With years of experience in Destin waters, Destin Pontoon Charter knows that great boats book early. Weekend time slots may book as early as six months in advance, while your best bet for a weekday rental is to plan at least a month or two ahead. Bachelorette parties are often booked six to eight months in advance.
One of the business’s annual rentals books for Labor Day weekend, securing their ride for the next year the day right after each year’s festivities.
Their boats, which come in two sizes, can handle everything from a bachelorette party or family reunion with up to 16 guests to a more intimate gathering of six or less.
Destin Pontoon Charters’ boats are custom-built and include restrooms. They are also U.S. Coast Guard certified and are rented with trained operators at the helm. Equipment decks on top can hold float options for guests of all ages and include a floating beer pong table, a lily pad, sofa lounger and in-water recliners. Some of their “six-pack” boats, which host smaller groups, come with a slide from the top deck to the water.
Trips are planned around their passengers’ interests and can include activities like shelling and snorkeling. Children often want to do multiple activities during the day and captains make that happen.
The fleet consists of six smaller boats and four of the larger vessels. All operators are USCG licensed captains and Destin Pontoon Charters welcomes reviews of their trips.
If you’re visiting for the first time, talk to your captain about options for the trip. They have hidden away spots are known to locals, but less visited by tourists.
Safety is a top concern for these local business owners. For example, the slides are not used at Crab Island, where the water is too shallow for safe use. Instead, the captain takes the boat to a nearby stretch of water that is deep enough to enjoy the slides.
A deposit is required but can be fully refunded up to seven days before the charter.
In case you’re still learning the mysterious ways of the water, Crab Island turns a clear light blue when the tide brings in water from the Gulf of Mexico. Best days to charter a boat? When that incoming tide occurs around the middle of the day or early afternoon.
Destin Pontoon Charters docks behind Heron Harbor and operates year-round, including dolphin and harbor tours, as well as Christmas cruises through the winter months.