Lake Life: Boating

Published: Jul. 4, 2019 at 9:41 AM EDT
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This 4th of July, Smith Mountain Lake is going to be packed with people on the water.

Bridewater Marina is one of the hot spots at SML. It’s like a one-stop-shop with food, an arcade, mini golf, and all the water toys, including boats.

“We’ve got 127 boats at five locations. We always shoot for about 10,000 rentals a year, which we’ve hit the last couple of years,” said Ryan Waters with Bridgewater Marina.

Renting is a pretty simple and easy process, and Ryan Waters walks us through the whole thing.

“Most people go online make a reservation, they pay for the boat online, get a confirmation email…tells them when and where to come and what they’re picking up.”

We head outside to the docks and go over boat safety, which includes watching a safety video and a checklist. Then you can hop on the boat!

We head out on a picture perfect summer day, and as soon as we get past the no-wake zone, hold on to your hat!

We didn’t take any of the tubes out, but we did manage to find another toy, a water trampoline.

“About 70 percent of our business is folks on vacation, so they’re staying here for 4-8 days usually….Get the boat for multiple nights, keep it at a dock, keep it a rental house, condo, something like that,” Waters said.

And Waters says renting a boat is actually preferred for a lot of his customers.

“Same reason ride sharing and uber is becoming much, much more popular, new boats are expensive, and we’ve found that most of our customers if they wanted to, they could own a boat. But the hassle, the insurance, it’s just not worth it to them,” he said.

And after a nice day on the water, you pull back up, and within five minutes or so, you’re good to go.

“It’s such a beautiful lake. It’s easy to boat on, and if you compare it to other lakes across the country, it’s still very inexpensive to get out on the water. So Smith Mountain Lake is growing in popularity because it’s almost this perfect recipe of ease of boating, fun, and beautiful,” Waters said.

Call Bridgewater Marina at 540-721-1639, you can also visit any of their location, and their website .

The “Lake Life” series continues for the entire month of July on Your Hometown Station, WDBJ7.

Join us at 5 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for "Lake Life."