FAQ : Offshore Trips
Do I need a reservation? What forms of payment do you accept?
We require reservations for all our Offshore charters as trips often sell out. Reservations must be secured by a major credit card – Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
What if I need to cancel my reservation? What if there is bad weather?
For cancellations made 48 hours or more in advance we will issue a full refund. Cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance will be charged 50%. No-shows and cancellations made less than 3 hrs before the trip will be charged full price. We regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies as a cause for late cancellation.
Rentals will not be allowed out in hazardous weather conditions such as heavy rain, thick fog, high winds or thunder and lightning. However, we will operate as usual in overcast conditions, light fog and in intermittent sprinkles. No guarantees can be made that every day will be perfectly sunny. The final decision on weather related cancellations rests with us and reservations should be considered upheld unless you speak with us directly over the phone. If weather cancels your reservation we will make every effort to reschedule for another day. Otherwise, a full refund will be issued. If weather cuts your rental short, we will prorate the unused portion.
All refunds will be at the sole discretion of Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals, Inc.
How early should I show up for my reservation?
To leave enough time for our check-in procedure, we recommend your party arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled departure time. Leave yourself some margin for traffic or parking related delays, pre-departure bathroom stops, etc. Private charters arriving late must still return at the regularly scheduled time. There will be no refunds for those arriving late. Trips are often scheduled multiple times per day and keeping a strict schedule ensures that all of our reservations are honored.
What should I wear? What should I bring?
The only things you need for your charter are a form of payment and your personal items (snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen – preferably not the spray kind, camera). You will be on the water so you should wear clothes that you don’t mind getting splashed or dripped on, though the overwhelming majority of our customers come back completely dry. Please wear boat shoes, or non-scuffing white-soled sneakers. It is always a little cooler on the water so a windbreaker or sweatshirt might come in handy as well.
May food and drinks be brought on board?
Yes, feel free to bring your own food and beverages. All of our trips include complimentary water and soft drinks. Additionally, we recommend finger foods (small sandwiches, cheese and crackers, etc) as they are easiest to eat on a boat. Foods with sauces will stain clothing and upholstery so are not recommended. For adults over 21, reasonable amounts of beer and wine are also allowed (please avoid glass containers). No hard liquor allowed.
Any excessive use of alcohol will result in the immediate termination of the trip with no recourse.
Will I get seasick?
The majority of our customers experience little to no symptoms of seasickness. But whether it is your first charter or you are a seasoned pro, motion sickness is always possible on oceangoing trips. Fortunately, there are ways to proactively avoid the most common symptoms (dizziness, nausea, vomiting).
Prepare for your charter by being well rested and well hydrated. Avoid alcohol and large amounts of caffeine until after your trip (including the night before). During your charter do not lay down, read or play on your phone. Stay active, breathe deeply and watch the horizon. Convince yourself you are not seasick – focusing or dwelling on your anxieties will only make you feel worse.
Those with a history of motion sickness might consider one of the over the counter remedies or doctor prescribed medications currently on the market. Please consult with your physician for suggestions.
Are there any age restrictions or physical restrictions?
There is no age minimum for our offshore trips but we do recommend that groups with younger children consider our Family Fun Fishing trip instead. Staying within Pleasant Bay reduces the chances of young kids experiencing motion sickness and it makes for a shorter trip back to our dock should the weather change.
Those with mobility issues must be able to walk down the resort dock (which has ramps) and step up into the vessel. Very rarely is this an issue, but it should be mentioned. Our team will assist in any way they can to ensure those with mobility issues are comfortable.
Do you provide life jackets for children?
We have life jackets for all shapes and sizes (even infants). While we recommend that everybody wear a life jacket on our boats, by law only those 12 and younger have to wear one at all times. Your boat will have enough life jackets on board for everybody in your group. Younger children are welcome to bring their own life jacket if they are more comfortable, provided it is Coast Guard approved (no arm floaties).
We have a group of 7. Can we squeeze onto a trip listed at a 6 person capacity?
Unfortunately, no. Each of our vessels is rated for a certain capacity by the United States Coast Guard. Ignoring that capacity is against the law and it endangers everybody onboard. A 6 person capacity means six human beings – the USCG does not differentiate between children and adults.
Are pets allowed on your equipment?
We do not allow pets on our rental boats.
How many fish can we keep on our charter?
The current recreational fishing regulations for Massachusetts are:
- Striped Bass – 28″ minimum – 1 fish per person
- Bluefish – No minimum – 10 fish per person
- Bluefin Tuna – 2 fish (27″ to less than 47″), 1 fish (47″ to less than 73″) – per trip. Tuna greater than 73″ will be retained by the vessel and captain.