Boating for Beginners: 7 Important Things You Need to Know

Statistics indicate that more than 142 million Americans went boating in the year 2016. These figures will continue to grow steadily as more people discover the unforgettable experience boating presents. If you have not yet explored the calmness of cruising deep into the waters, then you may be missing out big time. Boating for beginners can be fun and refreshing. 

But as a rookie, there are things you need to know before taking your first venture out on the boat. For most experienced boaters, cruising deep-sea seems to come naturally.

However, if you’re looking to have a safe and fulfilling first boating experience, here are some critical boating for beginners tips to consider. 

1. Focus on Training 

Boating can have a fair share of safety hazards for beginners. Prior training is essential. Intense exercise preps you for any eventualities when boating.

Most experienced boaters are a product of consistent training. Before you take the risk of going it alone, you need to give yourself time to learn the ropes. You’ll find various options on the internet of trainers you can rely on for instruction and support.  

Once you have gone through the right training, you can venture into the waters confidently.

2. Get the Right Paperwork

Getting the right licensing and registration is vital before you can navigate a boat. But is this necessary? 

Well, yes, you need to consider the type of boating activities you intend to engage in and the exact area of operations. Then do your research on the legal and regulatory dynamics in the specific jurisdiction.

You also need to consider the cost of this paperwork in your particular state before beginning the process.  If you’ll be sailing on an inland waterway, you need to consult the appropriate navigation authority in your area too. This is because some waterways have special licensing regulations that may land you in trouble as a beginner.  

However, if you’re a member of a club, you may be eligible for exclusive sailing rights. Such rights spare you the hassle of having to apply for a separate license. 

Depending on the season, you may decide to moor your marina from time to time. Docking your boat in such cases may require specific licensing considerations, depending on your state.

You may need to do your research to ensure that you have the right licensing before embarking on a boating expedition. 

3. Always Check the Weather 

Nothing can be as disastrous as driving a boat for the first time under extreme weather conditions. The rule of thumb in boating 101 is that you should never head out boating when it’s raining, more so as a beginner. These stipulations exist to ensure that your safety comes first while out in the waters. 

Never underestimate the impact that light showers can have on your boating experience. You should pay specific attention to weather forecasts or at least wait until its summer. 

Weather conditions can put your life in danger as a beginner.  It’s your responsibility to ensure that you navigate under favorable terms as a safety precaution.

4. Dress for the Occasion 

Boating is primarily an outdoor activity that requires comfort. Your choice of dressing can be the source of a regrettable experience. Now that you know your own body’s needs, it would be critical to prepare appropriately for the experience.

As a beginner, you don’t know how well your body will respond to the outdoor weather. Consequently, it would be prudent to have a warm change of clothes. This would cushion you in case the cold weather conditions affect your body temperature while out there.

5. Having a Float Plan Near You Is a Vital Boating for Beginners Tip

This is not a mayday call but, yes. It would be best if you took every safety precaution necessary as a beginner. Before going all out into the waters, it would be necessary to have a float plan to guide you back to shore. Such a move would be to caution you in case of any eventuality while navigating.

Float plans have been critical lifesavers overtime. Even among experienced boaters, having a float plan as part of the expedition has become standard practice. It would be best if you considered having a float plan near you at all times during the outing to minimize the risks in case of unforeseen circumstances.

6. Always Have a Life Jacket

As a beginner, boating can be all fun and games until the boat capsize. It is advisable that before beginning your boating experience, you also learn how to swim. This would ensure a consideration of safety in case of an emergency.

But even as a seasoned swimmer, you should always have your life-jacket on. Most beginners complain that lifesavers may be uncomfortable especially during summer. While this is true, your life must always come first. 

Wearing a life-jacket ought to be a standard requirement in boating for beginners.

7. Having a Toolbox Is Necessary

How well can you handle a mechanical issue? As a beginner, facing mechanical faults on your first voyage can be extremely frustrating. But you don’t want to be stuck on the water for hours wondering what to do.

Granted, you are not a certified mechanic. But you need to have basic knowledge of the boat’s operational process. Such experience ensures that you can handle probable mechanical failures on the go.

