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Old 22-12-2008, 07:23   #1
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Florida Keys - Renting Hobie Cats / Dinghies

My wife and I will be spending 3-4 days in the Keys in March, and I was looking for a hotel with beach cats, or a sailing center where we can rent either a cat or a 12-16' dinghy for 1/2 day or day at a time. Preferably somewhere near one of the marine sanctuaries so we can enjoy the wilderness.

We probably will not be able to make it past Marathon, most likely end up in either Key Largo or Islamorada.

Thanks!
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Old 22-12-2008, 07:43   #2
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My wife and I rented a Hobie at the Westin resort in the Keys. It's been a few years, so I can't recall which island it was on.

The boat was in good condition, except for a problem with the mast. After sailing with my wife for a while, I went out to single-hand. I was moving along on one hull in a mild breeze when the mast parted company with the boat at it's base. I secured the mast to the boat (horizontally) and tried without success to attract the attention of the Westin people.

A guy happened by on a jet ski and gave me a ride in. I told the Westin poeple what happened. They were real bastards about the whole thing. They bent over backwards trying to find a way to blame me for the fact that their boat failed and refused to refund the portion of rental fee that we were unable to use.

That said, I can't say you shouldn't rent there, as there are very few places to rent a Hobie anywhere. Obviously, I'd inspect the boat and make no assumptions about whether they've rigged it properly.

Nor would I waste much time being overly polite with them.
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Old 22-12-2008, 10:55   #3
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So what happened? Was there too much slack in the shrouds from the jib halyard not being tensioned enough or did the mast base break? Its not your fault since it is their responsibility to keep their boats in good mechanical shape, if thats the case. In all the racing I have done on Hobies...those are the only reasons for losing a mast... not enough shrouds/forestay tension or mechanical failure. You cant break a mast base even from a capsize, if the base was already in good condition.
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Old 22-12-2008, 11:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siamese View Post
My wife and I rented a Hobie at the Westin resort in the Keys. It's been a few years, so I can't recall which island it was on.

The boat was in good condition, except for a problem with the mast. After sailing with my wife for a while, I went out to single-hand. I was moving along on one hull in a mild breeze when the mast parted company with the boat at it's base. I secured the mast to the boat (horizontally) and tried without success to attract the attention of the Westin people.

A guy happened by on a jet ski and gave me a ride in. I told the Westin poeple what happened. They were real bastards about the whole thing. They bent over backwards trying to find a way to blame me for the fact that their boat failed and refused to refund the portion of rental fee that we were unable to use.

That said, I can't say you shouldn't rent there, as there are very few places to rent a Hobie anywhere. Obviously, I'd inspect the boat and make no assumptions about whether they've rigged it properly.

Nor would I waste much time being overly polite with them.
The keys are infamous for arrogant locals.
I lived there for many years and there really is alot of truth to it.
The place is crazy.

If you make it to Key West there are Hobie Cat rentals on both Higs and Smathers beaches. Take a shower in rubbing alcohol when you get out of the water an hope you didn't get a staph infection. Be carefull to not step in the vomit from the homeless residents of the beach. Keep an eye on your bicycle, I lost three in 8 days, the last one while I was watching Wizard of Oz at 8 pm in my house. They lifted the post on my porch and slid the bicycle chain underneath, I was only 10 feet away sitting on the couch.
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Old 22-12-2008, 21:47   #5
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to David M:
I don't recall the exact nature of the mechanical failure, but I don't believe the rig was improperly tensioned. Nor did the mast break. The mast simply parted company from the boat at it's base.
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Old 22-12-2008, 22:05   #6
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Today there are no Hobies to be had in Marathon unless somebody put one into rental in the past month.
There was a brand new 17 last year in MTH but the collapse of Cay Club was also the end of that boat.
I'll be back down there on the 27th I'll look a little around in Islamorada and let you know what I find.
Do you know what hotel you are planning to stay at?
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Old 22-12-2008, 22:22   #7
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The keys are infamous for arrogant locals.
I lived there for many years and there really is alot of truth to it.
The place is crazy.

