‘If you haven’t seen S. Fla. by water, you haven’t seen S. Fla.’

Meet Daniel Grant, 43, of Fort Lauderdale, owner of Floridian Coastal Charters. He has a both a Boston Whaler 370 Outrage and a Mako 221.

Who accompanies you on your boat?
I enjoy boating with my wife and two children, ages 9 and 11, as well as my parents and friends. I also use both boats for day charters in and around Fort Lauderdale.

How did you take up boating?
Like many South Florida kids, I spent a lot of time on and in the water. My father introduced me to boating around age 7. It’s been a passion ever since. I began learning on small sailboats, then moved on to a Jon boat, and then to center consoles.

What do you most enjoy about being on the water?
For my charter business, I enjoy showing visitors what makes Fort Lauderdale and surrounding cities such a special place. If you haven’t seen South Florida by water, you haven’t seen South Florida.
In my personal time on the water, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, fishing, slowing down a bit and finding some space.

Recent outings?
I spend most of my time on the water along the southeast coast of Florida. This past year other trips included Bimini, Tavernier, Islamorada and Stuart. I also enjoy trailering the smaller boat and exploring the areas between Marco Island and Fort Myers.

What are your favorite places to go in your boat?
Marco Island, Stuart and the keys. There are some great spots to explore with few other boats around, secluded sandbars and fun fishing.

So, what ‘must have’ item do you take along?
A cooler full of water and plenty of food. And we always keep some light tackle on board to stop and fish with the kids.

What has been your most challenging experience on the water?
By far, it’s been watching the decline in water quality throughout the state. Everyone should be doing their part to help the environment. Other than that, watch the weather and be prepared. I’ve had an unpleasant crossing from the Bahamas.

What’s your dream boat?
It’s hard to beat a Whaler, but a Carolina-built sportfish would be at the top of the list.

Best advice to new boaters?
Learn and understand the rules of the road and before you head out, take time to practice. Find a quiet spot and practice docking, close quarter maneuvering and setting and retrieving the anchor.
If you trailer your boat, learn how to maneuver it and learn proper boat ramp etiquette. Just a few hours of practice go a very long way, both in terms of not embarrassing yourself and earning the respect of other boaters.

Other advice?
Scheduled maintenance and regular cleaning will prolong the life of your boat as well as help maintain its value. Make it a regular part of your boating routine. If you don’t own a boat, a charter with a licensed captain can be a great way to familiarize yourself with local waterways and maybe learn a few helpful tips to get you started.