Pontoon boat rental gulf shores 36542

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From the anglers trolling the Allegheny and Ohio rivers for smallmouth bass and walleye, to the power boaters who zip across the water with skiers and inner tubers in their wake, to the pleasure cruisers who tie up as many as five deep on the North Shore before concerts, fireworks or sporting events -- sometimes it's so busy on the water, you'd swear we live in Florida instead of Western Pennsylvania.
But what if you don't own a boat or don't know one of the more than 66,000 registered boaters in Allegheny and surrounding counties from which to mooch an afternoon on the water? Save for Kayak Pittsburgh's fleet of solo and tandem flat-water kayaks under the Sixth Street Bridge, it's slim pickings for would-be boat renters on the Three Rivers. Nestled on the banks of the Allegheny River, the shop offers just three 22-foot, eight-person pontoons for rent. Actually, says Andy Talento, general manager of Verona-based Tri-River Marine Trade Association, there's some good reasons boat rentals have never taken off in the 'Burgh, the main one being the high cost of insurance.
Pittsburgh District operates 23 locks and dams on the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, and there's also a lot of barges and tugboats on the water (the U.S. Adding to the financial risk is the ease with which a person could steal a boat out of the water and the fact that inexperienced boaters often go where they're not supposed to, damaging the bottom of the boat. That's a reason I can relate to: When my husband and I rented a 58-foot houseboat at Raystown Lake two years ago, we (he) accidentally drove it too close to shore and ended up having to buy it a new propeller.
If you're willing to travel to one of Pennsylvania's state parks or larger lakes, though, you've got plenty of options. Pontoons and low-speed motorboats can be rented by the hour at both Moraine's Lake Arthur and on the 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir in Pymatuning State Park, the largest lake in the commonwealth.

You also can find boat rentals across the state line in Ohio, West Virginia and western Maryland, if you're looking for a day trip. There is, however, a catch to renting in Western Pennsylvania, especially if you're in your 20s and hoping to kick it up a bit on the water. While low-powered boats require just 5 minutes instruction from a teenage dock worker, state law prohibits people who were born on or after Jan. It's even more restrictive in Maryland, where all people born on or after July 1, 1972, must possess a boating safety education certificate to operate any motorized vessel.
No surprise you can't drink alcohol while driving a boat (penalties in Pennsylvania include fines up to $5,000 and 90 days in jail), though cooking often is allowed; Crescent Bay Marine at Moraine is among the state park concessionaires that rent gas grills for larger pontoons ($14). Also worth noting: Renters typically have to put up a sizable security deposit, occasionally in cash, and also are required to pay for any damages to the boat.
On our 15-foot, 15-horsepower runabout, which we rented on a recent Sunday at Moraine State Park, that added just $1.90 to the bill, or the price of two cans of soda from the waterfront concession on the South Shore.
The transition from landlubber to water baby couldn't have been simpler: After a short driving and boating safety lesson from deckhand Ryan Currie, 16, of Slippery Rock -- push the throttle forward to accelerate, backward for reverse, steer clear of the shore and stay to the right -- we were off, me perched on the cushioned seat on the bow and my husband squinting in the sun behind the steering wheel.
True, it wasn't quite the roaring SeaRay speedboat I remember renting with my husband when we were newlyweds in Miami.
Renting a boat can be a great way to experience the lake.  The boat rental companies that we know of on Bartlett Lake are below. The only marina I could find that allows you to play boat-owner for the day -- and I spent a lot of time looking -- is Three Rivers Boat & Bike Rentals in Millvale Waterfront Park.

But coolers and picnic baskets are welcome, along with kids, as long as they wear life jackets.
Army Corp of Engineers ranks the Port of Pittsburgh as the country's second-largest inland port). 1, 1982, from driving a boat with a 25 or greater horsepower engine unless they hold a boating safety education certificate. It was, however, a perfect fit for a couple looking to spend a lazy hour on the water without having to paddle. Three Rivers Bike & Boat Rentals, and not Millvale Bait & Tackle, rents pontoons at Millvale Riverfront Park. It should be easy to rent a pontoon or speedboat in a city with easy access to more than 328 miles of navigable waterways. To the east, Seven Points Marina on Raystown Lake in Hesston, popular with local houseboaters, offers fishing boats or ski pontoons by the hour or day, skis, tow rope and vests included.

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