Updated: Nov 18
There's a lot of confusion over whether you need a license to hire a long beach boat rental. The rules change from state to state in the U.S. and even vary depending on the reason you are using the boat.
And while it's true that at the moment, you do need what is called a California Boater Card to rent a boat, in the Golden State, not everyone has to do so.
So, what are the differences? And how do you know whether you need one? Check out our definitive guide below.
What you need to know about getting a license to hire a Long Beach boat rental
In 2017, you were required to be certified to sail or drive a yacht or a boat in California.
But this law left out a big group - boat renters, who often have the least boating experience.
It requires everyone under 20 who drives a boat with a motor to get a license. The law is gradually phasing in until 2025 when everyone will need a license.
Previously, California was just one of five states, including Alaska, Arizona, South Dakota, and Wyoming, that did not require any license to drive a boat.
And according to the American Boating Association, only some had requirements for people under 18.
The law's change came because, in the previous year, California had more boating accidents than any other state besides Florida.
According to data from the U.S. Coast Guard, this is more likely because California has the longest coastline. And is in the top five states for numbers of registered boats.
The data also stated 77 percent of deaths in 2016 occurred on boats when the person driving had received no safety instruction.
However, if you are renting ausing a boat for recreational activities, you don't need to have a Boaters Card.
The reason is that when you hire a boat in this way, the company renting the boat takes on the liability. However, this doesn't just mean anyone can drive a boat.
So, what are the caveats you need to think about?
What you need to know when you DON'T need a license to hire a Long Beach boat rental
When you hire a boat from Captain America Boat Rentals, although you don't need a license, you do need to make sure you follow these guidelines:
You can't drive a car under the influence of alcohol. And the same goes for driving a boat. It's against the law.
While we have no problem with you bringing alcohol on board, you need to stay sober if you are driving. So, if you're the skipper, there's no booze for you!
If all of your party want to party, you can hire a skipper to drive the boat for you for $50USD an hour for your trip duration.
You can check out the different trips we offer at Captain America Boat Rentals here.
*Boat experience is a necessity
Taking a long beach boat rental out on the open water with an engine at 500 horsepower is no mean feat.
It's a bit like trying to handle a top of the range racing car on hairpin bends with no experience.
While one of our vessels isn't as powerful as that, if you want to take the big guns out for a ride when you book your Long Beach boat hire, you need to know what you're doing. Unfortunately, having messed about in boats 10 years ago won't cut it.
We want you to have a great trip without worrying about whether you might face a bill of thousands of dollars because you took a wrong turn at that wave!
If you want more details on whether your experience fits the bill, you can contact us here.
Other Boating Basics To Be Familiar With
*Leave no trace
The ocean is a beautiful place, and you need to respect it. Take your garbage back to the dock or your home and dispose of it properly. Also, make sure any face coverings don't fly overboard and into the water.
*Swim in designated areas
Always make sure you swim safely. These areas are usually marked. They are designed to save you from rip currents, dangerous surf, and any issues with submerged objects or water quality.
Thunderstorms can come out of nowhere. And while you will usually get great guidance, you hire a boat; you should always keep an eye on what's going on in front of you.
*Read the clouds
Did you know that the cloud formations tell you a lot about the weather? Even more than the T.V. weather forecasters.
If you get familiar with the formations before taking to the water, it can ward off getting into problems out on the ocean. And if you have kids in your party, it can be a game.
*Slow down for waves
When you take your boat out, wave hopping can be fun! But a lot of people new to boating leave the throttle open for larger and larger ones.
Then boof! You hit that wave that packs a punch! Wave impacts are often worse for the passengers than you as the driver. Why? You see it coming! And if you felt a thump, they felt a bang.
The solution is quite simple: pull back on the throttle before you get to the big waves.
*A long beach boat rental cruise is calming
There is nothing more relaxing than staring out at the ocean. And with so much upheaval and uncertainty in your life right now, it's a great antidote to stress.
Relax and enjoy your time and let that feeling of peace and tranquility wash over you. Make the most of it!
*Have fun and wave!
You know it's a 'thing' to wave at people when you're on a boat? You're part of a family now! Get your whole crew involved in having fun and make like royalty. Giving people a wave is boating etiquette, and it's part of the lifestyle. You're now enjoying your very own little slice of luxury.
If you enjoyed this blog post, check out our post on what you need to know about taking your pet onboard your boat cruise.