Things Boat Rental Customers Should Know Before Getting in the Water

Things Boat Rental Customers Should Know Before Getting in the Water

Rental customers should know what they want before renting a boat and taking it out into the open water for some fun. If your client has never been on a good-sized watercraft before, the experience of pushing off from port and heading out to open water is something they probably won’t forget.

But before taking a rental vessel out for a spin, there are some things your client should keep in mind. While the marina owner will likely have watercraft and PWC coverage, your client must also protect themselves. 

The good news is that renting a boat from a reputable facility is generally pretty safe. There are continuous inspections on vessels and equipment for seaworthiness and safety. Additionally, reliable communications systems will be available onboard. Your clients should take all necessary precautions and follow standard safety practices.

Essential Tips Before Getting in the Water

The tips below will help keep your clients stay safe on a rental boat or any other kind of water vessel: 

Make Adequate Preparations

If your client wants to launch off on their own, they should ensure the presence of current maps and charts onboard to navigate the waters safely. They should also inspect the boat thoroughly for seaworthiness.

Choose a Familiar Boat

Most marinas have a wide range of watercraft to choose from, but your client should stick to the ones they know best. Familiarity with a boat helps ensure safety and reduces the possibility of something going wrong during the trip. 

Take a Boating Course 

Your client should strongly consider taking a refresher boating course if they haven’t been on the water. And if they’ve never piloted a boat before, completing a full boating safety course is a must. These courses help prospective boaters become familiar with navigation rules and are crucial for ensuring safety at sea. 

Be Aware of State Laws and Regulations

There are strictly defined laws and regulations governing the use of watercraft. Also, these can vary depending on the vessel type, the water body, and the jurisdiction. Your clients should know about these before renting a water vessel. Doing so could help them avoid a fine or misdemeanor charge. 

Check the Weather Forecast

Seasoned seafarers only head out on a boat after checking the weather beforehand. If expecting inclement weather, it might be best for your client to remain close to shore. Environmental conditions can change drastically within minutes, so your client should take all precautions and err on the side of caution. 

Hire a Boat Captain 

The idea of piloting a boat is enchanting, and your client will likely want to take on the challenge even if they have no prior experience. Your client may consider hiring a captain so they can relax and enjoy the ride. 

File a Float Plan

A float plan isn’t a requirement, but it’s a good idea for your client to file one. It lets authorities know the ship’s course, estimated return time, and other vital details. 

Make Sure That Insurance is In Order

Finally, have your client ensure that the boat is adequately insured. Although most reputable marinas will have appropriate coverage, there is no replacement for the peace of mind that your clients will get from knowing they have protection from unexpected incidents. 


As you can see, there are quite a few things to remember before taking a boat out on the water. Some might seem trivial and common sense, but they are essential for ensuring safety onboard a water vessel. Remind your clients of these tips; they should have a wonderful time onboard! 

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.