If you make it to Key West there are Hobie Cat rentals on both Higs and Smathers beaches. Take a shower in rubbing alcohol when you get out of the water an hope you didn't get a staph infection. Be carefull to not step in the vomit from the homeless residents of the beach. Keep an eye on your bicycle, I lost three in 8 days, the last one while I was watching Wizard of Oz at 8 pm in my house. They lifted the post on my porch and slid the bicycle chain underneath, I was only 10 feet away sitting on the couch.
You can get used to the locals. Its the transients that I have a problem with. They tend to be scofflaws and malcontents. They also tend to get jobs in the bike, boat and PWC rentals.

If the mast came down I can see how that might have gotten contentious. Typically the concessions are privately owned and just providing a service at the hotel. My advice is to go straight to the hotels front desk and bitch loudly to anyone who will listen.

The best small boat rental I have seen in the keys is in Key Colony Beach in MTH. The owner is an older guy and everyone associated with the place is very respectful or at least thats been my experience.
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Old 29-12-2008, 14:43   #8
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I've been down there quite a few times in my youth and as an adult.

I have yet to run into an arrogant local.....a lot of impatient out of towners who can't drive 40. Or the outta town bikers that decide to park their bikes in the shade at the gas pumps....

Then again, I don't hang out in bars.......

Y'know....when in Rome HA-HA
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Old 15-04-2009, 06:03   #9
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found this one...

here's a 16 for rent, although the rate seems high for what appears to be a very old one...

Rent a 16' Hobie cat sailboat in the Florida Keys

It might be too late for your trip, but I am looking for the same thing. Did you find any other options for good Hobie rentals or other small boat sailing in the keys? I've considered Key Lime Vacation Rentals, Vacation Cottages and Homes, Sailboat Rentals, Florida Keys, Key Largo, Key Lime Sailing Club but may be a bit too rustic.
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Old 15-04-2009, 06:34   #10
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The Hilton in Key Largo has Hobies for rent and it's a nice hotel ..... find them at:
Key Largo Hotels, Florida Keys Resorts & Room Reservations - Key Largo Grande Resort & Beach Club, A Hilton Resort
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Old 14-09-2011, 12:35   #11
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Re: Florida Keys - Renting Hobie Cats/Dinghies

The hilton is a very nice hotel indeed. Although I would prefer a sailboat or a vacation cottage. A hotel just doesn't sound as adventurous.
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Old 25-04-2012, 20:14   #12
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Re: Florida Keys - Renting Hobie Cats / Dinghies

Anyone have any updates on Hobie Cat Rentals around Key Largo?

Thanks!

Liam
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Old 25-04-2012, 22:32   #13
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Re: Florida Keys - Renting Hobie Cats / Dinghies

I think you should check out Lime Tree Bay Resort, Long Key. Phone is 1-800-723-4519 and google to find the web site which has many photos and info that will give you a feel for the place.

I spent a lovely week there about 25 years ago. Fantastic sunset views over the Gulf from the pool and beach while drinking your own rum & tonic or whatever, don't have to buy from a bar. Efficiency rooms so you don't have to eat out all the time, you can get great take out from nearby fish joints, etc. And the room prices seem to still be very reasonable.

I vaguely recall that they had some hobies and sunfish there, but I would call and ask. Frankly, the Keys is not actually that great for sailing because there was not much wind in the middle keys as I recall... Key West is probably much better for wind.

Anyway if I were looking for a vacation spot in the Keys again, Lime Tree would be it.

Well anyway it's April now, so the OP has already been there, hope they had a good time, wherever they stayed!
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Old 26-04-2012, 12:11   #14
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Re: Florida Keys - Renting Hobie Cats / Dinghies

Quote:
Originally Posted by townsnda View Post
My wife and I will be spending 3-4 days in the Keys in March, and I was looking for a hotel with beach cats, or a sailing center where we can rent either a cat or a 12-16' dinghy for 1/2 day or day at a time. Preferably somewhere near one of the marine sanctuaries so we can enjoy the wilderness.

We probably will not be able to make it past Marathon, most likely end up in either Key Largo or Islamorada.

Thanks!

I rented a Hobie twice. I think once was at Lime Tree Bay, near Marathon.

Another time was at the Key Largo Hilton.

I recall reading that there is now a Hobie rental/lesson outfit at Founder's Park in Islamorada.
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Old 26-04-2012, 13:37   #15
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Re: Florida Keys - Renting Hobie Cats / Dinghies

If you make it to key west they rent them on smathers beach.
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