Bass Lake Marina Policies,

FAQ’S, Lake Rules and Procedures

Education is the key to boating and boating safety.  PLEASE scroll down AND review lake rules as it will really help make your day fun and safe.  Remember, ALL activities are always at your own risk.  Please read our liability contract before signing.

The following should help clarify our policies for your great day at the lake​​

CANCELLATION POLICY:  Plain and simple…24 HOURS BEFORE START TIME, you may cancel without the cost of your rental.  After that, you are responsible for the entire rental amount.  Cancellations are done exclusively via phone, and you will then receive a confirmation email from our reservation system.  Please DO NOT EMAIL a CANCELLATION, as our email is not integrated into the reservation cloud system (private company and their charges are separate from ours).  IT MUST BE CANCELLED BY PHONE, and a cancellation email will be administered while you are on the phone during business hours.  Simply call and cancel 24 hours before your start time and we will not charge the rental fee.  Our cancellation email, sent to you and ourselves each time, will be your confirmation that you will not be charged.  DO NOT LEAVE A VOICEMAIL, CALL DURING BUSINESS HOURS.

 

DEPOSITS and FEES explained:  All rentals require an insurance damages waiver or a Security Deposit, similar to a hotel.  Damages waiver for $39 (hull only) is automatically applied to each rental, and has the following restrictions:  $250 deductible, up to $5,000 of hull/engine damage coverage.  The renter will pay for any and all damages over $5,000, and forfeit $250 if the damage reaches that amount.  You must indicate a deposit or insurance choice BEFORE departing the dock.  Deposits on a credit card(s) are released from our system upon return with no damages (there are standard banking delays).  Follow the law, use common sense, ask questions or ask for help if you need it, and you will minimize your exposure to risk and/or damage(s).  Allow us to clarify our policy: ALL rentals hold a deposit of $1000 in addition to your rental amount unless you purchase the damage waiver (product insurance policy, must be stated or assumed BEFORE the rental begins).  When you return without damage, we release it.  Due to banking delays and regulations beyond our control, credit card release usually takes 7-10 business days to return to your account.  Please make appropriate accommodations for this delay, as our hands are tied.  You are not charged any interest or fee, just an inconvenience that is beyond our control.  Once payment is made, we cannot transfer payee.  Please understand we sell out, so Holiday prices are elevated.  We are not responsible for software failures or errors and have the right to correct or adjust pricing according to our advertised price on our web site or brochure, whichever is greater. 

All rental fees are charged up front at the time of rental in addition to any deposits.  Time starts as follows:  Half day is 8-1 or 2-7, all day is 8:30-6:30.  Two days is 8:30 in the morning to 6:30 pm the following day.  Three days is 8:30 in the morning to 6:30 pm two days later, and so on.  Rental time starts when you reserve the boat, regardless of arrival time.  Please note, weather and outside influences (fire, smoke, etc) are not reasons for cancellation or refund unless our direct area is mandatorily evacuated.  If you made your reservation online, a small reservation fee is added by an outside software company.  We cannot refund this fee for any reason.  A resort fee of 6% is added to all rentals to cover resort related costs.

 

IS FUEL INCLUDED?  Just as a rental car contract, fuel is NOT included (in any of our rentals).  The craft leaves full, and upon return, we fill it up and you pay the difference of the fuel used during your rental time.  We are a Chevron service station, so you can refill your craft here with our competitive fuel prices, and your time will not be impeded.

 

ARE PETS ALLOWED?:  Pets are always welcomed, as long as they say hello before boarding!  There are no additional charges to bring a pet.  On canoe’s and fishing boats, 1 pet per boat, please, and they count as a person toward boat capacity.  For safety reasons, we cannot allow pets on jet ski’s, kayaks and paddle boards.

