Boating in Miami Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Boating in Miami is a popular activity experienced by many who visit one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. Miami attracts boaters worldwide who seek to relax on the beach, explore local islands, fish and dine at fantastic waterfront restaurants. Before renting your boat in Miami, here is a boating guide with everything you need to know to make your experience the best possible.
Best places to anchor in Miami
Miami is surrounded by many locations to drop the boat’s anchor and enjoy the beautiful weather and breathtaking ocean views. One popular place to anchor a boat is Nixon Sandbar. When the tide is low, this is one of the most picturesque places in South Florida to enjoy.
The waters surrounding Nixon Sandbar are crystal clear, and the sandbar is the perfect place to hop off the boat and let the kids run around while you sit back and relax. This location is also a popular nightspot for boaters to gather. Another famous sandbar to anchor in Miami is the Haulover Sandbar.
The uninhabited Monument Island is another beautiful place to anchor when boating in the Miami area. This island is a fun place to visit and provides many opportunities to explore, plus the 110-foot-high obelisk containing allegorical sculptures at the base is a sight to see. This island was created in the memory of Henry Flagler and is a great place to anchor, stretch the legs, and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Marinas in Miami
Marinas in Miami offer places for boaters to dock, refuel, and pick up supplies. One popular place to dock is at Crandon Park Beach. This full-service marina is located next to the coastline of Crandon Park.
The City of Miami manages and operates several marinas serving local and visiting boaters, offering wet slips, moorings, fuel, and access to nearby grocery stores, restaurants, and other unique shops. Dinner Key Marina and Mooring Facility is located in the Coconut Grove area of Miami.
Those wanting to dock at a marina close to the Downtown Miami area will find the Miamarina the perfect place to dock their boat. Finally, Marine Stadium Marina Dry Rack Facility offers boaters world-class marina service within walking distance of many restaurants.
In addition to the marinas managed and operated by the City of Miami, several other marinas are serving the area. These marinas include both private and public access to local amenities, yacht clubs, and more.
Popular local marinas include the Miami Yacht and Engine Works, Austral International Marina, Best Western On the Bay and Marina, Bijan’s Seafood Restaurant, Dinner Key Marina, and Grove Harbor Marina.
Additional marinas include Hurricane Cove Marina, La Coloma Marina, North Beach Marina, and Palm Bay Club Marina.
Best Places to Fish in Miami
A popular activity many enjoy when boating in Miami is fishing. The area has many prime locations perfect for fishing. One of Miami’s most popular places to fish, especially those looking to capture Tarpon, is Biscayne Bay. This area has several shallow flats, cuts, channels, and mangroves, which are home to several fish species, including Silver King, bonefish, and snook.
The O. L Bodenhamer Wreck is one of the hundreds of wrecks and reefs in Miami and is home to many fish. The area is large, so there is little chance of fighting for a fishing spot. Additionally, the Gulf Stream is a warm-water highway off the shores of Miami, providing many fishing opportunities for boaters.
Finally, don’t forget to try the waters just off the Miami Airport area, where several fish gather, providing another prime fishing spot.
Fishing in Miami may require a license. If fishing with a charter company, no license is needed. However, if you are fishing from your boat or a rental, you must obtain a Florida fishing license.
Best Time of Year for Boating in Miami
Miami is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. This area has mild temperatures all year long. The summer months (June through August) provide warmer weather but are the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, leading to rough waters and heavy rains.
There are fewer crowds on Miami waters at the peak of hurricane season (September through November), but there is a greater risk of poor weather and water conditions.
December through February are extremely busy in the area, increasing travel prices and making the waterways overcrowded. Finally, the months of March through May are still busy, but the weather is at its finest this time of year.
Boating Rules in Miami
There are specific rules associated with boating in Miami. However, there is no minimum age requirement to operate a boat. However, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, must pass an approved boater safety course if planning to use a vessel powered by ten horsepower or more. The certification for the boater safety course must be carried when operating a boat.
Other boating rules in Miami include:
- Following all speed zones, especially when posted as “Idle Speed – No Wake.”
- Not operating the vessel when impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
- Obey manatee protection zone areas and remember it is illegal to harass, capture, hunt, or kill any marine mammal.
- Avoid running through seagrass beds.
Boating Safety in Miami
As mentioned above, those born on or after January 1, 1988, must take a boater safety course. It is essential to be aware of this requirement, and anyone regardless of age can take the safety course to learn more about boating safety. Additional boating safety tips include:
- Wearing a United States Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device.
- Have a fire extinguisher onboard.
- Check all boat lights.
- Avoid operating the boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Watch the weather.
- Do not fool around or drive recklessly.
- Develop a float plan and let others know where you will be boating.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.