Don’t Charter a Boat Without an Ironclad Agreement

By | January 18, 2012

For many families, going on vacation is a big deal. It means saving a lot of money, putting in a lot of time and effort for planning, and for families with a lot of children, it means a lot of stress – sometimes like herding cats. In this economy, vacations are an even bigger deal. That’s why if you plan on chartering a boat on your next vacation – or simply charting a boat for a weekend outing – you need to have an ironclad rental agreement in place.

But what does an ironclad agreement really mean? And what about the perspective of someone who’s looking to rent their boat out to vacationers? We’ll tackle all of these issues.

Renting a Boat

Let’s face it: renting a boat is not as simple as renting a car. When you rent a car, you can simply fill out a few forms and drive away from the airport. When you rent a boat, you need to have a lot of things in place to ensure that everything is on the up-and-up. And the bigger boat you rent, the more the rent is going to cost you. That’s just the reality of renting boats, even if the higher price of renting a boat means a lot more fun than a rental car.

First, you’ll need a driver who is fully licensed and qualified to drive the boat. What this entails will depend on the laws of the state where you’re renting. Second, you’ll need to make sure that you read the full boat charter rental agreement before you sign it. It even helps to keep a few written notes of the responsibilities and liabilities you pick up as a result of signing this agreement. If there’s something in that contract you can’t handle, simply don’t sign the agreement. Maybe you’ll offend someone who thought they were making some money, but in the long run you’re better off.

In short: the more you know what you’re getting into before signing a boat charter rental agreement, the better.

Renting a Boat Out

If you already own a boat, it’s important not only to have a document you can use to rent it out, but a lot of copies of said document so you can continue making money!

If you’re just starting out, you’ll have to do a lot of the foundational work upfront. What do your state regulations say about renting a boat out? What are your responsibilities as the boat owner? Your liabilities? Then you’ll be responsible for making sure that all parties involved have signed on the dotted line.

The good news is that after you’ve put in a little bit of research, you’ll have a routine ready to go for whenever you rent your boat out to someone else. If you find the right contract for your boat charter agreement, you can simply make copies of it and then keep the signed copies in your files for future reference.