During the pandemic, Marcel Perdomo’s charter boat needed repairs and no parts could be found. The captain’s phone, though, wouldn’t stop ringing.
Everyone wanted to get their hands on a boat. They were calling from New York and California where COVID-19 restrictions were more stringent, learning that on a boat they could shed the mask and bask in the Florida sunshine.
“Restaurants were closed. Bars were closed. Beaches were closed. Pools were closed. Boats were not,” said Perdoma, who owns M-Boat-M. “That’s what really sparked all of this.”
Perdomo went from charter boat captain to broker, putting people in touch with those who owned boats who could rent them out. Miami tops the inaugural list of boating destinations in the United States by GetMyBoat, an online marketplace that specializes in putting together boat owners and boating enthusiasts.
In announcing its rankings, GetMyBoat said Miami’s “year-around sunshine, pristine waters and glamorous waterfronts solidified its reputation as a boater’s paradise.”
Analyzing more than 100,000 boat rentals in the U.S. over the past year on its platform, GetMyBoat curated data to come up with its inaugural list of 75 cities.
Five other Florida cities were ranked: No. 8 Fort Lauderdale, No. 9 Destin, No. 21 Clearwater, No. 23 Cape Coral and No. 25 Fort Walton Beach.
Miami’s market also makes available a wide variety of vessels: motor yachts, speedboats, fishing vessels, to name a few.
“Miami is the undisputed No. 1. ” said GetMyBoat spokesperson Val Streif. On Just GetMyBoat, I think it’s like at least over 1,200 boats in Miami alone. You have so many different options.”
She said about 70 percent of those booked are charters with captains, while others are renting boats and taking them out on their own. Very popular among the tourists are the motor yachts that range from 33 to 130 feet and can entertain large groups.
“Maybe what you want to see and do is best experienced by boat, whether it’s cruising to Star Island, Key Biscayne or Biscayne National Park, seeing the mansions on Millionaire’s Row,” Streif said.
Boating is also becoming more affordable, Streif said, allowing residents who wouldn’t consider renting a boat to add that option to their weekend recreation. Hourly rates are hovering around $200 in Miami-Dade County but there are even less expensive options – such as a Sundancer that starts at $150 an hour – which is about the national average, she said.
Here are the Top 25 rankings by GetMyBoat: