The Floridian sun sparkles off rolling waves, reflecting dancing patterns of light onto the white-and-red hull of Aquaworld Miami’s excursion vessel, the Caribbean Spirit . The double-masted catamaran catches the gulf’s gusty winds in its twin sails to journey to a shallow sandbar for a day of watersports, offloading jet skis, banana boats, and a parasailing-equipped speed boat into the knee-deep water. On Atlantic Ocean excursions, the 78-foot vessel parks over a shallow water shipwreck for guests equipped with snorkels to explore. The rhythmic thump of the waves combines with Calypso music that constantly drifts from the boat’s speakers, offering the only method of sonar capable of identifying an undersea dance party.
Back in 1955, Bayside Marketplace was abuzz with fishermen selling the day’s catch to people eager to bring home a fresh dinner to their families. Today, the waterside marketplace still bustles with shoppers, but now both tourists and locals bob in and out of retail shops and restaurants, and stop mid-step to catch street performers in action. It’s in this lively epicenter—which reminds many of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf—that Boat Rental Miami calls home. Here, rental offices try to bring a bit of the past into the future through fishing trips and leisurely bouts at sea.
New and veteran boaters alike can visit the market’s Pier 5 and board a wide range of vessels to experience the Atlantic Ocean or Biscayne Bay. Boat Rental Miami outfits boaters with sports boards with extended swim platforms, kraken deterrent, and wakeboard storage for fishing vessels with extra-quiet four-stroke motors. Frequent boaters can sign up for one of the club’s membership programs and receive regular discounts on rentals, while novices can try their hand at steering during Saturday boating classes.
Buddy closes his eyes as he sits on the deck of Buddy's Dream, letting the ocean breeze run through his gold hair as his tongue flaps in the wind. Ernie, owner of South Beach Boat Rentals, appointed his golden retriever as the company's mascot, naming all of his boats after the pooch instead of using impersonal numbers or the names of favorite Congressmen. After retiring from directing films in New York, Ernie decided to move to Miami, where he fell in love with boating, which helped him forget day-to-day concerns as he skimmed over the water.
Ernie's fleet of rental boats includes powerboats and luxury yachts, such as a 25-foot Azure Luxury 250 horsepower bow rider or an 18-foot Sea Ray sports boat, which renters can pilot themselves with a valid driver's license and boating experience. Ernie also leads private tours, including the historical Stilts Ville tour or the popular two-hour Miami Waters tour, which zooms past the homes of celebrities such as Gloria Estefan and Shaquille O'Neal while giving stunning views of the Miami skyline.
Manned by a U.S. Coast Guard–certified crew, a Thriller SuperCat 55 power catamaran safely whisks patrons away on Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures' 45-minute voyages that trek all the way into the Atlantic Ocean. After shipping out from Bayside Marketplace, captains navigate the vessel through Biscayne Bay, South Beach, and the Miami Gold Coast, granting guests sweeping views of Fisher Island, Miami Beach, South Beach's Art Deco district, and the towering Miami skyline. Conversant guides narrate each excursion, pinpointing sites of historical interest as they pass by and helping visitors identify multimillion-dollar dwellings owned by celebrities such as Shaquille O'Neal, Gloria Estefan, and Count Chocula.
SailLaser Miami adheres sea-legs to the terrain-based with sailing lessons and sailboat rentals. For beginner sailors, a two-hour, one-on-one sailing lesson with one of SailLaser's certified U.S. Sailing Level 1 instructors will provide the opportunity to hone your skills in a short period of time. Instructors will personalize lessons to students' skills in order to make each lesson as effective as possible. Learn basic navigational techniques, what a jib is and how to determine if you like its cut or not, and which sea-shanties are most effective for warding off telemarketer mermaids.
Not content to make only customers happy, the staff of luxury yacht service The Advantaged have been lauded by a flurry of publications and honored for their contributions to the community by The Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners. Aside from chartering lushly appointed yachts, the pals of Poseidon also launch watersports expeditions via wakeboard or kayak, loft voyagers on air-and-sea excursions, and throw yacht parties for travelers who want a taste of luxury or barge parties for multimillionaires thirsting for the stowaway experience.