About Us
Key Largo Partnership is made up of three couples. We came together through our interest in owning and renting houseboats as a business, which was first done in Boston by our friends at SleepAfloat.com. Each couple had planned to buy at least one houseboat from SleepAfloat with the plan that SaF would rent and manage the boats for us. The original idea was to put them in Miami Beach in a fancy hotel's marina right on Millionaire's Row as a truly "waterfront" but cheaper alternative to the costly and impersonal hotel rooms. We all stayed on SaF houseboats in Miami and got caught up in the idea. One of the couples is from Switzerland and they had already bought a SaF houseboat which they keep in the Fort Lauderdale area. SleepAfloat is the premier vacation stay-a-board boat rental outfit in the country with, boats at prime locations, visit their cool website:
SleepAfloat.com.

Well the plan didn't work out, since the Miami zoning police would not approve our renting to vacationers, which is a problem. The hotel industry prevents even home owners from renting to anyone for less than a month at a time. The business plan SleepAfloat had for selling houseboats to folks like us pretty much went south and rather than return our deposits, we wound up sharing the one boat that was in production, at the time, by Destination Yachts. So we three couples became partners in Calypso and we now share the management, rental and maintenance of Calypso, and we use it ourselves whenever possible. But, we needed a location to put Calypso that would be attractive to renters since it was a business proposition–none of us are yet able to retire!

How we Found the Pilot House
It just so happens that one of the owners, Jerry, had bought a tiny tugboat style trawler in 2010, Alto, and had it shipped to the St. Johns River to a marina in, what is now the infamous, Sanford, FL. After exploring the river (manatee heaven and a natural wonderland) for a winter, he was ready to try the clear waters of the Keys as an alternative to the Bahamas which are too far and too expensive for a week-long get away. Also, the Keys have half the rain in the Summer that Miami gets and are 10 degrees cooler, and have more interesting/funky places to visit. The Keys are NOT in the typical hurricane path through Florida which occurs during the Summer months.

So, Jerry, set out with his intrepid friend Larry for a four-day trip in June of 2011 to visit all the marinas in the Keys to find a home for Alto. If you're desperate for entertainment check out his
blog about the search of the Keys (many tiki bars were visited on your behalf!) for a marina for Alto. It offers tons of details about the Keys, the marinas and many of the restaurants reviewed on this website. The blog also describes a week-long trip up the St. Johns river Jerry took with friend Art on Alto. In the Keys, Jerry and Larry were most impressed with the Pilot House (PH) marina which is where we wound up moving Alto to for the Fall and Winter of 2012. They loved that the marina was 1.5 hrs closer to the airports than Key West–which adds on too much travel for a week-long visit to Alto. The PH was close enough that Jerry could spend several hours traveling from Boston to the Tug Boat for a long weekend. Well, it made sense to put Calypso in Key Largo at the PH marina when we needed to find a home for her once she was finished.

What's Special About the PH
The Pilot House marina is rated as the number one marina in the Keys by ActiveCaptain.com for boaters. It is one of a just a couple marinas
with floating docks in all the Keys, making it EASY to get on and off the boat, minimizing creaking lines and eliminating rise and fall due to tidal changes of 1.5 feet, twice a day. At mile marker 100, it was only 6 miles down the Keys (once you leave the causeway and get onto Key Largo) and thus less than a one-hour drive from Miami airport and under 1.5 hours from Fort Lauderdale. Believe me, after a day of traveling/flying that makes a huge difference compared to going another 1.5 hours to get to Key West. The marina staff are super, the place is immaculate and there's always something to see (especially from our 700 square foot roof deck) going on in the marina or harbor.

You'll meet people from all over the world who will talk with you about boats and travel. I've taken sailors from Australia, who arrived at the dock next to us, to the Publix supermarket in our rental car for supplies. Fascinating conversation, and they made us dinner in return! The kids can walk safely to a nearby giant water park, and you can bike or walk to a dozen restaurants. For less then the price of 2 or 3 motel rooms in the Keys folks stay on 3-bedroom Calypso. Who do you ever meet, talk to or find interesting about staying in a motel?

Some Important Advantages
Stay in an AirBnB house and never meet the neighbors, who likely hate renters anyway. None of the short-term Craigslist or AirBnB vacation rentals are legal in the Keys since no rental for under a month is allowed in all of Monroe County, except in "gated communities" which is what a marina is. We collect and pay both Florida and Monroe county taxes, so you'll have no worries about being caught in an non-legal rental. And, most important, we have proper insurance through SaF's fleet insurance covering rental clients. We believe we are the only boat (house or other) in the upper Keys with such renter's insurance.

Even getting stranded in a short rain storm on Calypso beats a motel room, especially if you have kids. We love it and we think you will too! Visit Key Largo and stay with us for a time. Look for me on Alto if you come to Cape Cod or the Keys! Jerry

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