Where to rent a boat on Lake George?

boat bow waterSean emails:

I've got some friends coming into town and we thought it would be a blast to head up to Lake George and rent a boat for the day. There seems to be a ton of places out there that rent so I was wondering if any of your readers have done this before and could perhaps recommend something to us. We'll have 7 adults and are not tied to any particular location on the lake.

If you have a place to suggest -- or even thoughts on what to look for -- we'll be awarding non-redeemable bonus points for suggestions that include a sentence or two about why that's a good place.

Got advice for Sean? Please share!

Earlier on AOA: Where to go paddleboarding?

Comments

I would highly recommend Chic's Marina on the west side of the lake, just south of the village of Bolton Landing. They have a large number of boats, especially pontoons, have a quick process to get you out on the lake, and are perfectly situated to get up to the narrows for a picnic, The Sagamore, or elsewhere. They also rent tubes for tubing. They are also next door to the Algonquin restaurant for a post-trip libation or snack.

They may not be the cheapest, but it's certainly one of the best experiences I've had renting a boat on the late. I will say this: if you're not familiar with boating on the lake, I would invest in a somewhat detailed chart of the lake (they may have them at Chic's). The map Chic's provides is not super detailed, and could get you in a little trouble if you're not careful.

Thanks AddiesDad - that's exactly what I was looking for! During my research leading up to asking the question, Chic's Marina was one of the names at the top of my list for the reasons you stated above. Thinking about taking our group over to Red Rock Bay (unless you have another spot you'd recommend).

Red Rock Bay is great. We found a little cove just south of there to anchor for lunch. You can also go to the ranger station on Glen Island and grab a permit for a picnic site.

Chic's is perfectly decent and has plenty of boats, which is good.

However, I have had much better experiences renting from FR Smith and Sons just up the road (also in Bolton). They are little more tucked away and far less busy. I have found this leads to better customer service and less of a zoo trying to get in and out among boat traffic. Boats and prices are comparable to Chic's.

You may want to call ahead on availability for a boat that is the right size / price for your group (pontoons are fun but slow!!)

Red Rocks Bay is a great option. I would also suggest ducking around the corner to Paradise Bay (just to the north), very cool spot.

If the lake is not too busy (choppy), just taking a cruise from Bolton Landing over to Log Bay and then up to Red Rocks / Paradise Bays is about as good as it gets.

On the way back, weave among the islands of the Narrows and trace the shore along Tongue Mountain Range back to Northwest Bay. This route will give you a real feel for the lake and its countless unique spots to explore.

Of course, when you find a spot you like, nothing wrong with killing the engine and taking a dip and just floating / tying up at a dock and soaking up the scenery.

The route I describe can easily be accomplished in 2-3 hours with plenty of time for stops to swim and lounge. If you have more time, even better.

I do this once a year. When the sun is out and the lake is calm, a better day can not be had. Enjoy.

Sam, that's wonderful advice. I think I'll pretty much use your exact recommended route and also follow-up on your rental location. Thanks!

I recently rented a boat from Captain Bob's in Bolton Landing, so not far. We have a pontoon boat for 10 people for about $450.

We just did this a week ago. We rented from Chics based on online reviews and a good experience a few years ago. They are well situated for the route discussed - which is pretty much what I do also. I love Paradise bay and we spent a few hours in there swimming, eating, and jumping off the rock. This trip was better than my last as I didn't damage the propeller and have to pay a lot for repairs, unlike my first trip a few years ago...
We had a large crew and would only fit on a pontoon boat. I was surprised to find that we could tow a tube as fast as you would want to go on a pontoon boat with 7 people aboard.

If you're headed further up Lake George, the best part of the lake IMO, check out Dockside Landing Marina. They have a nice selection of boats and you're up on the "quiet" part of Lake George.

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