Boat Rental FAQ
- Can I rent a boat if I have no boating experience?
- Do I need a boating license?
- Is there an age limit to rent a boat?
- Do I need a fishing license?
- When I rent a boat from Abe’s, where can I go?
- Is there a speed limit in the waterways?
- Can we go into the Gulf of Mexico?
- What if we have a problem while we are out on the water?
- Do I need a credit card to rent a boat?
- Do I need to make a reservation? How far in advance do I need to book?
- Is there a deposit?
- Are there any other fees?
- What is your cancellation/refund policy?
- What’s included with the rental boat?
- Can I hire someone to drive the boat for us?
- Are dogs or pets allowed on your boats?
- I am unfamiliar the local waterways. Do you supply charts or maps?
- What kinds of fish will I catch?
- What types of wildlife will I see?
- What do I do when it’s time to come in at the end of my rental?
Can I rent a boat if I have no boating experience?
No, you must have prior boating experience before you can rent a boat from us. It’s for your own safety.
You can think of renting a boat as being similar to renting a car. Without any prior driving experience you would not be allowed to rent a car, nor would it be safe for you to do so. The same applies to renting a boat.
How do you gain boating experience? Well, for starters, we recommend taking a boating safety course to gain the knowledge necessary to operate a boat. The FWC has a list of boating safety courses. Many of the courses are low cost and can be completed online. Upon passing the course you will receive an FWC issued Boating Safety Education Identification Card.
Another detail worth noting: A Boating Safety Education ID Card is required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 who wants to operate a boat in the state of Florida. But we recommend that every boater take a boating safety course, no matter what your age.
Do I need a boating license?
In Florida, there is no such thing as a “boating license”. If you were born on or after January 1, 1988, you are required to carry an FWC issued Boating Safety Education ID Card. Click here to find out more about what the law requires and how to get your card.
Is there an age limit to rent a boat?
You must be 21 years of age or older to rent a boat from Abe’s.
Also, if you were born on or after January 1, 1988, you are required to carry an FWC issued Boating Safety Education ID Card. Click here to find out more about what the law requires and how to get your card.
Do I need a fishing license?
Yes, Florida law requires individual fishing licenses for both residents and visitors 16 years of age or older. You are required to carry your license with you while fishing. You can obtain a fishing license online at gooutdoorsflorida.com
When I rent a boat from Abe’s, where can I go?
The Englewood area offers a variety of picturesque locales to discover and explore. Some of the area’s most beautiful islands and pristine beaches are accessible only by boat!
Here are some popular boating destinations within 10 miles north and 10 miles south of Cape Haze Marina:
- Stump Pass Beach State Park
- Manasota Key (Blind Pass Beach State Park, Manasota Beach, Englewood Beach)
- Indian Mound Park
- Cabbage Key
- Cayo Costa
- Palm Island / Don Pedro Island
- Boca Grande
- Little Gasparilla Island
Restaurants with boat docks:
- Manasota Key:
- Stump Pass
- Cabbage Key
- Palm Island
- Boca Grande
Is there a speed limit in the waterways?
In the Intracoastal Waterway, the speed limit is 25 mph inside marked channels and idle speed outside marked channels.
Can we go into the Gulf of Mexico?
If you rent one of our center console fishing boats, the answer is yes.
Pontoon boats, on the other hand, are not built to navigate the open ocean. You must keep your pontoon boat rental in the Intracoastal Waterway.
What if we have a problem while we are out on the water?
By meticulously maintaining our rental fleet and providing you with all of the necessary safety equipment, we do all we can to minimize the possibility of any problems occurring. However, if you do encounter an issue that is not life-threatening, involving your rented boat during the rental period, please call us right away, at any time.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, please call the coast guard or dial 911.
Do I need a credit card to rent a boat?
Yes, you need a credit in order to rent from us.
Do I need to make a reservation? How far in advance do I need to book?
Although we try to accommodate everyone, reservations are strongly recommended in order to ensure availability. We recommend reserving your boat at least 7-10 days in advance (further in advance for holiday rentals).
Depending on availability, we do accept same day reservations by phone (941-662-9639). Online reservations need to placed at least one day in advance.
Is there a deposit?
Yes, we ask for a $300 damage deposit. We will refund this deposit once you have returned the rental boat damage-free.
Are there any other fees?
Besides the $300 damage deposit (see above), the following fees apply:
- 7% sales tax on your price of your rental, and
- Fuel costs. You will begin your rental period with a full tank of fuel, and you must return your boat with a full tank at the end of your rental period. You will also be responsible for any additional fuel costs you incur during your rental period.
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
If you cancel your reservation at least 48 hours in advance, you will receive a full refund. Otherwise, you will not receive a refund.
There is one exception to our policy. If the National Weather Service issues a small craft advisory for our area, we will not allow any rental boats to launch. In this case, you will receive a full refund.
What’s included with the rental boat?
Our center console fishing boats include:
- Anchor Puller (Cobia only)
- All safety equipment
- Dock lines
- Bait well
- Chart / map of the waterways
Our pontoon boat rentals include:
- Bluetooth radio
- Depth finder
- All safety equipment
- Dock lines
- Charts / map of the waterways
The price of your rental does not include fuel. Your boat will start with a full tank of fuel ad you must return it with a full tank at the end of your rental period.
Can I hire someone to drive the boat for us?
Absolutely! Here is a list of local captains we recommend (link will open in a new tab).
Are dogs or pets allowed on your boats?
No, we’re sorry. We don’t allow pets on our rental boats.
I am unfamiliar the local waterways. Do you supply charts or maps?
Yes, to aid in navigation we provide a chart / map of the Intracoastal Waterway from Charlotte Harbor to Venice. All of our boats also come loaded with a GPS and depth finder at no extra charge.
What kinds of fish will I catch?
Here are some of the types of fish that you might find biting on your line:
- Sea Trout
- Sheep Head
- Jack Crevalle
- …and more!
What types of wildlife will I see?
Our local waterways are teeming with fish and other wildlife. It’s very likely that you’ll spot dolphins at play, see manatees floating beneath the surface, or even catch sight of a sting ray. There are many other fantastic creatures you might encounter along the way. This is your opportunity to observe sea creatures in their natural habitat. We think you’ll agree that it sure beats the aquarium!
Bird watchers will delight in the varieties of exotic birds that call our coastline home. Keep on the look-out for your favorites, like Great Blue Herons or Roseate Spoonbills, as they wade through the shallows or perch in the mangroves and other tropical plant life along the way.
What do I do when it’s time to come in at the end of my rental?
When your exciting boating experience is drawing to a close, here’s what you need to do:
- Refuel your boat (please remember that you are responsible for all fuel costs)
- Return at 4:30pm to the same dock where you launched. If you arrive later than 4:30pm, a $100/hour late fee will apply.
- Please remove all of your belongings from the boat when you leave.
You aren’t expected to clean the boat. Cleaning is included in the price of your rental.
We hope to see you again soon!