Booking a rental boat is a fun way to enjoy a day on the water without having to invest in your own vessel or worrying about expensive maintenance. Renting a boat for a day or two allows you to try a particular model or explore a new location at a fraction of a price that it costs to own one. However, renting exposes you to certain liabilities that you should be aware of. The following are a few tips to bear in mind before you set sail.
1. Know what you'll be liable for.
Rental agreements will vary depending on the boat you choose. Be sure to read your contract and ask questions about any stipulations you don’t understand. Never assume that conditions and limitations covered in your previous contract will apply to your current vessel, including cancellations due to severe weather. Normal wear and tear won’t be your responsibility, but you would most likely have to foot the bill if you break the propeller or damage the interior.
2. Know what boat to rent for your particular activity.
Be clear on how you plan to use the boat before renting it. Rental boats serve different purposes such as fishing, cruising, and pontooning, among others. After you’ve settled on your choice, know how many people you intend to bring aboard, since boats have capacity limits that must be adhered to for safety reasons.
3. Put safety first.
Locate where the life jackets are stowed, and check if there are enough and whether they will fit everyone on board. If you have your own set, bring it on board, as you know it will already adjust to your body. Remind everyone to wear their life vests at all times. Avoid roughhousing on the boat, as it could cause it to capsize.
1. Overload the vessel.
Besides sticking to the boarding capacity, bring only the essentials, such as water, snacks, and extra towels onto your rental boat. This will prevent cramping the space and weighing down the boat. Overloaded vessels use more fuel and are harder to navigate. Extreme overloading could even cause to the boat to pool water or capsize.
2. Skip on boat check.
Examine the vessel’s exterior for any scratches, dents, cracks, seat stains, and any signs of damage that can be pinned or charged to you. List them down on the rental agreement before signing.
3. Go without a qualified driver.
Some states require renters and drivers to have a boating safety course before operating a vessel. And if you’re unfamiliar with the watercraft, it’s safer to have a licensed or qualified driver manage the rental boats so you can have more time to enjoy the waters.
To enjoy the best rental boats in Ontario County, NY, drop by German Brothers Marina to view a large selection for various boating activities. Serving tourists and residents across the Finger Lakes, they are the leading provider of boat rentals since 1977. Call them at (585) 394-4000 to ask about their inventory. Visit their website to see their rental rules and regulations.