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How to Rent a Boat
How to Rent a Boat

Does your vacation involve an adventure out on the water? If yes, knowing how to rent a boat is invaluable for a fulfilling holiday.

Boat renters make up to $200,000 a month, highlighting their demand in the market. The reason for the demand is the fact that you enjoy water trips without owning a boat. You'll, however, have to go through the rental process, which can be challenging for beginners.

Boat trips are ideal for great adventures with friends and family. It, however, anchors on whether or not you can access a great boat rental. Being informed on renting a boat can be instrumental in averting catastrophe.

Would you like to know how to rent a boat? Have you ever done it before? Read through this boat rental guide to learn.

Predetermine Your Preferences for the Boat Trip

What do you wish to do on your boat trip? The type of trip you're planning will set a precedent for the whole boat rental option.

There are a variety of factors that influence the boat trip preferences, including;

• Type of activities you're planning for the boat trip

• The company you're bringing along the water adventure

• How far out in the water you will be going

Before you start searching for a boat rental, you ought to have a plan of what you're going to do. Specify what your trip entails so you can tailor your choices to suit the activities.

Fishing activities require you to rent out a fishing boat, and the same goes for other activities. If your itinerary has various activities, ensure the boat you choose can handle them. It'd be a total bummer for your fishing needs if you rent a boat that's not designed for fishing.

The people you tag along also have boating preferences you should plan for too. Suppose your trip comprises of 7 people, you'll have to go for a boat that can handle capacity. The same applies for boat expeditions if your kids are coming along.

In planning for them, you get to ensure no one is left out in the fun. Every activity has to be accounted for with the company you bring in mind.

Not all boats are equal, and their features affect how they're operated. Smaller boats, for instance, can't go past a particular water depth. In planning for your trip, choose boats that can handle the distance from shore that you'll be covering.

Check the Legal Boating Requirements

What does the law say about boating? The legal boating requirements differ in every state. It would help if you learned about them before renting.

The law is strict about boating requirements, and they're stated clearly for you to know. You wouldn't want trouble with local authorities and the coast guard, would you?

Research on the legal age requirements to drive a boat within the state you're in. These age specifications are also different for the various boat types. Conducting your due diligence will ensure you have all it takes before leasing the boat.

Licensing is also a common legal boating requirement, so you'll have to undergo training. Besides teaching the operations bit, the training covers safety lessons for emergencies on board. After you've got the license, you can trust your skills on the boating trip.

There are also the rules of the water you've got to abide by. Read through the USCG Rules of the Road before renting a boat.

Consider Reputable Boat Rental Companies

Now that you're clear about what you want, you'll need to find a boat. Boat rental companies in the market can help you with this, and you've got to choose among them.

There are many boating companies because of the huge market demand for rental boats. It, however, doesn't mean that each option is good for you. Working with a reputable boat rental company is vital for a memorable experience.

Launch an online search into the local boat rentals. The internet is a resource and will help you develop a list of possible options you can review. Seek testimonials about each of the boat renting companies from trusted locals.

Consider reviews from third-party websites for a thorough evaluation. Reputable boating companies have standards to uphold and thus focus on customer satisfaction.

Ask About the Boat Rental Process

While searching for boat rental companies, you must know about their renting process. Ask the experts for clarification.

You may still have questions after the data you've gathered in your research of the company. Boat rental companies task their staff with answering such questions for you.

Provide your membership information to gain unlimited access to all of their services. Some clubs prioritize members, which means that they enjoy having curated plans.

Some of the questions that they answer include;

• What policies do they have about weather-related cancellations?

• Are they willing to trailer the boat to a slipway of your choice?

• Do they offer boating accessories, including safety gear?

• How do they penalize you for returning the boat late?

• Based on your age and licensing, what boats do you qualify for?

It's advisable not to skip the clarifying process to dig a little deeper into the details. By offering answers, the boat renters ease the boat leasing process for you.

Consider Boating Insurance Coverage

Accidents happen, and it'd be best to prepare for the worst before renting a boat. Consider having a boating insurance cover to be on the safe side.

Boating insurance covers accidents and damages while on your boating trip. You thus don't have to worry about costs for these, hence ensuring your boat trip is a blast.

Boats have their own insurance, which the rental company has to confirm before you embark. The insurance aims to cover the boat and its passengers throughout the trip.

You might, however, require additional insurance so consider short-term boaters' insurers. Speak to your insurer beforehand and agree on a great package for you.

Inspect the Boat Before Boarding

After making your boat rental selection, the next step will be to ensure it's in topflight shape. Scrutinize the boat before you can take it out on the water.

