BoaterRated Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do I have to sign up to write a review on BoaterRated?

    BoaterRated aims to provide credible information about local boating businesses based on customer reviews. In order for your review to be credible in the community, we have to make sure that 1) you're really human, and 2) we can get hold of you if we have a question about your review. If you have a Facebook account, Facebook Connect is the easiest way to sign up.

  2. What are the basic guidelines for writing reviews?

    In general, your reviews of boating businesses where you have first-hand experience as a customer are the most useful to the boating community. Your reviews should be based on recent experience that has occurred within the past year. When writing your review, be as specific as possible about the type of service you received and why you were satisfied or dissatisfied with the service. Refer to our Terms of Service for details on your responsibilities as a reviewer.

  3. Can I post an anonymous review?

    Only your Username will show on a review, but we need a valid email address before we will post one. This again is to establish the credibility of the review. However, when you set up your BoaterRated account, you can choose a Username that is different than your real name and that protects your identity from the public. To change your Username after signing up, click on the "My Profile" link in the top main menu bar, click on "Update My Profile..." There you can add or change your Username and hit the "Update" button.

  4. How do I find a business in my region?

    On the Home page, click the "Find a Business" button in the menu bar. On the Search screen, choose your state and region and all businesses in that region will appear when you click the Search button. To the right, there's a box for Category and Sub-Category. Click the appropriate category to apply the filter. If you know the business name as it's listed, you can type it in the Business Name box and names with the letters you've typed will appear.

  5. What's a BoaterRated Partner Business?

    A BoaterRated Partner Business is one that is committed to customer service. They have enrolled in the program to take advantage of BoaterRated's Online Reputation Management news and tips; to use BoaterRated as an objective resource of referrals and testimonials for potential customers to see; and to take advantage of a 14 day "reconciliation period" where a review with less than 3 stars will be previewed to a business, offering them a chance to correct whatever caused the poor rating prior to a review being published. As always, the author of a review is the only one that can alter or delete a review. A business's status as a Partner Business does not affect their placement in search results or overall ratings, only the customers who review the business can do that. A business can enroll in or find out more about the Partner Business Program by using the "Contact Us" button on the menu bar or sending us an email at

  6. How do I post a review for a business that isn't listed?

    Once you're signed in, click on the Add a Business button on the home page menu bar and follow the steps there. Once the new business and review are submitted, we will confirm the new business and post the review, usually within 24 hours.

  7. Does BoaterRated monitor reviews?

    Yes. BoaterRated monitors all reviews to ensure that they are credible and to ensure they meet our guidelines.

  8. When will my review be posted?

    Most reviews are screened and posted within 24 hours. If a review is flagged for a closer look by our moderators, it may take longer. We try to base every decision we make on what our members will find helpful and relevant. If there are questions about the content of your review or it is a less than 3 star rating for a BoaterRated Partner Business, the BoaterRated team will contact you via the email address you provided to follow up prior to posting. BoaterRated will not substantively change a review that conforms to the Terms of Service without the author's consent. What you see for a business's review is the real deal. BoaterRated is a "Virtual Dockside" community, and we do our best to manage speed, quality and credibility in posting reviews to the site.

  9. Can I edit or delete my review?

    Not directly. Contact the BoaterRated team if you would like to make a change to your review or if you would like to have it completely removed from the site. You can reach us by clicking on the "Contact" link in the black Menu Bar and filling out the form, or by sending an email to

  10. How can I change the email address associated with my account?

    Contact the BoaterRated team if you need to change the email address associated with your account. You can reach us by clicking on the "Contact" link in the footer of the website and filling out the form, or by sending an email to

  11. Does BoaterRated only post positive reviews?

    No. We post all credible reviews based on the real experience of real boaters. Negative reviews are just as valuable to other boaters (and the business owners!) as positive reviews, as long as they contain specific and useful information about the quality of service received and are based on real experiences. BoaterRated Partner Businesses are committed to customer service, and any negative reviews posted about them will help them get better!

  12. How does a negative review help a business owner?

    As with any business, misunderstandings happen and it's possible a business did not live up to a customer's expectation. If a customer posts a negative review on BoaterRated due to such a misunderstanding, it is more likely to be made right (especially if the business owner has enrolled in the BoaterRated Partner Business Program) if the owner is aware of the problem due to the review. In such a case, a follow-up review would likely be positively glowing!

  13. Can an owner ask a reviewer to remove their review?

    An owner can ask the reviewer (if they know who it is) directly. If the business is enrolled in the Partner Business program it will have the opportunity to rectify a negative review prior to its being published, but BoaterRated will never remove a review that conforms with the Terms of Service unless asked by the author. BoaterRated absolutely does not condone threats or bullying of reviewers. It is rare that a business owner threatens a reviewer with legal action, but if we are made aware of this happening, we'll communicate to the owner that their business will be actively monitored by BoaterRated for suspicious activity, and that they must discontinue any attempts to subvert our system. We also make them aware that we have a procedure for penalizing businesses that make such attempts.

  14. Do you sell preferred placement on the BoaterRated website to businesses for a fee?

    No. A business's ranking, such as where they appear in the "Top Businesses Based on Reviews" box, is determined solely based on customer reviews.

  15. Can I rate other people's reviews based on how helpful they are?

    Yes. At the bottom of each review, you'll see voting links for "Useful", "Funny" and "Lame" Vote according to your sentiments about the review quality. Voting on reviews helps other boaters identify which reviews and which reviewers are provide the most valuable, or entertaining, content.

  16. Can I send private messages to other BoaterRated members?

    You can send private messages to other BoaterRated members that you have 'friended' on BoaterRated. Click on the "Messages" link in the top main menu bar, compose your message, and then send it a friend from your friend list.

  17. How do I 'friend' other boaters on BoaterRated?

    Once you are signed in, click on the "Member Search" link in the top right-hand corner of the screen (below your Logged in status and name). Look for the member you want to friend. Click on their profile, and then click on the "Add as Friend" button at the top middle portion of the screen.

  18. What if my question isn't answered here?

    We'd love to hear from you! You can reach us by clicking on the "Contact Us" link in the black Menu Bar and filling out the form, or by sending an email to