Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Boating Pensacola Beach: All You Need to Know Before Renting a Pontoon Boat

Pontoon Boat during blue angels practice session

Pontoon Boat Rentals on Pensacola Beach

Renting a pontoon boat can be an exciting and enjoyable way to spend a day on the water with family and friends.

Whether you’re planning a leisurely cruise, a fishing excursion, or a fun-filled party, driving a pontoon boat is not for beginner’s.  

Here are some of the essential steps and tips to help you navigate and enjoy your pontoon boat rental experience to the fullest.  But before we do, if you have not driven a boat in our area, please call to discuss options.  You MUST have pontoon boat experience in our waters.  Multiple rentals available for groups up to 30. 


Safety First

Pontoon Rentals for up to 30 Passengers

Before getting behind the wheel, familiarize yourself with the safety features and equipment on the pontoon boat. Ensure that life jackets are readily available for every passenger and that everyone on board knows the location and proper use of these essential safety devices. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the boat’s emergency procedures, including how to operate the fire extinguisher and how to call for assistance in case of an emergency.

diagramdiagramUSCG Rules of the Waterway

Boat Orientation – Tutorial

When renting a pontoon boat with us, this will be reviewed during your tutorial time. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the layout and controls of the pontoon boat and maps of the local area. Locate the throttle and steering wheel and understand how they function. Identify the switches for lights, horn, and other essential features.

Understand the Rules of the Waterway

Just like driving a car, operating a pontoon boat requires knowledge of the rules and regulations of the waterway. Familiarize yourself with local boating laws, including speed limits, no-wake zones, and navigation rules. Pay attention to any signage or markers that indicate restricted areas or potential hazards. It’s important to be respectful of other boaters and wildlife while enjoying your time on the water.

       Exiting the Marina                         Where you can go:                           Eastern shore


Docking and Departing

When departing from the dock, take it slow and steady. Release any lines securing the boat to the dock and use gentle throttle to move away. Pay attention to wind and current conditions, and adjust your steering and throttle accordingly. When approaching the dock for docking, approach at a controlled speed and assign a spotter to help guide you. Practice docking in open areas to gain confidence before attempting to dock in a busy marina or crowded dock.

Steering and ManeuveringTwo dolphins peaking out of Santa Rosa Sound while they swim.

Steering a pontoon boat is similar to driving a car, but there are a few key differences. To turn, gently steer the wheel in the desired direction. Keep in mind that pontoon boats have a wider turning radius, so allow for extra space when navigating tight areas. Be cautious when making sharp turns, as the weight distribution on a pontoon boat can affect stability. It’s always best to take turns slowly and smoothly.  BUT a boat does not have brakes.

Maintaining a Safe Speed

Maintaining a safe speed is crucial for both your safety and the comfort of your passengers. Follow any posted speed limits and be mindful of your surroundings. Adjust your speed based on water conditions, traffic, and weather. Avoid excessive speed that may cause wakes that could inconvenience other boaters.


Lady on Pontoon Boat in Santa Rosa Sound

Pontoon rentals near me!

If you plan to stop and enjoy some swimming or fishing, it’s essential to know how to anchor your pontoon boat properly. Choose a suitable spot away from other boats, underwater obstructions, and strong currents. Slowly approach the desired location, and once you’re in a suitable position, lower the anchor into the water. Allow the boat to drift back while letting the anchor line out until the desired length is reached. Secure the anchor line to a sturdy cleat or anchor point on the boat and ensure it holds firmly.

Be Mindful of Weather Conditions

Keep a close eye on weather forecasts and be aware of changing weather conditions while on the water. Sudden changes in wind, rain, or lightning can pose risks, and it’s important to prioritize safety. If inclement weather approaches, seek shelter and return to the dock if necessary. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to weather-related safety.

Enjoy a Pontoon Day with Frisky Mermaid

This most popular six-hour rental seems to be what our guests refer to as the PERFECT amount of time to do everything you want on the water.  If you’re visiting Pensacola Beach, you won’t Pontoon Boat Rental want to miss out on the unforgettable experience of cruising on the water. And what better way to do it than aboard a pontoon boat?

Frisky Mermaid Dolphin Tours and Pontoon Boat Rentals is your go-to place for renting a pontoon boat. Make sure to schedule your rental ahead of time to secure your spot on the water, they will sell out. Get ready to embark on an adventure and create memories that you’ll treasure for years to come!