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  All you need to know when you charter in Key West Florida    

 Welcome Aboard

The following information is provided to allow you to plan your vacation and answer the most frequently asked questions about the following subjects. If you have added questions or concerns, then please feel free to e-mail us at SSYachtDeliveries@gmail.com

A1. About Sailshare

Sailshare Discount Yacht Charters and Yacht Deliveries is not a large worldwide charter company. We don't have thousands of yachts in our fleet. We don't have 60-page glossy brochures and you won't see our full-page color advertisements in all the yachting magazines. We are a Yacht Charter Company, who is able to provide discount charters. Sailshare has privately owned yachts available for charter in our fleets in every Sunsail and Moorings Base in the world.

The fact is that most of our guests hear about us by our modestly sized ad in Cruising World Magazine, Sail magazine, Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine, on the internet, by word of mouth, are repeat customers who have already sailed with us or are people who have been recommended to us by others.

We insist on a highly personalized service - and many of our guests are surprised to discover that such a small; charter outfit offers facilities normally associated with so-called premium companies -including a satellite weather service, restaurant and bar, gourmet customized provisioning service, sheltered moorage, access to public transportation. and much more.


Please see Section A6. Arriving in Key West and How To Get Here for more reasons

A3. About the Florida Keys and Key West, Florida In the Florida Keys, there are several hundred Keys, however many of them are uninhabited due to their small size. The Archipelago stretches approximately 127 miles and is divided into three main sections: The Upper Keys, The Middle Keys and The Lower Keys. In addition, there are several towns along US 1 and individual Keys reside within the respective municipal boundaries of these various townships. These municipal districts include: Key Largo (MM 110 to MM 87), Islamorada (MM86 to MM66), Marathon (MM 65 to MM 40), Big Pine Key and The Lower Keys (MM 39 to MM 9) and Key West (MM 8 to MM 0). For more info on the Florida Keys and specifically the Upper Keys, see the following website: http://www.cariberesource.com/florida/florida.html

Key West's natural beauty is unparalleled. Known internationally for its great sunsets, Key West also has widespread appeal with its diverse cultures and offerings. Originally named Cayo Hueso (Bone Island), when owned by the Spanish, the original name of Key West was mis-interpreted into Key West (Cayo Oueste) by mistake. The Spanish word Cayo denotes a small coral-based island. This was coined into the English word Key (or Cay as many British charts call them) You can still see yachts with their home port stenciled as Cayo Hueso, which is still shown as the name on Spanish Charts. Local businesses have picked up the Bone Island name, which you can see with one of the local bus services, the Bone Island Shuttle. Key West is referred to as the Southernmost point of the Continental United States, since the roads, including US Hwy 1 and A1A all go as far as Key West. The roads and formerly the train went as far as Key West because Key West is a natural deep water harbor providing centuries of great protection from storms. The demand from the ships stopping here in order to provision is what originally created this sea-faring town.

To this day the local businesses cater to the sea-faring customers with marinas, yacht chandleries, haul-out facilities, and provisioning supplies.

Although some islands are outside the formal city limits, the islands that are generally referred to as Key West include Cow Key, Fleming Key, Ocean Key, Sunset Key, Salt Pond Keys, Key Haven (also called Raccoon Key), Stock Island, Rock Island, Boca Chica Key, Big Coppitt Key, Geiger Key, and a few other small Keys. See Section A4. Major Islands of the Lower Florida Keys for more information on this.

A4. Major Islands of the Lower Florida Keys

Cayo Hueso or Key West - your own party destination with such great sights as Hemingway’s House, the Pirate Museum, the Key West Aquarium (with ray pool and shark pool), Sunset Pier, Schooner Wharf, Conch Harbor, Key West Bight, and the incomparable Mallory Square, where the entire town gathers each night to witness the finest sunsets. Key West is a charming island of sea-faring traditions, steeped in nautical history. You can see wooden schooners under sail each night at sunset and all forms of artists performing all over Key West. This is where Jimmy Buffett calls home.

West of Key West

Wysteria Island – Just across the harbor from Mallory Square on Key West, this uninhabited island was originated by the wreck of the HMS Wysteria and now provides protection for hundreds of yachts anchored close to downtown Key West. The picturesque and protected anchorage at Wysteria Island is one of the most popular with visiting cruisers who want to anchor close to the jumping Key West night life action.

Sunset Key – formerly known as Tank Island, this island has been converted from a fuel depot to some of the most prestigious real estate in the country with no homes worth less than a million dollars. Owners include recording star and actress Madonna and the inimitable Oprah Winfrey.

Cottrell Island – is unapproachable since the water is so shallow. However, there are two very popular snorkeling spots just north of this Florida Bay or Gulf of Mexico side of the Florida Keys. The underwater coral reef attracts an abundance of large fish despite the fact that the reef is only 4 feet deep in most places. The state of Florida has placed mooring balls in both locations off Cottrell Island to allow anyone to use them free of charge on a first come, first served basis – and they are seldom if ever all in use.

