Legend Boats Blog

The Pros and Cons of Renting a Pontoon Boat



Have you ever found yourself dreaming of spending your days on the water lounging on the deck of a pontoon boat, but then wake up to the reality don’t own a boat?

There are many people who aren’t quite ready to buy a boat, but they are 

more than ready to get in on the fun.  And while boat ownership is a dream for most, boat rental might just be the perfect alternative in the meantime.

But to make the most out of the experience, you should be equipped with some knowledge about boat rentals before you jump on board.

Let's get started with some of the facts you should know about pontoon boat rentals!


Money, Money, Money

Let's start with the obvious, renting a boat gives you the luxury of experiencing the dream, without having to take on a long term financial responsibility.

Renting a boat is a great option to get you out on the water for a one time fee that will most certainly be less expensive than the outright purchase of a boat.

That said, if you are passionate about boating, in the long run buying will always be more economical than renting.  

While a one time boat rental will definitely be cheaper than buying a boat, multiple rentals will quickly become very costly and outweigh the benefits of renting.

Alternatively, not only is it easier than ever to find a lender that will help make your boat ownership dream a reality, but you might be surprised to discover that there are a few different financing options at your disposal.

Similarly to all large purchases and investments, when you are in the market for a new boat it is likely you will rely on financing for at least part of the purchase.  

Click here to check out our in depth post on boat financing options!


Testing Things Out

Every pontoon boat owner started off as a pontoon boat dreamer!  

Buying a pontoon boat is an investment, and before they made their big leap into boat ownership they spent countless hours researching and visiting dealerships.  

But what better way to find the pontoon of your dreams than to take it for a test run?

Many people will actually rent a boat to really get the feel of the boating life or a specific model to make sure it really fits their needs before buying.

That said, one of the problems with boat rentals is it is often done on a first come first serve basis, and rental companies often rent out older models, and have limited selection.

So while you might get the feel of a pontoon boat, you are not likely going to get to try out the specific model or make that you are interested in buying.

Did you know that here at Legend Boats Headquarters in Whitefish we planned for this exact situation?  

Yup, we conveniently set up shop right on the water to give you the opportunity to test out the boats and see exactly what they feel like in action!  

If you are interested in testing out your dream boat, free of charge, click here to contact our Legend Boats Pro Staff to set up an appointment! 


Special Events

Wouldn't it be great to celebrate your birthday with some buddies on the deck of a pontoon?

It is becoming increasingly popular to rent out boats for special occasions like birthdays, or bachelor and bachelorette parties.

And of course the pontoon, which is designed with luxury and entertainment in mind, makes for the perfect celebration craft.

Most boat rental agencies give options to rent boats for a couple of hours, a weekend, a week, and even for the entire summer if you have really steep pockets.  But at that point, why pay for somebody else's boat when you could be buying your own?  Just saying!

In fact, if you're willing to fork over some extra cash, some agencies also rent extras like wakeboards, water skis, or fishing equipment.



Surprisingly, boating rental companies aren’t too picky.

According to Transport Canada, if you operate a boat with a motor and use it for recreation, you need proof of competency.  

And while boat owners will typically demonstrate their competency by passing a course to acquire their Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), boat renters in Ontario don’t technically need to do this.

While it is still strongly recommended to get your PCOC, renters can instead complete a Rental Boat Safety Checklist, which they must sign and carry onboard for the duration of their rental.


The Downside

While policies will vary from one rental company to the next, here are a few things you need to consider when thinking about renting a boat:

  • Possible age restrictions
  • Cancellation fees
  • Availability if you do not reserve well in advance
  • Hefty damage deposits are typically required
  • Repayment costs for any damages


Boating doesn't have to be complicated!  Pontoons are a great way to get people on the water, even first time boaters.  And because they are so easy to handle for those who have never boated before, it makes it easy to learn.

While there are pros and cons to boat rentals, it might be the perfect opportunity for you to live out the dream on the deck of a pontoon for at least a short while this summer!

Check out Legend's New Pontoon Series by Clicking Here.

Happy Boating!   

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