Frequently asked questions

Below you can find answers to the frequently asked questions about sailing in a GoBoat. Please remember that we previously were known as Float DC . We've divided the questions into several topics based on your situation, e.g. questions about booking and cancelations, about what to do before sailing, about what to do during sailing and about the rules of sailing and the waters. All the FAQs are based on our terms which has all the fine print. You can also use the search field to quickly find an answer.

Booking and cancellation

Can I get a GoBoat without having booked in advance?

We are often fully booked, and we therefore recommend you book in advance to make sure you get a boat. You can book here. Please call us at +1 (202) 941-1816 for bookings with less than 2 hours before departure. Then we can confirm availability. This applies for all bookings Monday through Thursday.

But you are always welcome to come by our locations to see if we have openings.

How do I cancel my GoBoat booking?

You can choose to rebook or receive a voucher of the full amount until 24 hours before sailing. In your order confirmation email you’ll find a link to edit your booking or cancel it to get a voucher.

You can cancel your booking and get a refund until 72 hours before departure. This can't be done automatically. Please read your confirmation email on how to get the refund. The process usually takes 10 working days.

If there is less than 24 hours to your trip, you cannot rebook, get a voucher nor get the full amount refunded. The voucher is valid for 12 months.

Does GoBoat offer a cancellation warranty?

Yes, you can purchase a cancellation warranty when you book your boat. It can only be bought together with the booking - not afterwards. With the warranty, you are free to cancel your booking up to 4 hours before your departure – regardless of the reason.

Without a cancellation warranty, our normal cancellation policy applies, which you can read above. 
You can add the cancellation warranty at the end of the booking. If you opt for the cancellation warranty, it must be purchased for each boat. So if you book two boats, you must purchase the cancellation warranty twice to cover both boats. The cancellation warranty cannot be cancelled or refunded.

If you have opted for the cancellation warranty and want to use it, please edit your booking (including getting a voucher) no later than 4 hours before the sailing starts. If you need a refund, please check your booking confirmation email for details.

How much does renting a GoBoat cost?

Our prices differ based on the date, time and location. Please check our booking system for accurate, up to date pricing based on your desired date, time and location.

Please call us at +1 (202) 941-1816 for bookings with less than 2 hours before departure. Then we can confirm availability. This applies for all bookings Monday through Thursday.

How do I book a GoBoat online?

You can book a boat on our booking website. Please choose:
Location -> number of boats (each boat fits 8 people) -> number of hours -> date -> time -> your details -> payment by creditcard.

Please call us at +1 (202) 941-1816 for bookings with less than 2 hours before departure. Then we can confirm availability. This applies for all bookings Monday through Thursday.

Can I get a discount renting a GoBoat?

We offer various discounts. The longer time you rent a boat, the lower the price is per hour. Remember to divide the price by how many people you go out sailing to know the price per person. We do not offer discounts on booking multiple boats. Sometimes we offer discounts through our newsletter - we recommend to sign up here.

How many boats do you have?

Our locations differ in size.
In Washington, DC at the Wharf, we have 12 boats. This locations is also knows as Float DC by GoBoat.
In The National Harbor, MD, we have 8 boats.
All of our boats fit 8 people, including children and babies. The total weight should not exceed 1550 pounds. If the total weight exceeds 1550 pounds, there is a risk of water entering the bottom of the boat.

I can see that you are fully booked. Can I get on a waiting list?

No, unfortunately not. Be sure to book in advance.

Before sailing

Do I need an ID to sail?

Yes, the person who books the trip must show a government issued ID when checking in. No exceptions.

How early should I arrive for my booking?

Please arrive 15 minutes before departure to ensure that there is time for safety and sailing instructions. Remember to show up at the right location for your booking.

If you show up late, you still need to return the boat at the same time so the next guests don't have to wait.

How does check in work?

Please arrive at our locations 15 minutes prior to departure for check in, safety and sailing instructions. Your booking confirmation has all the detail.

For National Harbor: You will find us at the Ferris wheel dock just past the Dippin Dots, by the gate on the left. Please call us at +1 (202) 941-1816 when you arrive, in order for us to let you through the gate.

Where can I park?

Each of our locations have possibilities for parking -
The Wharf, DC: You can park under The Wharf.
The National Harbor, MD: You can park under The National Harbor.

Is it possible to use a bathroom before departure?

The Wharf, DC: Right next our location, you'll find rest rooms (they float too).
The National Harbor: Various places in the National Harbor, you'll find rest rooms.

Is GoBoat handicap friendly?

