rental cancellations

Boat Rental Cancellations 101: How to Manage Your Canceled Booking

Written by Boatsetter Team
March 24, 2023

Last Updated on March 24, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Cancellations are good for no one. Your boat renters get bummed out, and you (the boat owner) miss out on potential earnings—not to mention another opportunity to receive a sterling review from someone who could become a repeat customer.

While we highly recommend that you complete all boat rental requests you approve, we understand that things happen.

That said, there are some valid reasons to cancel an upcoming trip with a renter, so let’s review the right way to cancel a trip without causing negative impacts on future bookings.

List. Rent. Earn— Only at Boatsetter

Valid reasons to cancel

Frequent cancellations can hurt your success as a Boatsetter owner, including where you rank within search results or providing cause for a temporary suspension or removal of your listing. The following is a list of valid reasons that warrant a canceled trip:

  • Accepted trip by accident
  • Boat malfunctions
  • Capacity issue
  • Captain unavailable
  • Family issue
  • Need to change this booking
  • Not enough time to prepare the boat
  • Renter changed plans
  • Renter not qualified
  • Unresponsive renter
  • Weather

Pro Tip: Cancelling a booking as an owner at any time will automatically issue a full refund to the renter.

Keeping your calendar up to date

We recommend keeping your calendar and boat availability settings up to date to prevent scheduling conflicts with renters. If you need assistance in finding a captain, you can reach out to Boatsetter Support for a list of captains to contact. Also, make sure to keep Boatsetter’s Owner Standards top of mind!

READ MORE: 3 Best Boat Hosting Practices for Boatsetter Owners


Last-minute cancellation protocol

When you are the one canceling, we ask that you tap into a time when you were on the receiving end of a mismanaged or poorly handles cancellation: what would you like to have been done for you?

Pro Tip: If you have to make a last-minute cancellation, we ask that you please email us at before canceling the booking so we can work fast to get that renter on another boat.

While the Boatsetter team rectifies the situation by guiding the renter to another boat, they might still feel inclined to write a bad review. Taking the extra steps to communicate to the renter about the cancelation will make them feel like they are taken care of and will potentially deter them from writing a negative review. So, a message coming from you will go a long way.

READ MORE: How to Boat for Beginners

You can message the renter who you’re canceling directly using Boatsetter’s IM. It doesn’t have to be a whole paragraph, and you don’t have to go into specific details, especially if it’s personal, like family issues.

Keep your explanation sweet and simple, and make sure to provide our email like in the example below:

Boat Rental Cancellations 101

“Hey, there- I want to thank you for choosing my boat. Something came up, however, and I am unable to complete this booking. Don’t worry; the Boatsetter team will help you find another boat, email them at with your name and booking number. Thank you for understanding!”

If you have a later date that works for you, turn this into an opportunity to reschedule the trip!

Just touch base with the renter through IM and then go to the booking details page and find Edit booking” to change the day or start time.

Pro Tip: Please keep in mind that owners can not edit multi-day trips. Please contact Boatsetter Support at, and a customer service team member will edit multi-day bookings for you.


Boat malfunctions

If anything occurs to the machinery of your boat that makes it optimal to cruise in, notify the renter and cancel the booking. Safety is always top of mind with Boatsetter; get your boat looked at and accept trips only once it’s been taken care of.

Boatsetter always has boat owners’ backs. If you follow our owner-renter cancellation protocol, we can work better together and keep your business afloat!

List. Rent. Earn— Only at Boatsetter

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