Sand Cay – An Underwater Marine Sanctuary with a 165 foot high automatic lighthouse and 15 foot automatic meteorological station. It is not uncommon to see thousands of many varieties of fish, some of which are quite sizeable as well as the Kemps Riddley and a Hawksbill sea turtles and Cecil, the green Moray Eel.

Boca Grande – This fairly large island is inhabited, despite no roads nor bridges leading to the island. It is located about 20 miles West of Key West and has a well-marked channel leading into a very well-protected anchorage and shallow waterway channel leading all the way back to Key West.  This tiny island with no roads offers two great anchorages.

The Marquesas –the Western Hemisphere’s islands of the same name as in the South Pacific. Because of the islands circular shape they appear to be what may be the only atoll in the continental US. However, some believe that these islands may have been created by a meteor. The uninhabited islands are home to a number of species of birds and provide a well-protected anchorage about half way between the Dry Tortugas and Key West.

The Dry Tortugas – A Group of low lying, flat islands at the very westernmost edge of the Florida Keys, some 70 miles west of Key West. The Dry Tortugas, named after their appearance as floating turtles, host a National Underwater Marine Sanctuary and National Park with full-time Rangers and Environmentalists permanently residing there. The principal islands of the Dry Tortugas are listed below:

Garden Key – Host to Fort Jefferson, which encompasses nearly the entire island. Tours are available daily on the history and significance of this historic fort, which is maintained in its nearly original condition.

Bush Key – Home to several species of birds including the frigate bird and the sooty tern. This is the only known land/based habitat for the Sooty Tern, which migrates all the way to South America and lives most of its life on the water.

Hospital Key – Where the once standing Yellow Fever Hospital stood, that got Dr Mudd his pardon from his crime of providing medical treatment to John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated President Lincoln. This is now the home of the orange-footed booby.

Loggerhead Key – has the Lighthouse at the very end of the Florida Keys. Just off the western shore in only about 12 feet of water is the wreck of the Windjammer, which has been nearly overgrown with coral and underwater marine life.

East of Key West

 – There are literally hundreds of Keys east of Key West. Below are the names of a few which are of interest to sailing enthusiasts:

Stock Island – just across Cow Key Channel from Key West, Stock Island hosts such great facilities as Sunset Marina, Safe Harbor, 3D Marina and Haulout, and Oceans' Edge Marina.

Pelican Key – This small island is located about 7 miles off the southern coast of the Florida Keys and has a couple of mooring buoys for use by visiting yachts for no charge. The clear water allows good visibility during snorkeling. To the east and northeast are very shallow shoals. Take care when arriving and departing; the best deep water routes are to the west and south.

Big Pine Key is part of the Lower Florida Keys and is home to some 300 tiny Key Deer. These rare white tail deer roam the unspoiled tropical wilderness that makes this area unique. Far from being overcrowded, the pace of life on Big Pine is casual and relaxed. After a day on the water, you can pamper yourself with some island music and a pina colada at any local tiki bar.

Duck Key – Home to Hawk’s Cay Marina, Duck Key actually has the exact shape of a duck’s head. The channels into Duck Key are shallow and do shift. Local knowledge is required in order to enter and depart Duck Key.

Bahia Honda Key – is the site for Bahia Honda State Park. There are two beaches, a convenience store and grill, a shallow water marina, and a Nature Center. You can watch interesting videos about the marine life, talk with a park Ranger, and see interesting specimens at the Nature Center. It is open limited hours each day. Although the holding is not the best just off the west beach, it is acceptable for a stop to play on the beach or have a quiet lunch. Take care to note the tidal currents upon entering and departing Bahia Honda State Park especially through the old train bridge opening.

Marathon, Vaca, and Boot Key – Marathon, a quaint tropical city with a rich sea-faring history, boasts a modern airport, the impeccably well kept Sombrero Beach and some of the best fishing, diving, snorkeling and watersports anywhere in the world. Many marine activities are centered on Boot Key Harbor, a sheltered cove in the center of the island that is home to the City Marina. History buffs and eco-tourists will enjoy the Museums and Nature Center of Crane Point Hammock.  For more info, see http://www.fla-keys.com/marathon/?source=overture

Sombrero Key – A very popular island about 7 miles off the southern coast of Marathon, this small sandy key has a very tall lighthouse, great fishing, and snorkeling.

New Found Harbor Key – Ask for the coordinates for the two good protected anchorages here. The sand bars and the channel marks are difficult to spot visually, but there is a deep water channel into both the “Outer Harbor” and the “Inner Harbor” areas with very good protection, and the occasional manatee. This and Key Lois are the two closest anchorages to the popular Looe Key.

