Policies & Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do I need a reservation to rent a boat?
Answer: Our Destin, FL boat rentals are available on a first come, first serve basis. Advance reservations are highly recommended between the months of April-October. Please call us at (850) 650-2628 to check availability or make your reservation. To hold a boat for you, we require a name, phone number, and a valid credit card. We do not charge a deposit to the card, and payment is due at the time of your rental. (Please note there is a $200/boat deposit required for reservations for Billy Bowlegs and July 4th ONLY.) If you have any questions, please email Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (8am-noon) or afternoon (1pm-5pm). 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.) You must speak with a person to cancel your rental, and obtain a cancellation confirmation code. Cancellations made with fewer than 24 hours notice for other reasons or “no-shows” will be charged for the full amount of the rental price. 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 can 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 in the morning 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 is included with the boat?
Answer: All of our boats 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 fuel, up to 10 gallons for a half day rental of 15 gallons for a full day rental. Additional fuel is the responsibility of the customer.
Question: Are there any additional fees?
Answer: Florida state sales tax is an additional 6%. Please note that all prices reflect a 4% cash discount, so expect to pay an additional 4% if paying with a credit card.
Question: What if I’ve never driven a boat before?
Answer: If you are new to boating, we can provide the instruction you need to make sure that you have a safe boating experience, or we can arrange for a captain to pilot your boat through the waterways. 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, and in the Santa Rosa Sound as far west as Spectre Island (just south of Hurlburt Field). Use in the Gulf of Mexico is prohibited. Center console rentals are allowed in the Gulf up to 7 miles offshore, in addition to the previously mentioned areas.
Question: Where are you located?
Answer: For our half-day and daily boat rental customers, we offer pick up of your Destin boat rental from our Highway 98 location on the Destin harbor at East Pass Marina. We have clean restrooms and changing facilities available on site. 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 well-maintained rental fleet in Destin. Our boats are hand-picked by us for quality rather than purchased in bulk and stripped down (biminis shortened, radios removed, etc) for commercial use. All of our Destin pontoon rentals are 2011-2013 models, come with iPod-ready sound systems, vinyl flooring, bimini tops, swim ladders, and four-stroke engines. We have detailed photos of each of our actual boats on our Boats & Rates page so that you can see the quality of our rental fleet for yourself, and decide on the boat that best suits your family’s individual needs.
Question: Do you have any cheap pontoon boat rentals?
Answer: All of our boat rental prices are listed on our Boats & Rates page. At Destin Vacation Boat Rentals, we will not sacrifice quality for price. Sometimes we are the best deal and sometimes we are not. If you’re just comparing prices and the appearance, options, or craftmanship of the boat doesn’t matter to you, we may not be the right company for you. But if you want a newer model, quality boat and a knowledgeable crew with generations of boating, fishing, scuba, and watersports experience, you have come to the right place!
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 your boats?
Answer: We do have pet-friendly boats available! Please inquire when making your reservation.
Question: Where can I get a Florida fishing license?
Answer: Florida fishing licenses are now available online! Click here for more information. We can also help you get one at our rental office. 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: We offer private sunset cruises for the Thursday night air show and fireworks display over the harbor. Contact us for details!
Question: I’m bringing my own boat to Destin. Do you know where I can keep it during my stay?
Answer: Yes, we have a large selection of boat slips for rent in Destin. Contact us for details!