General Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about boating with us. If there is anything that you don’t see here, feel free to contact us.

Absolutely! Wearing a life jacket when you use our equipment is one of those things we won’t budge on. But we’ll give you one that fits perfectly, and our team will help you however they can with putting it on, checking the zippers, and making sure your it’s safe and you’re snug as a bug!

Water, sunblock, hat, sunglasses,and clothes that you don’t mind getting wet, etc.

Yes! As long as there is no thunder, lightening, heavy winds, rains, or other weather risks we will be open.

Possibly, but you know what? It’s actually quite normal. The boats are very stable when you’re sitting in them, but when you stand up, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that capsizing is very likely!

But don’t worry. You will be wearing a life jacket, and if you really want to make sure capsizing is no problem, try our Kayaking Orientation or Stand-up Paddleboarding Orientation classes.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many great places to get out of the boat in the D.C. area, so we ask that you remain in your boat while you are out on the water.

Oh, and you can’t jump out or go swimming from any of the boats. It’s not because we don’t want you to have fun, but there are all sorts of other motorboats and underwater obstacles, and it’s just not safe.

Of course! You can’t leave your best friend behind! We even have doggie life jackets to make sure your pal is as safe as you are. Unfortunately, they are the only pet life jackets we have, so dogs only.

Nope. You do not have to reserve a boat. We have plenty on hand that even if they are all out, the wait is not long.

We want everyone to love boating as much as we do. We only ask that:

  • If you are age 15 and under, your parent or guardian signs the agreement form and you have an adult present on the water.
  • If you’re an adult with a group age 15 and under, each child must have an agreement form signed by their parent/guardian and have a supervising adult on the water with the group all the time.
  • If you’re age 16 or 17, you have to have an agreement form signed by your parent/guardian, but then you can go onto the water on your own.

When can I take out a kayak or SUP in the spring?
We try and open as soon as the weather gets warm. However, we wait until the water temperature gets above 60 degrees. This usually happens sometime in the middle of April in Washington, DC.

You should wear any clothing that will protect you from the sun. Hat, sunglasses, clothing you don’t mind getting wet, and close-toed shoes. If it’s cool outside, or rain is in the forecast, remember that it’s often cooler on the water than it is on land!

Also bring a snack, water, and a plastic bag to pick up trash or put your wet clothes in. Ziplock bags are useful to seal up anything you really want to keep dry. At Key Bridge Boathouse, we have lockers available for those who need them. We are working on setting up storage at Ballpark and National Harbor soon.

Whereas we highly recommend that you return your boat or paddleboard to the location where you rented for your own convenience, we do allow you to return it to another Boating In DC boathouse (limited to kayaks, canoes, and SUPs from Fletcher’s, Thompsons, and Key Bridge Boathouse).  One-way rentals are subject to the daily rental rate for each boat and a recovery fee.