Boat Rental FAQs

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A day on the water can be the highlight of any vacation to the Fort Myers area. To help you prepare for your day of fun in the sun, we’ve put together a few of our frequently asked questions about renting a boat from Royal Shell Port Sanibel Marina.

Port Sanibel Marina Boat Rental FAQs

1. Are there any restrictions on where we can take the boat?

The boundaries of our rentals are: The Intercostal Waterway stopping at the North tip of Cayo Costa, The Caloosahatchee River stopping at the Fort Myers Yacht Basin, and the Back Bay on the Estero River stopping at Lovers Key. There is NO GULF ACCESS in our rental boats, and all boats must adhere within the boundary areas at all times. (Due to insurance regulations the boat cannot be taken into the Gulf of Mexico.) Also, we do not suggest taking the Matlacha Pass route to the north end of Pine Island without an experienced guide. The channel is very difficult to navigate – locals knowledge only.

2. Do I need a special license to rent a boat?

The boat operator must be at least 25 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and possess general boating knowledge.

3. I’ve never operated a boat before, do I need to take a class?

We suggest all boat operators take an online boating safety course prior to operating a motor vessel.We provide a thorough instruction on operating the boat at the dock.

4. What should I bring on the boat?

The essentials are water and sunscreen! You’ll probably also want to pack beach towels, a cooler with snacks and beverages, sunglasses, and bug spray. If you forget any of the essentials, you can pick them up at our Ship Store.

5. Can I bring alcohol on the boat?

Alcohol is allowed on the boat for passengers to enjoy – it is prohibited for the operator to be under the influence while boating.

6. Does everyone in my group need a fishing license?

Anyone fishing from a boat, pier, or beach is required to have a valid Florida fishing license. You can purchase a temporary fishing license here or you can call 1-888-347-4356.

7. What should I do if the boat breaks down?

At Port Sanibel Marina we take pride in our fleet and perform regular maintenance to ensure our boats are in top condition so you have the best possible experience on the water. However, if the boat breaks down, please contact us ASAP to report the problem and your location. We will make arrangements to get you on another boat (if available) or make arrangements to have the vessel towed back to the marina.

You can call us at (239) 437-1660 or reach us on VHF Channel 16.

8. Do I have to wear a lifejacket on the boat?

Adults are not required to wear personal floatation devices (PFDs). Children 12 years and younger are required to wear PFDs while the boat is under way. By law there should be 1 PFD for every person and 1 throw cushion per vessel.

9. What is included in the rental cost?

The price of the boat rental does not include tax or fuel. Every boat leaves with a full tank and will be topped off upon return to account for the fuel used.

10. Can I bring my dog on the boat?

Sorry, you’ll have to leave Fido at home – animals are prohibited.

11. What should I do in a storm?

We keep a close eye on the radar and do not take any chances when it comes to bad weather. However, storms can come up unexpectedly. If you see bad weather heading your way, head back to port immediately. If the storm is between you and land, either wait it out or head in the opposite direction of the storm. Lastly, if you do get stuck in a storm, anchor boat, stay low to the floor, and wait for the weather to pass.

12. When does the boat need to be back at the dock if I rent the boat for a full day?

Full day rentals are from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. All of our rentals must be back at the fuel dock by 4pm or the renter will incur a charge of $50.00 per half hour.

13. How Long is a half day rental?

Half day rentals are in four hour increments starting at 8:00 AM. The last departure time for a rental is 12:00 PM. All of our rentals must be back at the fuel dock by 4pm or the renter will incur a charge of $50.00 per half hour.

14. Do we require a deposit to confirm a boat reservation?

Yes, we take a $50.00 deposit to confirm the reservations. The $50.00 is refundable with cancellation for up to 72 hours prior to rental. The deposit is also refunded with the final bill at the end of the rental period. Any cancellations by the renter for any reason after the 72 hours renders the deposit nonrefundable.

Did we answer your questions? Do you have something else you would like to ask? Leave a comment here, or feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.

(Thanks to Tony Vetter for sharing this photo on our Facebook page!)