Boating in Naples, FL: Everything You Need to Know
Naples, Florida has hundreds of miles of inland waterways and coastal shorelines, providing boaters many opportunities to experience time out on the water.
The waters around Naples offer carefree opportunities to day cruise, snorkel, dive, swim, or boat. In addition, this area of Southwest Florida provides near-endless opportunities to enjoy nearby islands, sandbars and local beaches.
Can You Boat From Naples to Marco Island?
Several islands in the Naples area are perfect for enjoying the white sand beach—with Marco Island being one of the most popular. It offers many opportunities for shelling, camping, fishing, and picnicking. Island hopping is a popular activity for boaters in the area, and it is very possible to boat from Naples to Marco Island.
The boat ride to Marco Island is short and offers boaters opportunities to explore the most extensive developed land among Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands.
Marco Island is home to luxury resorts, beautiful beaches, natural parks, and breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding waters. A must-visit when going to Marco Island data-preserver-spaces=”true”> in Collier Seminole State Park, which is just a few miles from Marco Island, offering plenty of opportunities for fishing, boating, and long nature walks. Another must-visit on this island is Briggs Nature Center, with a half-mile boardwalk where visitors can observe the local wildlife in their natural habitats.
Boating Rules and Regulations in Naples
Before heading out on the waters around Naples, it is essential to understand boating rules and regulations for the state of Florida.
- First, a boating license is not necessary for Florida; however, those born on or after January 1, 1988, must complete a Boating Safety Education course if planning on operating any form of watercraft with a ten-horsepower engine or greater. Read How to Get a Boating License or Boater Safety Certificate to learn more.
- It is required that these individuals pass the course and carry their Boating Safety education ID Card with them when operating a boat. Though not required, it is highly recommended those born before Jan. 1, 1988 also complete the course so they have an understanding of Florida boating laws and safety procedures.
- Like with operating a motor vehicle, boating under the influence (BUI) is also against the law in Florida. Those with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher could be charged with BUI if caught boating while consuming alcohol.
When operating a boat in Naples waterways, it is imperative to follow all speed zones, especially those posted as “Idle Speed – No Wake.”
- It would be best to operate the watercraft at a speed that does not produce any waves behind the vessel in these areas.
- If the speed zone area is posted as “Slow Down – Minimum Wake,” the boat must not be on a full plane and settled flat on the water.
All boats must be fully equipped with necessary safety equipment, including United States Coast Guard-approved personal floatation devices, fire extinguishers, and fully operational lights and sirens. Remember, all children under the age of 6 must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II, or III personal floatation device when the boat is underway.
The only exception to this is when the boat is anchored or moored.
Finally, when boating, keep an eye out for manatees and seagrass. Manatees are protected by federal law, meaning it is illegal to hunt, harass, capture, or kill a manatee. It is also unlawful to disrupt a manatee’s natural behavior, so please observe all manatee protection zones.
Seagrass is the principal food for many marine herbivores, including manatees, and boaters must make all attempts to avoid running through seagrass beds. It is always best to obey posted natural sanctuary signs and keep boats safe (approximately 200 feet) from shorelines.
Best Places to Anchor around Naples
Naples is one of the best places to go island hopping by boat, offering opportunities to explore private sanctuaries, sunbathe on soft white sands, snorkel, and relax on the gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Some of the best places to drop your boat’s anchor are just off the shores of Keewaydin Island, Cape Romano, and Kice Island. However, those looking to anchor their boat with beautiful views of the Everglades National Park will want to head out to Indian Key.
Anchoring your boat at sunset is the perfect way to enjoy unobstructed panoramic views of the best sunsets in the state. Additionally, anchoring at night, away from civilization, provides a spectacular view of the stars and many opportunities for stargazing.
Fishing in Naples, FL
Fishing is a favorite pastime, especially when boating in the Gulf of Mexico. Saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities are available throughout the Naples area. Fishing Southwest Florida offers many opportunities to capture snook, snapper, kingfish, barracudas, and redfish.
Some of the best places for fishing include near the Naples Pier, along the Gordon River, and off the shores of Tigertail Beach, nestled on the northern end of Marco Island. Other popular places to go fishing in the area include Boca Grande Pass and anywhere surrounding the Ten Thousand Islands. Just make sure to watch out for pelicans because some locations close to shore are their favorite fishing spots too.
Don’t forget to get your fishing license before attempting to capture any fish in the waters surrounding Naples, Florida; It is required that anyone trying to catch fish have a fishing license or a saltwater fishing permit.
Whether you’re fishing or island hopping, Boatsetter has the perfect boat for any occasion when exploring the waters of Naples, FL.