Every first time boat owner has those visions of sunset cruises, of summers packed with skiing, of fishing trips and deep-water swims and picnics as you drift along the shore. But the truth is that boat owners use their beloved vessels an average of 35 days a year. And while those days may pay off in pleasure, a boat keeps you paying year round. The cost of slip fees, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and equipment adds up to make those 35 days feel costly.
But what if you could enjoy your boat and make money from it to defray costs? What if there was, say, an Air BnB for boat owners. Well there is. Companies like Cruzin.com, Boatsetter.com, and BoatBound.com have created peer to peer platforms (P2P), where boat owners can rent their vessels to those looking to enjoy boating but who are not yet ready to buy.
P2P boat renting companies allow owners to post their vessels online so that users can rent them when owners aren’t using them. Both parties register and renters fill out questionnaires and affirm that they are of legal age, possess a driver’s license, and have boating experience. Furthermore, like Air BnB, each party rates the other so that those questionable renters and rentees are weeded out of the process.
If you’re a boat owner and this sounds interesting to you, here are some reasons you might want to consider renting out your boat:
- Making money: while it’s not always easy to make money on boat rentals, if you have a vessel that is frequently available in a desirable area, you can make significant money. Some boat renters make as much as $100,000 a year.
- Defraying costs: Even if you don’t want to rent frequently, you can use occasional boat rental to help cover the costs of maintenance and repairs.
- You may sell a boat: Renters sometimes are testing the waters as to whether they want to purchase a boat. If you’re looking to sell and have a boat in good condition, that renter may turn a trial run into a purchase.
- Incentive to enjoy: Many boat renters say they spend more time around and aware of their vessels. These reminders turn into days of enjoyment and those 35 days climb into more fun in the sun.
Are you still hesitant? Would it help to know that many boat rental platforms offer boat insurance as part of the deal to cover what your insurance won’t? And you can purchase boat monitoring technology that allows you to track things like bilge activity, battery voltage, and your boat’s location. You can also remotely control lights, boat systems, and engine cut off. You can rent them with peace of mind, knowing that your boat is protected and that you can make back a little of the costs that are part of being a boat owner.
Written by Ivan Young in partnership with Mealey Marine boating accessories and services.