Most of the mechanical faults may be resolved within minutes if you have the right tools. You should also have spare parts with you to ease the process of repairs. This also necessitates the need to know your way around the boat’s functionality.

If you are keen on a drama-free voyage, you can book our boats at friendly rates. You’ll get to enjoy the delight of well-serviced boats fitted with spare parts and toolboxes in case of mechanical failures.  

Nothing Beats a Boating Experience Under Favorable Conditions

Driving a boat can be a thrilling experience as you venture out for your first voyage. Even then, there are critical tips for boating for beginners you must consider. 

Your safety may be at risk during such outings, but with these guidelines, you can drive a boat with minimal concerns about probable mishaps. Once you take cognizance of these tips, your initial boating experience will be smooth and fun.   

Are you looking for an unforgettable boating experience? Contact us for well-maintained luxury boats.  

The Top Boat Activities to Try With Your Family

There are over 11.85 million registered recreational boats in the United States. With that amount of boats in the water, there must be some fun that you don’t know about when it comes to boat activities. 

If you are a first-time boater, a boating enthusiast, or a prospective boater, there’s a lot of boat activities for you to try in the water with your family. 

Check out this list of top family-friendly boating adventures this season. 

Tubing

Driving the boat is half the fun when you turn it up to top speed. The other half can be enjoyed with an inflatable tube tied to the back of the boat. 

Your kids will love the thrill of soaring over the ocean’s waves as you make daring doughnuts. It can also be enjoyed by the adults, just make sure someone responsible is behind the wheel. 

Boat Sleepover 

If you have ever been camping then you know the peaceful feeling of sleeping under the stars. Take camping to the next level by sleeping on your boat. 

Whether you have a cabin or just a deck, you can unfold your sleeping bags, when the weather permits, to sleep under the stars. Or pitch a tent to shield yourself from the chill of the night or a raining evening. 

Be sure to put down your anchor so you don’t drift out to sea. 

Raft Picnicking

Boating fun can also mean staying in one spot. Find a shaded area under a tree or a sandbar to have a picnic with the family. 

You can use a raft to have a picnic or as transportation to your shaded paradise.

Bring a cooler for soft drinks or juice and nonperishable snacks that are easy to assemble.  Add some board games or a ball to toss around for some fun after you eat. 

Fishing and Crabbing

If this is your first time out on the water and you want to catch some dinner then you can use a boat guide. 

Taking a charter boat for deep-sea fishing is perfect for older kids.

If you have smaller children then you might want to rent your own boat to go fishing. This will give you a more flexible schedule and room for the little ones to run around.

Either way, you can hire a guide to help you with baiting, navigating, catching, and maybe even filleting your dinner. 

Crabbing is another fun way to introduce children to the water. You can give kids a string with some bait wrapped around the end. When your child sees a crab on the line tell them to call you. Then scoop the crab up with a net. 

Be sure to follow the fishing regulations about what to keep and what to let go. You will also need a fishing license for everyone who will be participating. 

Scuba Diving or Snorkeling

The surface of the water is just one part to be explored. Take your boating fun under the surface by diving into it. 

To scuba dive, you will need to be certified and at least 12 years old. So this activity will work for older children.

You will also need gear like masks, flippers, oxygen tanks, and wet suits. So, unless you are investing in a new hobby, registering for a scuba excursion is the most economical option. 

Snorkeling requires a mask, flippers, and a life vest. It also does not require certification. Younger children can also participate. 

You will see less of the ocean by snorkeling rather than scuba diving, but it is cheaper and safer. Plus, you can do this activity from your own vessel. 

Learn to Sail

Before you buy your own boat you might want to learn boating skills like sailing. Register for a group class with your family.

You will learn basic boating terminology that will apply to any type of boat. Tying knots and navigation skills will also be included in your training. 

Sailing is an excellent way to appreciate the water as you rely on the current and the wind. It’s the natural way to learn boating essentials that could be helpful if you are left in a difficult situation while on the water. 

Constellation Gazing and Navigation

Before GPS systems and even compasses, sailors and voyagers used the night sky to find their way through the depths of the sea. 

Learning the constellations to navigate is a fun and useful skill to teach your children. They can use their knowledge while camping if they ever get lost or impress their friends with astronomical trivia. 

