Aft, bow, leeward, windward, rudder, jibing – ah, the sounds of sailing. If those are familiar words, welcome seamen, to Coconut Grove where you can rent a boat to take out for the day or bring your own vessel down into our warm waters. If those are unfamiliar words, read on for more on sailing in Coconut Grove, the very best place to get started.
Let the breeze blow on your back, the salt water lap along the sides of the boat and the sun kiss your skin. A day of sailing, for the seasoned veteran, the salty dog, or the newbie, is an idyllic way to spend a day in Coconut Grove. Come sail for a day, join in on a regatta or volunteer to sail for a good cause on the open waters off Coconut Grove.
Coconut Grove has long been the sailing capital of Miami. The location, right on Biscayne Bay, makes it the perfect host to a yacht club, sailing club and marina that are all within walking distance. Need one last reason to head to Coconut Grove and set sail on your adventure? There’s no doubt that the best way to see all of Miami, from Miami Beach to Key Biscayne and down South into the residential areas, even as far as the Florida Keys – is from the bay.
There are a couple of different kinds of sailing trips; generally they can be categorized into leisure and sport.
If you’re interested in learning the sport of sailing, your day will be more action packed. You’ll be learning the ropes – quite literally. For the serious beginning sailor, you can take a weekend to get your Basic Keelboat Certification, a program that will prepare you to take out a sailboat on your own anywhere in the world.
For more information on Basic Keelboat Certification, click here.
If you’re just looking to take in the sights, sounds and skyline of Miami from a boat steered by a seasoned captain, that’s a great option for a laid-back vacation day. Once you know what kind of sailing day you’d like to have, it’s just a matter of reaching out to the right place.
Dinner Key Marina
A great place to start is Dinner Key Marina, in the heart of Coconut Grove. This 582 slip marina is Florida’s largest wet slip marine facility with space for transient, long-term and commercial dockage. If you’re sailing down to South Florida, your ultimate destination should be Dinner Key Marina where you’ll dock up and join a thriving maritime community with shops, galleries, a movie theater and restaurants all within walking distance. Fill your days renting paddleboards to explore the mangroves and taking walks in neighboring parks on the bay like Peacock and Kennedy Park.
There are sailing charters and academies located within the docks at Dinner Key specializing in everything from romantic day cruises, lessons, catamaran trips or family onboard adventures.
Shake-A-Leg Miami “helps children and adults with physical, developmental and economic challenges; liberating them from the realm of imagination to the realm of experience.” At Shake-A-Leg, there’s more than the usual charters and sailing lessons of a member-based sailing club. This adaptive water-sports facility on the water helps anyone who wants to enjoy the bay whether therapeutic or recreational.
Some of the very worthy initiatives of Shake-A-Leg include working with veterans, children and adults with disabilities, summer camps, after school programming, mentoring and more.
Visitors have the chance to experience the positive and beautiful environment at Shake-A-Leg. Rent a powerboat, canoe or kayak there, or climb on board for a spin out on one of their sailboats. If you’re in town for a full moon you won’t want to miss the full moon sail.
What To Know
If the weather looks a little less than perfect, don’t assume the class is cancelled, even with some gray clouds or a bit of rain. Usually, the club will notify you if they’ve had to reschedule, but often times the class can be conducted with simulators or on land.
On the other hand, a sunny day also requires some preparation in advance. While a bright day is always desired for a day of sailing, sunburn never is. Wear long sleeved, but light colored shirts, take a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, even if the day looks cloudy - you can never be over prepared.
Be sure to wear non-skid shoes like boat shoes, sneakers, or water socks and remember they will get wet.
While seasickness is less likely to occur on a sailboat because there’s no back and forth and up and down from an engine, if you have a history of seasickness, or motion sickness, you might want to take some preventative measures. There are plenty of homeopathic or over the counter remedies available at your local drugstore.
Cruise From Coconut Grove
If all this talk of sailing has you thinking you’re interested in something more relaxed or if you’re simply looking to kick back without a worry then save learning the sailing ropes for you next trip.
Be Offshore, a casual cruising company, will provide you with the boat, the captain, the 19-mile route around Miami’s best sights – and you provide the food and drink of your choice. Be Offshore offers private or shared trips. If you opt for a private tour, you’ll have the freedom to customize your trip. But if you go with a group tour you’ll see everything from the famed mansions of Star Island to the private homes of Fisher Island.