Policies & Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do I need a reservation to rent a boat?
Answer: Our Destin, FL boat rentals are available by reservation only. Please visit our Reservation page to check availability or to make your reservation or call (850) 650-2628. To hold a boat for you, we require your name, phone number, and a small deposit. We charge a 15% deposit at the time of your reservation, and the remaining payment is due at the time of your rental. The deposit is refundable if you cancel your rental with at least 24 hours notice or if you are unable to use the boat due to inclement weather. If you have any questions, please call us at (850) 650-2628.
Question: How far in advance do I need to reserve my boat rental?
Answer: During the off-season (mid-September through early May), we usually still have availability a day or two before. This may vary during peak Spring Break weeks, in which case we recommend securing your boat at least a week in advance. During peak season (mid-May through Labor Day), we often have a waiting list and book out 2-3 weeks in advance. Please reserve early if you wish to rent a boat during your stay. If we do not have any boats left on the day that you would like to rent your boat, you can ask to be added to our waiting list and you will be given first priority in the event that we have a cancellation.
Question: What is the difference between a half day rental and a full day rental?
Answer: A half day rental is 4 hours, and can be morning (9am-1pm) or afternoon (2pm-6pm). A full day rental gives you use of the boat between 9am and 5pm (8 hours).
Question: What is your cancellation policy?
Answer: For single day and half day rentals, we require 24 hours cancellation notice, except in the case of inclement weather on the day of your boat rental or charter. For multiple day rentals, we require 24 hours notice per day of rental. (For example, a 3-day rental will require 3 days notice of cancellation.) Cancellations made with fewer than 24 hours notice for other reasons or “no-shows” will be charged for the full amount of the rental. In the event that your vacation is cut short by sickness or family emergency and you are not able to provide 24 hours notice of cancellation, you may be able to file for reimbursement of your rental fees from your travel insurance provider. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.
Question: What if the weather is bad on the day I reserved my boat?
Answer: If the weather is unsuitable for boating on the day of your rental and you are unable to use the boat, we will do our best to reschedule you, or you may cancel at no charge. Weather decisions will be made by management on the day of your scheduled rental. If you suspect poor weather, please call the number listed in your confirmation email before assuming that you will be unable to go, as it is not unusual to have a chance of rain on any given day.
Question: What about holiday weekends? Do your rates change?
Answer: Yes, rates do vary for holiday weekends including Memorial Day weekend, Billy Bowlegs, and July 4th weekend. Please verify rates before booking.
Question: What is included with a pontoon rental?
Answer: All of the pontoon boats listed on our site are US Coast Guard safety inspected and equipped (life jackets, anchor, and safety equipment), include waterway charts or area maps, iPod-compatible sound systems, and come with 10-foot bimini tops. All of our pontoon boat rentals and jet ski rentals also include a full tank of gas. Additional fuel is the responsibility of the customer.
Question: Are there any additional fees?
Answer: Florida state sales tax is an additional 6%.
Question: What if I’ve never driven a boat before?
Answer: If you are new to boating, you will be provided with the instruction you need to make sure that you have a safe boating experience. We can also arrange for a captain to pilot your boat through the waterways for an additional fee of $150/half day or $300/full day. You can also check out our video about how to drive a pontoon boat.
Question: Where can I take the boat?
Answer: Pontoon boat rentals are allowed anywhere within the Choctawhatchee Bay as far east as the MidBay Bridge and as far west as the Brooks Bridge. Use in the Gulf of Mexico is prohibited. Center console rentals are allowed in the Gulf up to 10 miles offshore (weather permitting), in addition to the previously mentioned areas.
Question: Where are you located?
Answer: Our Destin boat rentals are available from several different locations along the one-mile stretch of the Destin Harbor. You will receive address and directions to the rental facility in your confirmation email once you make your reservation. All of our boats are kept in deepwater wet slips. You will not need to tow a boat or load it into the water.
Question: Are your pontoon boats nice?
Answer: We pride ourselves on having the most diverse rental options in Destin. All of the Destin pontoon rentals listed with Destin Vacation Boat Rentals are newer models (2014-2016) with vinyl flooring, bimini tops, swim ladders, and quiet four-stroke engines. We have photos of each of the different models that we offer on our Boats & Rates page so that you can see the features of each of our boats for yourself, and decide on the boat that best suit your family’s individual needs.
Question: Am I guaranteed to get the boat I reserve?
Answer: We do our best to make sure you get the boat that you reserve. In rare instances, due to mechanical issues or damage done to the boat by other renters, we may have to move you to another boat to accommodate your reservation. We reserve the right to change your boat at any time to ensure your safety.
Question: What is there to do on a boat in Destin?
Answer: There are many activities that the whole family can enjoy! We suggest starting with this list of Destin watersports activities.
Question: Is alcohol allowed on the boat?
Answer: Alcohol is allowed on the boat. As with driving a car, please choose a designated driver as it is against Florida law to drive a boat while under the influence of alcohol. (We can also add a captain to your rental for an additional fee if you’d prefer not to designate a driver.)
Question: Are pets allowed on the boats?
Answer: We do have pet-friendly boats available! Please inquire when making your reservation. Note that there is a $50 pet fee for cleaning.
Question: Where can I get a Florida fishing license?
Answer: Florida fishing licenses are now available online or through the FWC app for iPhone and Android! Click here for more information. Cost is $17 for non-residents for a 3-day pass.
Question: I’ve heard there are fireworks over the Destin Harbor on Thursday nights. Can I rent a boat to see the fireworks?
Answer: Yes, from Memorial Day to Labor Day we offer sunset cruises for the Thursday night air show and fireworks display over the harbor. Contact us for details!