Kona Boat Rentals offers a unique opportunity for those who want to be their own captain and get away from the crowds. They’ve provided fully equipped, Coast Guard-inspected, center console runabouts for the last 19 years in Kona.

“With Kona’s leeward calm waters and visibility second to no other spot in Hawai‘i, Kona is the perfect place for boating,” says owner Eric G. McCormick.

No license is required, but some experience is needed. “We’re licensed by the state to provide the training and skills necessary for a safe adventure,” says McCormick. “Our staff provides an orientation to familiarize each guest with the local rules and regulations. We have a full set of charts (maps) of the coastline, as well as color chart plotters that help map their course.

“Our mission is to find out a client’s interest whether it’s snorkeling, fishing, swimming (with dolphins), whale watching (in season) or just cruising the coast,” he says, “and helping them develop a plan that helps them manage their time and get the most of the day. We’re also committed to adhering to federal and state guidelines in regard to mammal and animal conservation. It’s part of our philosophy and orientation to ensure our beauty and wildlife are respected and maintained.”

McCormick adds that safety is the number one concern and goal with Kona Boat Rentals. When weather or ocean conditions are deemed uncomfortable or unsafe for the average boater, they err on the side of safety, and cancel, reschedule or refund as necessary. As island residents for 39 years, they’re very familiar with the island climate.

“We often hear ‘This is the best thing we did on our vacation,’” says McCormick. “The reasons are obvious. A lot of people, especially those who have their own boats on the Mainland, want to be on their own where they have the freedom and autonomy to go where they want to go and do what they want to do on their own schedule. From a value aspect, many people find that it’s less expensive for the family than a snorkeling cruise. Plus they can do it all for one price—fish, snorkel, sightsee and cruise.”

Depart from Honokohau Harbor.

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