Washington, D.C., DC
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Washington, DC sits at the heart of the ‘DMV’ region (DC/Maryland/Virginia). Our nation’s capital is well-known for its national monuments, countless museums, and political playgrounds, but it’s also home to some of the most iconic waterways for boating. From the Chesapeake Bay to the Potomac River and the Georgetown waterfront, dc is the perfect backdrop for any of your momentous life occasions—and we’ve found a way to make it even more special. Whether you’re bringing your family here to learn more about America’s history, or traveling with your partner for a romantic cruise past the cherry blossoms, you’ll want to upgrade your trip to Washington, DC with a Boatsetter rental.
When planning to hit the water in and around Washington, dc, consider these popular boat rental styles:
Bowriders and pontoon boats are great for couples looking to cruise Washington, DC’s waterways in style and comfort, with flexibility for handling a list of on-water activities. Take in the sights of the monuments, go water skiing, or pull a towable tube with the kids.
Our fleet of luxury motor yachts — of different styles and sizes — is one of this city’s most sought-after experiences. Booking a yacht is a sure way to make special occasions like anniversaries, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, or proposals memorable. Plus, a quick cruise down the Potomac will place you right at the front steps of the MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino.
Boating License/Education Rules: Boating rules vary depending on whether you are boating on waterways located within Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia. Be sure to research requirements for each unique location.
District of Columbia: No one under the age of 18, or under the supervision of someone who is 18 years of age or older, may legally operate a vessel over 16 feet in length without a Boater Education Certificate showing completion of a boating safety course.
Virginia: All motorboat operators, including PWCs, who are age 14 and older are required to take a boating safety course.
Maryland: Mandatory boat education law applies to some operators of boats and/or personal watercraft.
Life Jacket Recommendations: 13 and under must wear a PFD.
Where to dock your boat, or meet your rental:
The Wharf Marina
National Harbor Marina
James Creek Marina
Columbia Island Marina
Thompson Boat Center
Learn more by reading Boating in Washington, DC: Everything You Need to Know.
Washington, DC is known for having somewhat cloudy skies year-round. During the summer, it is warm, humid and muggy—which makes cooling off by boat a go-to activity for locals and visitors. Winters, on the other hand, are frigid and snowy. Generally, warm-weather activities fare best in May through mid-August into early October; but for anglers who aren’t afraid to brave the cold, fishing opportunities present themselves year-round through the DMV region.
Avg. Temperature High: Peaks around 82.4°F in July and August
Avg. Temperature Low: Around 40°F during winter months, from December through February
Avg. Water Temperatures in and around Washington, DC:
55°F in the Spring (March, April, May)
78°F in the Summer (June, July, August)
63°F in Fall (September, October, November)
40°F in Winter (December, January, February)
When most tourists think of DC, they think of the monuments. While exploring these historical locations on-land can be crowded (and maybe even a bit boring, especially for the kiddos), seeing these iconic monuments by boat offers a whole new perspective. From the Washington Monument, to the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, and more, you’ll have the best view from the water (and you’ll avoid the crowds). Book a boat rental with a local captain for your very own guided hour and history lesson.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a truly romantic escape, book your rental during the cherry blossom’s peak bloom between the last week of March and the first week of April. Allow the cherry blossom trees in bloom and the gentle waters you two float on to open up the floodgates and let love come in.
Location: Google Maps Link
Downtown marinas: The Wharf Marina, Washington Marina Company, James Creek Marina
Lat/Long: 38.8841° N, 77.0385° W
Georgetown is one of the many older, yet charming neighborhoods in the Washington, DC area. Its trendy retail scene is centered around M street, where avid shoppers will find stores featuring high-end designers like Billy Reid, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Free People, Patagonia, and more. Georgetown is also the home of the historical and scenic C&O canal, running almost parallel to the Potomac River near the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge. Dock your boat rental along Georgetown waterfront park docks, Thompson Boat Center, or right at Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place to grab dinner during sunset.
Pro Tip: Anchoring near the Georgetown waterfront will provide you with the perfect view of dc’s infamous Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza, and allows you to skip the crowds that pack into the Mall. Book early, as rentals fill up fast to secure the best vantage point from the water.
Location: Google Maps Link
Places to eat and drink: Fiola Mare, Sequoia DC, iCanale
Lat/Long: 38.9029° N, 77.0653° W
Dock at the East Potomac Park for a nice stroll along the shoreline, which is lined with Washington, dc’s beloved cherry blossom trees. Plan ahead to pack lunches so you can head to the Southern tip of the park to set up a picnic and enjoy quiet views of the capital. Make sure to go to the Northern end of the island to see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (or just cruise by it via boat). Keep in mind, the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in Washington, DC from March 20 through April 16, providing the very best opportunity to see these cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Pro Tip: The East Potomac Park dock is the only place to dock on the island. If you need a break from the water, there are several sports facilities throughout the park, like a golf course and tennis courts.
Location: Google Maps Link
Closest marinas to Downtown: Washington Marina Company, James Creek Marina, The Wharf Marina
Lat/Long: 38.8734° N, 77.0260° W
Boating in the Chesapeake Bay means boating in a historic waterway that connects you to an endless amount of adventures in multiple states, from the District of Columbia to Virginia and Maryland, up into Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and even West Virginia. With so much to explore, each boating trip you plan can be one of a kind—trust us, just one day of boating in the Chesapeake Bay is never enough. Hop on a pontoon and bring the children for a cruise to Sandy Point State Park for swimming near beaches. Or book a fishing boat rental or fishing charter, and cast a line for everything from largemouth bass in brackish river waters, to striped bass and flounder, or even head offshore for cobia and black drum.
