Do I Need a Captain for My Boat Rental?

The Benefits of a Boat Captain

What Boat Captains Do For You

When you secure a boat rental with Boatsetter you have the option of choosing whether or not you’d like to hire a boat captain to accompany you on your adventure. In some instances a boating captain is necessary, but in others it may be unwarranted.

Let’s start by discussing what a boat captain will do for you during a boat trip:

  • Navigate the waters
  • Suggest popular boating locations, snorkel/diving spots, swimming holes, dining options, fishing spots
  • Troubleshoot any mechanical failures
  • Act as the expert in an emergency situation
  • Suggest when the weather might render a change in plans
  • Dock/undock the boat
  • Assist with loading/unloading the boat
  • Share boating and local geographical knowledge

In simplest terms having a boat captain on board means having an expert on board. If an emergency situation arises, if the weather turns bad, if the boat starts to make funny sounds, the boat captain can handle the situation. Boat captains eliminate stress so cruising can be your number one priority.

How to Choose a Captain

Not all boat captains are considered equal. They each have their passions on the water and it can heighten your boating experience if you work with a captain familiar with your particular boating goals. Before hiring a captain for your boat rental, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is he or she a local? You’ll want to make sure that the person navigating your boat has a basic understand of the geography, regional boating rules, weather patterns and local spots ideal for fishing, swimming, etc.
  • Are they comfortable with kids and/or pets? If Fido or your children are accompanying you on the boat rental you will want to ensure your captain is friendly with animals and young children. For example, a boat captain with children of their own is likely to be more familiar with keeping children busy on a boat, or he/she may be able to recommend good destinations for the whole family (ya know, since fishing will only really entertain dad long term).
  • What type of boats do they typically charter? Is your captain mainly a sailing captain? Perhaps he or she is a yachting pro? They could even be most familiar with fishing charters. Whatever their speciality, it is good information to know up front.
  • How flexible is their schedule (weather, change of plans, extended stay)? It’s no secret that bad weather can ruin a day on the water instantly. Is a last-minute cancellation OK with your captain? Once you’re on the water you may decide to extend your original reservation to a full day. Does your captain have prior plans? When boating with a large group, plans may change. For example, you may decide to meet at a different boat ramp, or need to drop someone off mid-day. Be sure your captain is aware of these possible changes in schedule before departure time.

Learn more about choosing your boat rental captain.

Don’t Forget – Your Captain is a Person Too!

If it is what you want, your boat rental captain can make it seem like he or she isn’t even there. Alternatively, your boat captain can be part of the experience, suggesting dining options, pointing out wildlife and sharing the history of their neighborhood.

Regardless if you care for your boat captain to be part of your journey or not, it’s important to remember that they are people too. Don’t forget these important tips when working with a boat captain:

  • Leave your boat captain a tip. Learn more about when and how to tip a boat captain.
  • Provide specific instruction. They can’t read your mind, so tell them what you want and he or she will make it happen.
  • Leave a review. A review about your experience will help your captain secure new bookings.
  • Share the experience. A large source of income for boat captains is referrals. If you had a great time be sure to tell a friend. We know your captain will greatly appreciate the kind words.

Secure a Boat Rental with a Captain via Boatsetter

Log on to Boatsetter to review boat rentals available in your area. During the checkout process you have the option of adding a captain. We make it easy to find, book and confirm your boat rental using our online database (we’re the boating experts, trust us).

Trending boat rentals to kickstart your search!


Cruise with Boatsetter

Get Started


Set Sail Today

Get Started


Get on the Water

Get Started

Find a captain for your boat rental!

Start your boating adventure with a Boatsetter captain today!

Search Boat Rentals