Everything You Need To Know About Boat Rentals This Summer

If you're looking to spend a day on the water, boat rentals are the perfect option. However, before you rent a boat, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here's what you need to know before renting a boat.

Do you need a license to drive a boat?

Whether or not you need a license or additional training to captain a boat with a motor depends on what state you live in. Some states require just a driver's license and nothing more. Some states require boating safety classes and an exam before you can operate a boat. Check the requirements for your state, or the state you are vacationing in, before renting any boat.

You do not need a license to operate a non-motorized boat, like a kayak or canoe.

How old do you have to be to drive a boat?

Most states require that you be at least 18 years of age before you can drive a boat. Michigan and Minnesota — two states well-known for their access to water and water sports — allow boaters as young as 12 to operate a boat with proper training. As always, check with the boat rental company to understand the regulations in your area.

What type of boating experience do you need for boat rentals?

If you have never been on a boat before, don't worry! There are plenty of boat rental companies that offer beginner-friendly options, such as pontoon boats. These types of boats are stable and easy to operate. In fact, the hardest part of boating is docking the boat when you are finished with the rental period and most boat rental companies take care of that for you.

What types of boat rentals are available?

There are all sorts of boats available for rent, from small kayaks and canoes to large party barges. A few common boat rentals are:

  • Fishing. While you can probably fish from the dock, getting out on the water to fish is much more fun. Renting a fishing boat is a popular choice.
  • Pontoon. A pontoon boat, sometimes referred to as a party barge, is a large, wide boat that is easy to drive and difficult to tip. It is not meant to go fast, but rather slowly cruise the lake.
  • Wake boat. Unlike a pontoon, a wake boat is meant to go fast. The design of a wake boat is such that large volumes of water are displaced as it travels allowing you to surf behind the boat.

The type of boat you rent will depend on the size of your group, the type of water you want to be on, and your budget.

Do you tip after renting a boat?

If your boat rental includes a captain or other staff onboard, like with a yacht rental, then a tip is always appreciated. If, however, your boat rental was a simple transaction that involved you driving the whole time, a tip is not necessary.

Renting a boat can be a great way to spend a day on the water with friends or family. Reach out to a boat rental company like Last Light Yacht Charters to learn more.

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