Crab Island, which is just 2.7 miles away from Ft. Walton Beach, is one of the most popular attractions around Destin. As the traditional boats can easily accommodate 10 to 12 people, you can plan a group boating because the more, the merrier. You may rent a boat for a whole day (8 hours) or half a day (4 hours).

If looking to book affordable boat rentals in Ft Walton Beach, you should opt for the cleanest and friendliest boats in Destin and make a trip to Crab Island. Sailing across the clear blue waters and cruising across Choctawhatchee Bay, you can enjoy the gentle sea breeze caressing you on the deck. 

Things you might have to look out for when hiring a boat in Ft Walton Beach:

  • Check if the boating company has trained staff and can guide you with instructions on handling the boat
  • The team should have a map of the area’s waterways to give you the correct directions 
  • They should provide you with the essential life jackets and answer whatever questions you have about the boat and the company you’re renting it from
  • Ensure that your boat is fueled well before your departure time. Call them in advance to have things ready.
  • Check if the fuel charges are extra or included in the boat rental as a package.
  • Enquire whether the company has qualified maintenance staff and if the boats are in good running condition.
  • Check if you can carry your alcohol and if they have coolers on the boat. 
  • If they don’t provide snorkeling gear, you may have to take yours.

Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are one of the most popular boating options that Florida visitors prefer. This preference for pontoon boats is its ease of use, plush interiors, and flexible seating options that promise a great boating experience. 

Pontoon boats promise the luxury of plush living rooms gliding smoothly across the clear blue waters off Ft Walton Beach. Steering a pontoon boat is so easy that it’s more like driving your car, though it can accommodate more people. 

When the costs are split, the per-head cost is quite low, making it easy to book affordable boat rentals in Ft Walton Beach. If a full quorum of 12 people hires a pontoon boat, the per head cost for half a day’s boating cannot exceed $25 to 30 per head, and that’s a lot of unlimited fun in Destin. 

Jet Ski Rentals

If your group is smaller, or just the two of you, it makes sense to go on a guided Jet Ski tour covering all the local spots. You don’t have to waste precious time charting your course as you are directed precisely to the best locations and some secluded islands most people don’t get to visit. You may be fortunate enough to spot some playful dolphins while around Crab Island. 

Jet Ski Rental Tours include:

  • Jet Skis for two
  • Guided tours covering remote spots
  • Latest-model Jet Skis
  • Watching Marine wildlife in their natural habitat

As mentioned earlier, Crab Island is just 2.7 miles from Ft Walton Beach and lies north of Destin Bridge. 

What is Crab Island, and what is there to see?

Firstly, Crab Island is actually no island. It used to be an island and was created by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 60s by dredging Destin Pass and building new jetties. The sand dredged was piled on Choctawhatchee Bay to form an artificial island that came to be known as Crab Island. 

Although a trip to Crab Island is to relax and watch the marine scenery, you have many activities like kayaking, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, shelling, and many more. Don’t miss the Floating Adventure Park, where you have some water toys like inflatables and kayaks waiting. 

The inflatable water trampoline is a unique experience, and sliding down the water slide can pump adrenaline and be thrilling and exciting. There are clear-bottom kayaks that give you a chance to glimpse the bottom of the waters to watch some exciting marine life. 

Boating Laws

The good news is Florida does not have a boating license requirement. However, those born after January 1, 1988, are required to complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating course, as per government guidelines.  

You need to carry the boating education ID card along with a photo identification card while operating a boat in Florida waters. Non-residents with an equivalent certificate meeting Florida’s requirements need not complete this course; it is sufficient if they carry an ID card. 

Summing it Up

A boating trip off Ft. Walton beach can be a fun-filled water adventure. Going as a group on a pontoon boat promises some great fun, and the cost is pretty reasonable. 

Also Read: 

Why You should Visit the Florida Everglades in the Off-Season

Where to see Adorable Sea Turtles in Florida