Frequently Asked Questions
Do you guys rent boats?
Yes, we do! All kinds of boats. Power Boats, Drift Boats, and 22' C-Dory for ocean fishing.
Where Can I Use The Boats?
Alaska Boat Rental has both saltwater and freshwater power boats and drift boats. You can use our boats in any freshwater area in the Kenai Peninsula where it is legal to operate. State Park Regulations restrict the use of powerboats on the Upper Kenai and the Kasilof Rivers, as well as certain other parts of rivers. However, in general, our boats may be operated anywhere on the Peninsula where it is legal and permissible to do so. The larger boats in our fleet, which are 20’ in length, may be used in the near coastal areas of Alaska (less than 25 miles offshore) and they come with a saltwater equipment package which includes extra fuel, GPS & Depth sounder, and a saltwater use agreement.
Do you launch the boat in the water?
We offer launch and retrieval service, but please reference our rental information page for more information. Most of our customers use their own tow vehicle in order to have more flexibility on time and be able to use the boats in other areas than the Kenai River.
Can your boats be used for dip netting?
Yes. Dip netting is only permissible by Alaska state residents but our boats are perfect for dip netters and we are happy to accommodate your dip netting needs. Consult the Alaska Fish and Game website for details on hours, days, regulated areas and more. We also have dip nets available for rent as well.
How many people can we put in the boat?
You can put 4 people in the drift boats and 5 in the powerboats.
Do I need to have a truck with a hitch?
Our boats and trailers weigh under 2,000 pounds and can be towed with any vehicle that has a class 1 hitch or larger. Class 1 is the lightest hitch one can get so if your vehicle has a ball on it you can likely tow our boats. If your vehicle has a receiver (either 1 ¼” or 2”), we can provide the ball mount. For more information see our Towing and Launching section. [Link to Towing and Launching section within Rental Info] For a car rental company that allows towing, check with Midnight Sun Car Rental in Anchorage (907) 243-8806. They are an independent company that has SUVs and trucks with hitches. Just make sure that you request a vehicle with a hitch when making a reservation.
What size of ball do I need?
Our trailers need a 2” ball.
You mention having prior experience operating a motorized vessel in the rental requirements. Does that mean your boats are difficult to handle?
Our boats are safe, durably built with heavy gauge aluminum fully welded construction, easy to operate and very stable. Operating any boat in a current requires some experience in boat handling, even if it is not in a river. If you have some experience and are not careless, you should be able to operate these boats. 60-minute river and boat orientations are available upon scheduled request and we will take you on the river and help you get comfortable operating the boat.
We will give you hands-on practice operating the boat and show you various points of interest along the river. We prefer cautious over careless. If you have never fished or boated on the river, we recommend hiring a guide as well as a 60-minute orientation before you go fishing on your own. You will have more success in fishing and be more comfortable on your own.
I have owned a boat for years. Do you require me to have the Alaska Safe Boating Certification?
No, but it is a great idea to take the online course anyway. The course and test are free. The certification card is $29.50. There is a lot of great content that would be of benefit to any boatman. The information on hypothermia and the drowning risks in cold water are especially relevant. It never hurts to have a refresher course, and this is quick and convenient.
Why is the pickup time for overnight rentals in the evening?
Most of our customers are interested in multi-day rentals. Most arrive in the area in the afternoon as they drive down from the Anchorage area. This allows customers to pick up their boat and be ready to start fishing that evening, or early in the morning without having to waste half a day getting the boat. By having the return time at 5:00 PM, you have a full day of use on the last day as well.
But what if I want to pick my boat up earlier?
No Problem, if the boat is available and you are willing to pay a full day's rate to have it an hour or more early then we will accommodate
What if I bring my boat back early?
No problem, but we don't prorate the rental fees.
Can I reserve rental gear?
Not only yes, but we highly recommend it. If you have gear reserved we will make sure it is available. If not, it is subject to what’s on hand when you arrive. We have rods and reels that make fishing ideal for Sockeye, Silver/Kings, and Halibut.
Will you help me with local fishing tips?
We are happy to help any way we can. We have people who have been fishing in the area for 35 years. We will quote you at our guided rate and take you out so you can learn. Please let us know the details of the types of fishing you would like to do so that we can help.
What are the guide restrictions we’ve heard about on the river?
Guides are restricted to the hours of 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. All guided trips must stop fishing at 6:00 PM and cannot start before 6:00 AM. For this reason, river traffic significantly lessens after 6:00 PM each day. Additionally, Sunday’s and Monday’s are closed to guided fishing – on the Kenai River only. Guided fishing trips are available on Sundays and Mondays in other places – just not on the Kenai River.
What about Mondays? We hear that motor-powered boats aren’t allowed.
You can use your boat all you want on Mondays. You just can’t fish from it (on the Kenai River). The best fishing holes on the rivers are accessible only via boat. On Mondays, boats may be used to move up and down the river but anglers are required to exit the boat when fishing. This is a great day to try shore fishing in less crowded areas. Fishing from a drift-boat is allowed on the Kenai River on Mondays. The purpose of this restriction was to protect at least 1 day per week the serenity of this amazing natural resource. So consider renting one of our drift boats on these days and enjoy a really lovely float trip while still being able to target that trophy, King Salmon.
How do I get my catch home?
There are many great services in Soldotna, Kenai and other areas that will help with fish processing. We will be happy to hook you up with them to process your fish for transport or even ship it for you.
If the weather is looking bad, can I cancel or move my reservation?
Our cancellation policy lists the terms and conditions for any cancellation, and these terms will apply.
If I need tackle or other supplies, can I buy it locally?
Absolutely. There are plenty of great outfitters and sporting goods retailers in the area and most are located within 5 minutes drive of Alaska Boat Rental.
Why am I limited to inland freshwater unless I reserve the saltwater package?
The best thing you can do to ensure a safe trip is to recognize that boating in Alaska is not the same as the lower 48. On the rivers and lakes, you should never be far from the shore or from help. If you venture into saltwater, you need to be aware and prepared. You need to study the weather, tides, winds and have a plan. This plan needs to include food, fuel, and water because there might not be anyone around to help. On a clear and calm day, the Cook Inlet is easier to navigate than the river. There are many areas of Prince William Sound around Whittier that are protected from the weather. But conditions can change. The salt water package includes the additional equipment you need when out away from help. In addition, we have to carry additional insurance on the boats that are allowed in saltwater. This is why we have to reserve this in advance.