South Lake Tahoe, CA
South Lake Tahoe, CA
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Ancient rock formations, sparkling clear waters, and pine tree shores are usually what people have in mind when they think of the great outdoors—and that just so happens to be a picture of Lake Tahoe. This gigantic body of freshwater split between California and Nevada is known for being an epic west coast getaway in both the summer and the winter. While skiers and snowboarders flock to Lake Tahoe in the winter, summer here is a boater’s playground with dozens of beaches, resorts, areas for watersports, and waterfront restaurants. Whether you’re looking for leisure and an adrenaline rush of action, no matter which side of Lake Tahoe you find yourself in, there’s a Boatsetter rental to enhance your experience.
When planning your boat rental outing in Lake Tahoe, consider these popular boat rental styles:
Pontoons are the perfect boat for any lake, whether you want to lounge, cruise, or party. Its open-deck design is perfect for your and your guest's maximum comfort.
Ski boats and wake boats are great for travelers in search of thrill, speed, and sick tricks. Hop on one of these rentals with your most daring buddies to explore Lake Tahoe’s sports scene. Wake surfing boats are also available for rent and are great for new and experienced surfers alike.
Boating License/Education Rules: You must be 16 years of age or older and in possession of his/her California Boater Card to legally operate a vessel powered by a motor of 15 hp or more, including personal watercraft (PWCs).
Persons 12 to 15 years of age may operate a vessel powered by a motor of 15 hp or more, including PWCs, if they are supervised on board by a person at least 18 years of age and in possession of his/her California Boater Card.
There is no age restriction for operating a sailboat under 30 ft. long (with wind as the main source of propulsion) or a dinghy used between a moored vessel and shore or between two moored vessels.
Life Jacket Requirements: Ages 13 and under must wear a PFD at all times on a moving vessel of any length. Children are not required to wear a life jacket when they are wearing a harness on a sailboat, when they are in an enclosed cabin, and when they are on a vessel during an emergency rescue.
For more information, visit the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Boating License/Education Rules: Persons born on or after January 1, 1983 will need to have completed a boating education course to operate a motorboat of more than 15 hp on Nevada’s interstate waters. You must be 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (PWC).
Life Jacket Requirements: Children 13 and under must wear a PFD.
For more information, visit the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Where to dock your boat, or meet your rental:
Ski Run Marina
Zephyr Cove Marina
Tahoe Keys Marina
Tahoe City Marina
Camp Richardson Marina
To learn more, be sure to read our Things to Do on Lake Tahoe!
On Lake Tahoe, summers here are warm and dry, and winters are very cold and snowy. Peak boating season runs between late June and late August, when air and water temperatures are at their warmest.
Avg. Temperature High: Peaks around 80°F in July
Avg. Temperature Low: Around 26°F during December, January, and February
Avg. Water Temperatures of Lake Tahoe
53°F in the Spring (March, April, May)
57°F in the Summer (June, July, August)
55°F in Fall (September, October, November)
54°F in Winter (December, January, February)
Located on the southeast side of Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Cove is a captivating waterside community in Nevada. The coastline has stretches of gold-sand beach and pine-green trees. Drop an anchor near Zephyr Cove Park wherein you have a beach with tiki cabanas and sand volleyball courts for your friendly match! Hop on a wakeboard behind your rental boat for some on-water action—be sure to book with a captain if you’d like an expert driver.
Pro Tip: Zephyr Cove is known to get very crowded during the peak summer months. For a prime spot on the water, or to enjoy a smooth ride for watersports, we recommend heading out early to mid-morning.
Wake zone: Lake Tahoe has unique no-wake zone boating rules. The lake's no-wake zone extends six hundred feet out from shore around the entire lake. The posted speed limit in the no-wake zone is 5 MPH. This zone is enforced by patrol boats at all times.
Lat/Long: 39.0004° N, 119.9526° W
On the north shore, within Nevada’s border, is Incline Village, home to one of the country’s most stunning mountain retreats. The waters of Incline Village shores are serene and gentle and hold ancient rock formations, which are the true hallmark of this place from a boater’s perspective. Come here and anchor just offshore for a lakeside beach day, or to simply float and take in the scenery. You can easily access this area by any of the two boat ramps in Sand Harbor State Park.
Pro Tip: Each summer, Sand Harbor hosts the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, which brings cultural festivities and incredible entertainment.
Seasonality: The calmest month of the year at Incline Village is August, and with its clear waters, this area is great for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Lat/Long: 39.1985° N, 119.9323° W
There is no shortage of watersports action on Lake Tahoe. Boatsetter’s ski boats and wake boats offer the perfect ride for both inexperienced riders and pros. If it’s your first time, or you’re boating with younger children, we recommend booking a rental with a captain who can show you the ropes and help you learn. If you’re coming from the South Shore, the best area for pulling a skier, tuber, wakeboarder, or wake surfer is McKinney Bay. While adventurers looking for a good spot on the North Shore should go to Zephyr Cove.
