bg image

FAQ – Banner


FAQ – Content

Can we meet the boat at different times?

Yes! Because this is your private tour, you can set the schedule however you’d like (within the confines of your purchased time slot). Our staff reaches out to all reservation guests each morning to coordinate your arrival time so you can communicate your arrival time to them.

Are dogs allowed on the boat?

Yes, any dog under 25lbs is allowed at an additional charge. Further, the renter agrees that ANY damage due to the dog is the responsibility of the renter to pay for. We are family owned & operated and we have large dogs of our own. They are not allowed on the boats either. As we do love animals and our dogs, we also know the possibility of damage from dogs so if you are going to bring them please keep them off the seats.

Do you allow tubing or towing/skiing from the pontoons?

Unfortunately, we do not allow tubing or towing from our luxury pontoon boats. These boats are setup for casual enjoyment on the water, not for active water sports such as skiing, tubing, etc. Also, towing/tubing greatly increases the chances of someone getting hurt on The Butler Chain and we want everyone to be as safe as possible while renting our pontoons.

Is drinking/food allowed on the boat?

Yes, you are welcome to bring a cooler and snacks on the boat. We do not allow any kind of grills on the pontoons. As for alcohol, on the Butler Chain of Lakes it is legal for people 21 years and older to drink on the boat.

What time in the morning can we pick up our boat?

You can meet your boat at the dock as early as 9am. Most groups arrive around 8am-9am to meet their boats. Our staff will reach out to each group in the morning of your reservation to see what time your group plans to arrive. We do this to try to time our guests arrival so all reservations do not show up at the same time, causing delays. Be safe and be early!

What if it rains?

It is Florida after all, where afternoon showers are so infamous that many locals swear they can set their watch by it. During the summer months, this is an almost daily occurrence around 3pm when the heat of the day has built up and collides with cool ocean air from the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Often the rain passes as quickly as it comes, but you should seek shelter and secure loose items as a precaution. These afternoon showers differ from a frontal weather system which carry stronger storms. Therefore, if you have been out on the lake more than half the day (5 hours or more) and then it starts raining, we will not reschedule another full day. More times than not, the afternoon showers will last 15-30 mins and then blow over and the sun comes back out.

In the case of a major weather frontal system on the morning of your arrival, we will reschedule your tour date around our availability. We DO NOT reschedule based on ‘forecasted weather’. EXAMPLE: if it is calling for 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms, you still need to come the day of your rental and then be cleared by us for a reschedule. Weather Forecasting is notoriously difficult in Central Florida, and more often than not the day turns out to be bright and sunny. Think of it like this, if the weather is calling for 60% chance of rain, that is also 40% chance of a bright and sunny beautiful day!

If it is a complete rain out day, we will reschedule your reservation or give you a 100% Gift Card value to use for a booking anytime on our website.

We DO NOT cancel, reschedule or refund a booking due to cloudy weather.

Do you charge a fuel fee?

No. Gas is included for FREE! You will not be responsible for “paying per mile” as you might in a Rental Car. Rest assured, wherever the day may take you, there will be no hidden fees added on at the end!

Is smoking allowed on the boats?

NO! Absolutely no smoking is ever permitted on any of our boats. These are new luxury cruisers and smoking can easily burn holes in the seats. Further, the fuel tanks on some types of boats are exposed (unlike the tanks in your car) which makes smoking on any boat extremely dangerous. We are ruthless with damage charges if we find burn marks in the seats from smoking. DO NOT SMOKE ON ANY BOAT!

Is fishing allowed on the pontoons?

YES! The Butler Chain of Lakes has been renowned for their excellent water quality and good fishing. We do not have a live well on the pontoon boats, so bring your own storage. Be careful of your tackle as a fishing hook stuck into the seat can create a tear in the seat very quickly and will be considered damage to the vessel. Fishing Permits may be obtained HERE.

What are the regulations for life jackets?

