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Peer-to-Peer Boat Rentals: What Do You Need To Know?

Posted by George Stevens on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 03:50 PM


10 Tips From BoatUS for Owners and Renters

ALEXANDRIA, Va., February 24, 2015 – Airbnb may a popular “peer-to-peer” lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options, too., and are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. These services, which connect private boat owners to renters, can help owners recoup some expenses, and can also give non-owners a chance to get on the water with friends without the cost of full-time ownership. So what do you need to know? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some information for both boat owners and renters.

  1. Renters do not want boats that are not safe and or can barely get out of the marina, so these services are often better suited to newer vessels less than 10 years old. Older, larger or faster boats may require a survey or inspection. Rental costs vary widely based on boat size and location, and renters typically are required to have some boating experience as well as a deposit.
  2. These peer-to-peer boat rental websites generally handle every part of the transaction, including taking deposits and payments. They typically take 30%-40% of the rental fee, which covers overhead, profit, as well as insurance and on water towing services (more on both of those in a second…read on).
  3. For boat owners, most boat insurance policies don’t provide coverage during the rental period and some companies may not provide coverage at any time simply if you list your boat with a rental program. If you happen to own and insure your boat but desire to rent another, your insurance company (including BoatUS Marine Insurance) may offer a temporary endorsement for liability coverage while operating the rental boat – but damage to the rental boat still is not covered. That’s why these “peer-to-peer” boat rental companies often provide additional insurance coverage. However, it’s up to owners – and renters – to read the fine print. For owners, know what happens if your boat is damaged, the claims process, how depreciation may figure in, and, in the event of total loss, how the insurance will value your boat. For renters, ensure you are OK with the level of liability coverage being offered during the rental, know how much you would have to pay if you damage the boat, and whether injuries to both you and your passengers would be covered.
  4. TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towing fleets provide on water towing and assistance service to some peer-to-peer rental services at no additional charge to the renter or owner. For the renter that means simply calling BoatUS’ 24-hour nationwide dispatch (800-391-4869) if there is a breakdown.
  5. Renters need to ask about any other costs or fees, including fuel or other charges like pump-outs. They should also clarify with the owner what happens if the boat breaks down and becomes unusable.
  6. Boat owners have the full right to say “no” to a renter, starting with an initial phone call. BoatUS member Bob Kellet, who has successfully rented his 30-foot sailboat, says owners are in full control of the process, from pricing to vetting renters. After speaking to a potential renter on the phone, if he’s comfortable, Kellet will meet at his boat for a full run-through. He may even take the renter out for a few minutes to show how everything works.
  7. Kellet also suggests having a detailed instruction guide for the boat’s equipment and a step-by-step guide for things like starting the engine. Be sure to include safety gear.
  8. Having a walk-through, pre-rental checklist is good for both parties, as is taking a few date-stamped photos showing the condition of the vessel.
  9. While there is a certain element of trust, owner and renter reviews tend to weed out bad apples quickly, so be sure to check the renter’s history or the owner’s reviews from past renters. “Reviews are the best indicator of whether there will be a positive rental experience,” says BoatUS Consumer Affairs Director Charles Fort, who adds, “These services may also help those looking to buy a certain boat to try it out, if you will, before they purchase.”
  10. One man’s experience: BoatUS Member Kellet said he was apprehensive the first few times he rented his sailboat to a stranger, but after a couple rentals he realized the renters cared about his boat, too, and they were there for the same reason: a love of the water and boating. A couple rentals a month easily pays his Seattle, Washington, area moorage fees. The only downside Kellet reports are scheduling conflicts when he’d like to use the boat himself.

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, Learn to Sail, boating, boating, Potomac River, boating safety, Boat US, Mariner Sailing School, Safety

Top 10 reason to go sailing from

Posted by George Stevens on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 03:56 PM

10. Peace and quiet.

9. Creating life long memories comes easily.

8. Sailing is FUN, FUN, FUN !

7. Experiencing life moment to moment.

6. It’s at least 10 degrees COOLER than land.

5. Full of rare natural beauty.

4. Gain greater confidence ~ sailing through life

3. Sailing takes you places

2. Makes you younger

and the number 1 Top reason to Just Go Sailing is

Escape to Adventure !

BVI escape

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, sailing lessons, Learn to Sail, sailing, Mariner Sailing School, Safety

8 Most Ignored Rules of Boating by Amanda Rodriguez

Posted by George Stevens on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 @ 05:13 PM

One of the most enjoyable aquatic activities just so happens to be one of the most accident prone activities. Over time, boating has evolved into a much safer recreational sport but much more work needs to be done in terms of safety awareness and education. As long as your boat captain and fellow companions behave safely and follow basic boating procedures, you can easily avoid accidents and injury. Here are some most ignored rules of boating to which every boating enthusiast should pay more attention.

rules of boating resized 600

Reference capacity plate for loading

The capacity plate on your boat displays crucial information regarding the maximum weight in pounds of people and carrying load that your boat can handle safely. It also suggests a maximum horsepower that is recommended for your boat. Not many people refer to this information and oftentimes overload their boat, increasing the risk for their boat to capsize because of instability. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, capsizing and plunges overboard due to overloaded or improperly loaded boats are the most reported types of fatal accidents, accounting for more than half of all boating fatalities.

