boat on the lagoon

Image by @cocoabeachoffice

Boat Rental on the Space Coast

Boat life made easy

Nothing is as freeing as exploring the waterways of Florida via boat. Wildlife viewing, casting a line, island hopping, and enjoying waterfront dining are all part of experiencing the Space Coast. The great news is that you don’t even need to own a boat to live the boat life for the weekend. Learn more about local watercraft rental operations, boaters' safety information, and other fun ways to safely explore the water. 

 

Typical Boats for Rent 

Before you set sail, see what types of boats are typically for rent here on the Space Coast. 

  • Pontoon Boats – Pontoons are perfect for large groups, kiddos, families with pets and the list goes on. These lazy boats are made for lazy boat days. 
  • Sport Boats - These are great for a fishing excursion, a Sunday ride, watersports and more. They include deck boats and center consoles. 
  • Jetski’s - Personal watercraft great for zooming around!

Rental operators also typically rent kayaks and paddleboards as well! So there’s something for everyone. 

boat at spoil island
Image by @rochagab

Space Coast Boat Rental Companies

Check out these great operations for the boat weekend of your dreams! 

321 Boat Rentals | Melbourne 

Cape Crossing Boat Rentals | Merritt Island 

Island Jet Ski Rentals | Merritt Island 

Anchorage Boat Rentals | Indian Harbour Beach

boast and the vab
Image by @brasileight

Boater’s Safety Information

It’s necessary for everyone to recreate on them safely and responsibly on the waterways of the Space Coast. Florida Fish and Wildlife frequently patrol the Indian River Lagoon to make sure everyone is having a safe and fun time. Operating a watercraft while intoxicated is illegal. Keep in mind also that the Indian River Lagoon is notoriously shallow with an average depth of just 4 feet. Make sure you are paying attention to your surroundings, the weather and currents at all times while recreating on the water. 

Boating License in Florida – Any motorized boat operator born on or after January 1, 1988, operating a 10hp or more is required by Florida Law to pass a boater safety course and to carry a boater education card. Courses in boaters safety are often included when you rent a boat. Make sure to ask about it when booking your reservation. 

Required Safety Gear

  1.  Life Jackets and wearable personal flotation devices.  (Children under 6 years of age must wear a life jacket at all times.
  2. Throwable Flotation Device
  3. Fire Extinguisher
  4. Visual Signaling Device
  5. Sound Signaling Device

These items will be included in your boat rental and should be provided by the rental operator. Additional items you may bring along such as fitted youth life vests for children under the age of 6 are encouraged for young boaters. The right fit can save a life. 

No Wake Zone & Why?  

no wake zone

No Wake Zones are present all over Space Coast waterways. An idle speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than what is required to maintain steerage and headway. It’s imperative that you learn where these zones are and follow all channel rules for the safety of you and other boaters. No wake zones are typically located in shallow, high traffic areas, and areas where boaters must use extreme caution. They are put in place for the safety of both boaters and native wildlife. 

Rocket Launch Considerations for Boaters on the Space Coast

boat launch

Witnessing a rocket launch from a boat is a truly incredible experience. But, there are some rules. On launch day the Coast Guard will release maps of restricted areas in the Banana River, Mosquito Lagoon, and Indian River along with the time frame these areas will remain restricted. These are also broadcasted on Marine Band Channel 16 and shared on social media.  Follow the US Coast Guard Auxillary Central Brevard Flotilla 17-6 for these updates. You can also find these notices on the Patrick Space Force Base website in the Upcoming Launches section. These will vary for each launch and are enforced quite strictly. 

Spoil Islands & Sandbars 

Busy Sandbar

 Sandbars and Spoil islands make for an unforgettable break away from the norm and a great opportunity to get out and relax on a beach in the middle of the Lagoon. Several have picnic tables and benches to stop at for an island picnic, others are unreachable, and some have primitive campings spots. Be careful not to disturb the wildlife or habitats on these islands. While they are fun places to visit, they are also places for migrating birds to rest and nurseries for marine life. Check out this map of the Spoil Islands on the Space Coast from the Friends of the Spoil Islands and the Spoil Island Project to learn more about these islands.  

 Boating is a fun and exciting activity for your Space Coast getaway! Thankfully boat rental operators are conveniently located along the Indian River Lagoon. No matter if you’re staying in Viera for a ball game or Cocoa Beach for the surf, a boat day is not far away!

wake

 

Vacation Planner for Florida’s Space Coast

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