For all our locations we advise that you must be able to get in and out of the boats yourself, of course our staff will always be around to offer a hand. However, we don’t currently have any accessibility ramps.

Can I buy beverages and snacks at GoBoat?

Currently we do not offer any beverages or snacks. Of course you can bring your own for a picnic on the water. 

What if it rains, is windy or there is thunder ?

In the rain we recommend you wear waterproof clothing or bring an umbrella, if the wind permits it.

If there is thunder or lightening, our operations will still run as it is still considered safe to sail.
If it is windy, the boats will need more power to move and so will sail a little slower, meaning you won’t be able to sail as far. 
In the case of powerful winds, we reserve the right to cancel your trip, this is a safety precaution. In this instance you choose whether you would like to rebook, get a voucher, or a refund. We will try to give you as much warning as possible and call you on the day of your sail.

During the trip

How many people can be in a GoBoat?

The GoBoat has a maximum capacity of 8 persons. This number also includes children and babies. The total weight should not exceed 1550 pounds. If the total weight exceeds 1550 pounds, there is a risk of water entering the bottom of the boat.

Are life jackets included in the price?

Yes. Life jackets are included in the price.
Life jackets for adults are located in the storage compartment on the boat. We also have life jackets for children and babies. Please ask the crew as these are stored on land

Do you have life jackets for children and babies?

Yes. We have life jackets down to 5 kg. Children and baby life jackets are found on land. Please ask the crew for help.

Does renting or sailing a GoBoat require a certificate or license?

No, it does not. The GoBoat is easy to control. The only requirement is that the person sailing the boat is 21 years old and remains sober during the trip.

We will instruct you on how to sail before you leave (therefore you must be at our location 15 min prior to departure) and we'll send instructions by email when you book.

Can I bring my own food and drinks?

Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks. There is a large table in the middle of the boat that makes it easy to enjoy food on board.

Is it possible to get someone to sail the GoBoat for us?

No. A part of the experience is to sail the boat yourselves and to be your own captain.

Are there different boat sizes?

No. We only have one type of boat with room for 8 persons. The boat has a table in the middle so it is possible to enjoy food and drinks on board.

Are we allowed to sail in all areas of the harbor?

For safety reasons some areas of the water are not accessible by GoBoat. Check our maps to see which areas are allowed to sail through and which are not. The areas marked with red a prohibited. Maps are available for The Wharf, DC - and The National Harbor, MD.

Please be aware that we reserve the right to close certain areas for sailing if conditions require us to. For example for safety or if the harbor administration closes an area for various reasons.

Do you have a storage where we can put our stuff while sailing?

No, we do not store personal belongings. Remember to only bring what you can bring on board. GoBoat disclaims any liability for personal belongings taken onboard – including electronics, clothing parts, etc.

Rules

Am I allowed to drink alcoholic beverages onboard?

All passengers may consume alcohol. We ask for moderation and good behavior. The captain must remain sober! Remember that law enforcement can board at anytime.

Red wine is not allowed as it stains the boats. We confiscate red wine.
We reserve the right to reject drunk guests before departure. Drunk guests won’t receive any refund. Remember, that the harbor is a public and busy place. Many residents live close to the harbor and the canals. And safety is most important - yours and everyone else's. Show respect and responsibility whenever you are in the harbor.

Is it allowed to smoke hookah onboard?

No, it is not allowed to smoke hookah onboard. 

However, we do allow smoking cigarettes. It is important that butts are not thrown in the water or in the boat to preserve our aquatic environment and ensure a clean and pleasant experience for everyone.

How old do you have to be in order to sail the boat?

The person who rents the boat must be 21 years old. There is no age restriction on being a passenger in the boat.

Does it require sailing experience or a sailing certificate to rent a GoBoat?

No it does not. We'll teach you how to sail the boat and the rules of the water.

Is it possible to rent a boat somewhere other than your locations?

No, you start and end at the same location.

Can I drop off the boat somewhere else?

No, you start and end at the same location.

Can I bring my dog on the boat?

Yes, you can for a fee as dog paws may scratch the painting. We love dogs on the boats. However, we have no life jackets for dogs so dogs are brought onto the boat at your own risk.

Are bachelor/bachelorette parties accepted?

Yes. We do ask for moderation and good behavior and respect others using the water. The captain must remain sober! Remember that law enforcement can board at anytime.

Is it allowed to go swimming from the boat?

No, customers are not permitted to go swimming from the boat as it’s a danger to yourself and the other users of the harbor.

Can we bring speakers onboard?

Yes, but please respect our neighbors and others on the water.