Powerboat Rentals

Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals is proud to offer the newest and most dependable fleet of powerboats for rent on Cape Cod.  All of our boats come equipped with fuel efficient and reliable 4-stroke outboard engines, waterproof navigation charts, life preservers and all required USCG safety items.

RENTAL POLICIES

  • You must be 25 years or older and possess a valid picture ID to rent a powerboat.  Each group should also possess at least one working cell phone.
  • Rentals must be secured by a major credit card – Visa, MasterCard or Discover.  Full rental fees and security deposit ($1,000 per boat) required at check-in.
  • No boating license is required.  However, we do require you to have adequate boating experience and recent salt water experience is preferred.  We offer a free 20 minute orientation with every rental.  Please read below for more details.
  • Rental boats are limited to staying within Pleasant Bay – south to Chatham Lighthouse and north to Meetinghouse Pond in Orleans.  No open ocean access is allowed at any time (this includes Monomoy Island).
  • Rental rates do not include MA sales tax (currently 6.25%), fuel charges and optional Limited Damage Waiver.

PLEASE REFER TO OUR POWERBOAT RENTAL FAQ’S BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION

24’ Hurricane Deckboat

Capacity: 10 people
Yamaha 200 HP outboard

2 HRS –                       $325.00

4 HRS (1/2 day) –     $495.00

8 HRS (full day)-       $795.00

23’ Hurricane Bowrider

Capacity: 8 people
Yamaha 150 HP outboard

2 HRS –                       $325.00

4 HRS (1/2 day) –     $495.00

8 HRS (full day)-       $795.00

21’ Carolina Skiff CC

Capacity: 6 people
Suzuki 140 HP outboard

2 HRS –                       $275.00

4 HRS (1/2 day) –     $425.00

8 HRS (full day)-       $675.00

17’ Edgewater CC

Capacity: 5 people
Yamaha 90 HP outboard

2 HRS –                       $235.00

4 HRS (1/2 day) –     $359.00

8 HRS (full day)-       $575.00

Frequently Asked Questions: Powerboat Rentals

Who can rent a powerboat?

You must be 25 years or older and possess a valid photo ID (driver’s license or passport) to rent a powerboat from us.  Renters also need to possess a major credit card (Visa, MC or Discover) and at least one working cellphone per group.

Do I need a special boating license?

No boating licenses are required.  However, similar to any other vehicle, powerboats can be a deadly weapon if operated by an unqualified driver.  Boating on Pleasant Bay is not as simple as boating on a lake, where one can simply avoid the shore and other boats.  Renters must be familiar with the Rules of the Road and be comfortable navigating channel markers.  Our team will qualify every customer on a case­ by­ case basis to ensure a safe boating experience for everybody.  Our general guidelines are:

  • If you have never boated on Pleasant Bay, you will be given 20 minutes of on-the-water instruction before your rental.  This is a complimentary session added to your normal rental period (not subtracted from) and it is mandatory.  This session is meant to familiarize renters with our local waters and to give us a sense of your experience level.
  • Those with little or no boating experience, and those who we are not confident in after the 20 minute session, will be required to use the service of a captain (at an extra fee) until that captain feels comfortable with your level of boating competency.  Again, safety is our top priority.

Do you offer captains?

Yes.  We consider our captains to be the cheapest insurance around.  For $25/hr you can sit back and enjoy the scenery without worrying about potentially damaging a very expensive boat.  Captains can be your own personal tour guide, pointing out places of interest.  They can stay with the boat while you explore the Outer Beach (no anchoring stress).  Or they can provide on-the-water training to help you gain valuable experience on our local waters.  If you have any doubts, please ask for a captain.

Remember, the final decision (whether you need a captain and for how long) ultimately rests with usOur goal is to create a safe boating experience for all of our customers and the rest of the boaters in Pleasant Bay.  Note, the captain will reduce the max capacity of each boat by one.