Looe Key - is located approximately 5.5nm (10km) south of Ramrod Key and about 8nm (15km) southwest of Bahia Honda State Park. This internationally acclaimed snorkeling and SCUBA Diving destination has been featured in dive magazines, calendars of underwater marine life, and television programs. It is common to see very large fish, including Galen the 500 pound Goliath Grouper (and his 300 pound buddy, Binky). The large coral structures rise up 10-20 feet off the bottom and are alive with fish and all kinds of other marine life

Key Lois – is another good anchorage with limited protection from the northwest, north and northeast. Do not recommend anchoring here with a breeze from the south, especially with a good protected harbor at New Found Harbor so close.

Coffins Patch – Named after the shipwreck that was carrying empty, new coffins, this area is a shallow water shipwreck that has an abundance of coral and marine life. Take care to avoid the areas too shallow to sail.

Long Key - is the home of Long Key State Park, a favorite of nature lovers. It is smaller and less developed than the neighboring Florida Keys of Islamorada (north) and Marathon (south). Its location is perfect for those who want seclusion, which the Florida Keys are so well known for, while still providing easy access to the reefs off south Islamorada and north Marathon. The Dolphin Research Center is located in nearby Grassy Key. During the construction of the Long Key Bridge (second longest in the Florida Keys) close to two hundred railroad workers lived in a houseboat that was moored next to the bridge. During October of 1906, a hurricane struck the Florida Keys that destroyed the houseboat. Many of the occupants drown, but some 72 survivors were plucked from the nearby waters in the days that followed the storm. There is a good, protected anchorage just west of the Long Key Bridge, and the 65’ tall Long Key Bridge provides access to the Gulf Intra-Coastal Waterway (ICW) from the Atlantic side

Indian Key – Located at about Mile Marker (M.M). 78.5 (close to Matecumbe Key), this State Park is rich with history and makes for a very fun trip. There is a full-time ranger, who gives tours on the island with a map and narrative on the island's history. This island and State Park is only accessible by boat. There is a dock with about 3-4 feet of depth at high tide. The wreck of an 18th century galleon is close by and very good snorkeling.

Tavernier Key - is immediately south of Key Largo and has several good dive spots off shore. Tavernier Creek provides access to both Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Tavernier is also the home of the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center and Harry Harris Park. Tavernier Key is actually a short distance off of Tavernier. In the 18th century wreckers used this Key as their base during the day and searched the reef at night for booty from ships that had run aground and sank.

Key Largo - Key Largo is known for its SCUBA diving and is home to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a spectacular underwater park. Divers and snorkelers will find plenty of incredible Florida Keys reefs and wrecks to explore while visiting Key Largo. Key Largo is the northernmost in the Florida Keys chain.

A5.   Passports and Documentation We strongly recommend that all guests going to the Bahamas bring a valid passport for entry into the Bahamas and for return to the US. Upon entry into the Bahamas, a cruising Permit which may or may not include a fishing permit must be obtained unless the yacht already has a current permit. If you are not a US Citizen, then a Visa and passport may be required to re-enter the US. If you are a US citizen, then you will need a birth certificate and government photo identification such as a driver’s license to re-enter the US. When entering or departing you should clear outbound customs, immigration and check to see if you need to clear through the US Dept of Agriculture

A6. Arriving in Key West and How To Get Here We are just a short taxi ride from the Key West international airport. Commercial flights may become available into Marathon Airport (about 40 miles away). Your most inexpensive way is to fly into Ft Lauderdale or Miami International Airports ant then take a one-way rent-a-car down scenic Hwy 1 through the Florida Keys for as little as $17-40

For discount airfares from the US and Canada call 1-800-327-5540 and quote Our Discount # 2000 or mention that you are chartering a yacht with Sailshare. If you'd like a taxi arranged, please ensure that you let us know the names of the guest, date of arrival, flight number and arrival time.

For those who prefer to spend the first night ashore, there are many national hotels within a 10- minute drive from our base including Days Inn, Marriott, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn to name a few. Most include breakfast. For a luxurious stay at one of Key West’s top hotels and restaurants, we recommend Ocean Key Resort (800-328-9815) at Zero Duval St, next to Mallory Square.

Sailshare charter guests may prefer to go directly aboard their yacht for a first-night "sleep-aboard"- in this case, the taxi can take you directly to our marina where our staff will greet you on arrival and show you aboard to settle in for the night.

Where we are - We're located at Safe Harbor Marina on Front Street on StockIsland,  This is a well-protected anchorage and marina, where you can drive right up to your yacht. At the dock you have water and shore power. You are next to the local’s popular hangout named Hogfish Bar and Grill.

Key West’s international airport is on Hwy A1A about 10 minutes west of the Marina. It is served by several main carriers, like Continental, Northwest, American, Cape Air, and others. The Airport code is EYW.

Directions to Sailshare Marina

By Land: Your yacht is at Safe Harbor Marina, which is on Stock Island. From Hwy 1 on Stock Island at about Mile Marker 4.9, turn south at Burger King on 5th Street. Take your first left, on MacDonald Ave. and drive past West Marine.  Take your first right after West Marine, and your first left on Front Street.  Go about mile and you will see the yachts in the water on your right, next to Hogfish Bar and Grill.

By Sea

Take Hawk Channel to Stock Island and turn in at FL R2 at N24 degrees 32.500' W81degrees 43.900'

Follow the channel into Safe Harbor (do not take the channel that splits to the northeast to Oceanside Marina (you can read Oceanside Marina's name painted on top of their storage building). Follow the channel into Safe Harbor leaving the large fuel tanks for the Desalinization plant to starboard. Pass Robbie's Marina on the Peninsula; Look for the wooden docks and pilings on the right after the fuel storage tanks.

A6. The Marina facility offers: Dockage & Storm moorings, Restaurant and bar within

a few feet, Gourmet provisioning service, Phone and e-mail access phone line, Internet Weather, Ice & Water.

A7. Starting your charter  Sailshare charter guests will commence a checkout during the afternoon of their arrival. The checkout will take around 2 hours and will include an inventory check, a thorough familiarization with all the yacht's systems and a detailed navigation and chart briefing. For those sleeping aboard, the checkout will start the following morning.

- Provisioning, if not already ordered, may be purchased from our on-site provisioning store - or alternatively guests may prefer to travel downtown to provision at places like Winn Dixie, Albertson’s, Gordon’s Food Service, or Publix, all located about 6 miles away.

- Most guests have completed all pre-charter checks and provisioning by noon - and are then ready to set off on their cruise.


Sailshare has access to qualified yacht instruction programs on board our yachts. The ASA offers a certification that is recognized worldwide. No experience is necessary - the courses are great either for novices who have never set foot aboard a yacht before, or for more experienced sailors looking for a formal qualification. Families and singles are welcome.                         Course 101 - Basic Keelboat

                       Course 103 - Basic Coastal Cruising

                       Course 104 - Intermediate Coastal Cruising (Bareboat Certification)

 The courses operate every week of the year and normally run from Sunday morning through the following Saturday morning. Guests should plan on flying into Key West on Saturday and flying out the following Saturday. For the first night we recommend that you stay on board the yacht if she is available ($25 per person for a double cabin with a minimum of $100). Otherwise you can stay at any of a number of Hotels. We will then arrange for the Sailshare Shuttle to bring guests to our marina the following morning after breakfast.

After meeting the Instructor and an orientation and safety briefing, the yacht will sail for a local island destination. A typical itinerary will be to Middle Sambo, Sand Cay, Cottrell Island, Looe Key, New Found Harbor, Key West Bight, Western Dry Rocks, Wysteria Island and then back to the Sailshare Marina.- around 80 miles round-trip with about 4-6 hours sailing times between the islands.

The $ 1,399 cost per person includes a fully equipped yacht with ASA Instructor, Provisioning for 6 breakfasts and 6 lunches, Fuel, ice & water, Examinations & Certification,

Not Included are Evening Meals, Text Books and ASA Log Book, Drinks, Taxi transfers between the airport & our marina, First night at hotel, Optional Instructor Gratuity, Airport transportation for departure.

 Text Books (Basic Keelboat, Sailing Fundamentals, and Cruising Fundamentals) are available for $18.95 each plus postage and handling. Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys by Capt Frank Papy is also available for the same price. We recommend getting the textbooks in advance so that you are familiar with the course of instruction and ready for the practical portion.

Yachts are in the 30-40-foot range, fully equipped with Dinghy, motor, refrigeration, linens and towels, stereo system, fully equipped galley with barbecue grill, snorkeling gear and all safety equipment. Guests will have their own private stateroom and either private or shared bathroom facilities. There will be a maximum number of 4 students plus the Instructor. Guests are expected to assist in preparation of meals. Evening meals may be prepared on board or taken ashore.

Capt Dennis knows the Florida Keys like no other.” - Capt Frank Papy, author of Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys

A9. Sleep-aboards: Guests who have arranged for a first-night sleep aboard may board the yacht at their convenience on the afternoon or evening before the start of the charter (from 3 pm or later). After working hours, one of our staff will still be available to meet you at the yacht and settle you in aboard the yacht. Note that the boat checkout will not start until the following morning. Dinner, breakfast, and lunch are available from restaurants close by.