 

IS ALCOHOL / MARIJUANA ALLOWED ON THE BOAT?:  We advise ALL guests to not consume any alcohol or marijuana while boating.  Alcohol is allowed on the boat, as long as the driver has not been drinking/consuming marijuana in the last 8 hours and does not have alcohol/marijuana within his/her reach.  Plain and simple, the driver cannot be under the influence or consume ANY alcohol/marijuana, but legal-age guests are permitted.  We do not allow kegs on our boats, and try to refrain from glass, as it creates many problems on the dock should it break.    We ask for an identified, designated driver with each rental if alcohol or marijuana is involved or consumed by passengers.  If any driver is seen drinking an alcoholic beverage or consuming marijuana during operation of our craft, we will terminate the rental immediately, and all costs, including deposit, will be forfeited.  Choose a responsible, non-consuming designated driver, or your day is over WITHOUT refund.  We do not mess around with this.

 

HOW DO I DRIVE A BOAT:  We give operational procedures and lake rules twice to ensure you know how to operate a boat.  Instruction behind the wheel is free, so please ask and our dock staff will be happy to cruise with you for a few minutes until you get the hang of it.  First-time jet-skiers and management-determined novices go out with us for a quick overview and demonstrate to us they can operate in a safe manner, then we allow the rental to continue.  Or you can hire a driver and sit back and relax.

 

CAN WE PULL A TUBE:  Yes, most boats can pull a tube.  Please read each boat for details on tubing.  You do need a minimum of three people…a flagger 12 years old or older, a driver and obviously a ‘tuber’.

 

BOAT PERSON CAPACITY AND USE:  Boat capacity, as stated on our website and brochure, must be strictly adhered to.  These are U.S. Coast Guard standards and cannot be deviated.  All persons and pets count toward capacity, regardless of size.  Even with proper capacity, we reserve the right to terminate a rental if we feel the boat is overloaded and unsafe.  Please distribute the weight of supplies and passengers so the boat appears slightly stern-heavy (rear) during idle operation.  This will allow the boat at speed to plane properly (ride level and safe).  All passengers must ride within the gates or freeboard of all boats when the boat is in motion.  Please do not allow passengers front (fore) of the rail area on a pontoon boat, or outside of the freeboard on any other boat.  Additionally, slide boat mandates no passengers are on the top floor anytime the boat is in motion or the engine is running.  Please use the boat as described on our website and in our brochure.  Do not deviate from stated use, or deposit and/or costs may be accrued.

 

Is LAW ENFORCEMENT on the Lake?:  Bass Lake is fortunate in that we have Sheriff Deputies patrolling during boating hours (8am to 8pm).  These Deputies keep order and safety a top priority on their to-do list for the day.  I have the utmost respect for these women and men, as They have made Bass Lake a family-friendly lake.  Look for them and wave hello…they are nice people too!  Maybe a Facebook or Instagram picture for your friends back home?

 

WHAT ABOUT A LAKE PERMIT:  Bass Lake requires a COUNTY permit obtained from us (Bass Lake Boat Rentals).  Rentals from us do not require a permit (we have paid it for you).  Upon arrival with your craft, check with us in the store for your Lake Permit ($32-63 for the calendar year, depending on horsepower, and we charge a processing fee of $3).   Have a visible throw cushion, fire extinguisher, operating horn or whistle, and a vest for each passenger ready to display in order to obtain your lake permit.  We sell those items here should you need them.  See www.madera-county.com for more info.

BOAT LAUNCH:  We have a private ramp (launch) open to the public for $10 each use, in or out.  We will gladly help 'splash' you upon request.  We reserve the right to kick anyone out for yelling at their wife.

 

ARE THERE ANY FISH IN THE LAKE?  Ummm, Yes, there are fish in the lake and nothing that can bite you.  Primarily Bass and Trout, with a decent amount of Salmon, Crappie, Bluegill, and Catfish.  Bass fishing is VERY good March, April, and May; and ok to good the rest of the year depending on weather patterns.  Trout fishing is good November through April and a gamble on other months.  See our fishing page for more info.

