I would highly recommend going elsewhere. The boats were horrible and the customer service was just as bad. We had a 3 day rental for a 24' Mako. Not 5 minutes out of the marina we lost RPM's and the motor shut off. Tried to restart it and the motor would not turn over. Switched batteries to "ALL" and got it running. The motor never performed as it should, so we swapped boats for a 22' Cape Horn. The 2nd boat seemed to be a huge improvement until the same thing happened. This time the motor was not cycling water so the manager told us to anchor and wait for them to come tow us in. 4 hours later, when we finally made it back, the manager was waiting with her nasty attitude (the owner would not even confront the ordeal, she ran away when she saw us pull up to the dock). The manager automatically accused us of running aground, which we did not. They said they would let us know what the deal was after the mechanic looked at it. We finally got a call a week later saying that we owed the full amount +$350 for the mechanic to replace the bad water pump. They finally realized that the mechanic charge was garbage so they dropped that but still made us pay in full. We never got any sort of apology or recognitions that our fishing trip was ruined. Instead we just received rude and nasty remarks from the manager. Its a wonder they are still in business considering the way they treat their customers and the reliability of their boats. I would be surprised if they get very many return customers.
We rented a boat for the day and were very disappointed with the service. We were told to arrive early as there was a lot of paperwork to complete so we stopped by a day early and the manager looked at us like we had 3 heads until we explained that we were there early because of her recommendation. She proceeded to tell us exactly everything we could not do in painstaking detail. Additionally she made up rules that do not exist (when PDFs were required, non-existent restricted areas and bogus fines). As a licensed Master Captain and 23 year law enforcement officer I questioned her on the information that she was providing and she was very condescending telling me those were the rules. I didn’t tell her my background and later double checked and found that she was not correct.
When we arrived the next day to take the boat out my 8 year old daughter noticed the two dogs in the office. When she commented on the dogs the manager immediately told her not to look at them! The dockhands were nice and mumbled to us to ignore the manager. My step-dad asked her a question about a fishing area and she asked him where was the chart she provided us with – I had the chart but was out unloading the car. He said he didn’t have it and she immediately started chastising him then he explained that I had it outside and she ignored him and made him sit and review the chart with her again along with areas that he should not be going (which was not the original question he had).
The boat was functional but the binnacle was so loose that you had to hold the throttle in place at all times during the day. Also when we were finished with our day trip we had to clean our own boat! Not just take the trash out as we normally would but actually wash it for them!!
We had rented at another location before and had the complete opposite experience with the staff. We would not recommend anyone rent from Captain Pips. There are many other businesses to spend your hard earned money which will appreciate your patronage and treat you with common courtesy and respect.
Weather was too bad to take boat out for two days because the guide advised against it (Really Bad Wind). But.........................WE HAD TO PAY $170 anyway, because 'WE HAD THE BOAT RESERVED"! This was our second AND LAST VISIT!
Staying at Captain Pip's would not have been too bad of an experience except for their boats. First, the boat was not prepared for us and ready to go at 8:00 in the morning. Second, the steering on our boat was very difficult to manage. Somehow they rigged the boat so it didn't have much speed. Last, we went fishing out by the tower which was about 7 miles out. For 14 miles roundtrip, we were charged $70 in gas to refill the tank. As experienced boaters, we knew that this was about double what it should have been. There is no way to argue with them about it either ... no gas tanks were in sight. So, in our opinion, Captain Pip is a Rip, and we won't be back.
OK anyone reading all the reviews might be confused by how good or bad Captain Pip's is, I think I can explain. We go to the Keys to Fish, If fishing or diving is your reason to go to the keys then Captain Pips is the place to stay. Not to say it's the only reason to stay there but with a boat included it makes it a great place if you want to go fishing or diving. Located only 1/2 mile from the seven mile bridge makes it the perfect place to stay, depending on whats biting or which way the wind is blowing makes it the best place to stay to fish or dive the Keys. If you are looking for a great place for a couple to stay with all the accommodations of a 5 star hotel then not so much. They have very nice appartment style resort with limited services. It is extremely clean and a very nice quite place to stay, I have stayed there with people that are very picky about how clean a place is and they loved how clean Pip's was. It is a little older of a resort but very well kept I have never talked to anyone staying there that did not like it. It is true that the area seems a little run down but most of the Key's are like that, unless you are staying at a resort that has everything you want on the resort grounds. Pips is no different than any other area in the Key's with maybe the exception of Key West. Some of the boats are old and need some work but they are in the process of replacing the older ones. To rent any kind of 19'+ boat in the keys you will spend a min of $1,000.00. If you figure out the cost of a hotel room plus a boat Captain Pips is a great deal.The cost of their gas is in line with other resorts, gas is always more at the resorts that at the gas station. Most hotels don't have a place to clean fish, keep your catch, wash everything down, ect. I have stayed at hotels with Marinas and Captain Pip's is way more convenient that any hotel if you want a boat with your stay. We normally pay a few hundred dollars more to up grade to a larger boat to fish further offshore, (ask about an upgrade). All of the people I have met at Captain Pips have been very nice and helpful, the dock guys have always told me what was biting and where to go. If you are looking for a great place to stay and want a boat for the week Captain Pip's is the best place to stay. I hope this helps.
