Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours

Welcome to Cedar Key Boat Rentals & Island Tours, your ticket to seeing all of the wonders our world has to offer. As a professional Tour Guide, I am here to show you the diverse delights of landscape, fauna, and culture of our area throughout your travel journey. Take a moment to explore the various tour packages I offer and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.


About Us

Explore the natural beauty and rich history of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. 

Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours is a small family run business. Captain Joe Slaughter is the owner/operator and a Cedar Key native going back many generations. Captain Matt Lindsey is a native of the Dixie County coast just north of Cedar Key.

The Captains will discuss in discuss the settlement history, civil war history and ecology of the refuge, providing a complete overview of unique community.  Highlights include visiting where the town was initially settled on Atsena Otie Key and a viewing of the lighthouse on Seahorse Key.  Numerous species of birds and marine life can be seen along the way and dolphin encounters are very common.  Each trip is uniquely different and have helped build our long list of repeat customers over the years.  Our goal is to balance education with an enjoyable experience, thereby creating or reinforcing an appreciation of nature.

Call us at 352-231-4435.


Island Tours

"A bit of old Florida on the Nature Coast of  the Gulf of Mexico"

Cedar Key has become well known for its Arts and Crafts community. Their works are shown and available in the many shops and galleries on 2nd Street and Dock Street. The local restaurants are proud of the fresh seafood and specialties that are presented year around. The sport fishing has become a major draw to the area.

We carry only 6 people per tour and that allows us to access many areas you can not with a larger boat with more people. Our Captains are very knowledgeable of the local area and can go to some of the places off the beaten path as well. We try to get to at least three of the larger islands on our trips. Different seasons offer different opportunities for a chance  to see unique animals and creatures on our area.  

Ride with us for a tour of the Cedar Keys and learn a bit of our long history. Most of the islands are part of the Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge and are protected in their pristine beauty.

Depending of the time of year, the weather and the whims of nature, we may see osprey, brown and white pelicans, ibis, great and little blue herons, bald eagles, snowy egrets, double crested cormorants and many types of terns and gulls. In the water will be dolphin, green sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, and in warm weather, manatees. We don't see all of them every trip (they don't always conform to our schedule) but we usually see some of them.

Our tours last about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The captains are Coast Guard certified and CPR and first aid trained.

Call Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours if you have any questions or want to reserve over the phone. 352-231-4435


11:00 Island Tour

$28.04 + $1.96 tax per person


1:30 Island Tour

$28.04 + $1.96 tax per person


4:00 Island Tour  (March 8 2020- November 1 2020)

$28.04 plus $1.96 tax per person


Sunset Tour  (5:00 approximately in Easten standard time-6:00-6:30 in Daylight Savings Time)

$28.04 +$1.96 tax per person

Departs about one and a half hours before sunset. Call 352-231-4435 for specific departure time.


Boat Rentals

Our boats are designed for safety and function first. Properly handled, your safety and enjoyment should be easily realized. The following is a description of our boats and the rates for each.

Where Can I fish? Anywhere within the yellow outline of the map below. We will also provide you with a map and instructions at time of your rental.

Fisherman’s Checklist:

  1. Cedar Key Tides

  2. Fishing License

  3. Boating plan left with relatives

  4. Cedar Key Weather

Where can I find live bait and tackle? Marina Hardware and The Marina. D&W Bait Shop by the Marathon store on SR 24.

Do I need any type of license to operate the boat? Yes and No, we will give you detailed instructions and teach you the basics if you have not operated a boat before. Anyone born after 1987 must have completed a boating course prior to operating the boat.

Call us if you have questions or would like to reserve a boat. 352-231-4435


22 ft Pontoon with a 50hp Yamaha 4-stroke engine. Will accommodate up to 10 people and has a bimini top.


20ft Pontoon Boat with a 50hp Yamaha 4-stroke engine. Will accommodate six to eight people and has a bimini top.


19ft Carolina Skiff with a 50hp Yamaha 4-stroke engine. Will accommodate up to 4 people and has a bimini top.

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Coming Soon

When booking on our booking page if you do not see the boat for the timeframe you are looking for give us a call at 352-231-4435 to see if it is available. For full day rentals you can book morning and afternoon sessions or call us as well, full day prices are available to see on the booking page as well.


Events and Specialized Trips

If you are looking for something a little different we offer other trips and adventures as well. If you would like a private tour, drop-off, island wedding, shelling trip, and other services give us a call and we can discuss what you are looking for. Please give Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours a call at  352-231-4435 if you have questions or to book a trip.

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Atsena Otie Key Drop-off 

We offer a drop-off service to Atsena Otie Key.

The island is part of the Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge. Atsena Otie is the original site for the town of Cedar Key. It has a swimming area, beach, trail, old cemetery, and a some ruins of the Faber Mill.

Drop-offs are typically from 10:00-10:45, 1:00-1:15, and some days we can drop at 3:30. Pick-up is usually 1:00, 3:30, and sunset.

Bring what you need for the day and fish or enjoy the beach and trails. We suggest bringing bug spray especially if you are walking the trail.

Please call us at 352-231-4435 if you have any questions.


Seahorse Key Lighthouse Openhouse

The Seahorse Key Lighthouse is open four times a year for you to tour. It is open for the weekend of our Annual Seafood Festival in October, and again in July and two days in March. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be on site to provide a narrated tour and the University of Florida will set up exhibits and examples of their current marine specimens and unique ecology of Seahorse Key. Open house times are from 9:00am to 3:00pm. On these special dates, our boats are constantly picking up and dropping off on the island. Come by the dock on the tour day for reservations.

Please call Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours at (352) 231-4435 for details and Open House dates.


Island Weddings

Have that special day on the white sands of a beautiful nearby beach, overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We can shuttle the bride, groom and all of your guests to an island in the refuge for a most memorable wedding. We can also arrange for the “Island Marrying Lady”, Ms. Betty Cooke, to notarize it and make it official if you would like. Please call Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours well in advance for details and to make reservations. 352-231-4435

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Suwannee River Tour

Suwannee River trips are by reservation only. We will carry up to 6 people for a 4 to 5 hour ride up the coast and into the Suwannee River to the town of  Suwannee where we can stop for lunch if Salt Creek Shellfish Restaurant is open or a snack at the Suwannee Marina. The cost is $360.00 including tax.

The scenery is beautiful and many species of wildlife are abundant.

Please call Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours at 352-231-4435 for reservations.


Shelling and Sand Dollar Trips

If you would like to search for shells and or sand dollars we offer a 2 hour trip out to a few areas. It is a trip based charge for up to 6 people. Prior scheduling is necessary as we have to have the right tides to do this. Cost is $150.00-$180.00.

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Sea Burial

Cremated remains of deceased persons are spread upon the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Distribution is made from our tour boat, departing from Cedar Key, Florida. A typical burial voyage lasts about an hour. Please call Cedar Key Boat Rentals and Island Tours at 352-231-4435 call for details.