When it comes to Sanibel Real Estate and Boating you have 3 options:
1. Buy a canal home with boat dockage
2. Pay to store your boat at a marina or storage facility
3. Join a boat club or rent boats occasionally
(Bonus – 4. Have a friend with a boat!)
Option #1 – Sanibel Canal Homes
Let’s start with option number one – buying a home on the canal with boat dockage, or space to add a dock. We’ve already done some of the work for you by listing out the common Sanibel Boating Communities in a separate blog post (click here to view). Some of the communities have “no bridges to bay,” others require crossing under Periwinkle Way, which limits the height of the boat – so, keep that in mind!
If you’re looking at a canal home that doesn’t already have a dock, we’ve got people! And by people, we mean professionals in the marine dock and lift industry that can tell you…
- If the canal space is big enough for your intended boat/dock, and
- How much it’ll cost to install your setup.
Option #2 – Sanibel Marinas and Boat Storage
Again, we’ve already made a list of Sanibel Island Marinas and Captiva Island Marinas. What that list doesn’t include is a list of marinas nearby, such as the Port Sanibel Marina in Punta Rassa, and a handful of others in Cape Coral and Fort Myers Beach. For that, check out our sister blog, GulfCoastHomeGuide.com, which outlines other marina options in SWFL.
NOTE: Some of the marinas listed in the blogs above have both wet storage (in water) and dry storage (boat barn). Maybe we’ll make a separate blog for storage barn options since that’s a popular choice for most day-boaters. Stay tuned for that.
Option #3 – Sanibel Boat Clubs & Rental Boats
If you’ve rented a boat in SWFL, you know that options are usually limited to either a pontoon, deck boat, bowrider, or center console. These are perfect for putsn’ around the bay and maybe going up to North Captiva or down to Lover’s Key. But, if you wanted to go a few miles offshore or do some backwater flats fishing, they aren’t the best choices.
That’s where boat clubs come in! Boat clubs offer monthly or annual membership packages to suit your boating needs. They also offer more boat types and tend to update their fleet more frequently (which means nicer boats). Here are a few Southwest Florida boat clubs we know of…
- Freedom Boat Club
- Carefree Boat Club
- Baywater Boat Club
- Suntex Marina Boat Club
- Destinations Boat Club
- Marina Mike’s Boat Club
**There are probably a few others we’re missing
While you’ll likely only use the Southwest Florida locations, some of the larger companies like Freedom and Carefree have locations throughout the US, Canada, and even parts of the Caribbean and overseas! Some of our team members have experience with local SWFL boat clubs and rental companies, so, don’t hesitate to ask our opinion if you’re leaning towards this option.
Unofficial 4th Option
The final, (unofficial), option for Sanibel Real Estate and boating… make friends with someone who already has a boat! Or, convince your nearby family members to get a boat. Seriously, boating is so much fun, but so much work when it comes to maintenance, storage, and upkeep. Keep that in mind when shopping for Sanibel Real Estate and/or boating opportunities in Southwest Florida!