 

HOURS:  We are open 8-8, 8 days a week during the season (April-September).  Boats are available for rent from 8-7 (Full day rentals must be returned by 6:30 pm, half day afternoon must be returned by 7 pm.  This is to avoid traffic at the dock and is for your safety)  We are open 7 days a week in the off-season, but call for hours (559-642-3200).

 

RESERVATIONS:  Reservations are available online by you from this site or via phone (559-642-3200) by one of our staff. Call and we will be happy to help.  Inventory is not hidden, so sold out online is sold out in the store.  Reservations are not taken Nov-Feb due to possible changes in weather.  Walk in and see what is available the morning of the desired day in the winter months.

 

SLIPS:  Boat slips/Berths are available from 1-7 consecutive nights for $25-$75 per night, depending on season or holidays.  Check in is 12:00 and check out is 10:00 the following day.  They are booked exclusively online by you the guest, so there are no misunderstandings.  Free trailer parking at our lot up the street is included. You must use a minimum of 2 bungees tied to the stern pulling the boat out of the slip, and two ropes in front keeping the boat secure and not allowing it to advance or retract.  This allows the boat to move without breaking the ropes, kind of a bend-before-break theory.  Order the bungees  through Amazon (Airhead AHDL-4,  $7.84 each-you need 2) or buy them here for a much higher price.  Bass Lake is rough, so beware your boat is in the slip at your own risk.  Be smart, wear shoes on the dock too!  We have 72 rental boats in our slips, and occasionally they hit the side of the dock, but always because we fail to tie them up properly.  Use 3 bumpers, properly tied on each side as well.  There are no refunds once you are in the slip for unused days.  Access at night is given through management permission only.  Marina Hours are 8-8, mirroring the lake hours.  Locked gated access is available upon request.  We can help you launch and tie-up upon request.  Launch fee is not included. 

GENERAL GUIDELINES AND OVERVIEW OF LAKE RULES (please see the Bass Lake Sheriff Department for a complete list, or call 559-642-3606) (www.madera-county.com)  We also have a copy of California Boating laws and Madera County /Bass Lake rules for your reading (at our marina).  You are required to know these laws and rules, and ask questions if you need clarity.  Use the below suggestions and excerpts as a means of further education, NOT as the sole source.  Consult Bass Lake Sheriff Department at 559-642-3201 for complete rules and laws, and California Department of Boating and Waterways rules, laws and procedures.  Or go online to www.dbw.ca.gov

Bass Lake is a directional lake, meaning you travel in a counter-clockwise direction or rotation.  This means you keep to the right of an (imaginary) centerline, similar to the rules of our roads.  Divide the lake down the middle (lengthwise), and keep right of the center and of all oncoming traffic.  Cross the lake, provided it is clear of all boats, at right angles or perpendicular to the centerline.  Do not go in any swimming area, marked by white swim area markers.  Stay 100 feet away from all other craft and persons, and from the shoreline as well.  Speed inside the orange markers is 40mph, outside or land-side of the markers is 5 mph.  30 Minutes before sunset and until 8 a.m., idle speed only (less than 5 m.p.h.).  Please continue to read and educate by going to www.dbw.ca.gov.  Ask questions if you are unclear about a rule or law.

PATIO BOAT RULES

Bass Lake is approximately 4 miles (6 kilometers) long. There are 3 miles (4 kilometers) east of our location and 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) west. Orange buoys (marker) circle the entire lake. On the shore side of the orange buoys, the speed limit is five miles per hour. This is usually idle speed.  In the center of the lake, you may go as fast as you want in a counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise) direction. Divide the lake down the center, and stay to the right, as you would with our roads.  You must stay at least 100 feet (31 meters) away from all shorelines and boats at all times while you are driving. If you come near a shore (beach) area, please stay in at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water (this is about chest high). You will have to anchor the craft and swim to and from the shore. There is no beaching of our boats. This can result in damages to the boat (and you may forfeit your deposit). If you see a boat on the lake holding up an orange flag it means they have something in the water, such as a person or a rope.  Make sure to give them 100 feet (31 meters) clearance at all times. We have a set of green buoys just outside of our marina. Please wait by these buoys for a dock employee to signal to you to approach, and do so slowly. The dock employees will then help you load, unload, or park your boat. They will replace the fuel you used in your craft at the end of your rental (you are responsible for the fuel you use).

