View Full Version : boat rental

06-20-2011, 12:31 PM
I want to rent a boat for 1/2 or one day, probably one
Does anyone have good experiences with an affordable boat rental?

only 12 days and we'll be there.....

06-20-2011, 01:12 PM
I've rented several times from Blue Bay rentals @ Plaza & have never had a problem. Their website is linked below. There are other rental ops on the island which are cheaper but there have been problems reported from past patrons. So, be guided accordingly..


Here's the correct link..

06-20-2011, 04:29 PM
Hi smits -- I don't recall the particulars, but on the "old BT", there was a fairly lengthy and controversial thread about one of the boat rental companies on Bonaire charging high fees for "damaged" propellors. I don't know if those old threads are even available anymore, but would be worth searching. There was some pretty heated discussion as I recall.

Caveat emptor.

06-20-2011, 05:32 PM
@vince thanks for the suggestion.

@Kob yes I remember the discussion. That's why I asked for good experiences

07-02-2011, 12:59 PM
Bob, we used Bonaire Boat Rentals a couple of years ago. They are also located out of the Plaza. We didn't have any problems with them. They were VERY nice. We had a lot of fun snorkeling over at Klein, and running up and down the coast...a must for my next trip :p

04-09-2013, 12:30 PM
As a local boater, I would like to shed some light on renting a boat in Bonaire. Renting a boat is a great way to spend a full or half day on the island, and it would be a shame if anyone would be discouraged to do so due to some vague memories of a thread with questionable intentions on this forum many years ago. There are 4 companies that rent out boats on Bonaire; 3 that rent out motor boats and 1 that rents out sailboats. I personally know all 4 owners well, and they are all great, cheerful personalities that aim to please. All 4 of them own other businesses that cater to tourists on the island, and they are all dependent on good reviews, so they do go out of their way to make you happy.

These are the 4 companies, you can google them for their websites:

1. Sailing Point Bonaire rents out sailboats with or without a captain. They are relatively new on the island and are based at the regatta house. They run a small fleet of open sailboats that will cater for up to 5 people. The owner is a big happy fellow that will go out of his way to help you.

2. Blue Bay Rentals runs a fleet of - partially brand new - well maintained motor boats out of the Plaza Marina. They are the most expensive, but also offer the best equipment. Your best choice if you want to do some serious wake-boarding or water-skiing. The owner also runs sailboat tours from his yacht, the Bowalie. If you do not mind paying more for quality, this is the place to go.

3. Bonaire Boat Rental runs older but decently maintained boats from the Harbour Village Marina. What these boats lack in power, they make up for in size. Great for families with lots of kids for a day at the beach or a cruise along the coast line. The owner also owns the Four Seasons Restaurant and his boating business is his hobby.

4. Le Grand Bleu Boat Rentals owns a small fleet of sturdy and powerful boats from the Harbour Village Marina. They are considerably cheaper than the other two and therefore very busy. All water sport equipment is free, but old and used. Not so the fishing equipment though; the owner also runs the only big game fishing charter on the island and will supply you with great free fishing gear if you want to have a go at catching your own dinner from your rental boat.

Those are the four options you have on the island. Here is what you need to know when renting a boat.

All 3 motor boat rentals have the exact same rules and procedures. They will all explain the boat in detail, and show you a brand new propeller without any dents or scratches, and will ask you to confirm that to be so. If you disregard the advice and return with a damaged propeller, all 3 of them will charge you for a new one. The propeller will be replaced immediately, so that the next renter has a brand new, undamaged propeller. There is only one way to damage the propeller; by hitting the reef. All 3 companies will extensively run you through where you can and cannot go. If you listen to their advice, there is absolutely no way to hit the reef. If you use common sense and stay well out of the light blue water, there is absolutely no way to hit the reef. And yet boats return with heavily damaged propellers - or worse - at least once a week. It is as little fun for the owner to charge for a propeller - or worse -, as it is for the renter to pay for one. And it is so easily avoidable. Scuba diving is not allowed from rental boats.

The former owners of the rental company that was the cause for concern on this forum are no longer on the island, but in their defense, they were mistreated by someone who took a clever picture of a damaged propeller and abused this forum to avoid paying for it, and abused the innocence and inexperience of the young girl that tried to explain that.

So, in summary, please do not be discouraged to rent a boat during your stay. It is a fun, safe, and great way to explore parts of Bonaire that you would otherwise miss. You can visit Bonaire's most spectacular beach on Klein Bonaire, snorkel spectacular sites, find dolphins, fish, wake-board, water-ski, and it really does not matter which company you use. They will all do their utmost to please you and all want to see you return many times. None of them are in the propeller selling business and they would much rather see you return with the boat and reef in one piece.

I hope this helps prospect boaters; please feel free to ask any questions!

04-09-2013, 01:16 PM
Excellent explanation, JJ. Thanks for posting.

05-19-2013, 06:23 AM
Just as a friendly advice, I would caution all those who are considering renting a boat to please STAY OUT OF THE LIGHT BLUE WATER. Too many times I have seen this ignored which causes problems for all; the property owners along the coast, the snorkelers/divers in the water and of course the owners of the business that rent the boats since they will get the complaint calls.

05-19-2013, 07:32 AM
Great info JJ and Vince, thanks.

10-22-2013, 06:45 AM
Billy and I usually rent a power boat before we leave. We have rented the boat at the Yacht club location( I cannt remember the name of the company- bubbles in my brain). It is a great experience and so much fun. You cannot take dive gear on a rental boat, however, you can tie up at the bowie markers and snorkel. The boat operators will tell you where you can navigate to and where you cannot navigate to. We follow the rules. We usually go for a 1/2 day and go to Klein for a snorkel and lunch, then enjoy the view of the island from the sea. I highly recommend renting a boat - it is the perfect ending to a perfect dive trip.

06-11-2014, 04:59 PM
When Mary & I have been on Kline we have seen boats that had mounted to them what looks like a round metal grill. They are powered by a motor but I did not see an actual motor on the stern like on other power boats. they were certainly not a speed boat by any means, but rather they look like a small scale version of Noah's Ark with no fixed top! Was I having too much sun.....or too much rum.......or was I just dreaming? I swear we have seen these on multiple trips to bonaire and thought it might be a fun thing to do for the day if I again have some ear problems and need to just snorkel for the day.


PS--any visitors to the forum have a team in the College World Series? I hope to go to some of the games this year and will root for them as we divers need to stay together!