Friday, May 01, 2009

General Boat Rental Information

This is a list of most of the boat rental companies in Marathon. There are a couple I have missed that I need to visit to complete the list. Addresses change, but I have the list pretty current for now.

Last Update 24 Dec 2011

Marathon has a large selection of boat rental companies. They are all good businesses with good boats. All of them have long lists of satisfied customers and a short list of unhappy campers. Unless you are familiar with the local waters, I recommend a local guide so you don't end up on the short list.

Captain Pips Marina and Hideaway.

1410 Overseas Highway Marathon, Florida 33050
(305) 743-4403

18 to 24 foot center consoles most with four stroke Yamaha engines and full electronics. Several of the guest boats have Bimini tops that are a pain to fish around. They are fine if you need the shade, but tough to handle big fish. Fly guys like them because they can lay the Bimini down. For most fishing I recommend upgrading to a larger boat with a Tee top if you want to tangle with big fish. For more detailed information on the boats available at Captain Pips see this link.

Big advantages: Most of their fleet are Cape Horn boats that are built like brick outhouses, have large live wells, teetops good electronics and fuel efficient newer motors. Their weather policy is if there are small craft advisories, they want their boats at the dock. So you don't pay if the weather won't let you play. For most that is a good thing.

Vacation Boat Rentals

Located on the causeway to Key Colony Beach


20 to 29 foot center consoles with four stroke engines. Good selection of serious fishing boats. Some of their boat are just amazing fishing machines. All the bells and whistles with sizes over 26 foot for braving the stronger winds to catch fish. Range is not specified, they determine how confident they are in your ability to get the boat back in one piece. With a local guide you can normally do 25 miles or more given weather conditions. On your own, how big a check can you write?

Big advantage: They have big twin engine boats for offshore.

Maybe a Big Disadvantage: They have big twin engine boats for offshore.

To keep it an advantage, make sure you know how to handle a bigger high performance boat in the Keys.

Quality Boat Rentals

(305) 743-2895 or 1 (877) 743-2895

20 to 29 foot boats with full electronics powered by mostly four strokes with a couple Yamaha HPDI engines. Solid fishing boats with good live wells. Range is limited to 25 miles.

Quality has a new owner that is an outboard mechanic. That is a good thing!

Into the Blue Boat Rentals
50 Coco Plum Drive
Marathon, Florida 33050
(305) 289-0285 or (305) 587-3333 no website yet e-mail

Brand new to the boat rental business. Boats available 20 and 22 foot Triumphs with 150 four strokes available with tee tops out riggers and full electronics. These Triumph boats look like they will fish just fine. The deck design is definitely non-skid, but may be a challenge to clean.

I need to pop in to see how things are coming along. They are nice folks so I am pretty sure they are doing well.

Harbor Point Marine Boat Rentals

4681 Oversea Highway
Marathon, Florida 33050

Nice Makos and Seacraft to 32 feet. Everything is pretty new. Total electronics and four stroke engines. Their smaller boat may have a Bimini top but the real beef of their fleet is serious fishing machines. Larger boats require a local captain or guide to evaluate your performance. Not a bad thing because it is easy to turn a vacation sour with one brain fart. Allowable range can vary pending the captain's evaluation of your abilities. BTW, the captain or guide is included free of charge for first time customer. A smart move considering the high performance of their fleet.

Harbor Point is no longer in business.

Captain Hooks Boat Rentals

1 (800) 278-4665 right at the west side of Vaca Cut.

20 to 24 foot boats all have Bimini tops. Good for snorkeling or diving but a bit of a challenge fishing for bigger fish. They do have four stroke engines that will save you money and full electronics. Range is limited to really what the smart captain would limit them to. Nice folks with a lot of local knowledge to help make your vacation safe and fun.

Tropical Boat Rentals

(305) 481-7006

Located on Avenue A off Cocoplum Blvd.

Nice selection of 2008 and 2009 Sea Chaser boats by Carolina Skiff from 18 to 27 feet. All have four stroke engines and are fully rigged. Some have Bimini tops for shade lovers while most have tee tops. Tropical will deliver boats from Key Largo to Key West but is based in Marathon. The boats are very clean and well maintained.

For the high rollers, Tropical has added a few boat over thirty one with triples.

I am really emphasizing the higher fuel efficiency boats. My last dolphin trip on a twin engine 24 foot boat with Merc EFI's burnt 101 gallons. That is a pain in the wallet big time. The same trip on twenty two footer with a four stroke would have been less than fifty gallons. The twenty two footer fishes just fine compared to the 24 footer. It also costs less to rent. Bimini top boats are a big thing for people that need maximum shade. Also there are fly fishermen that like the openness with the Bimini removes or down. All of the above are rigged for what I consider Keys fishing, meaning versatile with large raw water live wells.

There are other boat rentals covered in related posts below. Fish 'n' Fun is one that has great boats but at the time of the post they didn't have raw water live wells. So if someone is not on my list that does not mean they have anything wrong, just that either I hadn't got around to checking them out or they may not meet my expectations for my style of fishing. As always, I will try to update things as often as I can. BTW, Fish 'N' Fun was scheduled to get a few new Parker boats with built in live wells. Any Marathon area boat rental company should feel free to add a comment if they have new boats or want to add any extra information.

Tight lines,

Captain Dallas


  1. Very nice article and good information thank you so much.............

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