Boating in St. Petersburg FL

Boating in St. Petersburg, FL: Everything You Need to Know

Written by Boatsetter Team
February 24, 2022

St. Petersburg, Florida, is a beautiful place to explore and spend time outside. The best thing about this area is that visitors can rent a boat and enjoy the beautiful waterways surrounding the area. 

This area is truly a boaters’ paradise, offering many opportunities to explore the scenic backdrops of Tampa Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Boca Ciega, and the Intracoastal Waterway. Plus, the beautiful year-round weather makes boating possible 365 days a year in St. Petersburg.

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Boating Rules in St. Pete, Florida

To ensure everyone’s safety when boating in the waters surrounding St. Petersburg, it is imperative to know and understand all the boating rules and regulations for the state of Florida. First, there is no minimum age limit for operating a boat; however, those born on or after January 1, 1988, must complete an online boaters safety course. Plus, they must carry the verification with them when operating a boat.

 Though this certification is not required for those born before this date, it is always a good idea to take the course to ensure you are aware of all local boating results and regulations.

When boating, make sure to obey all waterway signs, including those regarding speed limits. A no-wake zone means to run the boat at idle speed to ensure you do not leave any wake or waves behind your boat. These zones are near marinas, close to marine animal preserves, and shallow waters.

It is also required that all boaters stay away from manatees and avoid seagrass areas. It is illegal to tamper with, hunt, kill, or engage with a manatee. Finally, obey all signs regarding wildlife sanctuaries and stay out of areas designed for wildlife.

Marinas in St. Petersburg, Florida

st pete marinas

The St. Pete Municipal Marina is located adjacent to St. Pete Pier, offering access to the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. This pier is a great place to dock your boat, get some gas, and visit the Waterfront District for shopping, dining, museums, and entertainment venues.

Other marinas throughout the Southwest Florida area serve St. Petersburg boaters, offering access to many boating services and amenities at yacht and beach clubs. Some local marinas are private, but many provide services to the public and visiting boaters. Popular marinas in the area include Bay Pines Marina, Bling Pass Marina, Safe Harbor Harborage Marina, Don’s Dock, Salt Creek Marina, Lighthouse Point Marina, and Maximo Marina.

Best Places to Anchor in St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg offers boaters access to many unique and beautiful locations to explore while spending the day out on the water. But, of course, there is nothing better than being surrounded by close friends and family and dropping the boat’s anchor for a day of fun in the sun. 

A popular place for anchoring is the John’s Pass Sand Bank in nearby Treasure Island. This location is popular among boaters looking to dip their toes in the sandbank, have a picnic, play some volleyball, relax on floatation devices, and meet new friends. This spot is perfect for the entire family, including your pets.

Another popular place to drop an anchor when boating in St. Petersburg is at Egmont Key. This island is one of the best places for city views and is only accessible by boat. In addition, the island is well-preserved and full of wildlife. So if you are looking for a unique adventure, Egmont Key is the place to visit when boating in the area.

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Fishing in St. Petersburg, Florida

Fishing is a popular activity many boaters in St. Petersburg look forward to enjoying it. The area offers offshore fishing and inland fishing opportunities, where boaters can catch an assortment of fish, including grouper and snapper. Anyone planning to go fishing in the St. Petersburg area must have a fishing license.

Fishing opportunities await closer inland with popular fishing spots near Anclote Key, Fort De Soto Park, Pinellas Point, and Safety Harbor. Additionally, fishing along mangrove shorelines and oyster bars provides opportunities for catching snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout. Even further inland, numerous creeks and bays offer many options to fish, especially within the Intracoastal Waterway.

Best Time of Year for Boating in St. Petersburg, Florida

As with many locations in Florida, boating is a year-round activity in St. Petersburg. The ideal time to go boating in St. Petersburg is from March through May. This time of year, the weather is comfortable but not too hot. And it is not as rainy as it is during the summer and fall months. Additionally, the waters during this time of year are calmer than the rest.

Ready to hit the water? With Boatsetter, you can rent local boats in St. Petersburg for every occasion. Rent pontoons, sailboats, fishing boats, yachts, and more!


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