FORT LAUDERDALE - WATCH OUT FOR BOAT RENTAL CLUB & RENTALS at Bahia Mar & Hyatt Pier 66
I truly believe this “business” is nothing but a front for a tourist rip-off ring.
Last weekend my family, locals of Fort Lauderdale, rented a 21-foot boat for a half-day on the water, with two small children and two adults. Best Boat Rentals sale representative David Tabb seemed very nice when he wanted our money. In fact, it was our second time visiting him to consider joining their $6000/year boat club. We seriously thought if we had a nice experience renting a boat once, then we would join as members.
To make a terribly long story short, I will summarize by saying that the boat broke down in Port Everglades by the rock jetty (less than a mile from their dock). The wind was blowing us towards the rocks. I radioed them a dozen times on Channel 16, which Dean – their rental agent - said they monitor in case of an emergency. They don’t. Tow Boat US came to our rescue because they heard the many urgent radio calls; they were monitoring channel 16.
Unfortunately, the towboat that pulled us away from the rocks was en-route to another call and left us in a safe area to wait for another tow. We were stranded more than 1.5 hours for another tow. During the rescue, the Tow Boat US captain made it clear that his company LOVES Best Boat Rentals – as they regularly tow stranded customers back to the dock…. “it’s a good money maker for us!,” he exclaimed.
After leaving the dock, I also noticed: 1) The depth sounder didn’t work. 2) The engine temperature gauge did not work….because there wasn’t one. 3) The passenger seat was not secured properly and when crossing the wake of another boat, my wife almost fell out of the seat. 4). The glass windshield frame was missing screws and falling apart. 5) While anchored and swimming, we looked back at the boat and noticed a large area where the boat had significant hull damage, of course this is the side of the boat that was tied to the dock at Best Boat Rentals. 6) This explains why the bilge pump (the device that stops the boat from sinking) ran continuously during our ½ day excursion.
Yesterday I found an unauthorized fraudulent $2,000 charge on my debit card from these con artists. Additionally, they overcharged me for the rental. The rental contract read $275 and I was billed $339.50. To charge me anything for this experience is disgusting. I have reported these fraudulent charges to MasterCard.
Best Boat Rentals claimed the damage to the engine was my fault because I took the boat into the ocean. But on their website, the 21ft Polar Dual Console we rented states we can “Cruise comfortably through the canals or head off-shore to fish, water-ski, and snorkel…” Additionally, nowhere on their contract, in their literature, facilities signage, or in the boat does it say that the boat should not go in the ocean. It was a beautiful day, and we rented the boat to go in the ocean, explore beaches, and swim with my two boys – ages 6 & 8.
Interestingly, when I returned the boat under tow, Best Boat Rentals dockhand checked the propeller and looked over the entire boat and said it was clear to him that we had done nothing wrong. Having owned boats for more than 30 years myself, I know exactly what went wrong. It was simply a lack of maintenance to the propeller hub. This company, in effect, rented me a boat with “bald tires” and when I returned it, tried to tell me that I need to buy them new ones.
If anyone doubts the veracity of this story, call Tow Boat US and ask them how often they rescue Best Boat Rentals victims.
Richard Ticktin and Christina Twomey
We had a wonderful family trip recently to Fort Lauderdale. Our first day was spent hoping on and off the water taxi which was an excellent way to familiarise ourselves with the area. We got off the watertaxi on our first day at Bahia Mar Marina where we enquired about one of the fishing trips!
This happened to be the best thing that could have happened. We arranged a trip for the following day $125 each for 4 of us for 4 hours! The guys on the boat Chip and Freddie were awesome. Within 10 minutes of starting fishing we had caught a giant Kingfish. Freddie knew his stuff and in the 4 hours we had caught 5 Kingfish, 4 Dolphin fish (more about these later) and a baracuda which we got mounted for $500 and my husband has on his den wall!!
When we got back to shore Freddie gutted the dolphin fish for us and arranged for the restaurant at Bahia Cabana to cook it for us. I have to say it was the most amazing meal I have ever had. Knowing that the fish was pulled out of the water only a few hours before and by little old me surely contributed! We were staying in a hotel and unfortunately couldn't take the king fish but they boys assured us they would not be going to waste!
I have never gone ocean fishing before and had always imagined it was a lot more expensive and is something I never thought of doing. So I am extremely glad to have bumped into Freddie on the dock when coming off the Water Taxi. The boat is called the Miss Gail.
We took a fishing trip and had a great time. My daughter did most of the fishing and my wife caught some sun. I took pictures and totally relaxed. If you want to give it a try take a look at www.actionsportfishing.com. Great service and very knowledgable!
Take a water taxi if you get the chance. There are several companies which operate boats, and they are all pretty similar. They charge $5 for unlimited riding all day long and will take you from New River out to the Intercoastal and back. Riding round trip will take around 3 hours, but they welcome you to come and go as you please. You can pick up the boat at many locations; ranging from Las Olas to Ft Lauderdale beach, so there are many places to stop and have a look. The boats also stop by some fantastic waterfront resturants, so you are able to stop for a bite to eat.
The boats cruise by some of the most amazing houses ever which are owned by the minds behind Blockbuster and Alamo rent a car.
Cruise down the intercoastal waterways . . . See homes of the very wealthy like the home of the guy that invented the paper clip . . . See homes of the famous like Burt Reynolds (some say that he even comes out and waves some times) . . . See the oldes home in Lauderdale . . . You also make a pit stop at an indian village and see an indian wrestly an alligator . . . It is kind of hokey, but you can't deny the wrestling is for real . . . All in all a fantastic way to see this side of Lauderdale . . . Cost is only $11.50 . . . Tour lasts about 3 hours . . . Reservations suggested
Go to the marinas and watch the boats go by...I used to work on boats when I was growing up so I have a fondness toward boats and Fort Lauderdale has the best of the best. Near Las Olas Boulevard you can go to one of the bridges and watch them go underneath...small and large ones that they have to raise up the bridge. Great cheap fun.
Deemed the Venice of North America, Ft. Lauderdale boasts some of the nicest waterfront property this side of the Atlantic, with the rich boating from house to waterfront bar and restaurant in carefree fashion. What’s worse is most of the multimillion dollar homes are just winter residences and often the boats are even more expensive than the homes.
The layout of the city is conducive to take in all the access points to water. The Intercoastal Waterway is a barrier, and also a chance to see many sites from more than one viewpoint.
You should check out all of the pretty yachts in the many Marinas along the Intercoastal roads and canals. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to get to ride in one. I wasn't....
Jungle Queen Riverboat: Enjoy a B-B-Q and shrimp dinner as you cruise the New River and enjoy the variety show and the sing-a-longs.
Joyous dinner and ambiance.