Last week we gave you some information on why South Florida is a paradise for boating lovers and this week we are back with more. South Florida has everything a boating lover could want with secure and spacious docks, beautiful waterfront properties, and water everywhere. Continue reading below for more about all that South Florida has to offer and keep an eye out for some of your favorite Magnum models on the water!
Dock ‘Til You Drop
Fort Lauderdale and Miami marinas can accommodate yachts of 300-plus feet, which are some of the largest in the world, Mr. Dotoli said. There are more than 100 marinas and over 50,000 registered yachts in Fort Lauderdale alone. Just a few of the area boating yacht clubs include Coral Ridge Yacht Club, a private Marina in Fort Lauderdale; Ocean Reef Yacht Club, a private marina and hotel located In Key Largo; and Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club in Boca Raton, he said.
Most private boat and yacht clubs offer reciprocity with other boat clubs. “For example, if you are a member at Coral Ridge Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale, you have access to 25-plus other clubs and their facilities,” Mr. Dotoli said. Yacht clubs typically offer pools, dining, dockage (including a full marina with fuel), and they are a great space to network with other boating enthusiasts. A membership to Coral Ridge Yacht Club starts at a $4,500 initiation fee and runs about $4,044 a year, Mr. Dotoli said. However, once you’re a member of this club and others, you are also a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs, which offers reciprocal docking privileges at 30 other clubs in South Florida.
In the Florida Keys, there are marinas on every island for wet and dry and short-term and long-term boat storage, as well as amenities and access to bridges that will get you to the other side of the island, Ms. Ewald said. Dockage can start at $30 per foot per month and go up from there. “There are small clubs scattered throughout the Keys in addition to a few sailing clubs, though the local guides have captains’ associations. The mainland holds more private boating clubs than we do here; we’re a bit more laid back and recreational,” she said.
“My favorite is The Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo,” Mr. Jackson said. “It’s an easy boat ride from Fort Lauderdale, and the boating there is spectacular—beautiful scenery and a number of great restaurants on the water for fun day trips.”
“With hundreds of miles of waterfront in south Florida, whether Intercoastal or ocean, there’s so much to enjoy that complements the lifestyle buyers are seeking,” says Jeffrey Thomas Brown, Broker Associate with Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
The Intracoastal waterway runs parallel to the ocean along South Florida’s coast, where you can find waterfront properties ranging from $1 million to $40 million and up, which can accommodate the owner’s vessel, Mr. Dotoli said. Some of the top Intracoastal neighborhoods include Seven Isles, Harbor Beach, Rio Vista, and Golden Isles.
Waterfront property with boat dockage is what buyers are looking for in Fort Lauderdale. “Known as the yachting capital of the U.S. and the ‘Venice of the Americas,’ there are luxury waterfront homes at different price points—but location is always the No. 1 amenity when looking at homes for boating enthusiasts,” Mr. Dotoli said.
One of the most exclusive neighborhoods in South Florida is Las Olas Isles in Fort Lauderdale. Las Olas Isles is primarily comprised of single-family homes and offers easy access to the lively Las Olas Boulevard in the Downtown Fort Lauderdale area and Fort Lauderdale Beach.
“While there is a rise in condo living with private deeded boat dockage, we still see a hot market for luxury, single-family homes in Fort Lauderdale,” Mr. Dotoli said, noting that new construction continues to be the most sought-after property type.
In the Keys, the bigger your land, the deeper your dockage, the better your views, and the pricier your property, Ms. Ewald said. Bayfront homes generally offer deeper dockage; oceanfront property is more of a beach home with shallow dockage; and then of course there’s a wide variety of canal homes everywhere to choose from, Ms. Ewald said.
“We do have a lot of dry lot homes as well—and for the avid boater we suggest finding a home in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s park with a boat ramp,” she said. These generally start in the high $400,000s and can go all the way up to over a million, depending on the size of the property, home, and proximity to water, Ms. Ewald explained.
Islamorada, which is about an hour and a half away from Miami and surrounding areas, provides access points to various waterways. “If the wind is blowing in one direction or the other, you can quickly access the other side of the islands to get on the water. Generally, from any given point in Islamorada, it’s only about a 15-minute max ride to get from Bay to Oceanside or vice versa,” Ms. Ewald said. It also has its share of very high-end neighborhoods with deep dockage and quick access through bridges for boaters.
Key Largo also offers stately pieces of land as well and is a bit closer to the city for a faster commute. “Marathon, 30-to-45 minutes south of Islamorada and over an hour from Key Largo, is very convenient if you fly privately; there’s an airport there,” Ms. Ewald said.
Homes in The Keys tend to be smaller and more minimal than homes on the mainland because people come to enjoy the outdoors. However, Ms. Ewald noted that architecture here is unique and all across the board. “You’ll find our homes are very well built as our building codes are very strict,” she said. “Most of our homes are elevated, concrete, and sometimes even with concrete roofs and impact-resistant windows and doors.”
“While we are a secondary market, a lot of our clientele can see retirement in the not-so-far future and part of their planning is getting their foot in the door and enjoying their Keys home now as well as later.,” Ms. Ewald added. “We have very little land so what’s available is precious and valuable.”