Important Tips To Remember When Renting a Boat

People on a pontoon boat

Renting is probably the best way to experience boating without actually owning a boat. You don’t have to worry about maintenance, where to keep the boat, what to do with it in the wintertime, and all the other stuff that comes with owning a boat. You literally get all the enjoyment and none of the hassle. However, since it is not your boat there are generally restrictions you have to comply with. Here are some tips for how to be the best renter possible.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Renting

The most important thing to remember is that this is not your boat. Most rental companies have rules as to where the boat is allowed to go and what you’re allowed to bring on it. Your job as a responsible renter is to listen and make sure you understand these rules. Bring up any questions you may have with your rental operator. At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that this boat is going to be enjoyed by more than just you and the restrictions exist as a way to ensure that everyone gets a wonderful lake experience.

Rental Etiquette

If you’re planning on bringing food or drinks onboard a rental boat, think about what would be the easiest to clean up.

Imagine this is your boat. Would you want to clean mushy Cheetos from between the seats? Non-messy boat snacks are always appreciated by your rental operators, as it reduces cleaning time between rentals and will limit any delays. Some boat-appropriate snacks are granola bars, fruit snacks, sun chips, or some other chip that doesn’t have radioactive orange dust, animal crackers, applesauce pouches, trail mix, or dried fruit. Essentially, the food you don’t mind having to clean up in your house. Avoid eating while the boat is moving as there is a greater chance of snacks flying all over the boat. Pick a calm bay to stop in and enjoy a picnic lunch or snacks. 

The same principle applies to drinks as well. Scrubbing sticky soda out of the vinyl boat seats isn’t something anyone wants to spend time doing. Especially if there’s an entire rental boat fleet that needs to be cleaned. Be mindful of where drinks are on the boat, keep them in cup holders, and make sure they’re all secured before the boat starts moving. 

Some boats come with a trash can, ask your rental operator where that is located and make an effort to keep trash contained in that area. If the boat doesn’t have trash on board, ask for a trash bag to stow anything you may need to throw away while on the water. The goal is always to keep the boat relatively clean for the people coming after you. 

Pay Attention

Always listen to your rental operator’s instructions for operating the boat. Make note of where you can’t go, areas that require no wake speeds, and basic boating etiquette. When docking, the slower you can go the better. If something goes wrong at a slow speed it goes wrong in slow motion. If you hit the dock head-on in idle it will cause very little damage to the boat because you are going slow. Listen to the dock hands as well. They’ve been around the block a time or two and know what to do with a slow-moving boat. Panicking and slamming the throttle either back or forth is where disaster happens and people get hurt. 

You should be paying attention to the type of boat you’re renting as well – if you rent one of our sports boats be sure to ask questions about operating the boat safely. Of course, our experienced staff will tell you everything you need to know – a sports boat has much more power than some other rentals. Always make sure you are comfortable operating this equipment before renting.

You’re Ready To Rent

All of that seems like a lot right? In some ways it is, but all of that goes into ensuring you have a great rental experience and don’t have to come back to a pile of cleaning fees or damage costs. Our goal is that you have fun and do so without injuring yourself, the boat, or the staff. If you’re looking for a great rental this summer check on availability on our rentals page or call us at 208-415-5600 to book your lake day!