Whether you’re leaving the boat at home during a family vacation or just want to spend a few hours on the water, renting a speedboat is sure to add more than a little excitement to the day. The perks of renting are obvious: no down payment, no monthly bills and no seasonal maintenance.
Depending on the location and type of boat you choose, rental rates can vary from a couple hundred to nearly a thousand dollars per day, plus fuel. Many boat rental businesses offer discounts to customers who rent their boats for multiple days.
The Rental Business
You already know where you plan on having your speedboat adventure, but how do you find the right boat rental company? If the hotel or facility at which you’re staying doesn’t provide this service, search online for “boat rentals” in the area or call the hotel and ask for recommendations. Before choosing a boat rental agent, research the following:
The ratings of the business
Reviews given by previous customers
All license, boating safety training and age requirements
The prices for half-day, full-day rentals or multiple-day rentals
Every state has different age and license requirements for boat operators and many require renters to provide proof of having completed a boating safety course. Ask the rental company about state and local requirements.
While boat size is typically determined by the size of the waterway or body of water, the type of boat you can choose depends on what’s available, your personal tastes and your budget. Here’s a look at three types of speedboats.
· High Performance Boats:
These are the slim, fast muscle cars of the boating world, providing thrill-seekers with blistering speeds and precise handling. Whether you’re into offshore cranking or relaxing in a private cove – powerboats deliver. They range from 25 to 60 feet in length and handle up to six persons.
· Jet Boats:
These boats feature single or multiple jet drives instead of a propeller. They’re very fast and maneuverable, ranging in length from 14 to 24 feet. They’re a great choice if you love flying through shallow waters. They provide an exciting ride along with comfortable seating and sunning areas.
· Ski Boats:
These fast little boats get their speed from an inboard motor that delivers. Their speed and power make them great boats for fans of waterboarding, skiing and other water sports.
In a speedboat, handling isn’t just a matter of convenience or pleasure – it’s also a matter of safety. At speeds of 50 to 75 miles per hour, many boats can get a bit “squirrely,” which is an extremely dangerous situation. Imagine what kind of trouble you’d be in if this happens when traveling above 100 mph.
The only way to tell how well a high-performance boat handles is to take it out for a sea trial before renting the boat. Don’t allow the rental agent to tell you it handles well at high speeds – prove it to yourself.
Many speed boats are designed only to go fast, with a minimal number of people on board. That may be fine for the die-hard off-shore racer, but most want a boat with versatility. If you’ve got friends or family along for the fast, fast ride, boats like a high-performance catamaran features cockpit seating for six.
Condition and Cleanliness
When you’re renting an expensive boat, you can learn a lot from the business owner (and the boats) by looking around the property before signing the rental agreement. Always check the overall appearance of the speedboat; that, too will tell you how well the boats are maintained. Chances are very good that a rental agent who keeps the office and boats clean has also kept up with maintenance.
Are these five things the only ones to think about when renting a speedboat? Of course not, but they shouldn’t be ignored. There's a wide range of go-fast boats out there for the choosing – the rest is up to you.
~ VS Glen Community Support