Being out on the boat at night creates the perfect environment for stargazing as well. Light pollution doesn’t obstruct the natural splendor of the stars so you will see more of the sky than you ever have before.  

Firework Display

As a first-time boat owner, you can take your boat out for a test drive to see fireworks during the holidays like the Fourth of July. 

You are usually close to the shore so you won’t have to drive far out into the ocean. You will also have plenty of neighbors in case you need assistance or want to make some friends. 

Staying Safe with Boat Activities

No matter what type of boat activities you choose to enjoy on the water it is important to stay safe. Remember to always use life vests and teach your children the safety guidelines. 

Visit our blog on boating safety before you venture out onto the water. 

Great Boat Safety Tips For Anyone Looking To Take A Day Out At Sea

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, boating fatalities nationwide totaled to 658 in 2017. That’s a 6.1% decrease from the previous year.

Recreational boating injuries decreased by 9.4% as well.

Despite these improvements, new boaters still need to remain aware. Otherwise, someone might fall overboard or receive an injury.

Here are the top boat safety tips you should know before a day out at sea. In addition to learning these tips yourself, make sure your friends and family understand them as well.

Then, you and your crew can have a fun day on the water.

Make it a safe journey with these seven tips for proper boat safety.

1. Don’t Drink & Steer

The first step to a safe day on the water is to make sure you don’t drink and steer. Like drinking and driving a car, drinking and boating is dangerous for the driver and any passengers. In fact, drinking and boating can lead to serious legal consequences as well.

Many of the boating-related fatalities that occur are a result of drinking and boating.

Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. Known as a BUI, it’s also considered a federal crime. Most states consider a .08% blood alcohol level acceptable while operating a boat.

That’s the same blood alcohol level for driving under the influence (DUI).

Most women will reach this blood alcohol level after two drinks. Most men will reach it after five. However, you might reach this level sooner if:

  • You haven’t eaten much that day
  • You’re taking certain medications
  • Your metabolism doesn’t process alcohol quickly
  • You’re dehydrated

Instead of risking it, don’t get behind the wheel of any vehicle while under the influence.

Penalties for boating under the influence include:

  • A large fine
  • Loss of boating privileges
  • Jail time
  • Financial restitution for any damages of injuries
  • Felony conviction
  • Completion of an alcohol or boating safety course

Drinking while under the influence will impair your cognitive abilities and judgment. It’s just as dangerous on the water as it is on the road. If you’re steering the ship, set the beer aside.

2. Safety First

It’s estimated that life jackets have saved over 80% of boating fatality victims. One of the top boat safety tips to remain aware of is always wear a life jacket.

Some states only require you to keep a life jacket accessible. However, if an accident does occur, you likely won’t have time to put a life jacket on. Instead, purchase modern life jackets for your passengers and keep them on at all times.

Modern life jackets are compact, thin, and flexible, making them more comfortable.

If you have any children on board, make sure they’re wearing specially-sized jackets. These jackets are appropriate for their weight range. They’ll fit properly without allowing them to slip through.

An adult-sized life jacket won’t work for a child.

Before you go out to sea, make sure to test your child’s life jacket to ensure is works properly. This will also give your child the chance to adapt to wearing one.

3. Preparation is Key

The total cost of damages caused by boating accidents amounted to $46 million in 2017. You can avoid paying damages by preparing ahead of time.

Before you decide to own a boat, use these boat safety tips:

  • Understand the specific boating laws in your state
  • Have a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary perform a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) on your boat
  • Have a float plan, which includes where you’re going and when you intend to return
  • Perform a pre-boarding boat safety check

You should email your float plan to a friend or family member who isn’t going boating with you. That way, they can start a search and rescue in case something goes wrong.

During your pre-boarding boat safety check, make sure you have a full tank of gas. You’ll also want to check the:

  • Engine oil levels
  • Transmission fluid levels
  • Battery charge
  • Full fluid levels

After refueling, make sure you don’t smell fumes after running the blower.

Have your operator’s certificate, license, or any other registration for your boat on board, just in case. Now you’re prepared for anything.