A10.    Money: Most hotels and restaurants will accept cash credit and debit cards, traveler’s checks, Normal banking hours are 9:00 am to 4 pm from Monday through Friday. On Friday many banks stay open until 5 pm. Please note that banks are not open on Holidays. Banks in the Key West area include State Street Bank, Wachovia, TIB, Orion, Republic Bank, Southtrust Bank, Marine Bank, First Union, and several local banks. ATMs are conveniently located throughout all of Key West. Please pay attention to the service charge when using the ATMs.

A11. Public Holidays Normally almost all places are closed on public holidays. The 2005 US holidays are:

Friday, December 31, 2004 – New Year's Day
Monday, January 17 Martin Luther King Holiday
Monday, February 21 Presidents’ Day
Monday, May 30 – Memorial Day
Monday, July 4 – Independence Day
Monday, September 5 – Labor Day
Monday, October 10 – Columbus Day
Friday, November 11 – Veterans’ Day
Thursday, November 24 – Thanksgiving
Monday, December 26 – Christmas

“There are insufficient adjectives in the English language to describe the beauty of sailing the Florida Keys”

- Capt Frank Papy, North Carolina

A12.    How to be Reached Sailshare can be dialed 305-731-6795.

All of our yachts have VHF radios, but coverage does not extend out to the Dry Tortugas.

A13.    Provisioning - The Rusty Anchor Lounge & Restaurant is located just a few yards from our docks and offers reasonably priced meals and a well-stocked bar. Additionally the Hogfish Bar and Grill, a local’s favorite with a Killer Hogfish Sandwich as their specialty, is just a short dinghy ride across Safe Harbor. If guests wish, meals may be ordered in advance as part of our provisioning plan. There are many other good restaurants throughout Key West.

 Sailshare offers high quality, deluxe provisioning packages, which may be ordered prior to arrival. If you don't want to order a full provisioning package, you can order foods through our customized provisioning service and choose individual items required.

Ice is normally available during business hours at the Marina in chipped or block ice form.

Guests who wish to self-provision, can to go to Publix, Albertson’s Winn Dixie, or Gordon's Food Service, all of which are about 15 minutes by Sailshare Shuttle. Some of these Supermarkets and stores are open 24 hours per day. Provisioning costs are about 30% higher than the supermarket.

A13.    Provisioning - The Rusty Anchor Lounge & Restaurant is located just a few yards from our docks and offers reasonably priced meals and a well-stocked bar. Additionally the Hogfish Bar and Grill, a local’s favorite with a Killer Hogfish Sandwich as their specialty, is just a short dinghy ride across Safe Harbor. If guests wish, meals may be ordered in advance as part of our provisioning plan. There are many other good restaurants throughout Key West.

 Sailshare offers high quality, deluxe provisioning packages, which may be ordered prior to arrival. If you don't want to order a full provisioning package, you can order foods through our customized provisioning service and choose individual items required. Guests who wish to self-provision, can to go to Publix, Albertson’s Winn Dixie, or Gordon's Food Service, all of which are about 15 minutes by Sailshare Shuttle. Some of these Supermarkets and stores are open 24 hours per day.



French Toast sticks 


Breakfast sandwich

Sausage/Biscuit SW


18 eggs












Meat Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna

Eggplant Cutlets

Chicken Stir Fry

Garlic Chicken

Shrimp Stir Fry

Chicken Kiev

Turkey Burgers


Hot Dogs

Chicken Breast



Chopped beef steak



-- Beef/bean

-- Beef/cheese

Taquitos Beef

Halibut steaks



Battered Cod Fillet


-- 41-60 count

-- 13-15 count

-- 26-30 count




3lbs (~18)

2lbs (~4 servings)

2lbs (~4 servings)

2lbs (~4 servings)

2.5lbs (~6 servings)




6lb (~24ea)

3lbs (~8ea)

3lbs (~6ea)

3lbs (~12)

6lbs (~18ea)

2.5lbs (~10ea)

1.5lb (~24 ea)





2 lbs.




























Frozen Berry Medley

Cherry Pie

Key West Lime Pie

Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pie










Ice is available at the Marina in cubes or block ice form. Guests who wish to self-provision, can go either to the supermarkets or to the Waterfront Market. Several Supermarkets and fast food restaurants are open 24 hours per day.

A14.    What to Bring As little as possible! Everyone dresses casual: T-shirt and shorts during the day and in the evening a pair of slacks and an open neck shirt for gentlemen and a skirt or dress for the ladies is not uncommon. It will not be appreciated if you wander around town without a shirt on or in a skimpy swimsuit. We suggest that you pack the following:

Passport or other picture ID and Birth Certificate (If going to the Bahamas)            

Baggage tags with name and address

Money and/or credit cards                                  Travel clothes and shoes

T-shirts for day and beach ware                         Swim ware

Camera and spare film and batteries                  Hat (or 2) and/or sun visor

Several pairs of shorts                                        Long sleeve cotton shirt

Pen-knife with bottle-opener                               Ladies - light cotton dress

Binoculars (1 pair provided on yacht)               Gentlemen - 1 pair of trousers

Sun Screen/Lotion                                                Sun Glasses                          

Wash Kit                                                                Deck Shoes/sneakers

Light rain jacket

A15.    Bed Linens and Towels All of our yachts are equipped with bed sheets, pillowcases, pillows, and bath towels. Blankets are not necessary but are available on request. If you are planning on being on board for more than one week, we will provide a change of linens.

