What You Should Know Before You Go | Sailing | Austin Sailboat Rentals




1. DAMS – There is one dam (Mansfield Dam) located directly across from our launch area at Windy Point, on Lake Travis.  There are two dams (Longhorn Dam and Tom Miller Dam) located directly on Lady Bird Lake.  There are two dams (Tom Miller Dam and Mansfield Dam) located on Lake Austin.  You should not sail nor paddle your boat near any of these dams. Please do not sail nor paddle within 100 yards of the dam. There are buoys clearly marked for your protection.

2. MAST CLEARANCE FOR ALL SAILBOATS – On Lady Bird Lake, you must be very careful of the First Street and Lamar Bridge.  Some of our sailboats masts will not clear those bridges, especially the Catalinas.  At our  Lake Travis location, we are not aware of any mast clearance issues on Lake Travis, other than when towing your sailboat down to Bob Wentz Park Road.  Please look up at the tree levels whenever towing your own or our boats through Bob Wentz Park and/or launching your boat at Windy Point on Lake Travis.  At our  Lake Austin location,  be careful of towing any sailboat at Walsh Boat Landing, there are several low covering trees near the launch area.  We are not aware of any low bridge crossings on Lake Austin, but are aware of low crossing power lines directly across from the launch area.  DO NOT ENTER THE COVE directly across from the launch area near Walsh Boat Landing.  The low crossing power lines could cause bodily and deadly harm if your mast should touch one of these power lines!

3. SANDBARS – We are currently locating the sandbars near our Lake Travis sailing area and will update accordingly.  We are aware of two sandbars on Lady Bird Lake, one on the south shore near Joe's Crab Shack, and the other East of the IH-35 Bridge on the North Shore, directly across from AMLI apartments.  We are currently not aware of any sandbars on Lake Austin, but there is a shallow area near the control station of the dam. It's always a good idea to keep your eyes open to branches and grasses sticking out of the water, that's a good indicating of shallow water, and always keep a watchful eye on the body markers.  The markers will help identify dangerous areas to stay clear of on the water.

4. GENERAL SAFETY – You should be responsible to make sure that your boat is equipped with all the necessary safety equipment necessary to operate your boat safely, and that the drain plugs, if applicable, are installed in your boats before entering the water. There must be the appropriate amount of PFDs onboard for the number of people onboard, and if you are under 13 years of age, a PFD must be worn. A paddle and container for bailing water must also be onboard.

5.  AGE REQUIREMENT – A person less than 14 years of age may operate a sailboat over 14 feet in length if he or she is supervised by a person who is 18 years of age or older.  A person at least 13 years of age and born on or after September 1, 1993, may operate without supervision only if he or she has passed a boater education course that is accepted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  We also require that a child must be 2 years old or older before we will allow them to come aboard any of our vessels.

6. INCLEMENT WEATHER – If inclement weather builds up (heavy wind, lightning, and/or thunder), you should get off the water and return your boat to the launch area. If we are not near the launch area to assist you, please lower your sail, if applicable, and either securely tie your boat to a poll or pull it out of the water and onto the grass area. All PFDs and paddles must be returned to Austin Sailboat Rentals when checking back in.

7. VALUABLES (Things Sink) – If your valuables are not in an airtight flotation device, please do not take them on a boat. Valuables such as your car keys, cell phones, wallets, iPads, or anything else that can sink to the bottom of the lake should be left in your car. We will gladly hold your car keys and/or cell phone for you. We cannot hold wallets and/or purses.

8. REMEMBER TO BRING – We suggest you bring a change of clothes, shoes, and a towel just in case you get wet. It’s also a good idea to bring a bottle of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a tight fitting hat (remember to dress according to the weather).

9. RULES OF THE ROAD – Each person should be responsible for familiarizing and knowing the basic safety rules of the road of Lake Travis. Please refer to the Austin Parks & Recreation Local Boating Laws or ask Ginny or Jim about the safety rules.  For further education and obtaining your Texas' Boater Safety Certification, please refer to Texas Boating Law for knowing the law and getting certified.

10. RELEASE OF LIABILITY WAIVER – Each person must read, acknowledge and sign a Release of Liability Waiver before they are permitted on a sailboat, kayak, paddle board, or Aqua Lily Pad.

11.  IDENTIFICATION (ID) – a valid ID must be presented during your rental and left with Austin Sailboat Rentals as collateral for your vessel.  Once you return your vessel, your ID will be returned to you.

12. RETURNING YOUR BOAT – All boats must be off the water before dask. Each person is responsible for returning their boat within the timeframe they rented it for. When returning to the launch area, if we are not there to assist you, please securely tie your boat to a cleat or fixed object, or move your boat onto the launch area so it will not float away. All PFDs and paddles must be returned to Austin Sailboat Rentals when you are checking back in.