Spent $4,000 for 2 weeks accommodation and boat hire booked in advance from the UK. The attraction was the provision of a "quality" cc boat at the dock adjacent to the accommodation.
The boat was a great disappointment because it was very old and very beat up, it had clearly seen better days. Although the engine was OK and did not break down all hatch covers and fittings were broken and shook and rattled when underway. Live bait well would not drain properly when in use. Although supposed to comply with regulations the only discernable audible warning device on board was the whistle attached to the life jackets.
The inlet where the hideaway and marina is located is shared with some commercial fishing businesses and storage yards. Most mornings we were awoken at 5.30 am with the noise of diesel engines and activity. This was usually after having just got off to sleep after the occupant of the neighbouring room decided to turn off his TV at around 4.00am. The connecting door between rooms was "soundproofed" by a curtain and some old foam rubber. In practical terms it was possible to hear the neighbouring occupant break wind.
The dock adjacent to the premises was chocked with rotting vegetation and fish remains, the smell was pungent and almost as bad as the sewerage smell which seemed to come from the landward side of the property. It was difficult to sit outside because of the unpleasant and sickening smells.
In terms of cleanliness we encountered 3 dead cockroaches on arrival, although tea towels were changed regularly the bed linen was only changed after 8 days. Apart from this the apartment was OK but a lot of the lights did not work and plastic dining rooom chairs are not particularly comfortable.
The weather was not great and for several days the boat was not permitted out of the dock because of the strength of the wind - because of this we were given a credit of $57 per day - although the quoted hire charge per day for the same vessel was $195 (not that anyone would have paid this if they had seen the old dog). Fuel charges seemed to be very high by comparison to pump prices.
Generally the staff were polite and helpful, but the poor quality of boat provided will always be the lasting memory.
Wanted to rent a CC boat for us (2 adults, 2 kids) during our week stay in Marathon. Did a lot of online research for places, selected Captain Pip's and was very satisfied! Very nice selection of boats to choose from. Be sure to reserve in advance, you should have a better than novice level of boating experience and be able to read a nautical chart to avoid the shallows. Our boat, though not brand new, was clean and well maintained: the T-top looked new, the engine, prop, skeg, GPS, depth finder and live well were all in excellent working condition. GPS had some stored locations for fishing which worked very well for us as we caught a bunch of snapper, grouper, mackerel, sharks and barracuda on the bay side. It's a short run out to Sombrero Key for excellent snorkeling. Barbara and her staff were all very nice and accommodating. We can't wait to return and Captain Pips' is the only place we will consider for our boat rental.
I listen to the other reviews and disagree with some of them. The staff is top notch and willing to help out in anyway they can. Porkeys the restaurant next store was great. Especially the Fried Calamari. I would recommend this place to everyone and I have. We booked a guide for the first day, which I would recommend since the waters are a little confusing. Our guide had some health problems so we used him for half the day and we were credited for the other half. I can not wait to get back. If you are looking for 5 star accommodations with a maid then maybe this is not the place for you. But if you have a love for fishing, Then this is the best place out there.
So we arrived at this place, the manager is so rude. She showed us our room and all little signs in there, don't do this, don't do that. Always screaming at the dock guys, ect. I said good morning to her when she was walking her little dogs and she did not acknowledge. We had the boat in on time everyday, even though when you need to have it in is when the Tarpon are just comming around. The boat was such a junk it was embarasing trying to start every time we moved. Our last day that nasty manager was chasing us around making sure we returned every item or she let us know she was charging us for it. She wasn't even giving us time to wash things down, she wanted out at 5. She is a very unhappy woman and shows it. The rate was cheap to include a boat, but not worth it to be made feel uncomfortable for a week. People asked us to let them know how it was so they could go and enjoy a vacation and we told them don't bother . Their help there is truely unhappy and let us know every day. My fiance' was standing with the door open for 2 seconds and she yelled at her to shut the door with the a/c on. She was just opening it for me to come in. Please, spend the extra and go enjoy a vacation somewhere else.
The place is named for a dog... probably a bad dog. Within five minutes of taking the center console boat out towards Sombrero Key, the canopy blew down and needed to be repaired. Fortunately, I had a Leatherman tool with me and after about half an hour was able to cobble it back together.
On returning to the marina that afternoon, I told the guy about the episode and showed him the repair job. I asked if we'd get compensation for the time we spent fixing their boat. He grumbled something, that sounded like "ok". But, when we got back home, he'd charged the full amount to the credit card.
The boat rental fee was no bargain either; and their fuel charges are *very* high - expect to pay over twice the going rate. We took a day cruise the following week and it was a lot more fun... and way cheaper. Well, you live and you learn.
Waterfront tropical paradise in the Heart of the Florida Keys; offers large & exceptionally clean comfortable rooms. Amenities:Microwave Oven. Floating
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