Balancing people on your boat

A main component of keeping your boat afloat is making sure you distribute the weight of all passengers and gear on your boat. To help keep the center of gravity low and thus improve stability, do not allow people to stand up or move around while the boat is underway. This is especially critical in smaller, less stable boats. You should not allow anyone to lean beyond the upper edge of the vessel’s side (gunwale.)

Starting your boat correctly

Before you start your boat, there are some safety checkpoints you should consider. One very important precaution to take is to make sure that water is being discharged from the exhaust system in the back of your boat. This indicates that the cooling system is operational and lubricating. If there is no water being supplied to the cooling system, your impeller could burn out quickly, which would seize your engine.

Avoid running aground

Despite efforts to not run your boat onto shoals, rocks, or islets, groundings do happen and are not uncommon, even among some experienced sailors. You should prepare yourself with knowledge on how to react should this occur. First, do not apply any more power to try to push your way across. Immediately put your vessel in reverse and increase power to back away from the grounding. Pay careful attention to your propellers, as this process may turn up mud or bottom vegetation and cause your propellers to overheat.

Pay attention to speed limits

When you’re out in the open water, you may not be aware of the speed limits, which are restricted in many areas. Look for speed zones marked by signs showing an orange circle around a black numeral. When passing landing floats, some state laws restrict your speed to five miles per hour. There are also other safe speed restrictions when passing a bather, a beach, swimming float, or other boats.

Boating while impaired

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued the claim that, “Alcohol is more hazardous on water than on land.” It’s no wonder that more than half of all fatal boating accidents are a result of boating while intoxicated (BWI). Imagine the combined effects of being on a boat: continual motion, sun, engine noise, and vibration from waves factored in with your altered state of mind. The chances of passengers falling overboard due to capsizing increase significantly when the driver is under the influenced. Furthermore, an intoxicated person overboard faces double danger of being unable to respond to the shock of falling into the water, and or swimming back to safety.

Proper nighttime lighting

Boats operating between sunset and sunrise or during times of limited visibility due to fog or other unpredictable weather conditions must pay careful attention to lighting configurations. It is your responsibility to make sure the lights on your boat are properly lit to adapt to any weather condition and provide for optimal visibility.

Carry required safety equipment at all times

All boats are required to carry certain equipment at all times, but these are just the bare minimum requirements. If you are engaging in any other water sports on your boat, make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment associated with the sport. If you’re carrying children, check your state laws for required personal flotation devices. Also, be sure you understand how to operate safety equipment like fire extinguishers and visual distress signals.

Tags: Belle Haven Marina, boating, Inflatable life jackets, boating safety, Safety


Posted by George Stevens on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 @ 06:57 AM

New to sailing? Let us help you master the basics with these handy sailing tipsand instructions for beginners. Both novice and experienced sailors alike can benefit from a quick review of these beginner sailing basics!

First lesson, rigging

  • Choose calm, uncrowded waters If you’re just starting to master sailing basics and learn how to sail, then one of the most important beginner sailing tips to remember is to practice in ideal conditions of light winds and low traffic. 
  • Choose a small boat to learn how to sail It’s easier to learn how to sail with fewer lines and sails. A small dinghy will be more responsive and easier to maneuver, and is also perfect for practicing test capsizes in (see tip #7 below). 
  • Follow sailing basics for safety There are certain sailing basics for safe boating that should go without saying, no matter what your level of expertise. These include always telling someone before you go out on the water, always bringing a floatation device and knowing in advance how to swim.
  • Research tide, wind and weather conditions. Check the weather forecast so you can be prepared for whatever the weather might bring. Be sure to bring along adequate provisions, clothing and basic weather gear as needed. Boating and sailing basics means always being prepared. 
  • Become familiar with sail control The best sailors are the ones who are able to adjust sail settings to take the best advantage of different wind and water conditions. In general, sails should be relatively flat when the wind is either very light or very strong, and full when there is a moderate wind. 
  • Respect the boom Some of the most common sailing injuries are a result of not being aware when the boom is about to swing. To avoid a bump to the head, or even worse, being knocked overboard, one of the most important beginner sailing tips to always remember for both passengers and crew is to be conscious and respectful of the boom at all times. 
  • Learn basic sailing terms. Before you venture out on your first trip, be sure to acquaint yourself with basics. Make sure you know the difference between port, starboard, and other important concepts. 
  • Practice makes perfect. Don’t try to teach yourself all the sailing basics. Invest in a good sailing course, research guides and books, and learn from friends with experience.
  • Register for a free 2 hour sail


Tags: sailing, Safety, tide, weather