Boat Rental Indianapolis | Plan Your Perfect Pontoon Day

Boat Rental Indianapolis | Plan Your Perfect Pontoon Day

There’s just something about being on a boat… Gathering with your family and friends on a hot day with the wind in your hair as you cruise on the water just sounds like the perfect summer day. Even though we are short on big bodies of water here in Central Indiana, there are plenty of Boat Rental Indianapolis opportunities at local reservoirs where you can rent a pontoon for a day of fun in the sun and in the water.

Last summer, we rented beautiful pontoon boats on Morse Reservoir and Geist Reservoir. Both marinas did a great job setting us up for a full day of fun. We’ve also rented a pontoon on Eagle Creek Reservoir in the past and had a great experience. We took our kids on these boat rides, but renting a pontoon boat could also be a unique date night idea.

a large silver Pontoon is docked on a body of water with houses and trees in the background behind the lake

Boat Rental Indianapolis | Plan Your Perfect Pontoon Day

Renting a pontoon boat is a full day of fun. You cruise along on the open water, gawk at the mansions, enjoy the scenery and wildlife, then drop anchor and go for a swim. When you’re hungry, bust out your picnic or dock at the marina and head in for a seated lunch or ice cream. Once everybody’s used the bathroom again, get back on the boat and drop anchor in a different spot or try tubing. The day goes by fast but a lot of fun is had by all.

No boating license or experience is needed to rent a pontoon boat; the staff at the Boat Rental Indianapolis marinas can teach you the basics of operating a pontoon boat. Pontoons can fit up to 12 people comfortably. Pontoon rentals generally include a Bimini (shaded top), life vests for kids and adults, and a ladder for getting into and out of the water for a swim. You’ll want to bring your own towels, tubes, and coolers full of drinks and snacks. Bring your own fishing gear if you have a state fishing license. There’s great fishing at all of the bodies of water. With a boat, you can try in places you couldn’t otherwise reach!

three boys in life jackets look off the back of the boat to an orange inner tube with two kids in it being pulled by the Pontoon on a lake

Geist Reservoir

Geist Marina rents pontoon boats with Bimini tops, which are great for those bright and sunny summer days. Some of the boats even offer Bluetooth stereos for playing your favorite playlist. Our rental period was from 10:30 am until 6:30 pm and we crammed a lot of fun into those hours.

a little girl holds a fishing pole with a little fish hooked on the end. an adult arm is in the picture helping to hold up the fishing pole. they appear to be on a boat on a lake.Boat rentals begin at 9:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 2:15 p.m. You must be 25 years old or older to rent a boat from Geist Marina. Rentals for boats start at $275. Youth and Adult vests are provided, but guests will need to bring their own life vests for anyone under 50 pounds. The marina also has life vests for sale, if needed.

The boats are equipped with depth finders that we used while fishing with the kids. In order to go fishing in Indiana, you need a fishing license. The boats have ladders on the back so you can easily get in and out of the water.

Wolfies Grill in Geist is a popular waterfront family restaurant and they have dockside parking for dining in or carry out. On Friday and Saturday nights, they have live music. Dockside delivery is also available from Crave Ice Cream Social, Eddy’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill, and Puccini’s Pizza and Pasta.

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Morse Reservoir

Our family also rented a pontoon boat on Morse Reservoir. It can be quicker to get to depending on where you are coming from and the marina is overall less busy the Geist. Most families take the boats out to cruise and enjoy the beauty of the reservoir or go swimming. It should be noted that at Morse Reservoir Marina, pontoons only fit 10 people and there are no shades (Biminis) on the boats due to the low clearance at the Carrigan Road bridge. Plan accordingly with hats and extra sunscreen on very hot days.

Wolfies Waterfront Grill at the marina is a waterfront family restaurant that offers delicious food to go or you can dock at the restaurant and dine in. The Boathouse Kitchen & Swan Dive is another fun restaurant at the north end of the reservoir with docks. Stop in for a drink or lunch. Another fun stop would be to Morse Park and Beach. Play in the sand and let the kids run around on the playground to dry off!

