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Getting Out in the Ozarks: Boating

RIDGEDALE, Mo. -- Hundreds of boats frequent Table Rock Lake in the summer. It's a scenic, 60- mile lake that connects Missouri and Arkansas, but not all lake lovers own their own water toys.
RIDGEDALE, Mo. -- Hundreds of boats frequent Table Rock Lake in the summer. It's a scenic, 60- mile lake that connects Missouri and Arkansas, but not all lake lovers own their own water toys.

In fact, a lot of them, you can rent.

David Storch runs the marina and campground at Bass Pro Shops' Long Creek Marina.

It's a public facility, located on Hwy. 86, between Ridgedale and Blue Eye just outside of Branson.

Camping costs $25-30 a night and, they offer a variety of different boats that you can rent for a price.

They have pontoons, ski boats, fishing boats and jet skis.

If you and your family decide to rent a boat, the driver of the boat must be 30 years old. So, if you're born before 1984, you don't need a license. If you're born after that date, you do.

Renting a boat for the day is easy and they'll even walk you through the process.

Not everyone is required to wear a life jacket, but it's a must for anyone under age 7.

To rent a boat, the cost ranges from $30-75 an hour.

Of course, the more hours you're out on the water, the cheaper the rate.

You are also responsible for paying for gas.

"They're full when you go out,” says Storch. “When you come back, we top it off and you pay the difference of whatever you used."

Reservations are recommended and make sure to take the basics with you: your swimsuit, towel, food, drink and sunscreen.

If you forget anything, they'll have it for you in the store.

If by chance, your boat does get damaged out on the water, you are responsible. So to be safe, Storch says, they do offer insurance before you go out.

It's a little extra charge that could save you big bucks in the long run.

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