4. Watching the Weather

Before you leave the dock, make sure to check the local weather and the weather for your destination. Remember, the weather can change rapidly. Bring a radio for you to keep track of weather changes while you’re on the water.

5. Practice Propeller Safety

Before you leave, practice proper propeller safety with your passengers.

First, make sure everyone is accounted for on the boat. Walk around the boat to ensure no one is in the water. You don’t want to start the engine if anyone went overboard.

Let your passengers know where the propellers are located, and that they’re dangerous.

Place any children onboard away from the propellers.

If someone does fall overboard, stop the boat immediately. Shut off the engine if you’re approaching anyone in the water as well.

6. Remain Mindful of Others

You’re not the only one out at sea. In order to maintain proper boat safety, it’s important to remain mindful of any boaters or swimmers on the water. Keep a safe distance when you can.

Following any directions or signs you see. Make sure to follow the rules that are listed by the local authorities as well.

When you’re near any boats, the shore, or swimmers, keep your wake low.

7. Overboard Emergencies

It’s important to know what to do if someone goes overboard. Here are our boat safety tips for such an emergency:

  • Turn off the motor and propellers
  • If everyone has gone overboard while the propellers are active, get everyone away from the boat
  • Remain calm
  • Use your life jacket to float without exerting too much energy
  • Make sure everyone is safe
  • If you don’t have a life jacket, look for another floatation device

Then, try to get everyone to float back to safety.

Preparing for a Day at Sea: The 7 Boat Safety Tips You Need

Ready for a day out at sea? With these seven boat safety tips, you’re nearly ready. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen while enjoying that Florida sun.

Need a place to dock? Contact us for a free quote!

Taking A Look At The Top Fishing Spots Around The World

A true fisherman is always looking for a bigger, better catch, but there’s only so much you can accomplish in your local lakes and streams. If the local lakes aren’t doing it for you anymore, try out some of the top fishing spots in the world. You won’t regret it when you come out with the biggest fish you’ve ever seen!

Nova Scotia, Canada

If you’re looking for a chance at some big hauls, Nova Scotia has plenty of fish for you. Nova Scotia is the home of some absolutely huge bluefin tuna, including the world-record bluefin, weighing in at 1,496-lbs! That’s no fluke either; there have been plenty more 1,000-lb bluefin caught here over the years.

You’re going to need a sturdy rod, and you’re going to need to put up a fight against a fish that big, but if you’re up for it and you get the chance it’s a hard trip for any fisherman to pass up.

Among other available fish in Nova Scotia are rainbow and lake trout, Atlantic salmon, and various types of perch.

Key West, Florida

Few are more obsessed with fishing than the people of Key West, Florida. The fishing is year-round here thanks to the climate, and the fish are plentiful, from mahi-mahi to tarpon and groupers. Among the species you’ll be able to catch are the Amberjack, Black Grouper, Bluefin Tuna, and Cobia, all of which can reach massive sizes and put up a good fight for the experienced fisherman.

There are plenty of seafood restaurants in Key West, too, serving up locally caught fish. This means you can enjoy not only the fishing but the eating as well. Sounds like a pretty great vacation!

Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia offers top-tier fishing and a chance at the giant black marlin, a fish that many who enjoy the sport only dream of catching on their hook. The giant black marlin swims at a top speed of 130 km/h and weighs up to 1,600 lbs making for a very impressive catch. Who can resist giving that a go?

Australia is full of diverse fish species and locations. Whether you’re looking to do some reef fishing, lake fishing, or fly fishing, it’s all available to you. Beyond the legendary giant black marlin, you’ll also have a chance to catch mangrove red snappers, coral trout, barracuda, and flatheads.

Head down to Australia between September and December for the best chances, when the water is nice and warm.

The Southern US (Georgia, Alabama, etc.)

The south may not be the first spot you think of when you think about fishing, but it should definitely be on your mind. Not only are there a lot of fish available in the south, but a lot of different ways to catch these fish, including the unforgettable experience of noodling!

Noodling, otherwise known as “hillbilly handfishing” is exactly what it sounds like. Get on your rubber boots, get in the water, and grab for those catfish. You’ll have a chance at some massive catfish going noodling in the south, and catfish tend to make for a very tasty meal.

