Frequently Asked Questions
What can we do out there?
There are several great islands and sand bars nearby. Most customers like to go to one of these and hang out and catch some rays (sun that is) and swim. Some customers like to fish (certain of our boats do not allow fishing while others are built for it). Some customers like to cruise to some of the great bars and restaurants in the area that are located on the water (ask our friendly staff and they can help you choose from these). Some customers just like to go for a ride and look at our beautiful scenery and the waterfront houses and businesses.
How do we anchor or tie up the boat?
If you are going to a sand bar or island, you will want to use the 2 anchor method. Drop a bow anchor approximately 100 to 150 feet off of the island (depending on water depth) and then slowly back into about 3 feet of water (waist deep) and turn off boat motor. One person must then quickly go overboard and take the rear anchor up to the island and set it with the ropes all pulled tight. This allows for boaters to easily climb off into waist deep water. Make sure the motor is off before anyone gets in the water and make sure water is plenty deep to keep the boat and motor floating but not so deep that you cannot get off safely. Some people and small children may require assistance. If you wish to anchor in deeper water away from other boats, you may simply drop the bow anchor after making sure it is secured to the boat. Throwing an anchor over without securing it to the boat will cost you. If you are going to tie the boat up in a boat slip at a marina you must make sure that the boat has at least a front and rear rope securing it to the dock. You must also make sure that the boat is protected from damage by the dock and changing tide by bumpers, rub rails, etc. If you are not 100% certain that the boat is tied so that it is secure and cannot be damaged by tides, waves or other hazards DO NOT LEAVE IT BECAUSE YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHICH OCCURS.
If I am out and having fun, can I keep the boat out longer?
Sometimes it is possible that this can be arranged, sometimes it is not. CALL US to ask and we can let you know if anything can be worked out. Keeping a boat out past the return deadline without checking with us will result in an immediate $100 fine for each and every hour that the boat is late. This is charged 5 minutes into the hour and is not prorated.
If I came in early can I get a refund?
Unfortunately, the only situation in which a refund is possible is if the weather gets bad enough that we call you in or if the boat breaks (because of a mechanical wear and tear issue not resulting from your operation of the boat) and we are unable to repair or replace it with another suitable unit. If you break it, no refund will be made.
Can I take my dog with me?
Some of our boats allow dogs and some do not. Check the individual boat information or call us.
Are there sharks out there?
Yes, this portion of the river and the gulf are salt water and thus are inhabited by a number of shark species. Problem encounters with sharks almost never happen but if you are deathly afraid of them you may want to stay out of the water.
Are there stingrays out there?
Again, YES. This is salt water. Certain times of year stingrays become more active. You can protect against a possible encounter by shuffling your feet rather than lifting and setting them down when you are in the water. They are peaceful and will do everything that they can to avoid you but you do not want to accidentally step on one. They do not attack, they only respond if stepped on.
What else is there that can hurt me?
At times you may encounter jellyfish either washed up on the beach or in the water. These are not aggressive and cannot attack you but can cause a painful sting if you accidentally come into contact with them. Simply avoid them.
I am not an experienced boater, will you rent to me?
Almost anyone over 21 can rent and operate our boats safely. Our skilled staff will provide you with basic training on boat operation. We will require inexperienced boaters to use pontoon boats a few times prior to taking center console or deck boats out. Pontoons tend to be slower and easier to operate. Occasionally we do encounter a potential customer who cannot get comfortable operating a boat or we encounter a customer who our staff does not feel safe allowing to operate our boats. In such a situation we will refund deposits rather than send out someone who is not comfortable or safe. We do reserve the right to refuse to rent a boat to a potential customer if we are not comfortable that they will be able to operate the boat in a safe manner. Some one on board the boat must speak and read English adequately to allow our staff to feel certain that they understand the Rules and Regulations and safe boating practices.
What if I get lost?
We provide charts on all boats. If you are unsure where you are simply call us. Each boat has a GPS beacon and we can know exactly where you are at any time and we can help to direct you back in. Should you become so lost that we have to send out a rescue boat there is a $150 charge for this service.
What is I don’t pay attention to the tides and the boat gets beached?
We will provide you with tide information so that this does not happen but should you become stuck and we have to send out a rescue boat there is a $150 fee. If the rescue boat cannot get the stranded boat unstuck there is an additional $150 fee for sending a boat back at high tide to unstuck your boat. Please watch the boat and the tides; we don’t want to have to do this.
What if we get out and the boat won’t start when we are ready to come back?
This is usually not a problem and it is usually something simple when it does. The most common thing that causes this is leaving the boat in gear. All of our boats have a safety lockout that disables the boats so that they will not start if the gearshift lever is not in the neutral position. Even if the boat appears to be in neutral jiggle the gearshift and try again. Boats also have safety lanyards, it these are inadvertently pulled off, the boat will not start. For more complicated problems call us right away, often we can walk you through correcting the problem.
What should we do if storms come near?
Call us on your cell phone and we will provide you with weather updates. In summertime, there are often afternoon thundershowers and we can watch the radar and help you avoid these. If something really bad is coming, we will direct you to come back in or to seek the nearest shelter. Just keep in touch with us and most problems can be avoided.
Is fuel included in my rental?
No, different customers use widely different amounts of fuel so you pay for what you use. We send boats out full and top them off or read gauges upon return to determine your fuel cost.
What should I bring on my rental?
Keep in mind that the Florida sun can be intense so bring proper clothes, sunglasses, hats, sun block, beach stuff, ice chests and whatever else you need to have a good time. All required USCG safety equipment is provided but if you have specific jackets for children or dogs you will want to bring them. We provide some children’s life preservers but these may not be ideal for every child.
How deep of water can we safely operate the boats in?
While none of our boats draft over 3′ with motors fully trimmed down, do not run the boats above dead idle in less than 6′ of water. Do not deviate from marked channels until you are all of the way out the Tarpon Springs channel to markers 1 and 2. The large areas shown with white backgrounds on the charts provided are all safe waters. When operating outside of these areas, do so only at dead slow speed. Should you find yourself in too shallow of water where the bottom of the motor is touching, immediately turn off the motor and trim the motor us and walk the boat to deeper water. Not doing this will probably result in you being charged for prop damage and the replacement of the cooling system impeller on the motor. In more severe cases this can result in more serious damage and much greater cost.
What is the boat capacity and can I bring more people if many of them are children? The boat capacity is the number of persons or pounds that the boat can safely hold. You cannot ever, under any circumstances, put more warm bodies on the boat than the stated number, it does not matter how small that they are. Beyond the number of people, the weight restriction must be considered. Most of the capacities are based on roughly 150 pound people so if the average weight of your group is 250, you can safely take fewer people on the boat. Our staff will refuse to rent to groups who are exceeding boat capacity. Please let us know when making your reservation if you expect your group to have a high average weight for your own safety.
Can I take Alcoholic Beverages on the boat?
Yes it is ok for you to have alcohol on board and for passengers to consume it. The drivers are not allowed to drink, you can receive a BUI just like a DUI, and the consequences are equally serious. We reserve the right to refuse to rent if there is not a driver over 21 who is not drinking. Deposits will not be refunded if you show up drunk to pick up the boat and we have to refuse you.