A16.    Scuba and Snorkeling Arrangements to rent equipment can be made in advance through Sailshare. You can rent a complete set of gear for $150 per week or just a tank for $50 per week, if you have your own gear. The cost for air refills is generally $5 per tank, although discounts can be obtained by purchasing fill cards or a large number of fills. Dive stores are all over Key West, some as close as a 10-minute drive from the Marina and some accessible by water in Conch Harbor Marina.

We can provide snorkeling gear for all of our guests for small added fee. You can select your gear from the equipment locker and try everything on for a sure fit before you leave the dock.

Please respect the coral reefs in Key West. Use due care to not drop your anchor on coral and remember that even touching a piece of live coral will often kill it. Please do not harvest coral from the ocean and do not buy black coral or turtle shells from any vendors. These items are prohibited in the US may require a fine be paid if you are in possession of them. There are several Underwater National Parks and Underwater Marine Sanctuaries in the Key West area. They are marked by yellow buoys and prohibit anchoring and harvesting anything from the ocean. Some allow catch and release fishing. You can enjoy these areas by tying up to the free mooring buoys. Take care not to run aground for many are shallow and are even exposed at low tide. The Marine life is vibrantly alive at these locations and you can have the experience of a lifetime with the dolphins, manatees, turtles, scenic coral, and the large and abundant fish and lobster

A17.    Getting Around in Key West There are three ways of getting around in Key West, which is a beautiful island well worth exploring.

Rental Car There are several Rent-A-Car businesses. Rent-A-Wreck

Buses - This is how many of the local people get around. It is possible to travel almost anywhere in Key West or Stock Island for $1. The local bus stop is about 800 yards from the dock.

Taxi - This is the most common method of transportation for most visitors. There are plenty of taxis available in Key West. Friendly Taxi can be reached at 294-0000. If you need a taxi or shuttle to meet you at the airport, please indicate so on your booking form and we will arrange it for you.

Dinghy - You can use your dinghy to get around Conch Harbor and Christmas Tree Island Anchorage. We don't recommend this at night, as navigation lights are required.

The Sailshare Shuttle – is available hourly for $20 per hour with driver. We can carry groups of up to 6 with bags and up to seven with only groceries. The Sailshare Shuttle can also pick you up or drop your group off at the Miami ($200), Fort Lauderdale ($250), Marathon ($50) or Key West Airport ($25). Fares are good for up to 6 passengers.

The Keys Shuttle – You can reserve a seat on the Keys Shuttle to pick you up and/or drop you off at just about any point in the Florida Keys from or to the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale Airports for only $75 per person. See them at WWW.FLORIDAKEYSSHUTTLE.COM

A18.    Getting Married? Visitors can get married in Key West once they have obtained the proper license. Please let us know if you need additional information or assistance in arranging the formalities. We will be delighted to assist.

A19.    Security There are few problems with Security in the Florida Keys, but for your own protection, we ask you to take normal precautions as follows:

Lock your boat and shut all hatches and portals when going ashore.

Lock your outboard motor onto the dinghy when going ashore

Stow your outboard motor on the stern rail mount at night.

Keep valuables in a safe place on board

Do not allow strangers to board your yacht

Do not leave the outboard motor on the dinghy when under sail

Do not bring any valuable jewelry with you on the trip.

A20.    Reading Material

We highly recommend the Waterway Guide to Florida and the Bahamas. This is an accurate and informative publication with a wealth of information on life and services in the Florida Keys both ashore and afloat. We also recommend Capt Frank Papy’s Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys. These guides may be ordered through Sailshare.

A21.  Suggested Itineraries

Local 7 Day Itinerary

Day 1 Yacht orientation and safety briefing. Set sail for Christmas Tree Island (approximately 2 hours). Anchor at picturesque Christmas Tree Island. Leisure time for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring ashore.

Day 2   Set sail for Cottrell Island (approximately 2 hours). Anchor in the lee of Cottrell Island. Explore the reefs and fish of Cottrell Island.

Day 3   - Sail to Sand Key (approximately 4 hours).  Tie up to mooring buoys -Afternoon at leisure to explore Sand Key, swim, snorkel. Sail to Sunset Key, the beautiful beaches and catch a glimpse of stately villas and international stars.