The inspection should be comprehensive, so take the following steps;

Step 1: Visually inspect every visible part of the boat. Identify any scratches, dents, holes, or damage of any kind on the boat.

Step 2: Document the condition of the boat both in writing and have pictorial evidence. Having records of pre-existing damage ensures you're not held liable for damages you didn't cause.

Step 3: Ask for the boat's maintenance records to ascertain they've met the ABYC Standards. A well-maintained boat is critical for a smooth cruise. You wouldn't enjoy your adventure if it were cut short due to some mechanical issues.

Only leave the pier once you're satisfied that the boat is in good condition. Confirm with the rental company if they can allow you to test the boat out. You'll likely know if the boat can run smoothly by listening to engine noises once it fires up.

Read the Rental Agreement Before Signing

Once you're confident the boat is perfect for your trip, you'll have to deal with the documentation. You should evaluate the rental agreement carefully before signing it to avoid surprises.

The details on the rental agreement include;

• The rental duration

• The extent to which the insurance covers the boat

• Additional fees and terms involved

Signing means you've read and understood the terms. If anything happens during the boat trip, you'll be legally liable. The company can present the document in a court of law against you, so be sure of what the agreement entails.

Ask any questions for clauses you don't understand. Consider letting your attorney go over the fine print for pricey rentals such as a yacht.

Consider Boat Pricing and Payment Demands

How much will the boat rental cost you? The boat pricing is crucial to check through when renting the boat. Ensure that the cost fits well within your budget.

Confirm with the rental company that the pricing in the rental agreement is final. On some occasions, the hidden charges inflate the total costs. Ensure you know every cost that you're exposed to when leasing the boat.

If you want to save money on a rental, consider looking for long-term lease packages. The packages have discounts to attract customers; hence, they're cheaper than hourly rates. It's also wise to book your boat rental during off-peak periods for cheaper rates.

Some boat clubs have special rates for their members. Join as a new member for great privileges at the cost of a boat trip.

Such memberships will save you money, especially if you're a boat trip fan. The club offers you exclusive deals which can allow you to enjoy the experience all year round.

The payment demands also should be critical for making your final decision. Be ready to pay a deposit which most rental companies collect to cover possible damages. Don't worry about it; the deposit is always refundable if you return the boat without a scratch.

It's advisable to pay using a debit or credit card to have recorded should any dispute arise.

Ask About Additional Boat Piloting Information

No boat is similar to the other in terms of operations. You should thus listen carefully to the piloting and safety information before departure.

The boat rental companies avail their staff to tell you what's what for your boat. The orientation gives you a rough idea of how to pilot the boat for a complete experience. Could you pay attention to all they have to say?

For any piloting information you're unsure about, you can ask for confirmation. The orientation also encompasses a tour around the boat to know where the safety items are. By knowing where they're located in the boat, you'll reach them with ease in case of an emergency.

Prioritize Safety

You and your crew should complete all safety checks before leaving the marina. Safety is paramount during the boat trip to ensure a proper culmination of the happy event.

Ensure everyone on board has a life jacket. The purpose of the boat trip is to have fun but do so responsibly.

While on the waters, you're also tasked with looking after aquatic life. As a result, you shouldn't throw things overboard since they can choke life. Also, avoid feeding the marine animals you interact with since it's against the law.

Prepare for the Weather

Depending on the kind of boat you take out, you'll need to make adjustments regarding the weather. Preparation for the unpredictable weather is crucial when renting a boat.

Some boats come with compartments that make weathering the storm easy in case it occurs. However, not all boats have that luxury, and it's advisable to pack an additional jacket if you're on a smaller boat.

Alternatively, it can get scorching while you're out on the water. If the boat has nowhere to cool off, consider packing sunscreen and a coolant if possible. Have some towels and additional water to last the entire duration of the boat trip.

Don't worry if you forgot anything. Check through the boat rental company's collection of items to see what interests you.

Preparing for the weather is in itself a measure to guarantee safety for everyone on board. Things on the water adventure can go south really fast, and it's best to stay ready for anything.

Consider the Above Tips on How to Rent A Boat

Your trip will be easier to plan now that you know what to do when looking for a rental boat. Consider the above tips on how to rent a boat for an amazing selection. All that is left is to make memories and indulge in the exciting adventures on the water.

Are you looking for a boat membership? Freedom Boat Club is eager to help!

As a member, you'll have access to our vast fleet to choose the best boat from. We've got a simple reservation process for you to enjoy a hassle-free recreational boating experience.

Contact us today to become a member.