How Much Does a Boat Rental Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

Renting a boat can be a great option for those who are vacationing or just want to hit the water for a day or two.

As we all know, owning a boat can be pretty expensive, and thankfully, there are marinas across the globe that allow you to rent a boat for the day or two.

The costs of renting a boat will depend on the time of year, geographical location, the type of boat that you are looking to rent and long you want to rent it for.

boat by hodgers, on Flickr
boat” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  hodgers

How much does it cost to rent a boat?

Most marinas will rent by the hour, half day, or for the full day.  Depending on the type of boat, plan on spending around $80 to as much as $500 for boats that less than 24 feet long for the full day.  By the hour, plan on spending at least $75 to $110.  Smaller fishing boats will cost less than $75, while larger patio boats that can fit up to 12 passengers can cost upwards of $300 for the full day.  Holiday periods tend to be 20 to 40 percent more than a non-holiday.

We researched online to see what various marinas charge in the United States and included our findings in the table below:

Type of BoatAverage Rental Rate
Personal Watercraft (Waverunner)- $85 per hour
- $350 per 4 hours
- $800 per day
Pontoon Boat- $85 per hour
- $320 per 4 hours
- $550 per day
Ski Boat- $110 per hour
- $400 per 4 hours
- $750 per day
Party Boat- $250 per hour
- $800 per 4 hours
- $1550 per day
Rowboat- $15 per hour
- $40 per 4 hours
- $75 per day
Smaller Fishing Boat (18-40HP)- $55 per hour
- $160 per 4 hours
- $300 per day
Canoe- $25 per hour
- $100 per 4 hours
- $130 per day

Renting a boat overview

Most marinas are going to rent out pontoon, fishing boats and/or ski boats, and these boats are going to average 17 to 24 feet long since boats larger than this will take a special skill to maneuver and marinas won’t want to take the risk; however, it doesn’t mean these boats won’t be available.  Most companies will have a wide range of makes and models you can choose from.

Boats can be rented by the hour, half day, full day, or even by the week.  A full day rental is often considered eight hours.

The boat that is rented should be ready to go when you arrive at the marina, meaning it will be filled with gas, cleaned, and prepped to go.  All boats should come equipped with the appropriate safety gear, including life jackets, ropes, an anchor, dock lines and first aid kit.

What are the extra costs?

Any damage done to the boat will be the boater’s responsibility.  Depending on the marina, some do offer insurance policies for an extra charge.

If the boat is returned past the deadline, a late charge will be applied.  This will average $50 to $100 per half hour.

Marinas often rent out equipment, such as skis and rafts, for an additional fee.

Life vests and seat cushions can cost an additional $3 to $5 per day.

If the boat has to be towed out on the water, it would cost an additional $100 to $150 per hour.

If a reservation is canceled within 24 to 72 hours, there may be a slight cancellation fee.

You may be required to fill up once you return the boat.  Be sure to read the policy to know what you are responsible for.

Cleaning and service charges may apply.  A normal amount of cleaning will be included.  If the boat is excessively messy, however, you will most likely have to pay for this service.

For fishing boats, trolling motors and depth finder, if available, can cost upwards of $20 per day.  You can also rent fishing equipment to use while you are out.

If you would like to have someone to come out with you and operate the boat for you, some marinas will have this service for an extra charge.

Tips to know:

Most boats that have a motor more powerful than 25 horsepower will require a marina license.

Renters will typically have to be 21 to 24 years old at a minimum, but the age limits will vary from marina to marina.

A reservation deposit, which is usually half of the rental rate, will be required.  This will be refunded when the boat is returned in its original condition.

During the holiday weeks, a company may require that you rent the boat for the entire day.

Companies will have restrictions in regards to minors, drinking and pets.  Make sure that you’re well aware of these policies before taking the boat out on the water.

How can I save money?

The more days you need to rent the boat, the more you can save on your daily rate.  Most rental companies allow you to receive discount rates if a multiple day rental agreement is signed.

Check out the websites of most boat rental companies.  Most of the time, you may able to find a deal that you can take advantage of.  Don’t be afraid to haggle if there’s a lot of competition in the area.

Instead of renting all the equipment like life jackets and fishing gear, ask friends or family if they have these items that you can borrow.

Discounts are often available to students, senior citizens and/or former military.

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