If you've booked a bareboat (non-captained) rental, here are some tips and recommendations for making your upcoming rental safe and fun.
Pack your certifications and licenses. Depending on the watercraft and where you're boating, you may need a skipper's license and a license to use the VHF radio. Some areas require you to have completed a boating education course. Make sure that you bring your original paperwork and permits with you onboard, just in case.
Ask the owner ahead of time for a pre-rental and post-rental walkthrough. Message the boat owner in advance of your trip to make sure you have time prior to the rental start time to review and inspect the equipment for prior damage, and ask questions. Something that you both sign off on is helpful. Think of it like renting an apartment – a walkthrough allows you to make sure you're both on the same page about the condition of the watercraft before you take it out.
Here is a sample template for a pre & post-rental watercraft inspection. Note - this is just a guideline and should not be used in place of an official legal document.
Ask your point of contact for recommendations! The person meeting you to hand off the keys and instructions is likely going to be the boat owner, but occasionally it's a family member, a friend of the family, the dockmaster, or another trusted individual. Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for recommendations on where to go or what to see. They might have some great insider tips on where to go and things to look out for while on your boat day.
Inquire about boat rental insurance. GetMyBoat does not offer an insurance program for renters, but you can ask the boat owner if they are covered for bareboat rentals with insurance or you may look into finding an insurance agency that can offer temporary boat rental insurance.
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