Sailing in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean
By Alfred Lebeau
At the southern tip of Florida, a chain of islands 250 km long immersed in a turquoise sea. This is the Keys, bordered by the only living coral reef in the United States. The subtropical climate and the extraordinary beauty of the Atlantic have made this ecological destination of choice for sailors.
No need to bring your own boat, you can rent a sailboat when you come here, you can choose between four types of boat rentals: Renting a boat without a captain "Bareboat Charter" - The sea has no secrets for you and the crew is able to bring the boat back to port if you always cared for during the trip.
Rent a sailboat with a captain - you still miss practice and you prefer the presence of a captain on board to exercise the bowline. Sailing courses, you want to learn how to sail or want to expand your knowledge. Sailboat rental companies offer training courses for all levels, group, couple for a weekend or a week.
Cruising with captain and chef-You watch them hoist the sails and turn the pot while you take it easy. The Moorings offers cruises "cool" or luxury sailing boats from 50 to 76 feet. An excellent formula for those of you that want to sail and relax with family or friends.
The choice of boats
Keys are dotted with shoals and marinas do not welcome the very wide boats. Also, the draft of your boat must not exceed 4.5 to 5 feet and its greatest width "beam" 13.5 feet to 14 feet.
They prefer the mono hull yachts of 40, 42 and 43 feet long. They combine space, comfort and seaworthiness while being easily maneuverable in small marinas of the Keys. These boats are often better equipped than smaller boats. The catamarans are rarely invited in marinas.
The best time to navigation in the Florida keys or the Caribbean
Keys enjoy a subtropical climate. You can sail all year round, as with all seasons. Preferred times are March, April, May, late November and early December.
Moments of great tourist migration: Christmas and New Year
Risk periods of cold weather are end of December, January and February.
The months of hurricane season is hot , damp and full of mosquitoes: from June to November with a peak in July, August and September.
Good books to buy to give you an idea of the keys are Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys, Captain Frank Papy - Good basic information on places to visit, marinas, underwater activity. Listen
Nice vacation location in the Caribbean
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.