Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there parking available at your location?
A: Yes! There should be plenty of spaces available in front of our ticket booth, but if not anywhere at Treasure Island Marina (3605 Thomas drive) is fine it’s all free.
Q: What if it rains?
A: Most of our tours and rentals will go out if there is light rain or other moderate weather conditions. In the event that we have to cancel a tour due to severe weather, you will have the opportunity to reschedule your trip or receive a refund.
Q: What is your reservation policy?
A: Online bookings may close from 12-48 hours prior to departure, but with availability last minute reservations can be made over the phone and paid for at check-in time. Phone reservations must be made at least 2 hours prior to departure. Sometimes our cruises fill up quickly, so it is best to reserve at least one week in advance.
Q: When should we arrive?
A: We require that you arrive a half an hour before your scheduled tour or rental departure time unless you need to obtain a boater’s safety card (please refer to the FAQ section for the activity you have booked below).
Pontoon Boat Rentals
Q: Are there any age restrictions to rent a boat? Do I need a license?
A: Yes. You must be age 18 or older with a valid US driver’s license in order to rent and operate a boat. If you were born after January 1st, 1988 you will need to check in 1 hour early to obtain a boater’s safety card for a $3.00 fee.
Q: How many people can fit in a pontoon boat?
A: Our regular pontoon boats can fit a maximum of 10 guests including all children. Our premium pontoon boats can fit a maximum of 6 guests including all children. Parties with more than the maximum number of guests will not be allowed on a single boat. If you have more than the maximum number of guests in your party please rent an additional boat.
Q: Is fishing allowed on the boat?
A: Fishing is allowed but you will need a license which you can obtain by visiting http://myfwc.com/license/recreational. Please note that only light fishing tackle fishing is allowed on our pontoon boats. Absolutely no heavy fishing tackle is allowed on our pontoon boats at any time.
Q: Are life jackets provided?
Yes! We take boating safety very seriously and life jackets are always provided for each person in your party and for all ages and sizes.
Q: Can I bring my pet?
A: No. Pets are not allowed on our rental boats at any time.
Q: Can I bring my dive tanks?
A: No. dive tanks are allowed on our rental boats at any time.
Q: What if the weather is bad on the day of my rental?
Reservations will be honored rain or shine. However, if the weather is deemed unsafe by our staff for any reason at the time of your rental boats will not be allowed out on the water and you be given the option to reschedule or receive a refund. Weather conditions vary dramatically throughout the area so please be aware that while it is storming where you are it may be clear at our location. Please contact us by phone with any questions prior to your rental.
Q: What should I bring for a boat rental?
A: For boat rentals a cooler with snacks and drinks is a must but please keep in mind that glass is not allowed onboard our rental boats at any time. There are no concessions on Shell Island, and the sand, sun and water tend to make everyone extra hungry and thirsty. The usual beach equipment (towels, sunscreen, hats) is a great idea as well. Some people bring beach chairs, floats, fishing rods, bait and more. Just be sure to save room on the boat for the people! You will not need money on Shell Island, so we recommend locking your valuables in your car. We can hold your car keys if you like since it’s not uncommon to lose them to the surf or sand.
Q: Should I bring my cell phone?
Yes. As a safety precaution we ask customers to bring a cellular phone along on their boat rental.
Q: I am a novice boater. Can I safely operate a pontoon boat?
A: The Shell Island Boat Rentals’ fleet is made available to novices. When renting a boat we explain a map of the area and how to navigate the channel markers and go through the boats with you. We also give you a chart of the area. We thoroughly explain the use of channel markers and how the different colors of the water can indicate depths so that you can better recognize and avoid shallow areas. We then turn the boat over to you and let you bring it back to our shore location. Pontoon boats are easily beached on a calm shore and no docking is required.
Jet Ski Tours
Q: Are there any age restrictions to operate a jet ski? Do I need a license?
A: Yes. To operate (drive) a jet ski in the state of Florida you must be 18 or older with a valid US driver’s license. If you were born after January 1st 1988 you will need to check in 1 hour early to obtain a boater’s safety card for a $3.00 fee.
Q: Is there a weight limit?
