Bareboat this classic trawler or hire a captain and cruise the Southwest Florida coast from Clearwater to Key West.
Rates as low as $6000 per week (4 day minimum) Hired captain is available for all or part of your cruise on Island Girl. Sit back, relax and let the captain deal with staying in the ICW channel or just get a local knowledge/refresher for a day or two. Trust us, the cost of a captain is well worth it.
Rates for bareboat: $1000 per day bareboat (plus cost of check-out ride or day(s) of training with captain; 4 day minimum). Longer charters are preferred and receive a discount.
Island Girl is essentially a three bedroom, three bath apartment with four AC units, full galley, salon and a deck (flybridge). She provides a solid and stable platform, if slow, to totally immerse yourself in life on the water. Fuel is your responsibility but she sips at 8 knots/hour = 4/gals/hour. At 10 knots = 13/gals/hour. Going slow is the way to go!
Some folks just move from marina to marina and enjoy the islands that way. Day trips (with a captain only) to Picnic Island or Fort Myers Beach are a lot of fun. For the experienced and confident captains spending nights on the hook are a wonderful way to unwind. Let the sun and the tides become your timepiece. For the even more intrepid with the right weather (light east wind), you can anchor off the Gulf coast, sit on the flybridge and watch a sunset for what seems like hours. Probably want to set both anchors just to feel totally confident in your tie to the bottom. You'll be amazed at that the depth is just 20 feet a mile offshore.
The range of your adventure is limited by her speed, insurance and potential liability. Most first timers are content with the Sanibel, Captiva, Cabbage Key, Useppa, Boca Grande and Cayo Costa options. Imagine having the deserted beach at North Captiva Island all to yourself. Just anchor off the beach and take the dinghy in. Naples, Marco Island and Cape Romano are just a day's cruise away. Anchoring at Panther Key in the 10,000 Islands is another option.
Key West, while a romantic idea, is a 400 mile round trip and a 14-day minimum charter. We don't want you bringing Island Girl back home with her tongue hanging out! Plus having a deadlines with a boat on the ocean is a recipe for disaster. The Bahamas are even more of a commitment. A charter to the Bahamas is a thirty day minimum. You've got to wait for weather windows and it takes three days just to get around to Lauderdale or West Palm to await a Gulf Stream crossing weather window. We are not saying it is not possible, it just takes a lot planning.
Qualifying for bareboat is part of the process, so please provide boating resume, licensure, etc. that would make you feel comfortable giving control of your 30-ton, twin engine vessel to someone you just met. A licensed captain will vet you via phone and upon-arrival interviews and 2-hour check-out ride. If you are deemed skilled enough to handle Island Girl, you are off on your adventure. If not, you can hire a captain for a day or two of training or the entire trip, whatever makes us both feel comfortable.