Belize

If you want high chances of pulling a trophy fish, look no further than the gorgeous waters of Belize. The 200-mile long Belize Barrier reef makes the country a top spot for big, beautiful fish along with top-notch scenery. Not only will you see a lot of smaller fish and crustaceans, but some truly astounding trophy-size catches.

A few species are catch-and-release only, like Bonefish, but there are plenty more that you can keep and enjoy with some lemon and garlic. From blue and white marlin, to tuna, sailfish and King Mackerels, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to catch a trophy-size fish in Belize. Rent a nice boat and get out on those toasty Belize waters, you won’t regret it.

Kola Peninsula, Russia

Springtime in Russia is fishing season and offers one of the most unique fishing experiences on earth. Fishermen from all around the world travel to Russia’s Umba River in the spring to witness and catch some of the biggest Atlantic salmon the waters have to offer. It’s not the easiest to navigate location, and you may run into a bear or two, but if you’re up for the challenge you’re in for an unforgettable fishing experience.

Amazon Basin, Brazil

Ever thought about fishing for piranha? Take a trip to Brazil and you can make that thought a reality. You can even eat them in some places in Brazil, a nice little piece of revenge for all the fingers bitten by the species over the years.

Piranha are very common in the Amazon River, and while they’re not the biggest fish, catching one is certainly a unique experience. You’ll need to use meat for bait and a strong lure and wire to avoid having the fish bite right through your equipment. These things have some seriously sharp teeth.

There is a lot of fish in the Amazon Basin, including Arapaima, Candiru, and armored catfish. You’re sure to see some interesting and new species fishing in Brazil.

Visit One of the Top Fishing Spots Today

Whether you’re a novice or experienced fisher, you’re going to thank yourself for broadening your horizons and fishing in one of the top fishing spots listed above. Not only will you have a shot at some truly unique fish to show off to your friends, but you’ll make an absolutely unforgettable memory in the process. Don’t sleep on these spots; make the trip today and don’t look back!

And if you need a boat for all that fishing you love, check out our products page for more information. Feel free to contact us with and questions, comments or concerns.

Does Boat Club Membership Include a Captain?

You don’t need to know how to drive a boat to be a boat club member, but if you do, we have many options for you to enjoy!

As a South Florida boat club, Gulfstream Boat Club offers access to both the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean. Navigating the waters of the Intracoastal requires being aware of its zones, inlets, depths, sandbars, and shoals (see our handy custom nautical chart). Cruising or fishing in the Atlantic near Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, or Hypoluxo also requires quite a bit of boating experience.

So, as a GBC member, do you have to know how to drive a boat? 

Do you want to take out your own boat? Gulfstream Boat Club members can take out any of our boats ranging from 21 to 32 feet on their own. We offer 20-plus top-of-the-line deck boats, pontoon boats, and center-console and dual console boats; it’s the newest fleet in South Florida! Our 35′ Contenders and 40′ Intrepid require a captain.

Can I learn to drive a boat? 

Absolutely! All new Gulfstream Boat Club memberships come with a complimentary one-hour orientation with one of our captains. All of our captains are U.S. Coast Guard certified. If you would like more instruction on how to drive a boat, we can also organize further lessons.

GBC captains are all US Coast Guard certified.

Why are GBC’s captains the best in South Florida? 

All of our captains are U.S. Coast Guard certified, and very familiar with the waters in and around Palm Beach County. If a fishing excursion, a trip to Peanut Island, or a family cruise down the Intracoastal is in your plans, our captains will design the perfect outing for you.

What if I just want to sit back and relax on my GBC boat rental? 

No problem! Most members do. Simply reserve a boat by calling us at 561.865.7797 and we’ll pair you with not only the perfect boat, but the perfect captain.
Boating is our passion; make it yours. Gulfstream Boat Club offers the best and newest fleet of boats in South Florida, and our experienced captains will ensure that you enjoy a great day on the water. Give us a call seven days a week at 561.865.7797 and we’ll get you started!

Fishing Boat Rentals: Summer Fishing Fever

How reliable are fishing boat rentals in Florida in the summer?