*Towable (Tubes, etc)

If you have a tube/wakeboard/towable with your rental, there are additional rules. If you have a rope, a person, or towable in the water, you need to display the orange flag (provided) by holding it above your head, by a non-driver at least 12 years old. This orange flag lets all other vessels on the lake know you have something in the water, and caution should be exercised.  Once your person being towed is finished or falls, reduce power, turn right, and slowly approach with the person in the to the right.  Again, turn to the driver’s side, slow down, and retrieve the person to your right. The driver must see the person in the water at all times.  When someone is getting in or out of the vessel it needs to be turned off.  Be certain the passenger in the water and the rope is clear and in plain sight before re-starting the vessel.

SKI/WAKEBOARD BOAT RULES

Bass Lake is approximately 4 miles (6 kilometers) long. There are 3 miles (4 kilometers) east of our location and 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) west. Orange buoys (marker) circle the entire lake. On the shore side of the orange buoys, the speed limit is five miles per hour. This is usually idle speed.  In the center of the lake, you may go as fast as you want in a counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise) direction. Divide the lake down the center, and stay to the right, as you would with our roads.  You must stay at least 100 feet (31 meters) away from all shorelines and all boats at all times while you are driving. If you come near a shore (beach) area, please stay in at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water (this is about chest high). There is no beaching of our boats at all so you cannot pull it up onto the shore. This can result in damages to the boat (and you may forfeit your deposit). If you see a boat on the lake holding up an orange flag it means they have something in the water, such as a person or a rope.  Make sure to give them 100 feet (31 meters) clearance at all times. We have a set of green buoys just outside of our marina. Please wait by these buoys for a dock employee to signal to you to come into the gas dock, and approach slowly. The dock employees will then help you load, unload, or park your boat for you. They will replace the fuel you used in your craft at the end of your rental (you are responsible for the fuel you use).

*Towable (Tubes, Wake Boards, Surf Boards, etc)

If you have a tube/wakeboard/towable with your rental, there are additional rules. If you have a rope, a person, or towable in the water, you need to display the orange flag (provided) by holding it above your head, by a non-driver at least 12 years old. This orange flag lets all other vessels on the lake know you have something in the water, and caution should be exercised.  Once your person being towed is finished or falls, reduce power, turn right, and slowly approach with the downed person to the right.  Again, turn to the driver’s side, slow down, and retrieve the person to your right. The driver must see the person in the water at all times.  When someone is getting in or out of the vessel it needs to be turned off.  Be certain the passenger in the water and the rope is clear and in plain sight before re-starting the vessel.

