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“A Most Positive and Pleasant Experience”

Florida Keys Sailing
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Owner description: Tartan 34C, ready to sail in the keys.
Reviewed January 24, 2012

If you are a novice or an experienced sailor, Florida Keys Sailing is the place to go if you want an exceptionally positive experience. Bruce Palmenberg is a real hands on business owner. He is a believer in giving the customers their money's worth. Bruce, his boats and his demeanor are all well seasoned and full of experience. If you decide to go to one of his schools or just rent one of his boats, be prepared to have Buce take care of you. He is not a man to leave things to chance and when you're out on the water in a sailboat, that's a very good thing. Our three day rental of the Catalina 30 was preceded by a thorough familiarization of the boat, its equipment and the waters in which we would be sailing.. This was very much appreciated. Our second day of sailing brought 15-20 knot winds and lots of white caps. Bruce thoughtfully offered to have one of his instructors accompany us on a sailing trip through the seven mile bridge and to a harborside restaurant. Edgar's presence on the boat as a crew member made the trip much more enjoyable.
When you book a trip like this and you're 700 miles away, it can turn out to be a joy or a nightmare. We really lucked out with Bruce and Florida Keys Sailing. Thanks for the wonderful memories you helped to make.

Tom and Sandy B.
Elon, North Carolina

2  Thank L0ngtimesail0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"sailing experience"
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"bareboat charter"
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"sunset sail"
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"patient teacher"
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55 - 59 of 59 reviews

Reviewed December 18, 2011

Last Feb I tried to book a sailboat thru this SailFloridaKeys. I picked out the boat, settled on some dates, then bought the airfare. After that I re-contacted the place to tighten-up our exact time & dates. Thats when I got this rediculous rental agreement with conditions such as: "We reserve the right to bill your credit card up to 14 days for any damage we find"....and "You will be fined for tampering with or resetting the GPS". Through numerous conversations I realized these people were a few cards shy of a full deck. Very shady and confrontational from the get-go. I bailed on the bareboat rental but, because I had already bought the plane tickets...we went anyway. We had a great time in Key West but, bareboating is difficult, if not impossible. Save your money and go to the caribbean where you can sail without all the b.s.

11  Thank sailfunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2011

i had never sailed before, but my partner learned from the captain at Sailing. Bruce and Edgar were great. Friendly, funny, and highly experienced. Edgar explained everything very well and made me feel very comfortable, since I like adventure, but don't know how to swim. :) definitely worth checking out.

Thank kneuharth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2011

My wife and I took ASA basic keelboat and coastal cruising about 6 months ago. Our experience was so negative that I wanted to wait a while to write a review in order to take emotion out of the equation. Between the two courses, we spent the better part of 6 days with Bruce.

The Beneteau 51 is old and, more importantly, has been poorly maintained. The plumbing won't handle toilet paper - and Bruce's comment was that 'most boats are that way'. Self-tailing winches were broken, necessitating pull-and-crank. We planned an overnight anchorage en route to Key West, but had to skip it and push the entire way to Key West on our first day out because two of the three batteries on board were dead. While we were in Key West, Bruce forgot to fill the fresh water tanks on the boat. We ran out of water in the middle of a shower the next day - with several days left in the cruise. On top of all this, Bruce had a confrontational teaching style that detracted from the sailing experience. To this day, we look at our photos, which are beautiful - and marvel how we could have had such a terrible time in such a beautiful place! I hate to write such a negative review - but having spent about $6k for a terrible experience, I don't want others to suffer the same fate.

29  Thank 34583John
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 1, 2008

We just returned from a great week in Marathon, FL, which was capped off by spending the day sailing with Bruce from Florida Keys Sailing. I had absolutely zero sailing experience, but wanted to see if it might be something I would enjoy. I called late for a reservation, and Bruce was booked up, but promised to double check and see if he had a cancellation. Lucky for us, he did, and was able to get us out for the day. It was truly the highlight of our trip. Though he would have been content to captain for us and let us be passengers if wished, we wanted to learn a little about sailing and he was happy to oblige. As soon as we got under way, my oldest daughter was steering the boat, and Bruce gave us a quick lesson in navigating the shallow waters of the Florida Keys. We all took turns at the rudder, and we were tacking and sailing pretty much on our own by the end of the day. There was also plenty of time for relaxing, sunbathing, etc, and my wife and daughters took full advantage. Bruce guided us to some of the most beautiful water I have ever seen, and we ended the day by “racing” another boat back to the marina.

If/when we return to the Keys we will surely include Bruce and Florida Keys Sailing in our plans, and may even do the two day course to start learning to sail for real.

If you want to get out on the beautiful water surrounding the Keys, and get a taste of sailing, I highly recommend Florida Keys Sailing!

4  Thank Four2Ski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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