Power Catamaran Charter out of South Florida


Well-Known Member
SILVER Sponsor
Jan 3, 2016
Upper Potomac River
Boat Info
2006 Sea Ray 48
Naught On Call
Cummins QSC-540s with V-Drives
11 KW Onan Genset
A few friends here in town are starting to talk about chartering (with a Captain) a power catamaran in the South Florida area. Nothing specific at all at this stage. Maybe a run from FTL to EYE or a there and back to the Bahamas.

With all of the experience on this board, I figured some folks may be able to provide some guidance. Any and all points of view are appreciated.

No time of year selected. Winter/Summer?
Duration: Probably a week
Destination: Key West? Bahamas, Abacos?

Thanks in advance,

... No time of year selected. Winter/Summer? Duration: Probably a week Destination: Key West? Bahamas said:
I like May-June the best for weather, especially if crossing. Less all-around hassle if you run South (west) instead of East. If just a week in the Bahamas, you'd have to keep it hooked up if you want to get to the Exumas (about the only place worth going to anymore). If it's a fish/dive kinda crowd, then Bahamas hands down.
Jay, not sure if your group has made any decisions yet but here are a few of my findings as I have been putting together a family trip for later this year.
I wouldn’t say FtL is great jumping off point for a charter to those areas you have listed, especially if you are wanting to hit the Bahamas. Mainly because crossing the FL straight is the key item of concern, and that weather window could hold you up on either side of the trip. Better to grab the quick flight over and pick up the charter there. From there you can cruise to mostly protected anchorages and marinas.

You can pick up a charter in Nassau and head down to the Exumas. Or for Abacos, right in Marsh Harbor.
Check out https://cruiseabaco.com if that interests you. I was communicating with Melissa there, who was very helpful and responsive, even though I ultimately will not be booking anything with them.

Also regarding time of year, Abaco islands’ businesses are mostly all closed down from mid-August into October. Although I hear Elbow remains open.
Similarly for Key West, after a scenic 4 hour drive down from FtL , there are charter options from Stock island. From there you can hop to a few different places right around Key West if partying is more your thing. Or if so inclined, you could cruise over to Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson. Also, this is year round with the exception of any named tropical system that could impact. I don't think a week would give you sufficient time to cruise from Lauderdale to Key West and back with stops, and be very relaxing. You would have to keep it moving with little down time.

Good luck with the planning.
Given the time limit you're thinking, I'm in agreement with Vince's recommendation. There's just not enough time to do any of the destinations you've mentioned in 1 week, unless you're moving almost every day and the weather is always on your side. Of course any trip depends on individual choices of the itinerary and activities.

To give you an example, I do Islands hopping when working my way to KW from FTL/MIA area. This usually takes close to a week to get there. I did make KW to FTL in one day, when running from approaching weather and didn't have time to sit it out for couple of days. But, it still made perfect sense to me, since we've done all the stops we wanted and just had to push it to get back.

The same applies to Bahamas, unless you're heading to Bimini for a long weekend. For anything more remote and exotic, you'll be burning too much fuel for very little ROI.
When we kept our boat on the east coast, we would routinely go from our marina in between Fort Lauderdale and Miami in a day. As Alex said above, it was a very hard long day.
Fly into Nassau and charter out of there to go to the Exumas. Island hop all the way down or plan your stops. Either way spectacular boating.

Check out the “Wandering Hill Billy” on YouTube he just did the Exuma’s on his Aquilla 54.

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