It’s a stunning summer day, with a smattering of snow on the mountains. The sun is glinting off Lake Union. You take a deep breath and shade your eyes as you watch a yacht – your yacht – slowly idle up to the dock. Today is all about living the high life with a yacht rental in Seattle.
The first mate nimbly jumps down to tie up the boat while you gather snacks, drinks, and sunscreen. After a quick safety briefing and reminder of how those marine toilets work, you’re off. There’s nothing quite like relaxing on the sundeck while someone else is responsible for driving the boat and keeping your glass filled.
When you want luxury and privacy for a memorable day date, get a yacht rental in Seattle. Yes, you can rent a yacht for the day, and it’s much easier than you’d think.
Find Your Seattle Yacht Rental
Several boat rental sites exist to help you connect with boat owners, who rent boats usually with a captain and crew so you can fully enjoy the day. Check out Boatsetter or Get My Boat. These two sites are the largest in the yacht rental space and both operate in the PNW.
A recent search on Boatsetter showed 38 listings, with an average price around $1000 for a 4-8 hour rental with a captain. GetMyBoat showed 76 listings, with prices ranging from $75/hour for an 18-foot powerboat to $800 for a 56-foot yacht holding up to 20 people. Prices vary, with a 76-footer going for $600/hour and carrying up to 12 guests.
Plan Your Route
Our preferred route is from Lake Union through the Montlake Cut and out into Lake Washington. On this route, you can boat for a full day without repeating any scenery. Take a tour around Medina and see the stars’ houses, from Jeff Bezos of Amazon to Bill Gates of Microsoft and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.
Make time for the calmer bays in Lake Washington like Fairweather Bay and Juanita Bay. Be sure to get your Trulia app out and daydream about the houses for sale. Take a deep breath and get ready for a $15 million price tag!
Another option if you’re comfortable with rougher waters is going through the Ballard Locks and out into Puget Sound. The locks can be busy and they eat up a fair bit of time. It’s best to skip this if you only have a few hours. It is quite the experience though to tie up and watch yourself rise or fall as people on shore watch the intricate show.
Come Prepared for your Seattle Yacht Rental
Most yacht rentals don’t come with food or drink, so stock up before you get on board. Check for any restrictions on types of alcohol – some don’t want red wine staining the cushions. And be sure to pack plenty of water!
Your packing list should include:
- Plastic cups
- Disposable utensils, plates, and napkins
- Bluetooth speaker
- Lip balm
- Flat shoes – heels are never a good idea on a boat!
Insider Tips for Renting a Yacht in Seattle
Confirm Guest Count
Some vessels have restrictions on the number of passengers, despite being a large boat. Private owners often have more leeway, so be sure to check your group size with the boat owner prior to confirming the rental. Don’t assume you can add more people just because the boat is large.
Check Pickup and Drop-off Location
Some captains will only depart from their home marina, while others will pick you up at a public point like Chandler’s Cove. The public short-term dock spots fill up fast in summer, so make sure you have your captain’s phone number. It’s good to work out a few alternate options so you’re not stuck on land while they idle waiting for a spot to open up.
Last Minute Luxury
With lots of inventory, it’s not hard to find a last-minute rental on one of the sites we suggested. Don’t assume that you have to plan weeks in advance…a lot of captains can take you out with just a day of notice.