The sun is out and waves are rolling…you’re stuck on the shore watching everyone enjoy their summer out on the boat. Not an ideal way to spend your free time is it?
Well fear not, because we’ve put together a list of essential hacks to get you renting a boat of your own this summer!
It can seem intimidating going through the hoops of renting a boat, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are a novice boater or seasoned on the seas these 5 hacks are going to make the rental process a breeze.
So pack the sunscreen and let’s get started!
1. Safety First
Before you even step foot on a boat safety needs to be your top priority. There are thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths each year from boating accidents and misuse.
While it might seem like a fun idea to crack open a few beers on the open water it could cost you expensive fines, jail time, or even someone’s life.
We have put together some tips for safety to help you to have an awesome time out on the water safely.
Sometimes with rental boats things can go missing. To ensure that you and everyone on board has a safe trip check for the following items before you hit the open water:
Life Jackets – There should be one life jacket for every person onboard the vessel.
First Aid Kit – Things can get bumpy out there. Having a first aid kit will come in handy.
Flashlight – In the event that you are lost after dark, a flashlight could save your life. Be sure that there are back up batteries as well.
Fire Extinguisher – Just because you are on the water doesn’t mean a fire cannot happen. Always double-check for this safety item.
Whistle – A waterproof whistle can be a lifesaver in the event of an emergency.
These items can sometimes be left off the boat by mistake. Check your vessel for these items like a pro would do.
Warm weather is great but it can lead to dangerous afternoon thunderstorms. Don’t spend money on a rental if there is a chance you could get totally rained out.
If you get out on the water and the weather starts to turn, check your marine radio for realtime weather updates.
2. Know the Laws
The laws for operating a boat or renting a boat are different in each state. Depending on where you are renting you may be required to take an exam or a boating course.
You will generally be required to sign a waiver when you rent as well. The waiver indicates that you are responsible for everyone on board and for the boat.
In the event of damages to the boat you will be held responsible. Furthermore, you could be held liable for any injuries sustained by the passengers you bring on board with you.
In some cases insurance is required for renting a boat. You can check with your provider to see if you have rental insurance that extends to boat rental.
Being on the water is in many ways the same driving on the highway. There are specific markers that indicate where you should be and should not be traveling on your boat.
If you fail to follow the guidelines you could be pulled over by the police (yes there are boat police!) and ticketed.
While your passengers are allowed to enjoy alcoholic beverages, the driver must abide by the same laws that apply to drinking and driving. You can get a D.U.I on a boat.
3. Know the Requirements
The same with laws being different in every state, so are the requirements.
In some cases renting a boat from one place has certain requirements and the rental place next door may have a different policy.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting ready for a day on the water and arriving to rent and realizing you do not meet the necessary requirements to rent.
Here are a few things to consider before you make the trip to the boat rental facility:
Age Requirements – In many cases, you need to be 25 to rent a boat.
Deposits – Always check to see if a deposit is needed because in most cases it will be.
Credit Cards – Often times rental facilities will require payment with a credit card.
Time Frames – Most of the time boat rental facilities have a specific time frame that you can have the boat. They will also not rent after a certain time in the day. Don’t show up too late or you could have your trip cut short.
This hack will save you so much time. Whether you planning an epic fishing trip or a romantic sunset cruise for two, know your requirements before you get there!
4. Choose the Right Boat
There are a variety of different boats to choose from at most rental facilities.
Depending on your skill level you may not be comfortable with certain types of boats.
Here are some boat options that you are likely to see at most facilities:
Pontoon – This boat is ideal for relaxing and leisure with a group of friends. It staying buoyant with floats on either side of the vessel. They are lower cost in most cases
Deck – This boat is similar in design to a pontoon but can travel at much faster speeds. It is ideal for water sports and fishing.
Center Console – These boats are the premium choice for fishing enthusiasts. The center console allows the fisherman to easily get around the boat with their pole when they’ve got a fish hooked.
If you are new to boating consider joining a boat club. These clubs work on a membership basis and can give you the chance to use multiple types of boats so you can see which you like the best.
5. Check the Vessel
As we said before, you are responsible for the boat. Just like a rental car, rental boats can get a lot of wear and tear.
If you do not check your boat beforehand you could run into issues on the water or be charged for damages you did not cause.
Here are some things to look for:
- Damage to the hull
- Windshield cracks
- Damage to the motor
- Missing items
Taking the extra time and checking for these missing or damaged items will save you in the long run.
Renting a Boat Like a Pro
Now that you know these pro hacks for renting a boat you’ll be on the water in no time. Always remember safety first and don’t forget your sunscreen.
We would love to hear from you. Contact us for more information now!