Target fish species: Varies depending on what part of the bay you are in, but you can expect: striped bass (upper bay), bluefish and Spanish mackerel (lower bay), speckled sea trout, red drum, rockfish, and some largemouth bass.
Pro Tips: The Chesapeake Bay is endangered by sewage plants that dump their polluted water into the bay. Make sure to learn these green boating practices to keep the bay as precious as you found it.
Best places to explore: The Chesapeake Bay provides access to top boating destinations like Havre de Grace, St. Michaels, Smith Island, the National Harbor, Tangier Island, Ocean City (MD), Annapolis, Edgewater, and many more mid-Atlantic coastal hideaways.
Lat/Long: 37.5214° N, 76.1050° W
The Potomac River, running through Washington, DC and connecting Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland, lies at the heart of the DMV region and has even been dubbed the ‘Nation’s River’ by President George Washington. Stretching 380-miles before emptying into the Chesapeake Bay near Point Lookout, MD, the Potomac is a water-lovers playground, ripe for boating and fishing. Any history buffs out there? Plan a boat rental to cruise south to Mount Vernon, and on your way back to DC, make sure to stop in Old Town Alexandria for fresh seafood. The Potomac is also your go-to route sightseeing all of DC’s hottest attractions—from the monuments to The Wharf—and will connect you to the Anacostia River, which takes you right by Nationals Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals.
Target fish species: Striped bass, snakehead, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and catfish.
Pro Tips: With so many different areas around the DMV to explore via the Potomac River, we highly recommend booking your boat with a local, licensed captain. Not only can they serve as your tour guide, sharing location history and pointing out areas of interest during your cruise.
Lat/Long: 38.9072° N, 77.0369° W
Just a quick 90-minute drive south from the heart of the DMV, Lake Anna, VA is the go-to weekend escape for both local boaters and visitors to Washington, DC and its surrounding cities. Known by locals for its ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ sides of the lake, this hidden gem has boat-up restaurants, breweries, lakeside wineries, and ample room for on-water activities. Get out on the lake early to secure a prime spot at one of the many island beaches or sandbars, or join a raft-up at one of the party coves. Grab dinner and drinks at Tim’s at Lake Anna, The Cove at Lake Anna, or Lake Anna Taphouse, before wrapping up your day watching the sunset on the water.
Target fish species: Largemouth bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, bluegill, yellow perch, walleye, white perch, and black crappie.
Pro Tips: Some of Lake Anna’s most popular local hot spots may be difficult to find for new boaters to the area. For the best experience, book your rental with a captain who can navigate the lake, handle any potential raft-ups, and serve as your designated sober skipper.
Best places to explore: The Sandbar, Pirate’s Cove, Cocktail Cove, The Bahamas, Pleasants Landing Beach, and the Lake Anna State Park.
Lat/Long: 38.1112° N, 77.8346° W
Nick's Riverside Grill
Hank's Oyster Bar
The Point DC
Frequently asked questions
The cost to rent a boat in DC starts at $85 per hour, depending on the amount of time that you would like to use the boat.
The cost to rent a small yacht in Washington DC starts at $1400 for a on the water, depending on the size and length of the vessel
All DC boat operators must complete a boating safety course and carry a boater education card.
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.
At Boatsetter, our mission is to make getting out on the water as easy as possible. With our intuitive booking system, you can rent a boat as soon as today. -First, you must determine your budget and the type of boat you want to rent. -Next, decide where you would like to boat and the kind of boat you would like to spend the day on. -Finally, determine if you will be needing a boat captain and reach out to the boat owner. That's it! You're officially on your way to a fantastic day out on the water.
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.
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
Booking a month-long yacht rental is a detailed and hands-off process when working with our team of yacht charter specialists. We tailor each yacht charter to our client's specific wants and needs. Our luxury yacht charter specialists can be reached at (954) 715-4114 or by visiting https://www.boatsetter.com/luxury-yacht-charters
The cost of renting a pontoon boat depends on the size, location, and rental time of the boat. Prices start at $85 per hour.
The cost to charter a yacht varies depending on the boat size and the length of the charter. Prices typically range from less than $1,000 to $5,000 plus if you're wanting to charter the yacht overnight.
Boat insurance typically covers loss caused by things such as fire, sinking, storms, and collisions. The extent of the coverage varies depending on the policy.
You do not need boat insurance when renting with Boatsetter. Coverage is provided under the Peer-to-Peer Boat Rental Policy, which is underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. The policy was written from the ground up as a stand-alone recreational boat rental insurance policy covering the period of time that the boat is being rented and is available for all non-commercially insured boats.
Yes. We use a system called Cognito to ensure that payment information matches the renter's identity. We also require renters taking out a captained boat to be at least 18 years old and on a bareboat to be at least 25 years old.
Yes! Listing a boat is completely free. We only take a commission when your boat is rented. We only make money when you do!
If you are not comfortable having a renter drive your boat, we have an expansive network of licensed and experienced captains. Once your boat is listed, you can filter through our network of captains and favorite captains in your area that you would like to operate your boat.
The cost to rent a boat in DC starts at $89 per hour, depending on the amount of time that you would like to use the boat.
Boating on the Upper Potomac River can be a rewarding experience for anyone who is willing to take the time to learn more about safe river recreation. Many areas of the river, though, should only be attempted by experienced boaters.