How to Rent a Boat

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There are hundreds of different boat brands and manufacturers that provide a wide range of pleasure boat types and sizes. Which boat rental option is best for you? That is largely dependent on the activities you wish to participate in. Ski boat rentals should be at the top of your list if you believe water skiing looks like fun. If, on the other hand, you’ve always wanted to try fishing from a boat, you’ll need to ask yourself, “Where can I discover fishing boat rentals near me?” Keep in mind that some boats, such as fish-and-ski variants, can be used for numerous purposes. However, some, such as trawlers, are more particular in their applications.

Before renting a boat, you should think about its condition and the reputation of the rental firm. Rental boats are notorious for being overworked, and if you rent from a company that fails to keep up with concerns like maintenance and repairs, your day on the lake could be ruined by mechanical malfunctions or subpar equipment. Although this is less of an issue with lake boat rentals than with boats that live in a saltwater environment, you should still conduct some research before making any selections.

Another alternative that some people may wish to investigate is boat rental by owner, often known as peer-to-peer boat renting. Again, keep in mind that you may come across boats in various states of repair, and check user reviews, which can be found on the websites of most peer-to-peer rental businesses.

Age Limits for Renting a Boat

In most circumstances, power boat rentals require that you be at least 18 years old. Others may need you to be 21 or even 25 years old; rental firms create their own policies, which may differ slightly from one to the next. Because charters normally come with a captain who is responsible for running the boat (except for “bareboat” charters), age requirements for a charter boat rental may be more flexible.

Price of a Boat Rental

The cost of renting a boat varies greatly. A motor boat rental is more expensive than a sailboat rental; larger boats are more expensive to hire than smaller boats; fishing boat rentals are less expensive than luxury cruiser rentals; and geography has a difference as well. Vacation boat rentals in famous tourist destinations are much more expensive than on less-traveled waterways.

By renting for a longer amount of time, you can save money on hourly rates. When it comes to per-hour costs, renting by the hour is the most expensive choice. Full day rates reduce this, weekend boat rentals result in even lower hourly rates, and when looking at the broad picture, a weekly boat rental is often the greatest deal on an hourly basis.

What You’ll Need to Rent a Boat

items to bring when renting a boat

  • Food and beverages
    Toys for the Water
    Fuel for fishing rods

Remember that more is better when it comes to eating and drink. When it comes to hydrating fluids, especially, not having enough can ruin a day on the water. Of course, you’ll want to bring along any additional equipment you might need, whether that’s a wakeboard for your pontoon boat hire or fishing rods for your bass boat rental.

Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about fuel because most rental providers provide the boat fully fueled and ready to go. However, you should be aware that you may need to refuel the boat at the end of the rental term. Refills (and paying for them) are sometimes considered part of the renter’s obligation.

Learning to Operate a Boat

What if you’ve never been on a boat before? Some rental companies may provide you with on-the-spot training. Most jurisdictions require that you pass a basic boating or boating safety course before operating any type of boat, so you should be familiar with the basics before hiring a boat.

The Water’s Rules

Aside from following the USCG Rules of the Road, you should be aware of any local regulations or restrictions. Any such regulations should be communicated to you by the company you rent from, but if the matter hasn’t come up, it’s a good idea to ask before leaving the dock. Once you’re aware of any such laws, there’s one overarching rule that everyone on board should be aware of: you’re on a boat, so have fun and relax.

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