What You Need to Know About Florida Boat Rentals

what you need to know about florida boat rentals

Looking for Florida boat rentals? You want to find a marina that has quality boats and reasonable rental rates. Jensen’s Boat Marina has everything you need.

By Randy Hauck | February 11, 2021

The best part about Florida is it’s always a good time of year to get on a boat and enjoy the Florida sunshine. When you are visiting the state or even if you are a resident in need of some water time, the best way to access the water is by taking advantage of Florida boat rentals. 

Renting a boat is the best way to enjoy the water without the extra care and upfront costs that come with owning a boat. Florida boat rentals come in all shapes and sizes. Selecting a Florida pontoon boat rental or an 18” center console boat is a great way to enjoy the local waters, Pine Island Sound, the Intracoastal Waterway and the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico for boat cruising and fishing.

Finding Boat Rentals Near You

The first thing that you need to do when you come to Southwest Florida is “find boat rentals near me.” You want to find a marina in close proximity to your vacation rental that’s near excellent fishing spots. When you are looking for Captiva Island boat rentals in the Sunshine State, the first thing you want to look for is:

  • Marina rental reviews that depict the marina as safe and dependable
  • Boat rental reviews from customers that had a great experience
  • Prices for both full day (8 hours) and half day (6 hours) rentals

Do You Need a License to Rent a Boat?

This is one of the most asked questions for those looking to rent a boat, especially renting a boat out of state. Each state has different rules and regulations for the age and license rules for boat renters. 

In Florida, boat rentals operators at marinas, as well as charter boat captains, must have a valid boat license. This boat license is issued and regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). With a valid FWC license, a boat rental operator can take out four to 12 people on a boat, which depends on which license they hold. 

An approved boating safety course and a Boating Safety Identification card is required by the FWC and the FWC answers a list of provided questions for boaters
Boat rental customers are required to have a boater’s safety certificate. You can get a FWC temporary boating certificate to make your Florida boat rental excursion perfect!

What Am I Signing in the Boat Rental Agreement?

what am I signing in the boat rental agreement

We get it. You are excited and want to get out on the boat and enjoy everything boating in Florida has to offer. It’s important, though, that you look at your marina boat rental agreement closely before signing. 

Read the fine print and double check the following: 

  • Check how far you are allowed to travel away from the marina
  • Read closely what it will cost you if you come back to the marina with any damage to the boat
  • Know how much fuel you have and what the costs are involved with refueling upon your return
  • Know where you are allowed to take the boat and what areas are off limits

Do I Need Insurance to Rent a Boat?

You should know that the boat rental company’s insurance liability coverage should be outlined in your boat rental agreement. Liability insurance on top of what’s included in your rental agreement usually does not apply to boat renters. 

It’s always a good idea to do some research before you rent a boat though. We also recommend contacting your insurance company to see what your existing policy covers for boat rental damage.

Perform a Boat Rental Safety Inspection Checklist

We talked about how expensive it could be if you damage your boat rental during your excursion. To avoid any issues, you might encounter when you turn the boat in, it’s important that you go over your boat rental with a fine tooth comb BEFORE you go out on the boat. Write down and point out any issues you see with the boat and put them down in writing to avoid any problems when you return. 

This allows you to avoid any accusations of rental boat damage. Look for the following to save you time and money:

  • Scratches on the boat hull
  • Dents or warping on the hull
  • Stains on the boat seats
  • Cracks in the boat windshield
  • Any fittings that are loose or broken
  • Motor leaks
  • Propeller damage
  • Life jackets available for all boaters
  • A map of the area and suggested routes

Get a Pre-Trip Boat Inspection

get a pre trip boat inspection

Getting a pre-inspection boat check is essential. A simple checklist ensures you have everything you need and your boat trip is perfect. Follow these simple rules before you head out on the water: 

Arrive Early

It’s always a good idea to arrive at the marina early to ensure you have time to sign your paperwork and review your boat. It’s also important to be early because you are renting the boat for a specific time and want to use every minute you have on the water. 

It’s a good idea to show up at least 45 minutes to an hour before your scheduled departure on the water. 

Check the Boat Rental Paperwork

Read the confirmation letter and all the fine print of your boat rental agreement before you sign. Make sure it’s everything you agreed upon with the boat rental operator. 

It’s also a good idea to print out a copy of your boat rental confirmation and bring it with you to make sure everything matches up. 

Inspect that Boat Carefully

As we already mentioned above, it’s important to inspect your boat rental properly and write down any damage that already exists on the boat. You should also check the engine and make sure it’s in good working order before you leave. 

Prepare Yourself for Inclement Weather

Sometimes the weather can get a bit bumpy on the open seas. Keep an eye on the forecast at all times. Make sure you and your passengers bring along backup clothing options and be prepared for both rainy and windy conditions. 

Pack Your Rental Boat for the Trip

We recommend packing the following items for a boat trip on the water: 

  • A cooler full of beverages and food for lunch
  • Snacks for the kids
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Towels
  • Fishing rods and fishing supplies
  • Fresh bait
  • A Bluetooth speaker or a radio
  • Captiva Watersports for the kids

Don’t overpack because your boat trip is likely only for a few hours and you’ll want to enjoy the space on the boat without tripping over bags of belongings.

What are the Best Boat Rentals in Florida?

All that’s left to do is rent a boat. What kind of boat are you looking for? A couple of boat options we recommend include:

Pick the Right Boat For You

  • Pontoon fishing boats. Pontoon boats are a great option for families and friends looking to cruise the Gulf of Mexico or Intracoastal Waterway. They are great for family picnics, relaxing fishing excursions and just for overall cruising while looking for manatees and dolphin sightings. We recommend a 24-foot pontoon boat with a dependable 115-horsepower motor that can accommodate up to 12 people. 
  • Center console boats. Center console boats are great for more intimate boating and fishing trips. Take out an 18-foot center console boat that can hold up to five people and has plenty
  • Boston whalers. Need a little more room for a deep sea fishing trip? Try an 18” Boston Whaler with a 150-horsepower Yamaha four-stroke motor that holds up to six people and has a 1,000-pound weight capacity for your fishing crew and your gear.

Rent a Boat at Jensen’s Marina™ Today!

You have all the tools you need now for Florida boat rentals and how to navigate a successful boat renting trip! The best place to rent a boat is on Captiva Island near perfect fishing spots and ideal sunset cruising locations. Make a marina reservation today at Jensen's Twin Palm Marina and Cottages™!

You can rent a boat, schedule a Southwest Florida fishing charter and sightseeing boat tour and plan a fishing trip at Jensen’s Marina™ and Cottages on Captiva Island today!

Jensen’s Twin Palm Marina and Cottages™

15107 Captiva Drive
Captiva, FL 33924

(833) 668-7768
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