Before you leave the dock, check to make sure your rental boat has all of the required safety equipment listed below.
Check to see what communication equipment your vessel has on board. Have a list of local contact numbers handy (marinas, locks, etc.) to carry with you. We strongly recommend you bring a cell phone or marine radio.
Look to see that the boat is well maintained. If you see problems, consider whether it’s safe to take it out. Inspect the vessel for scratches, stains, cracks, dents, prop damage, etc. If you find any issues, please contact the boat owner before accepting the keys. You do not want to get blamed for any issues you didn’t cause.
Check to see that the boat has paddles, oars, and dock lines. Although they are not needed, we recommend having them before heading out.
Consider your level of boating knowledge and experience. If you are a beginner, you might want to consider taking a boat safety course approved by your state. At the very least, you can ask the boat owner to take you out on the water for a familiarization tour of your rental boat. Boat owners can fully explain all the rules of the water, including how to read charts and navigate the waterway.