Late summer in Florida is still, quiet, and—yes—HOT. But keep it a secret that it’s one of the best times of year for a fishing boat rental in Florida. July and August are great months for drift fishing, a boat fishing technique in which you allow the boat to move with the wind and current over an area in which an abundance of fish is likely. It allows you to cover a lot of ground, but the sea conditions have to be good.

How do I reserve a fishing boat rental?

In a GBC fishing boat rental this time of year, off the Florida Southeastern coast you might catch bonito, wahoo, snapper, or mahi. Simply log onto the GBC app to reserve a fishing boat at our Delray Beach or Lantana locations. Or give us a call at 561.865.7797—we’re open seven days a week.

Group of friends on Fishing Trip
The GBC team enjoyed a fishing trip on the quiet waters of Florida and the Bahamas.

How many friends can I take on a fishing boat?

We have fishing boats from 21 to 35 feet. For example, our 2019 26-foot Billistic seats 10 people, has twin Yamaha engines, a T-top with outriggers, and Bluetooth Polk audio, Garmin, and electronics. It’s got a great layout for comfort cruising, and it’s the perfect fishing boat for young families.

Do GBC fishing boat rentals have captains?

GBC has a crew of licensed boat captains who know the Intracoastal and Atlantic better than anyone. They can also design a great day of fishing, and give you all the tips on local fishing spots. Our fishing boats are fully rigged. GBC boat rentals include bait and ice, and our boats have coolers to bring home your catch!

What’s for dinner?

Close up of cobia fish dish
This cobia recipe from the Foodie Patootie blog is the perfect way to prepare your fresh catch!

Cobia is a popular summertime catch, and a GBC favorite. It’s a flaky white fish similar to tilapia. Here’s a recipe from the Foodie Patootie blog for Sauteed Cobia with Tomatoes and Capers; it’s a quick, simple recipe to try on the just-caught fish you are going to be bringing home from your GBC fishing boat rental!

Boating is our passion; make it yours. A Gulfstream Boat Club is more than Fishing Boat Rentals. Our membership pays for itself in fun, fish, and memories, and you’re free of the hassles of boat ownership. Give us a call at 561.865.7797 to get out on the water!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas in 2019

Gulfstream Boat Club has got great Father’s Day gift ideas!

Sunday, June 16, is Father’s Day, and out on the waters of South Florida is the best place to enjoy it. Gulfstream Boat Club has a variety of Father’s Day gift ideas for you. Make Father’s Day 2019 your best one ever.

It’s not too late to plan a memorable Father’s Day! Did you know that our boat club can plan special events? Let GBC help you design an unforgettable day that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you are planning a sunset cruise, ocean fishing, or a group outing on the Intracoastal, GBC can make it incredibly simple and easy.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas in 2019: Family with kids on a boat in South Florida
GBC owner Alex Warner and his family, ready for Father’s Day!

 

Here are four great Father’s Day gift ideas from GBC:

1. Boat Club Membership.

Father’s Day brings new members to Gulfstream Boat Club every year. We have a variety of memberships to suit every need and budget. Why own a boat when GBC gives you access to an entire fleet? Here are more details on our many levels of membership. It’s so much better than owning a boat. We’ve got the newest fleet around, and new boats are being added regularly. Definetely one of the best Father’s Day gift ideas we can recommend.

2. Brunch at a Dockside Restaurant.

We can organize a cruise to a dockside restaurant for Father’s Day brunch. Many of the restaurants along the Intracoastal have special menus or events planned that day. Deck 84 and Key Lime House are just two. And arriving by boat makes it an extra special day.

3. GBC Gift Certificate.

A gift certificate is a welcome and easy Father’s Day gift. Cover a captain, fuel, a half-day rental, or more; gift certificates can be provided in any amount. We can wrap the gift certificate, or send it anywhere for you. Call us at 561.865.7797 for details!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas in 2019: Boat on shallow water of South Florida.
A cruise to Peanut Island is a great Father’s Day excursion.

4. GBC Fishing Charter or Boat Cruise.

Do you want more Father’s Day gift ideas? Catch your own Father’s Day dinner! Check out our blog post on our favorite spring catch recipes for fish that are biting right here, right now. One of our licensed captains can plan a memorable excursion for you, Dad, and family and friends. Book early, as this weekend fills up quickly.

