5 Ways to Stay Safe While Renting out Your BoatPart of boating happy is boating safely. To help you rent or charter your watercraft safely and legally, GetMyBoat provides each owner and renter with templates, checklists, regulations, and more. We encourage you to read through each item on this list before you rent or charter your watercraft. 

1. Watercraft Safety Items Checklist

Review a checklist of required and suggested safety items, and provide a copy to your renter. Have a copy at the docks and review it each time your watercraft leaves the dock, and each time it returns. The checklist is a reminder to:

  • check the required and suggested safety equipment
  • make sure all equipment and items are running properly and nothing has expired
  • show your renter or guest where each item is located, and
  • to inform your renter, guests, and passengers how necessary items are used

If a required safety item is missing or does not work, do not allow your renter to go out. The item must be replaced or fixed before anyone takes your vessel out. If the item that is missing or does not work is a suggested safety item, you will need to assess the situation based on safety. If in doubt, don’t go out.

2. Purchase a Boat Rental Insurance Policy

3. Complete a Pre-Rental and Post-Rental Form

Walk through the pre-rental checklist before the guest embarks on your vessel, and when s/he returns, go through the post-rental checklist. These checklists serve as a reminder to verify each item has been attended to, and allows you time to perform a damage check on your vessel. Have your renter go through it with you together and make sure you both have read, understood, and signed both forms.

4. Provide and Sign a Boat Rental Agreement

After verifying and confirming a guest’s boating experience and resume, provide a rental agreement. GetMyBoat offers sample rental agreements for boats, houseboats, and personal watercraft, but because they are only templates, consult with your lawyer or legal counsel to review the documents. Ensure they cover your specific needs and terms. Keep a copy for yourself and provide a copy to the renter.

5. Stay Up to Date on Your State’s Boating Laws and Regulations

Make sure you are up-to-date with your state and local regulations and laws. These can change so it is a good idea to review them often. Encourage your renter or charterer to also read through these. It is a good idea to have a copy of your state’s laws on board your vessel at all times for quick access and reference.

There are also many how-tos and safety articles in GetMyBoat’s Resource Center. Spend some time checking out articles and encourage your renters and guests to do the same. GetMyBoat wants you to successfully rent or charter your watercraft, and safety is a top priority.