Both Geist Reservoir and Morse Reservoir are popular places near Indy to watch the 4th of July Fireworks.

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a gas filling station surrounded by docks and boats sits on the water on a sunny summer day

Eagle Creek Reservoir

Eagle Creek Park has a boat launch for boat owners as well as a variety of boat rental options. An hourly fee can get you a paddle boat, canoe, kayak, or pontoon boat. With 1,400 acres of water, there is plenty of space to roam. Unlike at Geist and Morse Reservoirs, you will experience beautiful scenes of nature all around as there aren’t mansions lining every inch of shoreline. Enjoy a picturesque scene as you cruise Eagle Creek Reservoir.

Pontoon boat rentals at Eagle Creek Outfitters are offered for 2, 4, or 6 hours which is nice if you just want a couple hours on the water. It is $175 for 2 hours, $350 for 4 hours, and $525 for 6 hours. Weekend rentals are on a first come first served basis, but weekday reservations are available. The capacity of the pontoon boats at Eagle Creek Outfitters is 7 people (dogs are allowed by count as one person). The boats offer bimini tops and gasoline is also included in the price.

Rick’s Cafe Boatyard, right on Eagle Creek Reservoir, offers docks you can pull up to in your pontoon. Enjoy waterfront dining at this upscale seafood restaurant on your pontoon day or come back another day just for the views. If you’re not dressed for the occasion, head to Eagle Creek Beach instead to play in the sand.

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a white dog stands up on the seat of a Pontoon looking over the edge over the water. there are blue towels on the seats of the Pontoon.

Boat Rental Indianapolis Basics

You do not need boating experience to rent a pontoon. One driver must sign a waiver, watch an online video, and pass a quiz on water safety after watching the video. The rental costs range from $275 – $550 + fuel, depending on the day of the week you go and if it’s a holiday. Weekend dates book up quickly, so look into making reservations as soon as possible. Gasoline is included in the price of the pontoon boat rental at Eagle Creek, but expect to fuel up at the end of your trip at Geist and Morse. During our trips, we used about $15 in fuel.

While all pontoon boat rentals Indianapolis used to allow dogs, only Eagle Creek Reservoir allows dogs on boats now and they are counted towards the head count. Babies, no matter how small, also count as one person.

several adults and children play in a lake. two children and a dog are in an inflatable boat. a baby floats in the water in a baby float with adults swimming next to him.

Things to Bring for Your Boat Rental

You’ll want to bring your own towels, tubes, and coolers full of drinks and snacks. There are air pumps to fill your tubes at the marinas. Sun hats and umbrellas are good to shield yourself from the hot sun, especially at Morse Reservoir as the pontoon boats there do not offer bimini tops. Just be careful to hold on tight to your hats as they will fly off of your head when the boats are going full speed! Life jackets for youth and adults are available but you’ll want to bring your own for those under 50 lbs. Many pontoons offer Bluetooth connectivity, but we always bring our own speaker for music just in case.

a red pontoon with several people in it cruises along on a lake with trees and homes in the background

If you’re up for a bit of a drive, beautiful Lake Monroe in Bloomington, Indiana offers camping, fishing, trails, horseback riding, boat rentals, and launch areas. Heading north? Visit Lake Shafer and the connecting Lake Freeman in the Monticello area. Go fishing, take a Saturday evening cruise on the historic Madam Carrol which claims to be the biggest boat in Indiana, or take a canoe trip down the Tippecanoe River.

Do you have teeny little ones and just want to try a half hour or so on the water? Try the swan boats on the canal downtown! You can rent them by the hour and pedal for as much or as little time as you want to. Stop by the Colts Canal Playspace before, after, or even during your boat ride! If you’re ready for something more, try canoeing or kayaking on the White River!

What are your favorite summer activities? Share your Boat Rental Indianapolis photos with us below or tag us on social media using #PLAYindy. Follow Indy with Kids on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest for all of the best ideas and things to do with kids in Indy!

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