Rental Policies

Note that failure to comply with the Rental Policies may result in the revocation of your membership with DC Sail.

Boat Rental Skipper Agreement

Effective 2021, please click here to review our Boat Rental Skipper Agreement prior to attempting a Boat Rental. 

Rental Requirements

In order to rent a boat from DC Sail a skipper must be (a) a member of DC Sail and (b) certified on that particular type of boat.  All boats must be crewed by a minimum of two persons.  Single handed sailing is not permitted.

In order to be certified on a Flying Scot at DC Sail, a skipper must have: 

  1. satisfactorily passed the Learn To Sail Course during the current season 
  2. OR satisfactorily passed the Learn To Sail course during a previous season 
  3. OR if you have experience sailing outside of DC Sail, a skipper must successfully perform a checkout sail during your first rental

The checkout sail consists of proper rigging and de-rigging of our Flying Scots, proper departure from and landing to the dock, two tacks and two jibes, and a Crew In the Water Rescue (formerly known as Man Overboard Recovery).

To be certified on the FJs:

  1. A skipper must have passed the Intro to FJs class with DC Sail
  2. OR possess an equivalent certification from another accredited sailing organization

In all cases, the waterfront manager may refuse a rental if there are safety or weather concerns.

Boater's Safety Certificate

DC Sail requires that all of our members comply with District of Columbia law and as a learning organization provides every opportunity for continued growth. Per DC law, anyone operating a boat within our waterways is required to have a Boater’s Safety Certificate.  These can be earned online through a learning module.  Here is one good option:

The DC MPD Harbor Patrol also offer their own schedule of classes, free of charge, and includes both in-person instruction and the test. Please visit the MPD Boating Safety page by clicking here. Pre-registration for the Boating Safety course is required. Please call the MPD Harbor Patrol Unit at (202) 727-4582 to register. (*Note, the dates on their web page may not be current, so please call their office to obtain the 2024 schedule.)

As a DC Sail Skipper, you must be able to produce a Boater’s Safety Card upon request by the DC Police. There is a $50 fine for non-compliance which must be paid in person at the police station. 

We encourage everyone to take their safety and that of others seriously while on the water.  Earning a Boater’s Safety Card is a great way to do this! 

Life Jackets

All sailors must wear a life jacket before they step foot aboard all of our small boats and remain in their life jacket for the duration of sail until boat is safely docked and secured. Sailors will also be required to remain in their life jacket during de-rigging of the boat. "Fanny Pack" type Life Jackets are not permitted.

Cancellation/Late Rental Policy

If you do not appear within thirty minutes of your scheduled boat reservation, you may lose your reserved boat and will not be refunded. If you need to cancel a rental, you must do so by 12:00 (noon) the Friday prior to your rental time.  Please call the office to relay your cancellation.  202-547-1250. If you fail to cancel your rental properly, you will be invoiced a fee of $25.


Guests are permitted to sail with you during rentals. All guests must fill out a Waiver of Liability before they can sail. DC Sail does not permit single-handed sailing by members. You must always have at least one other person on the boat with you. You are permitted up to three guests for Flying Scot rentals and they do not need to be DC Sail members.


Consumption of beverages containing alcohol is strictly prohibited prior to or during your rental.

Sailing Boundaries

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DC Sail is the community sailing program of National Maritime Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Business Mailing Address: 650 Wharf Street SW, Unit 20, Washington, DC 20024
Diamond Teague Park Piers Waterfront Address: 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
The Wharf Marina Waterfront Address: 650 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 547-1250 · Email: Traci Mead, Executive Director - 
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