May 23, 2022 - Things to Do

Here's how to rent a boat in D.C.

A group on a boat.

Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Don’t own a boat but want to get out on the water? The D.C. area has several boat rental services that loan powerboats by the hour. Two of the outfits are Airbnb-style, with reviews, special features, and boat owner information.

  • And if you do own a boat and are looking to make extra money, you can list it.

Float DC

Based at The Wharf, they have a fleet of electric 18-foot picnic boats that fit up to eight people. Customers should bring their own drinks and snacks (no red wine allowed). 

  • 1 hour - $150 plus tax
  • 2 hours - $300 plus tax
  • 3 hours - $400 plus tax


Launched in 2013 in San Francisco, the company says it’s the world’s largest boat rental and water experience marketplace. There are dozens of D.C.-area listings.

  • Rentals start around $150 an hour with larger and luxury options starting around $350.
  • Many include a captain.


Launched in 2012, the company has listings around the world, including over 70 here.

  • Users can search based on whether or not they need a captain.
  • Smaller boats such as bayliners go for around $106/hour, with vessels described as luxury going for $350+/hour.

Before you set sail: All Washington-area boat drivers need a certification card.

  • D.C. requires a one-day, eight-hour course that's offered online and in person.
  • Virginia requires PWC drivers (jet skis, wave runners, etc.) and boaters driving vessels with motors powered by 10 hp or more to complete a safety course. There are online and free options.
  • Maryland requires anyone born on or after  July 1, 1972, to complete an eight-hour safety course. The price varies but there are online and free options.

🛥 Bon voyage!


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