Where can I take the boat?

Our powerboats are restricted to staying within Pleasant Bay ­ – from Chatham Lighthouse in the south to Meetinghouse Pond in the north.  This means no ocean access.  No exceptions.  The bay offers 13 square miles of shoreline along the towns of Orleans, Harwich and Chatham.

As a guide, most renters booking for 2 hrs usually spend their entire rental on the boat.  Unless they really rush, most will see only half of the bay ­ traveling south to Chatham harbor to check out the lighthouse and seal colony.  A 4 hr rental gives you the option of stopping at the Outer Beach, ­ a barrier island perfect for beach combing or a picnic.  Or you can explore Little Pleasant Bay to the north as well.  Little Pleasant Bay is entirely different from the rest of Pleasant Bay, narrowing down to almost resemble a river system.  It’s calmer and generally sees less traffic than the south ­ – popular among the locals who enjoy the bay.

What times can I rent a boat?

Boats can be reserved for 2 hrs, 4 hrs (½ day) or 8 hrs (full day) and rental periods begin on the hour.  During our summer season (last week of June to Labor Day), ½ day rentals run either 9:00am­ to 1:00pm or 2:00­pm to 6:00pm.  2 hr rentals will be slotted where there is availability.  During our spring and fall season we can generally be more flexible on the start times.

Do I need a reservation?

Yes.  In the summer season it is not uncommon for us to have no availability on busy days.  Please, do not count on just showing up and getting a boat.  Even in slower periods a reservation allows us to make sure your boat is clean and fueled before you arrive ­ – no waiting!

The less flexible you are, the earlier you should make your reservation.  Especially on weekends and holidays.  If you want a specific boat, on a specific day and at a specific time, you should reserve well ahead.  If you are flexible enough to take any boat at any time, you will need less notice.

What forms of payment do you accept?

A reservation must be secured by a major credit card – Visa, MasterCard or Discover.  A Security Deposit applies as well.

What are the costs other than the rental fees?

Our rates do not include fuel, sales tax and an optional Limited Damage Waiver.

– Sales tax in Massachusetts is currently 6.25%.
– Our fuel fee is a flat charge of $12.50/hr (subject to change).  Since the nearest fuel dock is 20 minutes away it is not practical for us to make renters refuel our boats.  It would take an hour from each rental.  So we refuel the boats and average out our fuel costs at the end of the year (we do not make a profit on fuel).
– Our Limited Damage Waiver (LDW) is optional and offers coverage for damage to the vessel under certain circumstances.  The current cost is $40 per rental.  Please note: our LDW is not an insurance policy.

  • What it DOES cover:
    • Damages or losses to the vessel, including all applicable fees, in excess of $2000.
    • All propeller damage – by far our most common damage charge.  Since even small dings and nicks can affect performance and fuel economy we tend to be strict with our props and go through many per season.  Prop replacement starts at $300.
  • What it DOES NOT cover:
    • Negligence, or the use or operation of the vessel in violation of the terms of the rental contract.
    • Failure to comply with USCG waterway rules and regulations or with posted warnings on the boat.
    • Use, operation or occupation of the boat while under the influence of drugs (including prescription drugs) or alcohol.
    • Bodily injury, or property damage other than to the boat rented from Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals.

– We also hold a $1,000 deposit for each rental, refundable if the boat is returned undamaged.

Do you offer insurance?

We do not offer insurance.  Renters are liable for any and all damages resulting from the operation of the rental boat.  We do offer an optional LDW (Limited Damage Waiver) to limit a customers liability to damages sustained by our rental boat.

What if I need to cancel my reservation? What if there is bad weather?

When we get a reservation a lot goes into preparing the boats for your rental.  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?

