Best Sailboat Rental (2006)

Castle Harbor Boating School

One of the great things about big-city living Miami style is the ease of escape. When traffic jams and noisy people give us woe, we can board an eighteen-foot sloop, unfurl the main sail, and catch a ten-knot breeze. Once we're safely offshore, the wind powering us across Biscayne Bay, we can pour a few mimosas and enjoy a spectacular sunset. All is better. Miami, home of the U.S. Sailing Team training center, is a sailor's paradise. Problem is: We're not rich. We don't own a boat nor do we have maritime friends. So we go down to Matheson Hammock. The good folks at the Castle Harbor Sailing School have a dock filled with rentals. They're priced reasonably -- $50 an hour (if you take the Harbor 20s) or $60 for the Santana 22s. And if you want to go out with a large group -- charter a big boat -- the 35-foot Gone with the Wind can be yours for $400 a day. The Harbor 20s are specially equipped for quick rigging and novice sailors. Also, if we're a little concerned about our skills, we can take a freshen-up lesson at the Castle Harbor school, which is stocked with racing veterans.


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