4 Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Boat

by | Nov 2, 2018 | Interviews, Live Like a Local

Renting a boat is an exciting and efficient way to get out on the water. However, the boat rental process can be daunting for a first-timer. It’s hard to know if you’re overpaying, if you’re actually prepared, or if you know what to do if something happens to the boat.

To give rental newbies a place to start, we interviewed Amanda Rowden, an Operator of Iguana Watersports in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Amanda has been in the boat rental and sales business for decades, and knows how to bring people up to speed on what they need to know to make their boat rental a success.

She offered these four tips that you should know before getting on the water on a rental:

1: How to Get on the Water Faster

Amanda: Renting a boat online is obviously going to be the fastest. If you want to make sure you get out on the water on time, make sure you show up 30-45 minutes before your rental time. 

One big thing that slows down the process is when someone does not have their boating license ready. Make sure you know the proper laws for the state that you are in. In Missouri, if you were born before January 1st, 1984, all you need to show the dockhand is your driver’s license. If you were born after that date, you will need to pass the boating license test and provide that documentation. The test can be taken online here.


2: How to Make Sure the Check-in Process is Smooth

Amanda: The best way to avoid confusion when renting a boat is to review your confirmation letter. That is where you are going to find all the details of your reservation. At Iguana, we send you a confirmation letter that will tell you the time you should arrive, the documentation you need to provide, any accessories that you have requested, and all other pertinent information.


3: How to Get a Boat Rental on the Cheap

Amanda: A lot of marinas, including Iguana, will give you a discount for multi-day rentals. So, if you rent the boat over two or three days, you will pay a much lower rate per hour.

Holiday weekends, of course, are always going to be a little more expensive.

If you’re renting boat and you want to save a little cash, you can always do a two-hour rental. However, two-hour rentals almost always have the highest rate per hour. If you break down the price of an eight-hour rental, you are usually going to have a better rate per hour. Make a plan! If you’re coming with friends and family, split the costs with everybody! That’s going to make renting a boat affordable for you and help you enjoy your time on the water.


4: How to CYA if Something Happens to the Boat

Amanda: At Iguana we want to protect the customer and ourselves. To make sure that both sides have their bases covered, we always take pictures of every part of the boat before they depart. When customers return, we take the exact same pictures. That way there is no question, and no customer gets charged for a ding on the boat that was there when they got it. At Iguana, we actually put the photos into the contract as it is finalized. 

Amanda’s tip: When the dockhand is going over the condition of the boat, actually stand with them and pay attention to what they are saying. You are going to feel more confident in your boat rental and your marina if you get on the same page about the condition of the boat.

Amanda has covered the basics! Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of Amanda’s wisdom, where she will share how to have a top-notch Lake of the Ozarks experience.

In the meantime, check out Iguana’s website HERE! >>

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