Day 4 - Sail to Looe Key. Swim, snorkel fish and see why this is an internationally acclaimed SCUBA diving spot. Sail to New Found Harbor and anchor for the night.

Day 5 Sail to City Pier in Key West and rent a slip ($60-80 per night) at City Pier. Spend the day touring Old Town, the Conch Train, Earnest Hemingway’s House, the Pirate Museum, or any of the historical tours and shops. Visit Mallory Square to watch the sunset and the artists perform or Sunset sail alongside the Schooners out of Schooner Wharf. Hit the nightlife on Duval Street.

Day 6 Sail to one of the Sambo Islands (Eastern Sambo, Middle Sambo or Western Sambo). Snorkel, dive, fish and/or swim. Sail back to Sailshare Marina.

Day 7   Shuttle to airport

                   Dry Tortugas 7 Day Itinerary

Day 1   Yacht orientation and safety briefing. Set sail for Sand Cay. Leisure time for swimming and snorkeling. Sail to Christmas Tree Island (approximately 2 hours). Anchor at picturesque Christmas Tree Island.

Day 2   Set sail for the Marquesas with a stop at Ellis Reef. Anchor in the lee of the Marquesa Islands. Explore the wrecks or sandy beach.

Day 3   Sail to the Dry Tortugas and anchor in the Harbor off Garden Key. Swim, snorkel, fish (Catch and Release).

Day 4 Tour Fort Jefferson National Monument and snorkel in the moat of the Fort and at the wrecked pier.

Day 5 Sail to Loggerhead Key and snorkel at the Windjammer Wreck. Return to Garden Key and anchor for the night.

Day 6 Sail to the Marquesas or Boca Grande. Anchor in the lee.

Day 7   Return to Sailshare Marina

The sailing itinerary will be flexible according to weather conditions, but a typical 1-week cruise will take guests to several of the high spots of Key West, and will cover around 90 miles of cruising. Distances between islands are generally short (from 2 to 5 hours) and there will be ample time for relaxation, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving or exploring ashore.

B1. Responsibilities


We will provide you with the type of yacht you have reserved (or with an equivalent or larger yacht in the event that your yacht becomes unavailable) in the cleanest and best condition possible, with all systems working properly and with the correct inventory aboard.

Before you board, our staff will have checked through everything, but if we have overlooked something, please let us know before you set sail so that we can fix it before you leave the dock.

Your checkout at the start of the charter will include an inventory check, a chart and navigation briefing and a walk through the vessel's major systems with one of our mechanics.

During your charter, we will do whatever we can to provide you with assistance should you need it and, if necessary, we'll send labor or spare parts to our location in order to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

At the end of the charter we will check you back in and ask you to complete a post-charter quality review form.


Before you set sail at the start of the charter, it's your responsibility to check that you have everything you need for your cruise. You must check the inventory and you must make sure that you have been fully briefed on how to operate the yacht and her systems.

Please also ensure that you've paid for any items due on boarding, including the refundable security deposit, and also that you've asked for our staff to reconfirm your return airline reservations for you.

During your charter you are responsible for the yacht at all times, whether or not you are on board. This means that you need to make sure the yacht is properly moored and secured before going ashore.

At the end of the charter we ask that you bring back the yacht in the same condition, fair wear and tear excepted.

We don't expect the yacht to be returned as clean as when you boarded, but we do charge a $100 fee for an excessively dirty yacht. Blocked heads will also incur an automatic $50 charge, which will go, deservedly to the mechanic who has to fix the problem.

At the end of the charter we ask that you bag all dirty linens, take all garbage ashore and generally leave the yacht in the state of cleanliness in which you'd hope to find you own yacht after someone had used her.

Our staff will calculate how much fuel you have used during the charter and will charge you for this.

If you've had any problems during your charter, please ensure that these are satisfactorily resolved with our staff before returning home. We'll reimburse you for any reasonable expenses, which we have authorized, and we'll also return you security deposit, less costs of any losses or damage.

You are always responsible for any costs incurred as a result of breach of the charter agreement and for any fines incurred as a result of breach of local laws. In this respect note that there are very stiff penalties for offences relating to drugs - mere possession of a few seeds of marijuana can lead to a ten-year sentence. If illegal substances are found on board the yacht, the yacht may also be seized by the authorities - in which case the charterer will be fully responsible. Note also that the skipper of the yacht is responsible for the conduct of the crew and, in this respect, will be held fully responsible by the authorities for any breaches of law committed by the crew. Please do not put yourself or the yacht at risk.

B2 Delivery of the Yacht The yacht will be delivered with full water and fuel tanks, with mixed gasoline for the outboard motor for the dinghy and with at least one full tank of propane gas for cooking. Linens and towels will be placed aboard, as will provisions and drinks if ordered through us.

