Yeah, buoy

Where to rent a boat in Charleston 🚤

In the spirit of summer, we’ve covered local beach rules, let you know where to chill out poolside, + even hit the waves to teach y’all how to hang ten.

And yet… “See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me…” A.k.a.– get ready to set sail, as we are heading out to open waterthat’s right… WE’RE ON A BOAT. (It’s aboat time… am I right?)

With water basically everywhere you turn in Charleston, being a skipper comes as second nature, with several locals even spending their lives docked in the harbors. But, if like me, the dollar dollar bills of boat ownership are keeping you anchored– we have searched sea to shining sea for boat rentals + clubs to get you out on the water, at a third (or less) of the price to own.

So grab your swim trunks + your flippie-floppies, and click the button below to seas the day as your very own captain.

I’m on a Boat .gif by giphy

Rentals

🚤 Sea Quest Boat Rental

📍145 Lockwood Blvd.
📞 843-901-8005
8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Seasons open: Year-round

How it works: First, decide which boat you would like to rent. Then, head to the online reservation page, complete the form, + click submit. They call upon receipt to work out the details. One thing to keep in mind– when reserving your boat, you will need to put down the cost of the rental plus a $500 cash or credit security deposit for damages and/or missing equipment.

Things to consider:

  • Prior boating experience is required– unless you hire a captain for the day
  • Renter provides fuel–  i.e. the boat must be returned with a full tank (the tank will be full upon check-out)
  • Renter must have an operating cell phone on board
  • No renters under the age of 25

Available boats:

🚤 20′ Key West Bowrider

  • Passengers: max 6
  • Rental Rate:
    • 4 hours: $285
    • 6 hours: $360
    • 8 hours: $410

🚤 20.7′ Sea Hunt Bowrider

  • Passengers: max 7
  • Rental Rate:
    • 4 Hours: $315
    • 6 Hours: $385
    • 8 Hours: $430

🚤 Hurricane Deck Boat

  • Passengers: max 10
  • Rental Rate:
    • 4 Hours: $375
    • 6 Hours: $415
    • 8 Hours: $465

*Overtime rate: $95

 

🚤 Charleston Powerboat Rentals

📍17 Lockwood Dr. (Charleston City Marina)
📞 843-277-4236
9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Seasons open: Year-round (One thing to keep in mind: boats typically undergo maintenance + repairs in January + February. Most crafts will be in the boatyard + not available for rent.)

How it works: After selecting your desired craft, you will need to call to reserve for a particular day/time. Reservations made more than 30 days out require a 50% deposit of the rental fee, while reservations made within 30 day require full payment upon booking. In addition to the rental fee– a valid credit card must be placed on file with a security deposit of $1,000 to cover any damages.

All new renters will attend a short orientation prior to departure to introduce the boat + equipment.

Things to consider:

  • Prior boating experience is required (skipper must demonstrate safe boat handling skills including starting/stopping an outboard motor, anchoring, docking, refueling, basic navigation, + more)otherwise a licensed captain will be joining your crew
  • No renters under the age of 25
  • Cancellations are only allowed in the event of severe weather
    • Rescheduling more than 72 hrs. in advance incurs a $50 service fee
    • Rescheduling less than 72 hrs. in advance is not permitted– renter will forfeit all payments received

Available boats:

🚤 Key West 186DC- 18′ Dual Console

  • Passengers: max 6
  • Rental Rate:
    • 4 hours: $250
    • 8 hours: $400

🚤 Sea Fox 199 Commander- 19′ Center Console

  • Passengers: max 7
  • Rental Rate:
    • 4 hours: $300
    • 8 hours: $475

🚤 Scout 210 XSF- 21′ Center Console

  • Passengers: max 7
  • Rental Rate:
    • 4 hours: $325
    • 8 hours: $550

🚤 Carolina Skiff Ultra Elite- 21′ Center Console

  • Passengers: max 9
  • Rental Rate:
    • 4 hours: $325
    • 8 hours: $550

 

Members-only clubs

As a private club, these boats are only available to members (they cannot be rented or chartered).

🚤 Carefree Boat Club

📍17 Lockwood Dr. (Charleston City Marina) + 669 Marina Dr. (Daniel Island Marina & Boat Club)
📞 843-530-7215
8 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Seasons open: Year-round

How it works: There is a one-time initiation fee of $3,000, along with a monthly membership fee of $374. (No long commitments required, you can join for as little as one year).

To reserve a boat, members head to their online login page, requesting said boat for a particular day/time + location. Boats can be reserved 24 hrs./day up to six months in advance (your account will hold up to four reservations at one time). You can also request a boat at the “spur of the moment” by calling the dock staff at your preferred location.

What’s included:

  • Unlimited usage– including early + after-hours access
  • Training covering general member processes, navigation, docking, + safety
  • Slip fee, insurance, maintenance, repairs, taxes, towing, + winterization
  • Access to reserve at any of their locations across the US + Canada (a.k.a. from sea to shining sea)

Available boats:

🚤 24 different boats available, ranging from 18′-27′

  • Types include: Bowrider, cruiser, deck, pontoon, fishing, ski, sail, + water sport

 

🚤 Freedom Boat Club

📍 24 Patriots Point Rd. (Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina at Patriots Point)
📞 843-870-7887
⏰ 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Seasons open: Year-round

How it works: There is a one-time initiation fee of $5,900, along with a monthly membership fee of $249.

To reserve a boat, members head to their online login page, requesting said boat for a particular day/time + location. Boats can be reserved up to six months in advance (your account holds four guaranteed rolling reservations). In addition to online, members can call the club’s reservationist, Karen Berry, at 843-399-8711.

What’s included:

  • Membership extends to spouse
  • Unlimited boat usage at six NC/SC locations
  • Reciprocal access to 160+ Freedom Boat Club locations in the U.S. + Canada
  • Pets allowed
  • Free, unlimited 1:1 training with our instructors
  • Liability, hull, + mechanical insurance

What’s not included:

  • Fuel– members will cover fueling costs

Available boats:

🚤 15 different boats available, ranging from 21′-22.5’

  • Types include: Bowrider, deck, tritoons, inshore + offshore center consoles, and a sailboat

 

 

Before suiting up in your nautical-themed pashmina afghan, a few questions:

  • Where is your favorite spot to cast off to?
  • What would you name your own personal craft? (We personally like the name “Knot too Shabby”).

Let us know your picks in the comments below + perhaps we’ll be first mates.

Nicole + Erin, Digital Media Intern