It had no connection to the ongoing Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, fire officials said.
It was docked behind a private home in the 300 block of Hendricks Isle, said battalion chief Steve Gollan.
“It was a 30-foot sailboat that was lived aboard by a mother and her three children,” he said. “[They] will be displaced for a little while until they can get it fixed.”
The fire was reported at about 1:30 p.m., and a Fort Lauderdale fire boat was dispatched in addition to fire engines, officials said.
“We were able to confine the fire to the back of the boat where the engine compartment was at, with minimal damage,” he said.
Firefighters kept the flames from spreading to boats docked alongside the burning sailboat.
There were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire was being investigated.