what you should know before renting a boat in Miami
How old do you have to be to be able to rent a boat?
We don't accept beginners to drive our boats. You are more than welcome to bring your own captain or to pick from our list, but if you don't have the necessary experience, we won't allow you to take the boat out without a USCG Captain. That being said, if you qualify to rent the boat on your own, State law requires a person to be at least 18 years old to rent, and passengers can be any age. Those born on or after Jan. 1st, 1988 may require a Florida Boating License to drive. Boat Rental Companies can't issue temporary boating licenses anymore. Therefore to avoid a huge delay at boat reception, we ask our customers to get the license online prior to your booking or be accompanied by a person born before Jan. 1st 1988.
Here is the link to get your boating license online for free: https://www.boatus.org/florida/
You can also take a temporary one here, it's quick and it costs only $9.99:
If you haven't passed your license prior to booking, and if no one from your party is born before January 1st, 1988, a USCG Captain must be hired. Captain’s Fee starts at $30 per hour. This price is exclusive of the captain’s gratuities (around 10% of the total price).
How much should I plan to pay for tax and gas on boat rentals?
The Florida Department of Revenue regulates sales tax at 7% which is already billed when you make your online booking. Gas is not included when you book a boat with Aquarius Boat Rental, you have a flat fee of $20 per hour for up to 6 hours. Then the gas price is $120 whether you book for 6, 7, or 8 hours.
If you book without a captain, the gas will be included.
We strongly encourage you to tip your boat instructor or your captain. $10 per person is a nice amount.
What do you recommend to bring onboard?
Sunscreen (non-spray type) and if possible, a brand that respectful of coral reef as well as some type of hat. Some people like to wear a long-sleeve cover-up to protect the skin from the sun rays. Sunglasses are essential, towels and a camera are recommended. We encourage you to wear flip-flops so you can easily take them off and on since no shows are allowed onboard.
You are more than welcome to bring food, drinks, and alcohol as long as the driver doesn't drink.
Cigarettes are not allowed onboard. It is strictly prohibited to throw anything in the water.
What is your cancellation policy?
We have a very busy schedule and sometimes we have to refuse customers because we don't have availability. Canceling at the last minute is a big loss for us and for the people who wished they could have booked and couldn't.
Free cancellations until 5 days before the booking start date.
50% refund for cancellations between 2-5 days before the booking start date.
Cancellations within 2 days of the booking start date are non-refundable.
If the cancellation has been made for good reasons (e.g. medical condition or plane canceled), Aquarius Boat Rental will ask for a proof and issue and hold an in-house credit for use towards a future rental, given that we are able to rebook the boat with another customer.
Aquarius Boat Rental reserves the right to make changes to the reservation in the event the reserved boat would become unavailable for any reason, or for unsafe weather. If we have to downgrade, the price will be reduced accordingly.
Regarding the weather, this is on our expert team to determine whether the weather is unsafe. Lighting, Hurricane or Tornado are unsafe weather conditions.
If USCG issues a small craft advisory, or if winds are over 20 mph, you will receive a full refund or be offered to reschedule your appointment.
Keep in mind that Miami has tropical weather, it can rain in the morning and be sunny in the afternoon or rain for one hour and the sun will shine bright right after. Therefore, no refund will be given because of the rain. Exceptions may apply.
How much is the security deposit?
Boat security deposit ranges from $600 to $2000 per vessel, accepted as cash or credit card authorization.
When will the deposit be back to my account?
Cash deposits are returned a few hours after the end of the rental if no damage is reported. Credit card authorizations only verify funds are available and are not charges. The issuing bank will place a hold for the deposit amount, to check it is really there and typically releases it in one to three days.
Will I lose my security deposit?
99% of our customers receive a full refund of their security deposit. The main reasons we have to charge the deposit for are most commonly propeller related caused by operating in shallow waters (outlined in the visual cruising guide). Using common sense, listening to instructions, operating safely, and maintaining safe distances and water depths are smart ways to ensure a fun, yet safe, rental with no unfortunate complications.
If you doubt your capacity to drive a boat, opt for the experience with a captain or book the extensive private lesson before you sail away.
What are the charges for the damages?
Damages include but are not limited to: mat ($400), straps on mat ($50 each), navigation lights ($70), anchor ($100), scratch on the hull (from $200), seats (from $100), engine damage (depending on damage - from $300), ladders ($200) and so on.
Aquarius Boat Rental reserves the right to cash the deposit in after the return inspection whether the client decides to stay or not.
We believe in honesty and fairness, therefore if damage occurs and the client reports it, we will charge only for the minimum cost of the repair.
However, if the client doesn't report the damage, Aquarius Boat Rental reserves the right to charge a late discovery fee for up to $600. This fee is to cover any loss of income or time because of the non-declaration of damage that will prevent us from renting the boat to the next client or operate safely.
- Boats shall remain 50 feet apart at all times.
- Tying up to posts or structures that are condemned or unoccupied in Stiltsville is prohibited.
- Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited
- Rafting up or beaching of boats is prohibited
- Landings and anchoring at sandbars is prohibited
- Boats less than 25 feet 8 people max (4x adults max)
- Boats from 25 - 36 feet 10 people max (6 adults max)
- Boats greater than 36 feet 10 people max (8 adults max)
To ensure the safety of its clients, Aquarius Boat Rental sanitizes carefully its boats after each client. Occupation rules are strictly observed. No exception.
We kindly ask our customers to wear a mask during the instructions and to respect social distancing with the boat instructor/captain while onboard.