Frequently asked questions and boat rental policies
Do I need a reservation to rent a boat?
Answer: We strongly recommend making a reservation by calling the office at 352-759-3422. For us to reserve a boat for you, we require your name, the phone number that you will have while you are on the boat, mailing address, and a $50.00 deposit (all major credit cards are accepted). The remaining balance will be due at the time of your boat rental. If you were born on or after January 1st of 1988 you will need to provide a boater safety card to drive our rental boats – no exceptions. For more information, visit boatus.com.
What is your boat rental cancellation policy?
Answer: If you need to cancel, please let us know ASAP. There is a $25.00 cancellation fee if you cancel 7 days before your reservation. Cancelations made within the 7 days of your reservation or “no–shows” will lose the entire deposit.
What if the weather is bad on the day I reserved my boat?
Answer: We do not allow our rental boats to go out during unsafe weather conditions. We will do our best to reschedule your boat rental. If you are unable to reschedule, we will refund your deposit. The manager on the day of your scheduled rental decides if the weather conditions are safe enough for our boats. If a storm comes up and you are already out on the boat rental, there is no refund. You will need to call the office for safety advice.
How far in advance do I need to make a reservation for my boat rental?
Answer: As soon as you know the day you wish to reserve your boat rental, please call us to make your reservation. Our peak season is May through September and on holidays. If we do not have a boat available for your requested date, we can add you to our waiting list if we have a cancellation.
What are the hours for a full day and a half-day boat rental?
Answer: Full-day boat rentals are 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. Half-day boat rentals are from either 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. We do not reserve half-day boat rentals from May through Labor Day.
Can I keep the boat rental overnight?
Answer: NO, all the rental boats must be back at Castaways on the River at 4:00 p.m. or you will be charged late fees and refueling fees.
Am I guaranteed to get the boat I reserve?
Answer: We do our best to make sure you get the boat that you requested at the time of your reservation. In rare instances, due to mechanical issues or damages done to the boat by other renters, we may have to move you to a different boat to accommodate your reservation. We reserve the right to change your boat to the closest available replacement at any time to ensure your safety.
What’s included in the boat rental?
Answer: All of our boats have adult life jackets on board, a safety throw cushion, two anchors, fire extinguisher, whistle, compass, bimini top for shade, and a full tank of fuel. We provide life jackets for children and infants. All children/infants 12-years-old and under are required to wear life jackets.
Do I need to refuel the boat?
Answer: Yes, one of our staff members will refuel your boat rental. You only pay for the fuel. We will show you where to dock to refuel before checking the boat rental back in.
What do I do if I get lost or my boat malfunctions?
Answer: Call the office immediately.
Do I need to bring anything?
Answer: We recommend sunscreen and water. Grills are not permitted on our rental boats; bring snacks that do not require cooking.
Do small children/infants count as passengers on the boat?
Answer: Yes. Each rental boat has a maximum capacity for passengers. If the boat is rated max capacity for 12 passengers: only 12 passengers will be permitted to board our rental boat.
Are there limits/boundaries of where I can take the boat?
Answer: Yes, we will provide you with a map and give you directions upon check-in for your boat rental. The boats are permitted to go north into Silver Glen Springs (11 miles from Castaways On The River) and south until channel marker 24 (11 miles from Castaways on the River).
Is alcohol allowed on the boat?
Answer: Alcohol is allowed on the boat for passengers to enjoy – it is prohibited for the operator to be under the influence while boating.
Can I bring my dog on the boat?
Answer: Yes, we strongly recommend that you do not let your dog swim in the river. There are alligators in the St. Johns River. Don’t forget to bring water for your dog. If your dog has an accident on the boat; it is your responsibility to clean it up. If your dog damages the boat; you will be responsible to cover the cost of the damages.
If I damage the rental boat, am I responsible for the cost to repair?
Answer: Yes, you will be financially responsible for any damages you incur during your boat rental.