We recommend your party arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled rental time.  Our check-out procedure will take approximately 10 minutes.  Then 20 minutes is reserved for our mandatory on-the-water instruction (for those who have never boated on Pleasant Bay – see above).  If you arrive late, or if the check­-out procedure and/or instruction cuts into your rental period, the boat will still have to be returned at your original return time.  An additional charge of $75 per ½ hr will apply, beginning 15 minutes after your appointed return time, for late returns.

Boats are often rented multiple times per day and keeping a strict schedule ensures that all of our reservations are honored.  Leave yourself some margin for traffic or parking related delays, pre-departure bathroom stops, etc.  We will not be held responsible for late starts, nor should other groups be forced to wait because of your late start.  No refunds will be given for those arriving late.

What should I wear? What should I bring?

The only things you need for your rental are a form of payment and a valid photo ID (driver’s license or passport).  You will probably also want to bring water, snacks, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (preferably not the spray kind).  It is always a little cooler on the water so a windbreaker or sweatshirt might come in handy.

At least one person in each party should bring a working cellphone with them.  You will have reception everywhere in the bay.

Can we bring food or alcohol on board?

Your group is more than welcome to bring food.  We do ask that you avoid glass containers for safety reasons and clean up of all related trash will be your responsibility.

State and federal boating regulations prohibit the operation of a boat while intoxicated.  Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a federal offense, subject to fines and even jail time.

No hard liquor will be allowed on any rental boat.  Small quantities of beer and wine will be allowed provided it is not in a glass container.  Each group should have a designated driver.  The bay is regularly patrolled by both Coast Guard Station Chatham and the harbormasters from Orleans, Harwich and Chatham.  Random checks are not uncommon.  Any groups believed to be intoxicated before the rental begins are subject to cancellation without refund.  No exceptions.

Do you rent jet ski’s? Can I tube or water ski off of the boats?

We do not rent jet ski’s as the Cape Cod National Seashore is part of the national park system.  PWC’s are currently not allowed within national parks.

We also do not allow tow sports (tubing and water skiing) on our rental boats.

Do you deliver boats to other locations?

Currently we only deliver our boats inside Pleasant Bay, meaning we will deliver to your location (provided you have a dock or mooring) by water but not by trailer.  Deliveries may be subject to a fee.

Are pets allowed on your equipment?

We do not allow pets on any of our rental boats.

Can we fish off of the boat?

Yes.  Note that while fishing is allowed on any boat, we do not sell or rent fishing equipment.  You must bring your own bait, gear and have a valid MA fishing license.  Licenses can be purchased online or at a local bait shop.  Goose Hummock in Orleans and Chatham Bait and Tackle are the nearest to us.

Any damage to the boat as a result of fishing (ie. ripped upholstery) will be the responsibility of the renter.

We have a group of 7. Can we squeeze onto a boat listed at a 6 person capacity?

No.  Each of our boats is rated for a certain capacity by the United States Coast Guard.  Ignoring that capacity is against the law, it strains our boats and it endangers everybody on board.  A 6 person capacity means six human beings – ­ the USCG does not differentiate between children and adults

If I am renting a boat, does that allow me access to the resort facilities?

Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals is not owned by the Wequassett Resort.  Using our services does not entitle you use of any resort facilities outside of the restrooms and parking lot.  The resort pool, deck area and beach chairs are strictly reserved for resort guests only.

Renters are allowed access to any part of the resort that is normally open to the public.  This includes four restaurants: the Outer Bar & Grille, Thoreau’s, Twenty­Eight Atlantic and the waterfront bar, LiBAYtion.  (Please note: LiBAYtion and the beachfront terrace open to the public after 4:30pm during the summer season).

Do you provide life jackets for children?

We have life jackets for all shapes and sizes (even babies).  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).

Can I keep the boat longer if we are enjoying ourselves?

Possibly.  If there are no other existing reservations for your boat then we’d be happy to extend your rental period (assuming we are not about to close).  We ask that you call us 30 minutes prior to your scheduled return time to check in.  If we have a reservation the boat will have to be returned as scheduled.