Pro Tips: If you’re focused on watersports, we suggest getting started early in the day, between 9am and 1pm—morning and mid-morning offer the smoothest ride with smaller crowds on the water, avoiding extra wakes or rough water.
Wake Zones: If you haven’t secured a rental with a professional captain, be sure to remember Lake Tahoe’s strict wake zone rules as you tow your riders. The lake's no-wake zone extends six hundred feet out from shore around the entire lake. The posted speed limit in the no-wake zone is 5 MPH. This zone is enforced by patrol boats at all times.
Located within Emerald Bay State Park, Emerald Bay is a precious inlet, home to Lake Tahoe’s only island, Fannette Island. Emerald Bay also has an underwater park and watersports areas, plus treasures tucked away in its depths for only divers to uncover. From the water, you will also see Vikingsholm Castle, a 38-room mansion long considered one of the finest and most incredible examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. Cruise on this fairytale-like turquoise, blue, and green sparkling waters for an extraordinary trip full of enchanting views and adventure.
Getting to Emerald Bay: Emerald Bay is located at the southwestern end of Lake Tahoe, just south of the Rubicon Point Lighthouse. Fannette Island is only accessible by watercraft.
Pro Tips: Avid scuba divers won’t want to miss the Maritime Heritage Underwater Trail located in the depths of Emerald Bay, with countless dive sights to explore.
Lat/Long: 38.9610° N, 120.0993° W
On the eastern shores of Lake Tahoe are picturesque rocky coves and gold-sand beaches. Sand Harbor is a place to fully immerse yourself in nature. Pack bathing suits, sunscreen, and lunch. You’ll want to spend as much time here as possible. Boat to Sand Harbor Beach for breathtaking views of mountains and a good swim, also if you need a restroom facility you’ll find it here.
Water Levels: Before heading out to Sand Harbor, or using one of the two local boat ramps on-site, be sure to check their operating status. Water levels can change, and do effective access to the harbor in some areas.
Pro Tips: Sand Harbor is a great place to anchor your boat and hop on a kayak or paddle board. Many Boatsetter owners actually offer kayaks as an Add-on! Add-ons can be applied at checkout, so keep your eyes open for them.
Lat/Long: 39.1985° N, 119.9323° W
Located on National Forest land, Pope Beach is an ideal spot for a nice picnic, whether you’re anchored or pulled up ashore. From the beach, you can look out to the open water and appreciate the epic mountain ranges in the distance. Pope Beach is also a designated swimming area, perfect for families with small children. Don’t be shy to jump in but do beware, the waters here can get really cold.
Fishing: Pope Beach is one of many great fishing spots on Lake Tahoe. Reminder, if you plan to go fishing during your rental, be sure that any person in your party over 16 years old must have a valid California or Nevada sport fishing license.
Pro Tips: Unfortunately, Pope Beach is not a pet-friendly area, so you’ll need to leave your fur-babies at home for this adventure.
Lat/Long: 38.9374° N, 120.0316° W
Gar Woods Grill & Pier
Riva Grill On the Lake
The Beacon Bar & Grill
Frequently asked questions
The cost to rent a boat at Lake Tahoe for a half-day starts at $160. For a full day on the water prices on average range from $320 and $4,300.
Swimming in Lake Tahoe is an exhilarating experience. But wait! The water never really gets hot. Depending on the depth of the water and the type of lake you're swimming in, warm shallow bays and gentle sloping shorelines will warm fastest.
What makes Boatsetter different is peace of mind. Boatsetter is the first and only boat rental marketplace to offer insurance on every peer-to-peer boat rental. We know choosing the right boat rental platform is essential to your experience while on the water. That's why we've gone the extra mile to focus on safety through our exclusive partnership with GEICO Marine and BoatUS. As the first and only boat rental marketplace to offer insurance on every peer-to-peer rental, you are protected during all rentals with insurance coverage and on-water assistance through TowBoatUS.
Yes you can rent a boat on Lake Tahoe without a boating license, if the boat rental you choose is captained.
The number of people who can fit on boat rental largely depends on the boat's size and how many life jackets are on board. Currently the coast guard allows a maximum of 10-12 people on a Boatsetter boat rental.
The cost of renting a yacht depends on the boat's size and the amount of time you'll use the yacht. The onboard amenities and luxurious accommodations also dictate the price. You can contact our yacht specialists for a custom quote by visiting: https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters
You must be 18 years old to rent a captained boat and 25 years old if you would like to rent a bareboat charter.
Boating license requirements vary from state to state. As a renter, you are responsible for understanding local state requirements.
Boatsetter allows you to rent a yacht for the day. Single-day yacht rentals are available for a select number of yachts. To chat with a yacht specialist please visit https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters
Boatsetter allows its customers to rent a yacht for the week. Renting a yacht for a week gives you more access to the wide range of yachts available on our platform. You can either book a rental directly through the site or connect with one of our charter specialists to plan your trip here: https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters