Sunset Cruise on Lake Wylie

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Sunset Cruise on Lake Wylie

Sunset cruises are one of the most beautiful times on the Lake. What better way to enjoy the evening than watching the sun set over Lake Wylie. Sounds great right?!

It is true. Sunset cruises are beautiful and an amazing experience anytime you get to do them.

We have created a new schedule for the fleet that allows customers the option to rent evening time slots that keep the boat out till 8pm (around sunset). There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the sunset over the lake!


Boats for Sale: Lake Wylie

We get asked a lot by customers if we ever sell our rental pontoons. Of course we do! We maintain the newest and most luxurious rental fleet by ‘flipping’ the fleet every other year or so.

Generally speaking, we will sell our pontoons after two years in service (sometimes three, depending on the pontoon). How do we decide when its time to sell a pontoon? We start considering flipping a boat once it has reached 1,000 hrs on the engine.

A 1,000 running hours on an engine might sound like a lot, but let me explain why its not. With outboard marine engines, there are two kinds; ones that are tanks and will run forever, and ones that are complete lemons and give you nothing but problems. If an outboard engine has 1,000 hrs on it and it was owned by a rental fleet since it was new, chances are, that is an extremely well running and well maintained engine. You have NO IDEA what private owners do or don’t do with their engines. However, a rental company’s business depends on the engines being in premium condition all the time. So they take extremely good care of them!

Here is a list of our current boats for sale (Accurate as of April 2022):

NONE Currently for sale


All boats can be viewed and water tested by appointment only by calling 704-516-2674. Any viewings and testings must be done around the rental schedule.

Party Boat on Lake Wylie

We get asked about once a week if we offer a boat large enough to have an event on. We don’t. NOT YET! We are in the process of trying to obtain a vessel appropriate for this kind of function and also large enough to handle a good number of people (roughly 40 max).

As of this writing, we have not yet found that boat. It is a hard boat to find as Lake Wylie has some really shallow spots and really low clearance bridges. So, finding the right boat that can accommodate the Lake is paramount. We will find it though.

As of right now, there really isn’t any ‘party boat’ available for rental on Lake Wylie.  When we have more information about our process in the search for adding this service, we will update this page immediately.

Papa Doc’s Shore Club

The most anticipated restaurant to hit Lake Wylie area in some time, Papa Doc’s Shore Club opens this Summer!  The NEW Papa Doc’s Shore Club sits at the center of Lake Wylie in the heart of all the action. It is easy to access with plenty of dock space.

Formerly known as T-Bones on the Lake, and before that the Hungry Fisherman, the location has a long 50 year history of serving the Lake Wylie area.

This week Papa Doc’s invited a select few to come in and try their menu and preview the new renovations. They did not disappoint!

Here is our favorite things coming from Papa Doc’s:

‘Boat to Go’: Boat to Go will be a dock side ‘drive thru’ concept where boaters can call their order in and swing by the dock once it’s ready. This will not be available right when they open but will start by the time the summer is in full swing.

Dock Hands: The docks at T-Bones were always crazy. We have had some of our rental boats bumped into numerous times. Getting in and out of there on a busy Saturday afternoon can be a nightmare! Dock Hands employed by the restaurant to help maintain order on the dock will be a blessing to all boaters AND a huge step in the right direction for safety around a crowded dock.

Open Concept Design: T-Bones was always dark inside. The booths next to windows on the lakeside of the restaurant blocked ALL the natural light from coming into the space. Papa Doc’s has opened all that up and have installed floor to ceiling windows on the lakeside of the restaurant. This was literally the first thing I noticed. It made SUCH a big difference. Now, when you walk in you don’t feel like you are in a dark dungeon during the day. This makes the decision to eat inside rather than on the busy patio during the day not so bad!

The Patio: The patio ‘feels’ bigger. But really it has just been de-cluttered. I was hoping for a revamp of the whole patio but I can imagine doing any structural changes to the patio was prohibited. The patio has a facelift, thats about it. Patio goers will have a good since of nostalgia out there as it will look about the same.

Bars: There are so many bars inside, you can barely keep track of them all. 1 upstairs, 3 downstairs, and the patio bar. Grabbing a drink will not take long! I imagine they won’t have all bars open all the time, but having so many will defiantly help on a busy weekend!

Cleanliness: Obviously T-Bones was nasty after 24 years of half-assed cleaning crews. I solid inch of dust sat on the top of everything. Papa Doc’s is so fresh looking. Every inch of the place has been cleaned up and painted. You won’t feel like you are standing in a restaurant that has served this community for almost 50 years!

The ‘Lounge’: Upstairs, above what I will call the ‘Sailor’s Bar’, is a lounge. Just some nice private seating for grabbing a drink and relaxing without the busy patio bar goers. To me, this could be a nice date night with the significant other. Grab a nice cocktail, sit down at an intimate private lounge, and enjoy the evening. Previously, you wouldn’t dare consider T-Bones a date spot.


Really, there is a ton of things to be excited about. Papa Doc’s has the opportunity to blow the community away with a new level of service on Lake Wylie that no one has every had. As all locals know, T-Bones fell way short on the service. Papa Doc’s will step it up by leaps and bounds! More to come in following days as the Grand Opening will be announced soon.


Boat Clubs on Lake Wylie VS. Daily Rentals on Lake Wylie

People ask us all the time if they can sign up for a membership program since our boats are so new and so nice. We are only a daily rental outfit and do not offer memberships…. And here is why.

Most boat memberships charge a large “joining fee” and then monthly dues year around. You can’t sign up in May and cancel in August.

If you are the type of person that uses a boat 3+ times week, a boat club membership might make sense over buying a boat. Or does it?

Generally speaking, if you take care of your boat, you can sell it for not a huge loss. So, when you buy a boat, you need to consider that it’s “cost” is really the difference in what you bought it for and what you sold it for (plus maintenance, {membership clubs push the fact you don’t have to pay for maintenance but you do pay for fuel}).

Lets say you bought a $30,000 boat. You keep it for 3 years. Sell the same boat 3 years later for $20,000. The boat only costs you $10,000. 

Now, your initial joining fee for a boat club is generally ~$5,000. Then on top of that you get to pay $250-$300 a month fee (another $3,000-$3,600 a year contractually). So far in year one your cost is already $8,000-$8,600. By the end of year two the damage is $11,000-$12,200. And so on and so forth.

For perspective: I live on the lake. I can walk to my boat in less than 30 steps from my back porch. I love the water. I live for it. So does my whole family! Even with that, with all that in my favor, I don’t go out on the lake once a week for a day on the water!

So, WHY PAY FOR SOMETHING YOU’LL NEVER USE THAT MUCH!? Pay for what you’re going to use with a daily rental.


Click here for current rates.



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.

Rain in the Summer: A Love/Hate Relationship

Rain is a boat rental operators worst scenario. You want clear skies all summer long so as many happy families can go out and enjoy the lake.

This week it has been raining a lot. Luckily the schedule was able to move some reservations around and accommodate everyone’s reschedule.

As much as we hate to see rain in the forecast we must sit back and remind ourselves that rain is also what fills the lake up giving up a body of water to rent boats on! If we don’t have any rain for long long periods of time, the lake level will be too low to rent boats safely (like in 2015 we had to shut down in August/September). Further, if we don’t have enough rain to keep the levels up, people can’t access the lake anymore. Docks at lake homes are sitting in mud and public boat ramps don’t have enough water to launch boats.

Lake Wylie is a drinking water reservoir for Charlotte and surrounding areas. So, making sure it stays clean and plentiful is important.

Good news is coming though. In a few years Duke Energy has announced that they plan to raise the average water level on Lake Wylie by 6″. Six whole inches in a boat rental operators world is the difference in replacing 30 props a season and replacing maybe only 15!

If rain means a healthy full lake of water, then bring it on! But please, lets focus that rain during the week at least:)