.
Every President’s Day weekend, #Jana rallies our team, and we invade the Miami Yacht Show. The show is held in Miami Beach, Florida. This year’s show runs from February 15 – 19, 2018.
The Miami Yacht Show is known predominately as a “sales” show. Few yacht charter brokers attend. They prefer to wait until the charter-only show season in late Spring. What they don’t realize, and Jana does, makes her a leader in the industry. Multiple charter yachts quietly list for sale. They attend shows like #Miami before entering the charter season.
Sheeder and her team use this opportunity to inspect yachts and interview crews privately. Competitors cannot try to eavesdrop on our conversations. They are not in attendance! Fewer distractions and interruptions enable us to spend quality time with the crews. Firstly, we discuss our past charters. Secondly, we plan fresh itineraries and activities for guests. We look for ways to deliver a unique #Superyacht Experience to our repeat and new clients.
Of course, having more time to see the yachts only matters if you can get to the yachts – a tall task when the superyachts are spread across Miami Beach in two locations – one in front of the classic hotels along Collins Avenue, and the other 4 miles to the south, at Jungle Island Deep Harbor Marina.
Anyone who has visited Miami Beach during the yacht show knows the roadways are snarled by heavy vehicle congestion. It can literally take an hour in traffic to travel just one mile along Collins Avenue, with drivers cruising slowly to gawk at and take photos of the hundreds of yachts docked just feet away from the roadway. Whether in a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or private car – it’s all the same: traffic, traffic, traffic…
Fortunately for us, Jana developed the ultimate solution to avoid gridlock – we zip around the marinas and pull up at the docks via boat! Professional, fun, and unique – wonder what she has up her sleeve for the future?
We use limousines and suv’s at every show to cater to clients. Cars and traffic do not mix.
For this year’s show, we used a Jupiter 31 center console model (after our Van Dutch 55 had mechanical problems). [Side bar: The Van Dutch is a stylish cruiser, and some of our superyacht clients had flown in to inspect several luxury yacht charter vessels with us. We thought they would be bummed not to cruise “in style” on the Van Dutch 55. Turns out they had a blast with Jana – roaring around Biscayne Bay in the fast Jupiter, and cruising up the Miami River for a dockside late lunch and sunset at the Casablanca Seafood Restaurant. A special bonus was the sighting of a manatee and dolphins! The Miami Magic…]
Some of our most popular charter yachts (and crews) came to town, including:
We also took the opportunity to inspect some brand new yachts for sale. Why would we look at yachts not currently in charter? Many buyers in the market for a brand new yacht will often buy a yacht, then enter it into the charter marketplace. If this is done after the boat show season, there may not be an opportunity to inspect the yacht for many months. We prefer to promote charter yachts that we have inspected, and while that’s not always the case, taking the time to look at popular, newly-built models increases the odds that we will see a new charter yacht before our competitors do. We’re always looking for ways to stay a step ahead!
Our favorite new model at this year’s show is the NAVETTA 33, from the custom series of yachts built by Italy’s Ferretti Yachts.
Ferretti has already sold ten hulls since the model was launched in 2017. After inspecting this yacht, it is easy to see why. The Navetta 33 Ferretti features a voluminous interior flooded with natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows. We walked through with one of our clients who has designed contemporary interiors for luxury suites in NBA arenas – and she was just as impressed!
So there you have it – another great yacht show for 1-800 Yacht Charters. Jana took our team (and our clients) on some of the most popular luxury yacht charter vessels found anywhere in the world. We also saw newly built yachts, and we’re anxious to see them enter the charter market.
Most importantly, we had the opportunity to spend quality time with our clients and share with them another aspect of our dedication to Delivering The Superyacht Experience…
This entry was posted in Yacht Charter Good Times Special Events and tagged special events, Bliss, Jana Sheeder, Quite Essential, newest yachts, Jupiter Center Console, president of 1-800 Yacht Charters, dockside dining, Miami Beach Boat Show, Van Dutch 55, Miami, Van Dutch, Double Down, manatee, Codecasa, dolphin, South Beach, Miami Yacht Show, 1-800 Yacht Charters, Ferretti Custom Line 33Posted on
“My husband and I are thinking about taking the family on a boating vacation. We plan to go to the Florida Keys late Spring/early Summer. I’m assuming it’s more affordable to rent a boat and run it ourselves. Do you agree?”
Pam K, Coral Gables, FL
What a great idea, Pam! Since you live in South Florida, a Florida yacht charter vacation in early summer is a great way to explore your “backyard.” As you know, most tourists have left the area by this time. Fewer crowds equates to quiet anchorages!
As a general rule, it IS more affordable to “DIY” (Do It Yourself) and drive your own bareboat. (A bareboat is a boat that you rent without a hired crew). Affordability, however, is not the only important concern.
Deciding if a Florida Keys #bareboat yacht charter or a crewed Florida yacht charter is your best bet depends upon three primary factors. First, Capability. Second, Responsibility. and Third, Budget.
When you rent a car, you are required to have a driver’s license. No license is required to rent a bareboat, however, you ARE required to demonstrate experience and competency. You initially submit a cruising qualifications resume. Finally, you made be deemed incapable of operating a bareboat, yourself. If so, you are required to retain a professional crew to operate your rental boat.
You are qualified to rent a boat without crew. Next you must decide if you want the responsibility of operating your own yacht. When you rent a bareboat, you do it all. For instance, safe navigation and reading maps, cooking, and cleaning. Some people love the hands-on experience. Of course, this is not for everybody. Some prefer to sit back, relax, and leave all chores and responsibilities to someone else. If this better describes you and your family, then a crewed yacht is the way to go. On a yacht charter with crew, they are fully-responsible for the operation of the yacht. In addition, cleaning/maintaining the yacht and preparing the meals for the guests are their duties.
Like most vacations, your desired budget will often dictate which option is best for you. IF you are capable and enjoy the responsibility of operating a boat on your own, a bareboat #yachtcharter will give you the best bang for your dollar. If you want and can afford more than a “bare bones” vacation, try this. It is one where you are served and #pampered the entire time. A a private luxury crewed yacht charter is the way to go for you.
A 47 foot bareboat power catamaran in #Miami, suitable for 8 passengers, can be rented in the late spring, early summer for under $10,000 per week. In addition, you need to factor in the local tax (about 7%) and mandatory damage insurance (estimated at $50 per day). Of course, don’t forget to consider the cost of food and beverages for your family for the week (or for however long you charter your bareboat).
A similar-sized crewed yacht, such as a 51 foot power catamaran, will cost approximately $21,000 per week, but this rate includes your meals, beverages, and a professional crew of 2. The only “unknown” expenditure is an optional gratuity for your crew.
Here’s the good news! Whichever type of chartering is right for you – with or without crew — there is surely a boat out there within your budget and in line with your qualifications, capabilities, and desires. Let’s go #boating!!!
This entry was posted in Frequently Asked Questions Yacht Charter Destinations News and tagged Best Price Guarantee, 1-800 Bareboat, capability, responsibility, cruising resume, sailboat charter, budget, do i have to know how to sail, crewed yacht charter, can i rent a bareboat without license, Miami, is there a bareboat license, bareboat, what if i don't know how to sail, yachtcharter, pampered, boating, bareboat yacht charter, 1-800 Yacht Charters, self-drivePosted on