The Miami boat show
is on, the Dania flea market is upcoming, and it is "high season" with high rates for all the tourists as well. Anything near the water
is going to be sky high, anything further inland is going to mean the lovely local gridlock and commutes.
I can't believe $78/day for a rental car, did you check with Alamo and Enterprise??
Crew houses? You mean, there are special hostels for boat crews down here? (Actually in FLL with family
for a short while myself, but I'm on the couch, can't offer it to you.)
For high season, $140/night is actually not out of line. There was a piece in the Miami
Herald about homeless and housing last week, something about one of the $79/night hotels being the cheapest thing in town, and of course they're all booked up all year.
Don't suppose you could stay ON the cat while you're closing on it? Or buy a roomy tent and camp out in the glades, in a real camping site?