6 Things To Consider Before Renting a Boat

6 Things To Consider Before Renting a Boat

There’s nothing more relaxing yet thrilling than to rent a boat for a day and go on an exciting watery adventure.

Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry. Boat rentals are just as great a way to host a party on the waters and enjoy boating without the cost and responsibilities of owning one.

What might spoil your fun, however, is ending up with the wrong boat. That’s why planning before deciding on a boat rental is crucial for all your boating needs.

Here are some factors to consider before you rent a boat for a day with your loved ones:

1. Legal Requirements

Legal restrictions are one of the first things to look out for when renting a boat, including the necessity of a boat license.

You might be wondering, “Do you need a boating license to rent a boat?” While boat rentals may not always require a permit, make sure to have a driving license when planning to operate a boat with a group of people.

It’s important to know that different states have different age and license requirements for every boater. For one, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requires all charter captains and boat rental operators to have a valid boater’s license before operating a boat with over four passengers on board.

Furthermore, the requirements depend on the charter boat license they carry.

2. Age Restrictions

Another factor to consider, along with legal requirements, is age requirements. In general, individuals below 18 are not allowed to operate a powerboat. For some states, you have to be 21 or 25 to rent a boat.

The good news is that age restrictions are more flexible for a boat rental as they usually come with a captain or crew to operate the vessel. This is especially true if you have kids on board.

If you’re planning to rent a boat in Florida, the state law requires anyone born before 1988 to obtain an FWC Identification Card for Boating Safety Education and successfully go through an approved boating safety course. If you are visiting from another state, it’s best to ask boat rental operators about their requirements.

3. Boat Type

Before you book a boat, you have to know which type is most suitable. Do your research and consider your group size and the type of activities you plan to have.
Another thing to consider is the boat’s condition. Since boat rentals often accommodate tons of people, see that they stay on top of issues and conduct regular maintenance and repairs as needed.

Boat rental companies usually offer a wide range of boats depending on what you need. Among these include jet skis, fishing boats, pontoon boats, and bowriders. Before making any decisions, make sure the boat you’ll rent offers the experience you are looking for.

4. Safety Equipment

When renting a boat, safety should always be a priority. Keep in mind that your boat should be equipped with safety gear like life jackets. If you have kids on board, make sure boat rental operators provide them with life jackets that fit their size.

Before leaving the dock, know where safety equipment is placed and how to use them.

It’s also important to double-check the boat and sign a boat rental agreement to ensure you return it in the same condition as when you left the dock.

Before sailing, see that the boat rental operator also gives you a tour of the boat.

5. Weather

Since you’ll be out on the water for several hours, choosing the best weather conditions is essential to make the most out of your boat rental experience. Be on the lookout for the weather forecast before making a reservation. Always plan for a date when it is safe to travel out on the water.

If the weather forecast shows a slightly rainy or cloudy day, prepare some raincoats, warm jackets, and umbrellas to keep yourselves warm and protected. If the weather is unpredictable, have a seasoned captain on board.

6. Proper Packing

Take note that you’ll be in the middle of the ocean and away from any store that sells food and necessities. Before leaving, pack everything you need for comfort, especially if you plan to rent a boat for a day.

Some things to include are:

  • Sunscreen
  • All-Weather Clothes
  • Towels
  • Cooler
  • Toiletries
  • Blanket
  • First Aid Kit and Medication
  • Cameras
  • Refreshments

Note that when packing food and beverages, more is always better — especially for fluids.

7. Price

Knowing how much to rent a boat for is helpful in making a decision. Depending on the size and type of vessel you’ll be renting, prices typically vary from 50 to 300 dollars. Different boat rental companies also have varying pricing schemes, such as hourly or daily rates, which are commonly lower than weekly rates.

Where to Rent a Boat

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to embark on a unique boat rental experience.

For the most memorable occasion with high-end bowriders, head over to Bay Excursions! For inquiries and bookings for our Clearwater Beach, FL, boat tours, call us now!

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