Any questions about Father’s Day 2019 gifts or Gulfstream Boat Club membership? We’re open seven days a week; call us at 561.865.7797 anytime. And Happy Father’s Day from GBC!

Center Console Boats Explained

Center console boats are a very popular choice for members and renters at Gulfstream Boat Club. We have center console boats in a variety of lengths. Interested in a fishing charter, sunset cruise, or other excursion on the Intracoastal? A center console boat is a perfect choice for all of the above. Let’s learn more about this versatile crossover boat, with plenty of room for friends and power for whatever outing you have in mind.

Center Console Boat in the water
Check out this center console beauty; this model is coming to GBC in 2019!

And GBC will feature ALL NEW center console boats from Key West Boats in 2019!

What are Center Console Boats?

Well, the name says it all! A center console boat is a type of single-decked, open-hull boat in which the console is in the center of the boat. (The console of a boat is where all the controls are located, including steering, ignition, depth finder and other electronic devices, stereo, etc.) Our larger center console boats feature a cabin underneath. The boat deck surrounds the console and allows you to walk all around the boat—or work a catch all around the boat, if you’re fishing! Center console boats are powered by outboard motors.

Center Console Boats Dash
The center console creates a very versatile boat.

What Activities are Center Console Boats Good For?

These versatile boats are great for fishing. Depending on their size, GBC’s  console boats offer comfortable seating for eight people or more and an open layout, so they’re perfect for sightseeing or a cruise to Peanut Island. Our larger center console boats have large cabins and a porta-potty for longer cruises and family days on the water.

Center Console Boats cruising
Whether you’re fishing or cruising, you and your family and friends will enjoy the ride.

How Do I Rent a Center Console Boat?

Gulfstream Boat Club has three convenient locations in Palm Beach County. We’re open seven days a week, and offer annual memberships, hourly memberships, corporate memberships, and rentals. Ready to plan an outing on one of GBC’s all-new center console boats? It’s a busy season, so book now. Give us a call at 561.865.7797 and we’ll get you started!

3 Key West Boats to look for in 2019!

Key West boats “Built by fishermen, for fishermen.”

For more than 30 years, Key West has built high-quality, high-value boats. Their boats offer uncompromised attention to safety, including positive flotation, in every model. Key West Boats feature no-wood construction, combined with lightweight coring materials and directional high strength glass. It’s a perfect partnership for Gulfstream Boat Club.

Yes, we are proud to announce that Gulfstream Boat Club will be turning all our boats over in 2019 for an entirely new fleet!

We’re giving all of our Gulfstream Boat Club members our holiday gift early this year: GBC will feature an all-new fleet of boats in 2019! We have partnered with Key West Boats to provide new dual-console and center-console boats in different sizes; they’re great crossover boats for fishing, cruising, sightseeing, or whatever excursion you have in mind.

Here’s a preview of our new boats:

Family Sportsman 239 Center Console:

The Key West 239FS offers the largest cockpit in its class, and is loaded with features for both family comfort and serious fishing. Enjoy the comfort of the full width bench seat in the rear and the optional front facing seating in the bow for relaxing day on the water with family and friends, or hit the blue water safe and secure in a very capable long range offshore fishing platform. Fishing features include a live well, rod storage racks, trolling rod holders, and even an insulated, macerated under floor fish box up front. The 239FS is ready for whatever water sports your family enjoys.

 Key West Boat FS239 console detail
The Key West FS239 is just one of the all-new boats we’ll have available for rental at GBC in 2019.

 Key West Boat FS239 aerial schematic
This center console boat is great for fishing or cruising.

Family Sportsman 239 Dual Console:

The latest addition to Key West’s Family Sportsman lineup, and the biggest dual console, bow rider to date, the 239DFS is loaded with amenities, comfort, style, and performance. Like the rest of the fleet this big runabout is self-bailing and foam-filled to provide level and upright flotation, giving your family one of the safest platforms on the water today.

Key West Boat FS 239 cruising in calm waters
Our members are going to love this sturdy, speedy Key West FS 239!

