Top 10 What ‘NOT TO DOs’ on a Pontoon

Lake Wylie Boating

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Top 10 What ‘NOT TO DOs’ on a Pontoon

Safety is our absolute #1 concern with our rental fleet. We care more about sending pontoons out safely than we do about the number of rentals we get.

Below are the Top 10 What NOT To Dos on a boat. Read them. Understand it. If you have ANY questions, ask us. You can ask when you arrive or ask in advance by contacting us online.

  1. DO NOT stand or sit outside of the pontoon railings:
    This is the MOST dangerous thing you can do on a pontoon.  This also accounts for the most severe injuries and fatalities on a pontoon boat (other than drownings).

Stay INSIDE the pontoon railings at ALL times while the engine is on or when the pontoon is not at anchor. This includes when you are docking the boat or anchoring the boat. Do NOT have passengers outside the railings or hanging over the seats/railings while docking or anchoring.

Remember, the prop will still dangerously spin for 10-30 seconds after the engine is turned off.

      2.  DO NOT get in the water without a life jacket:
The number one way to insure your safety on a boat is to wear a life jacket. It is the law that anyone under the age of 13 HAS to have a life jacket on at all times. Anyone, regardless of age or swimming ability, needs to have a life jacket on when they exit the boat to go swimming.

3. DO NOT put your arms/legs between you and the dock:
You might think you can stop the boat with your arms. Don’t. You run the risk of breaking your arm. The boat, even moving slowly carries tremendous amount of weighted force behind it.

4. DO NOT start the engine until everyone is on board and seated:
There should be a secondary lookout on ALL boats. Part of this person’s task on board is to insure all guests are on board the boat and seated BEFORE the driver starts the motor. Before you leave the dock, make sure you nominate an adult to act as the secondary lookout.

5. DO NOT jump off a moving boat:
Everyone has seen Baywatch. Diving off the side of a moving boat is extremely dangerous and considered negligent behavior. The list of ways you can be hurt doing this is too long to list. Do not jump off a moving boat.

   6. DO NOT dive into the lake:
Lake Wylie only has visibility a few feet into the water. You might think there is plenty of water to dive into but you do not know what hazards might be under the water that you can’t see. Always lower your body into the water using the boats boarding ladder.

7. DO NOT overload the boat:
Each pontoon boat is rated for a certain amount of weight on the boat. This weight limit includes passengers and any gear you bring on the boat (coolers etc). If you put more weight or passengers on the boat than it is rated for, you run the risk of damage and injury. Proper weight balance of the boat is important too. Do not have all the weight/passengers in the front of the boat or one side of the boat. The weight needs to be distributed evenly throughout the boat.

8. DO NOT operate the boat around people in the water:
Swimming in the lake is very popular. People swim off their docks, near the sand bars, and near the shorelines. It is your responsibility to keep a look out for people in the water. DO NOT operate the boat around people in the water. If you visit the sand bar, you need to keep a keen eye on everyone and make sure you are exiting the area extremely slowly and safely while keeping your boat away from other people in the water.

   9. DO NOT operate the boat fast in congested areas:
Boats do not have breaks. They do not turn or stop on a dime. It is important you remember the old boating saying; “Never drive a boat faster than you are willing to crash into something”. If you follow that rule, you’ll be safe. This is especially important while docking the boat. The slower you go, the slower you’ll hit the dock. Remember SLOW IS SAFE!

We and the numerous law enforcement agencies have a ZERO tolerance for drinking and operating a boat. Recently laws have been changed to impose the same legal consequence for DUIs as a BUI (Boating Under the Influence). The driver MUST be sober. The driver MUST be 30 years or older to operate a rental boat.


If you remember these 10 things, you will be well on your way to a safe trip on the water. This is not an exhaustive list of safety concerns. Lake Wylie and boating in general has hazards you need to know about. Our staff will go over daily specific hazards (such as debris in the water or lake levels) during each safety briefing before you leave the dock.






How do we handle the Wait List

Weekends through the summer are a hot commodity. Saturdays will sell out June-August a month in advance some weeks.


This year we created the waitlist. It has worked great and has relieved some pressure off our cancelations (which we honestly do not get many).

We do want to let everyone know how the wait list works though. Its exciting, so buckle up.

Once we have a cancellation on a boat for a day that is sold out, we will promptly email and text the entire wait list at the same time. This notification will let them know that a boat has come available online.

From there, it is first come, first serve. The first customer to go to the site and book the boat online gets it.

The reason we do it this way is because we do NOT want to accidentally have a ‘double booking’. We pride ourselves on having the lowest double booking rate of any rental fleet. To date we have had exactly ZERO double bookings since we started the wait list:).

Oh Captain, My Captain: Why we do not offer Drivers

Every single day we get at least one call from a customer asking if we provide a driver for the rental boats. The answer is sadly no. We would love to come have a great day on the water with you though.

Due to the number of calls we get on this though, we thought it would be a good idea to elaborate on why we don’t offer this service.

First and foremost, you have to have a Captains License to operate ANY boat for compensation. Doesn’t matter the circumstances. There has been other boats around Lake Wylie who tried to offer a driver without that person having a Captains License and they got nailed. The Coast Guard and local police do patrol the lake and look out for infractions like this!

Secondly, and more unknown, is insurance issues. Surprisingly if we were to provide a driver our insurance would go up. It would almost double! As you can imagine, insurance for a rental fleet of boats is EXTREMELY expensive. So, doubling that is not something most operations would consider.

Lastly, even if we had a staff member with a Captains License and we paid the outrageous insurance premiums to be able to offer that service, the cost to pay a licensed Captain for a full day boat rental would make it more expensive than most customers would be willing to pay for a day on the water.

The good news is, renting a boat with us is easy. The rental process is easy online, the training at our dock is comprehensive and easy to understand. All we ask is that you pay close attention to our staff when they are going over everything and you’ll be fine!

To be safe on the water, just go slow. It really is that easy.