Muskoka Boat Rentals: How to Rent a Boat in Muskoka

Muskoka Boat Rentals: How to Rent a Boat in Muskoka

If you are interested in enjoying the beautiful Muskokan waters, there is a wide range of boat rental options available, each catering to a different activity on the lake. The types of boats available include fishing boats, speed boats and jet skis for adventure sports like water skiing and wakeboarding, canoes, kayak, and stand up paddleboards for a calmer, human-powered experience, and luxury and pontoon boats for a leisurely day, and maybe a picnic on the water. Before your trip to a Muskokan lake, there are a few things to know about renting a boat. This article will guide you through the process of renting a boat in Muskoka, ensuring a memorable and seamless experience.

What Kind of Boat Rental Do You Want?

There are a number of options for types of boats you can rent in Muskoka – it just depends on the type of day you want. Below, we’ve broken out the main types of boats for you to enjoy the water: boats for adrenaline sports, boats for fishing, boats for camping and exploring, and boats for relaxing.


Fishing Boats come in different styles depending on the type of fishing, and have essential features like rod holders, livewells, and fish finders. Lake fishing boats are generally mid powered boats, designed for a balance of power and comfort, perfect for finding your spot, and then comfortably staying there or trolling back and forth while casting your lines. These boats will serve you well for the world class fishing available on the Muskokan lakes that feature a wide variety of different types of fish, such as smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, lake trout, northern pike, cisco, lake herring, and yellow perch, to name a few.

Northern Lake Marina and Lake of Bays Marina offer fishing boats for rent.

Adrenaline Sports

  • Wakeboard and ski boats are designed to create a wake that is perfect for water sports like wakeboarding, waterskiing, or tubing, and come with features like tow towers, ballast systems for adjusting wake size, and powerful engines for pulling power.
  • Runabouts are versatile, nimble, and can be used for water sports like water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing, as well as cruising. They come in various sizes and designs, offering comfortable seating and a range of amenities.
  • Jet skis are an exciting and exhilarating experience on the water, with a motorcycle-like set up and powerful engines suitable for towing water sports, or simply enjoying a thrilling ride on the waves.

These types of boat rentals are all available to rent at Northern Lake Marina, Lake of Bays Marina, and Muskoka Boat Gallery. (Muskoka Wake offers wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakesurfing, and flyboarding lessons, but no boat rentals.)

Human Powered Vessels

  • Canoes and kayaks are human-powered vessels, powered by paddles, great for camping, and seeing wildlife, as they won’t scare the animals away. They allow a more intimate and quiet experience with nature, and the chance to explore narrow channels and reach secluded areas. Canoes are stable and spacious, while kayaks offer more agility and maneuverability. Both options are great for wildlife viewing and peaceful paddling experiences.

Algonquin Outfitters provide canoes and kayak rentals, as well as any camping gear you may need.

Relaxing Boat Rentals

  • Pontoon boats are the best for kicking back and relaxing, great for family outings and calm, leisurely cruises. They are very stable, have ample seating and a large open deck area, with a flat deck mounted on cylindrical pontoons. They often come with a canopy, lounge chairs, and a small kitchenette. Think of a floating porch, and that’s a pontoon boat.

Northern Lake Marina and Lake of Bays Marina offer pontoon boats for rent.

Where to Rent a Boat?

Northern Lake Marine has a variety of types of boat for rent across Muskoka, including fishing boats, pontoon boats, boats for watersports like waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing, and sea doos as well. They are open 7 days a week from 9AM to 9PM. However, they only rent boats for a minimum of two days. Their prices for 2 day rentals start at $549 for sea doos and $749 for boats.

Lake of bays Marina is located in Dwight, Ontario, on Lake of Bays. They rent bowrider speed boats, fishing boats, pontoon boats, wake/surf/ski boats, and sea doos, as well as run watersports clinics for learning or improving your waterskiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, kneeboarding, and flyboarding skills.

Algonquin outfitters are camping outfitters with multiple locations throughout Muskoka and Algonquin, including Bracebridge, Brent, Canoe Lake, Haliburton, Huntsville, Lake of Two Rivers, Minden, Opeongo, Oxtongue Lake, and Port Carling. They offer canoe, kayak, paddleboard, water toys, bike, ski, snowshoe, and equipment rentals and deliveries, as well as guided trips in the region.

Reserve Your Muskoka Boat Rental Early

The summer season is a busy time in Muskoka, and boat rentals are highly sought after. Don’t expect to be able to get a boat the day of, but rather make sure to reserve with as much notice as possible. Contact the boat rental company directly or use their online reservation system to book your boat.

What Lake Should I Pick?

There are many beautiful lakes to enjoy in Muskoka and Parry Sound. If you need help deciding which lake(s) to explore and enjoy, we have elaborated on the different bodies of water in the area in our Muskoka and Parry Sound Regional Guides.

Arrive Prepared

Make sure you have everything you need to rent the boat, and to enjoy your time on the water. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • documentation, like valid driver’s license or required boating certifications (for Canadians, that’s the Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card.)
  • payment for the security deposit
  • sunscreen
  • life jackets (if not provided)
  • towels
  • snacks
  • Water

Boats can be dangerous and expensive, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the company’s rental policies and safety regulations. Ensure you have the appropriate training and experience to operate the boat, and that you understand the rules for safety equipment, fuel usage, and navigation restrictions. If you don’t know or understand something, ask. It might prevent someone from getting hurt or something getting damaged.

For more information about the legalities of boating in Ontario, and to get your license, see the Boating Ontario website.

Be Safe

Before taking out your boat, review the Ontario Safety Equipment Manual. Furthermore, the rental company should explain the boat’s features, and provide a safety briefing about the emergency procedures and safety equipment location. Make sure you ask any questions to ensure a thorough understanding of the boat’s operation and safety measures.

Enjoy Your Boating Experience

Now that you have your boat, know how to use it safely, and have all your food, water, sunscreen, and toys, it’s time to embark on your boating adventure in Muskoka! Whether you’ll be cruising along the crystal-clear lakes, exploring hidden bays, waterskiing, wakeboarding, or fishing for a delicious dinner and then some, you’ll be surrounded by the breathtaking nature of the region, and will have lasting memories with friends and family of these beautiful waters.