Our staff will ask you to check and sign the yacht's inventory so that you know where everything is. They will also run through the yacht's systems, walk you though the upper deck and point out important features such as though-hull fittings. Remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that you have everything required.

You will be given a chart and navigation briefing and we will advise you on local matter such as Customs and immigration clearances, clearance fees and mooring permits. If you have cruised our area before, we still insist that you attend this chart briefing, as there may have been changes since your last visit.

Depending on your level of experience you may be asked, at the discretion of the Base Manager, to go for a checkout sail.

In general you should have completed all pre-departure checks within 3 hours and this will leave you plenty of time to reach you first anchorage well before dark. Again we advise you not to rush off before checking that you have everything.

B3 Re-Delivery of the Yacht The charter ends at noon on the last day stated in your charter contract. This means that you must plan to be off the yacht by noon - not simply alongside the dock. Please note that if you return the yacht late, you may be liable for additional charges. If you do anticipate a late return for any reason, please call us on VHF Channel 68. If you are flying out early in the morning, you must be alongside our dock no later than 3 pm the previous afternoon so that we can check you back in. If you do not arrive back by 3:00 pm you will not be checked back in and you security deposit will be held until our staff has checked the yacht the following day.

When approaching the entrance to Blue Lagoon, please call us on VHF Channel 68. Our staff will come out to meet you, take your dinghy and if required assist you through the entrance. Do not under any circumstances attempt to enter the lagoon through the unmarked southern channel without one of our Captains on board.

When approaching the dock, please ensure that you have fenders out (including a fender on the stern for stern-to docking), that you boat hook is ready and that, if our staff have not already secured it, the dinghy is properly secured with the painters out of the way. Please also make sure that the boarding ladder is up and stowed.

On completion of the charter we will ask you to take a few moments to complete a post-charter review. This will help us correct any problems with the yacht and it also helps us ensure that we maintain the highest standards by monitoring customer satisfaction.

B4. Customs and Immigration If you do not plan on leaving the waters of the Florida Keys you will not need to carry out any Customs and Immigration clearances during your charter. If, however, you plan on visiting the Bahamas, then you will need to clear outbound Customs and Immigration at your last US Port. Then clear inbound Customs and Immigration into the Bahamas and purchase a Cruising Permit. Upon re-entering the US, you will need to clear Customs, Immigration, and the US Department of Agriculture.

When entering a new country raise the "Q" (Yellow) Quarantine flag and the courtesy flag for the country you are entering. After completing your customs clearance, stow the Q flag. The courtesy flag should be flown from your starboard flag halyard or rigging and no other flag should be flown above this. The Q Flag is normally flown from the port flag halyard.

Customs and Immigration clearances are normally straightforward and usually take no more than 15 minutes. The skipper of the yacht is required to go ashore with all of the passports (or other acceptable documentation) for those on board, and with the ship's papers, 3 crew lists, and the last clearance for the yacht. Note that the crew should either accompany the skipper to the Customs and Immigrations Office or should remain on board the yacht until the clearance has been completed. It is against the law for the crew to disperse ashore until all formalities have been completed.

B5. Underwater Marine Sanctuaries The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have designated certain areas of the Florida Keys for protection of certain types of wildlife. Some of the wildlife includes animals such as Key Deer, and various protected species of birds. Other areas protect marine life especially turtles, marine mammals (manatees, dolphins, porpoises, whales, etc) and some fish (Goliath Grouper, snail darter, etc.). Your chart briefing will include the prohibitions of each of the areas. Some of the Marine Sanctuaries are the most beautiful underwater snorkeling sights with an abundance of marine life. For more information on the Underwater Marine Sanctuaries see http://www.fknms.nos.noaa.gov/research_monitoring/map.html

Don’t forget Captain Dennis’ famous advice: "Bring half as many clothes as you think you'll need and twice as much money and you’ll have a great time."


A1.  About Sailshare Yacht Charters and Timeshares

A2.   Why you should start your charter in Key West

A3.   About Key West, Florida

A4. Major Islands of the Lower Florida Keys

A5.   Passports & Documentation

A6. Arriving in Key Westand How To Get Here

A7. The Boca Chica Marina facility

A8.   American Sailing Association (ASA) Sailing School

A9. Sleep-aboards

A10.   Public Holidays

A11.   How to be Reached

A12.   Provisioning

A13.   What to Bring

A14.   Bed Linens and Towels

A15.   Scuba

A16.   Getting Around on St. Vincent

A17.   Getting Married or Engaged?

A18.   Security

A19.   Reading Material

A20.   Suggested Itineraries

B1. Responsibilities

B2. Delivery of the yacht

B3. Re-Delivery of the yacht

B4. Customs and Immigration

   B5. Underwater Marine Sanctuaries

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1107 Key Plaza #329

Key West, FL 33040


E-Mail: SSYachtDeliveries@gmail.com