Boat sales are booming in the USA. Retailers parted with over 280,000 boats during 2019, the highest number since 2008.
This figure highlights the popularity of this type of recreation, but buying a boat isn’t something you should take lightly.
Buying, storing and maintaining a boat’s a costly affair. It’s hardly worth it unless you’ve got the time to enjoy your craft every weekend.
For many boating enthusiasts, hiring a boat’s a more pocket-friendly alternative for occasional days out on the water, or for a unique celebration.
Read on for the low down on how to pick the best boat rental company for your needs.
1. Stick to Your Budget
If you want to save money on anything nowadays, setting up a budget’s the only way to stay on track.
Always research the cost of renting boats in your desired area before you approach a boat rental company. Prices vary widely from one boat rental company to the next.
Besides, the more options you have to choose from, the better chance you have of getting the perfect boat for your needs.
During quieter times, you could come across some great savings too. Always research all your options before hiring a boat for your outing or occasion.
2. Take Activities Into Account
There are many different types of boats available from small speed boats, to huge luxury yachts. When choosing a boat for a casual day out with friends choose a boat that suits your needs for the day.
Do you want to spend the day fishing, enjoying water sports, or simply lounging on deck watching the world go by?
Different boat sizes come with their pros and cons. A smaller boat’s ideal for fishing and exploring hidden coves, but it offers little in the way of extras.
A larger, more luxurious vessel’s more difficult to maneuver, so you’ll need to stick to the open water when hiring one of these.
If you’re planning an overnight stay on the water, you should ensure the boat has everything you’ll need for your stay when it comes to sleeping, eating, and relaxing.
3. Logistical Considerations
There are a few other extras you need to think about when planning a boating excursion. For one, the weather plays a major role in how much you’ll enjoy your day out.
When you’re on a boat, there’s no Plan B if it starts raining and most boat-hire companies won’t allow you to venture out when inclement weather threatens.
So, if you want to avoid the possibility of a last-minute cancellation, choose a time of year when the weather’s usually mild and predictable.
A good boat hire company will offer important advice when it comes to choosing the best date for boat parties.
If you’re planning a deep-sea fishing adventure, don’t go it alone. Rather consider a boat charter with an experienced crew.
4. What’s the Occasion?
There’s no limit to the variety of parties on boats you can enjoy. Boats are as well suited to dinner for two as they are for larger gatherings.
Planning a wedding onboard’s a whole new ball game. You’ll need to find a boat that’s big enough to accommodate all your guests and their needs.
Some of the other things to consider include catering and dining amenities, sufficient bathrooms, and enough communal space to mingle with your guests.
Unless you’ve got the budget to hire an ocean liner, it goes without saying that you’ll need to plan a small intimate wedding if you want to tie the knot on the water.
You’ll have more options available when planning a day of sailing with a few friends than if you’re looking for wedding boat rentals. So, start planning early.
5. Finding a Boat Rental Company
When you’re searching for a good boat hire company, it’s important to spend a lot of time researching your options. These are the steps you should follow:
- Ask for references from friends and family
- Look up online reviews
- Check for the necessary licenses
- Get quotes and compare prices
When you find a company that seems to tick all the boxes, visit their premises to discuss your needs. You should also take some time to view the boats available for hire.
Apart from size and amenities, you also want to check the condition of the boat. Does it look like it’s in good repair?
If necessary, you can ask to see the servicing and maintenance records for the boat to ensure the safety of your guests.
6. Boating Regulations
There are strict regulations in force when it comes to boating. Naturally, not everyone’s capable of maneuvering a full-size yacht around the Atlantic Ocean.
Legislation dictates that you’ll need a license if you want to skipper most boats. For your peace of mind, rather hire a boat that comes with an experienced skipper as part of the package.
A reputable boat hire company will ensure that your boat hire experience complies with all the necessary legal requirements.
7. Smooth Sailing
Once you’ve set the date and finalized all the details, there are a few ways to ensure your boat party goes off without a hitch. Try to plan as much as you can in advance, so you can also enjoy yourself on the day.
Arrive early, so you have plenty of time to set up, finalize any last-minute hiccups, and take a deep breath before all your guests arrive.
You’ll also need to undergo a safety briefing before you depart, so it’s a good idea to consider this when planning your sequence of events. Usually, boat hire companies will request that everyone arrives about half an hour early to accommodate this.
Navigating the Pitfalls of Events
One way to take the hassle out of hiring a boat rental company is to get an event manager to help plan your celebration. These professionals will take care of the details so you can focus on the fun.
For a private excursion, a reputable boat hire company makes all the difference when it comes to planning your big day out.
Check out some more of our blog articles for more guidance on a wide range of topics, from daily dilemmas to once-in-a-lifetime events.