First off, anyone 6 years or younger MUST have a US Coast Guard Approved Lift Jacket on at ALL times (boat on or off, moving or stopped, anchored or not). For anyone over the age of 6, your Life Jacket and throw cushion should be readily accessible and you should know where the Life Jackets and throw cushion is located on the boat at all times. We recommend ANYONE, regardless of age or experience, to wear a Life Jacket at any time while swimming in water deeper than their height.

Do you rent any Jet Skis?

NO. We feel strongly against renting jet skis. Without proper experience, jet skis can be extremely dangerous. Jet ski accidents are 3 times more common than any other boating related accident.

Is there a place we can grill out not on the pontoon?

NO. Grills on Bird Island in Lake Butler are discouraged as it is a Wildlife Preserve, and the Orange County Sportsman’s Association on Lake Sheen is a Membership ONLY event space, not affiliated with our rental company. HOWEVER, there is a Food Pontoon (Waterside Eats) that grills out on the water ever weekend!

Are there restrooms on board the pontoon?

No. Our pontoons do not have restrooms on board. There are portable restrooms at all boat ramps, including the Keene Park boat ramp where we launch. You may use them before, after, or at any point during your reservation. All other marinas on the Butler Chain of Lakes are private, so plan accordingly. There will be a Point of Interest map on board that also marks these Restrooms.

Can we have more people on board than what the boat can hold?

NO! Each boat is Coast Guard rated for a certain amount of people AND a certain weight capacity. Neither can go over. For instance, our 10 passenger pontoons have a max weight capacity of 1410 lbs. If you reach 1410 lbs with only 8 of your guests, then the max capacity you can have is 8. If you have 10 people already on board and you are still not at 1410lbs, that does not mean you can have 11. The max is EITHER the max number of people or the max weight, whichever comes first. Please call us if you have concerns about this question as overloading the boat with weight can create a dangerous situation.

Do all the pontoons have a cover for shade?

YES. All of our pontoons have a Bimini Top as standard providing shade for the Driver and back seats. It may need to be reclined for bridge clearance during the rainy season. Our staff will show you how to operate the Bimini Top upon arrival.

Is the dock wheelchair accessible?

Yes, State Operated boat ramps are wheelchair accessible. There is a safety lip and bit of a gap between the dock and the pontoon deck. However, the pontoon deck sits level in the water with the dock. So its just a matter of getting the chair over the gap and onto the boat.

Do you take a security deposit when booking?

No. When you book online, the full price will be charged up front at the time of booking. We do not hold a deposit. However, we do hold the credit card information in case of damages to the boat.

What is the cancellation policy?

Once you book your rental date, you can cancel and get a full refund or request an alternate date anytime prior to 7 days before the rental date. Within 6-2 days prior to reservation you can cancel for a 75% refund. No-shows or canceling the day of will be charged the full rental rate. We can refund bookings to a gift card to use for a future booking if you so choose. Rescheduling to available day is FREE!

Are we responsible for cleaning the boat when we are done?

Yes. There is a broom and rags/cleaner on each boat. Please clean and prepare all trash to discard before return to the Boat Ramp. If you leave food, crumbs, etc on the boat the birds will destroy the boat over night. Also, if you leave the boat dirty, you will be charged a cleaning fee. Our dock assistants will be ready to receive and park a clean boat.

Can we visit Bird Island?

YES! A 10-acre plot of uninhabited land in the middle of Lake Butler was formerly known as Egret Island, designated as a bird sanctuary in 1958. It sits about 200 yards away from the shores of Downtown Windermere’s Fernwood Park, which has a boat ramp but limits parking to town residents only. However, it has become a bit of a party haven in recent years. Although trespassing is prohibited on the island, the shallow sandy bottom and warm waters around it invite anchored boats to raft off the shoreline. Any Butler Lake Tours customers who choose to attend must obey all posted signs and take all trash with them. It is heavily patrolled by law enforcement, but a safe rule of thumb is “ankles in the water”!

Footer – Instagram