Great Loop boat rentals get you up close and personal to over 6,000 miles of waterways in the eastern United States. If this is on your bucket list, don't dismay...it's easier than ever to make your dream of setting sail on the Great Loop today!
As you navigate channels, locks, and canals designed for commercial vessels, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of 14 (or more) states and perhaps even a Canadian province. Great Loop boat rentals generally include powerboats or trawlers, primarily because these lower-profile vessels can get under most fixed bridges. However, you could also choose a sailboat with its mast secured on deck. Key takeaway: if you don’t have a boat, you can still make the trip (or part of it) via convenient boat rentals
Get the Lowdown on The Great Loop Route
Your Great Loop boat rental will likely start in the spring, somewhere along the southeast Atlantic coast. By May, you’ll head northward to the Chesapeake Bay, and then further north in a counter-clockwise direction. This unconventional strategy enables you to visit potentially cooler regions in the summer, and hug the inland rivers until the Atlantic hurricane season ends. Plus, you’ll travel with the flow of the powerful Mississippi River and other mid-western rivers.
Your bucket list itinerary boat rentals, you’ll wave to Chesapeake Bay crabbers as they work their pots, and salute the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. You’ll establish a radio routine with the Erie Canal’s lock tenders as you power toward the Great Lakes.
When you depart Lake Michigan, you’ll cruise the Illinois River, and carefully navigate around massive barge tows in the mighty Mississippi River. After traversing the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers, you’ll reach the Gulf of Mexico, where you’ll watch divers harvest oysters, scallops, and sea sponges.
Boat rentals are the perfect way to help you cross something major off your bucket list, completing your loop-shaped circuit of the eastern United States! Now, you can proudly call yourself a “Looper.”
Handle These Great Loop Cruising Logistics
Through pre-trip planning, you’ll increase the odds of an enjoyable Great Loop cruise. Make plans to receive mail, pay your recurring bills, and obtain health care underway (if needed). Also, pinpoint marinas and full-service boatyards along the route – especially yards that can haul your vessel for maintenance and/or repairs.
Now, consider the variables you can’t control while out on your Great Loop boat rentals: tides and weather. While cruising the coast, pay close attention to the tide tables and water depth. This regular practice minimizes your chances of grounding the boat and potentially damaging the hull and/or propeller.
Trying to predict the weather is like throwing darts at a moving target. To keep yourself in the game, monitor weather systems daily, and stay snugged down in port (or at anchor) if you can’t travel safely to your next destination.
Tips for Choosing Great Loop-Capable Boat Rentals
Finding suitable Great Loop boat rentals is surprisingly easy. Many recreational boats between 26 feet and 36 feet have the needed accommodations. Ideally, the boat will have less than a five-foot draft (part of the boat that extends under the water). Boats with a six-foot draft can make the trip, but will face limited route choices.
If you’ll tackle the route’s remote northern sections, make sure the boat has a 250-mile range on one tank of fuel. Finally, the boat must be able to safely pass under a 19' 1" fixed bridge on the Chicago Ship Canal, after removing or stowing masts, antennas, etc. This is non-negotiable, and you won’t find an alternative route around the bridge.
Explore The Great Loop with Boat Rentals
Maybe taking your boat through The Great Loop sounds enticing, but work or family commitments prevent you from taking extended time off. Or, maybe you’d enjoy cruising the east coast and Erie Canal, but don’t want to dodge barge trains on the Mississippi River. Or, maybe you don’t have your own boat. Good thing you can resolve all three issues with a carefully planned boat rental.
To get yourself out there, check out Boatsetter
, the premier boat sharing company that makes it easy for boaters to connect with local boat owners. Just browse the Boatsetter boats near your homeport (or near your desired cruising area) and within a few minutes, you can rent a privately owned powerboat or sailboat , ready to set sail on the Great Loop today. If you lack boating experience, or want to soak up the scenery while a professional drives the boat, hire a licensed Coast Guard captain as well.
Even better, you’ll find desirable Boatsetter boats in many coastal ports and on inland lakes around the United States and abroad
. So pull out your calendar and complete that super-simple boat rental today. Then, start making your itinerary and packing list, because you’re going to enjoy some Great Loop cruising!
Explore The Great Loop today with a boat rental!