JET SKI (Personal Water Craft) RULES

Bass Lake is approximately 4 miles (6 kilometers) long. There are 3 miles (4 kilometers) east of our location and 1 mile (1.5 kilometers) west. Orange buoys (markers) circle the entire lake. On the shore side of the orange buoys, the speed limit is five miles per hour. This is usually idle speed.  In the center of the lake, you may go as fast as you want in a counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise) direction. Divide the lake down the center, and stay to the right, as you would with our roads. There are two areas designated for jet skis. These areas are surrounded by white cylindrical and do not jump the back of boat wakes in the main body of the lake.  You must stay at least 100 feet (31 meters) away from all shorelines and all boats at all times while you are driving. There is no beaching of our vessels.  If you come near a shore (beach) area, please stay in at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water (this is about chest high). The jet ski draws in water to propel itself forward.  Bringing the vessel too close to the beach can cause foreign objects to become lodged in the jet ski. This can result in the loss of your deposit. If you have multiple rentals in your party you must stay 100 feet (31 meters) away from each other as well. Do not bring the vessels next to each other; doing so can result in damages to the jet skis and serious injuries, as well as it is against the law and could result in a fine. If you are going to be exchanging riders between vessels, you will need to swim to and from each craft (at a distance of at least 10 meters). We recommend that your party switches riders at our gas dock, where our employees can assist you. If you see a boat on the lake holding up an orange flag it means they have something in the water, such as a person or a rope.  Make sure to give them 100 feet (31 meters) clearance at all times. We have a set of green buoys (markers) just outside of our marina. Please wait by these buoys for a dock employee to signal to you to come into the gas dock, and approach slowly. The dock employees will then help you load, unload, or park your jet ski for you. They will replace the fuel you used in your craft at the end of your rental (you are responsible for the fuel that you use).markers that say (read) “jet ski area”.  Any tricks, turns, and spins may be performed in these areas provided it is clear of all other vessels.  Remember that the remainder of the lake follows a straight and counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise) direction. Do not perform spinning moves outside any jet ski area.  No towing of any kind behind jet skis.

Speed Limit

Bass Lake has a 40 mph speed limit when the Sheriff’s Department displays a red flag at certain locations around the lake. This means they feel the lake is too congested for speeds above 40 mph. Our policy is 40 mph at all times. We want you to be safe.

Reservations

Reservations are made via our Web Site, over the phone or in person with a major credit card. You have one day (24 hours) prior to your first day of rental to cancel without cost. After that time, you will be billed the full amount of your consecutive rental. I recommend you put the reservation on your smartphone with a reminder on your calendar 2 days prior to your rental that you need to ‘commit or cancel’ by this date. WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE RESERVATIONS as we sell out on a daily basis.  We do not sell or give away any personal information you give us, and our website is secure (https). Online reservations are offered a greater discount as it saves us time and money.

Age Restrictions

California law is unique. You must be at least 18 to rent (18 to legally enter a rental contract, but 16 to drive).  We require a valid acceptable driver’s license as proof of age (or a passport).  This needs to be presented to us in person for our company to allow you to drive any of our boats and is photocopied and kept with our paperwork to comply with our insurance company requirements. 

Pricing/Deposits:  Pricing is on our website, however, holiday/Holiday Weekend prices and hours vary according to the holiday weekend.  Please call if you need additional information.

Deposits are required on all rentals if you do not want the damages insurance.  This must be stated before your rental begins, and signed to that desire. Deposits are authorized on a credit card, which does not show on your statement (at all) if there are no problems. It takes 10 business banking days for a non-damaged rental deposit to return to the cardholder.  We go over the boat with you on the way out and on the way in. You have an opportunity on your way out to list any problems or doubts, and we ENCOURAGE you to use your cell phone for pictures so you feel confident in our system. We have a good system and want you to feel comfortable during your rental (we use a camera so it is quick, accurate and easy). In the event you do incur damage or damages, your deposit will be used to cover the cost (more will be charged if necessary). If you follow our rules, the chance of damage is slim.  Again, you are encouraged to use your cell phone and take pictures of your rental if you are concerned about your deposit or damage.  We want you to be happy and confident in our policy and system.

 Contract

We require all participants (renters, drivers, passengers, etc.) to read and sign or have their parent/guardian sign a contract explaining the risks and dangers you may incur. We recommend you actually read our contract for a statement of risks and liabilities. You will be releasing us from all liability. Use common sense, ask questions, ride to your ability, follow the laws, and you will minimize risk.  Once you sign the contract, you will receive a water-proof wristband which tells all staff you are eligible to board any boat, and it also tells us who can drive and who is underage.  Personally, I do not like the wristbands, but our insurance company insists and we (must) oblige.