Aerial view of Key West Boat FS 239
We’re getting two of these dual-console boats in early 2019.

Billistic 281 Center Console:

The dual-engine 281 Billistic is the most popular of Key West’s Billistic line, with enough fuel capacity to make it a serious offshore fishing machine, but also a family-friendly recreational platform. Like all Billistics, the 281 is built with a no-compromise approach, featuring the best of everything from hull construction to wiring, with special attention to access for service to keep it all running and dependable.

Key West Boat 28-foot Billistic docked in Marina
Meet the Key West 28-foot Billistic.

This center-console boat is perfect for your next outing with family and friends.

Call us at 561.865.7797 for information on how to be the first to try our new models! New pontoons on deck for 2019 as well.

Boating is our passion; make it yours. New boats for the new year: it’s Gulfstream Boat’s holiday gift to you!

Bahamas Boat Charter: 3 Important Questions and Answers

Visit Sapona Shipwreck on your next Bahamas Boat Charter
We don’t skimp on Staff Appreciation Day at GBC.

Here at GBC, Staff Appreciation Day isn’t just celebrated at a restaurant or sports bar. We just got back from a Bahamas boat charter on our 40-foot Intrepid! Two days of fishing, swimming with stingrays, eating fresh fish, and some golf cart hijinks…

Before you get too jealous, remember that we can organize the same for you and your family, friends, or staff:

Find out how to make a charter to the Bahamas from Florida an easy and enjoyable trip.

Boat Charter to Bimini
You can cruise to Bimini on our 40-foot Intrepid in just a few hours.

What’s the best time of year for a Bahamas boat charter?

Really, anytime works. It depends on what you want to fish for. We went in September: mahi season. After leaving GBC’s location at the Palm Beach Yacht Center around 7am on a Tuesday, we arrived in Bimini at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini around 10am, a luxurious 750-acre marina, hotel, and casino.

Bimini is only 50 miles from Miami, but it’s a world away: this westernmost island of the Bahamas features unspoiled blue waters and white sand beaches, marine life, even a shipwreck. Bimini is also known as the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World.”

Where to stay in Bimini?

After unloading our supplies at our Resorts World villa (the perfect landing for a family or group Bahamas boat charter), we went out and fished for mahi and wahoo. Later Alex took us on a quick cruise out to the Sapona Shipwreck, a concrete-hulled cargo steamer that ran aground near Bimini during a hurricane in 1926. It’s a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and jumping off the wreck.

We cooled off in the pool, showered, and headed to the Resorts World casino for some burgers and gambling. (A Bahamas fishing charter doesn’t have to be all boating, all the time!) After dinner, we fished off the dock, and took the villa’s golf carts for a spin ‘til the wee hours.

Catch some dolphin in your next Bahamas Boat Charter
Mahi were caught—and cooked, back at our villa!

How’s the fishing in the Bahamas?

The alarms went off at 6:30am; early, yes, but no one wanted to miss out on another full Bimini day. We trolled and caught some more dolphin until the late morning, then went snorkeling. After stopping at the restaurant at Cat Cay Yacht Club for lunch, we headed to another one of Bimini’s landmarks: Honeymoon Harbor. We swam with nurse sharks and stingrays—dozens of them. Once we turned off the Intrepid’s motors, they swarmed the boat, making it an unforgettable stop.

On your Bahamas Boat Charter, do not forget to swim with rays
Swimming with nurse sharks and stingrays at Honeymoon Harbor.

Back at the villa, we barbequed our fresh fish and steaks for dinner, and celebrated Staff Appreciation Day GBC-style. After some night-time fishing and swimming off the docks, we turned in early.

Family weekend to Bahamas with a Bahamas Boat Charter
Treat your family, friends, or even your staff to a Bahamas boating weekend!

On Thursday morning, we were out the door and back on the Intrepid by 7:30am. We arrived back in Delray before noon, feeling fully “appreciated.”

Ready to plan your own Bahamas boat charter? Among other things, our close proximity to the Bahamas and our spectacular 40-foot Intrepid make Gulfstream Boat Club a truly unique boat club. Bimini is a colorful, warm, exceptionally fun vacation spot. Call us at 561.865.7797 and we’ll get you there!