A: Yes. In order to ride on a Jet Ski you must be under 275lbs, be physically able to climb in and out of a boat, and healthy with no physical constraints. On 2 person jet skis the combined weight of both passengers cannot be more than 400lbs.
Q: Where does the jet ski tour go?
A: Your knowledgeable guide will take you on an unforgettable sightseeing adventure along the 17 mile coast of the island where you can encounter dolphins, go shelling on the island, and explore the inlets of the St. Andrews Bay side of Shell Island.
Q: Should I bring my camera?
A: For jet ski tours the best rule of thumb is to NOT bring anything that absolutely cannot get wet or jostled around such as regular cameras or video cameras. Instead, we suggest purchasing a disposable waterproof camera. Most people regret not having a camera when they neglect to bring one.
Q: Should I bring food or drink?
We recommend bringing something non-carbonated to drink as the jet ski ride tends to really “shake things up.” Water and sports drinks are best. A small soft-sided cooler with a little ice works very well to keep drinks cold. Most people do not bring any food.
Q: What else should I bring?
Be sure to slather on lots of sunscreen and bring some along to repeat application once you’re on Shell Island. Having one towel per waverunner is also convenient for wiping eyes, faces and sunglasses. Leave the other towels in the car so you will have clean dry ones when you return. Plastic grocery bags work well at keeping towels basically dry in the waverunner storage compartments. Most people wear swimsuits and sunglasses on the tour and we recommend securing your sunglasses with a strap if they’re the expensive kind. Water shoes are great, although most people go barefoot. Do bring shoes to our location since you will have to cross our parking lot on foot. We will keep your shoes safe while you’re on the tour. We do not have lockers, so lock your valuables in your car, and let us hold your car keys. Do not take your keys on the waverunner tour; it’s almost guaranteed that you will lose them to the ocean or beach! Finally, hats are very difficult to keep on when you’re doing 40 mph over the water. You can carry hats in the storage compartment if you wish, but wearing them while riding is not recommended.
Q: Will I get wet?
Yes you will get quite wet.
Q: Are the jet skis safe?
A: Our jet ski fleet always includes late model Yamahas. All of our jet skis offer large, dry to semi-dry storage compartments. Each waverunner provides a stable and comfortable ride. If you have young ones riding with you it’s best if they have their own life jackets that they are familiar with and happy to wear rather than something strange for their 1st time. Waverunner safety features include fire extinguishers, whistles, and lanyards with kill cords.
Q: Do you have life jackets?
Yes we have life jackets for kids as small as 30lbs and adults as large as 275lbs
Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear your bathing suit, flops & sunglasses and bring casual clothes to change into afterwards if needed. During the Spring & Fall months it can be a little cooler so long sleeve sport shirts or t-shirts work well too. The sun can be strong and hot sometimes in the summer so long sleeve SPF shirts work well also.
Q: Is it customary to tip the Tour Guide? If so, how much?
A: Yes, the Guide works hard for your cruising enjoyment. If you think they deserve it the customary amount is similar to restaurants or whatever you would like.
Blue Dolphin Snorkeling Tours
Q: How many people can fit on each boat?
A: A maximum of 6 guests are allowed in each boat per coast guard regulations.
Q: What if there are more than 6 people in our group?
A: No problem! We will put you in two separate boats.
Q: Can children come?
A; Of course! Every trip we offer is family friendly. Reminder these are open boats so most kids under the age of 4 really do not appreciate what’s happening and you will be holding them the entire time.
Q: Is the boat safe?
A: Yes – Our boats are safe and inspected regularly by the US Coast Guard.
Q: Do you have life jackets?
A: Yes we will have more than enough life jackets onboard for everyone of all ages and sizes.
Children are required to wear USCG approved life jackets at all times if 6 or under so if they are already comfortable with their own jackets feel free to bring them for a happier trip.
Q: What should I wear?
Wear your bathing suit or shorts, tee-shirts, caps and sunglasses. During the Spring & Fall months it can get a little cooler once the sun goes down and the wind hits you, so bringing a sweater or light jacket is a good idea, just in case. warmer weather just wear your swimsuit.
Q: Is it customary to tip the crew? If so, how much?
A: Yes, the crew works hard for your cruising enjoyment. If you think they deserve it the customary amount is similar to restaurants.