Published: Apr 18 2019
Boat rental is finally entering the Internet age. Think about it compared to a car rental. You can rent a car any time, virtually anywhere. Need a car at the airport? There are hundreds, if not thousands, to choose from. Need a bigger car to take a family vacation? You can usually rent one right where you live, from one of your neighbors even. Want to rent a sports car just because you can? No problem. Want to rent a boat? Most folks wouldn’t know where to start.
This is changing fast. GetMyBoat makes boat rental simple, fast, and easy. With thousands of listings all over the world, renting a boat has never been easier. Boats and water experiences of every size, shape, and power are available with the click of a mouse.
This raises an important question for boating enthusiasts and would-be boating enthusiasts alike. Why buy when you can rent? This question didn’t really have an answer until recently, because finding a boat to rent was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Where do you look? How do you work out the logistics? With GetMyBoat, the world of boating is at your fingertips, and everything is taken care of. Now, even frequent boaters may ask, why buy a boat when you can rent one? Here are a few points in favor of renting instead of buying your next boat.
The upfront costs of boat ownership are generally pretty high. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the type of boat you like to use. Today’s ski/wake/surf boats with all the bells and whistles will land you north of $100,000. If you’re looking into something you can cruise/eat/sleep on, think $20,000—per foot—or more. That’s right. A nice 40-foot yacht can easily cost $800,000 or more. When you rent a boat, you pay for when you use it—so the upfront cost of ownership is eliminated.
Some people use (and deduct the interest on) their boats as a second home. It’s great—the ultimate waterfront property. The only problem is that unlike most land-based second homes, boats depreciate just like cars do, meaning they lose value over time. Boats don’t measure their usage in miles, but in the hours that the engine has been used. The more you use your boat, the more value you take out of it. Of course, when you rent a boat, you don’t have to worry about its long-term value. All you have to do is enjoy the short-term fun!
This phrase became popular because boats require a lot of maintenance. If you weren’t daunted by the sticker shock of the cost of a new boat, consider the maintenance costs. Everything is more expensive for a boat because they are generally out in the elements all of the time. The materials used to build a boat must be resistant to salt water and constant exposure, which means they are more expensive. Whether your boat is sitting in a marina or in your backyard, the elements will take their toll and require consistent cleaning and inspection. Also, if you don’t have room for a boat on your own property, you’ll likely be paying a marina or storage yard a monthly fee. Add insurance costs to that and you’ve got some serious financial obligations. When you rent a boat, none of this is your problem.
The nice thing about renting is that you can rent different boats for different reasons. Want to spend the day fishing? Rent a fishing boat. Wakeboarding? Rent a wakeboard boat. You get the drift. A weekend getaway on a yacht with the wind as your propulsion? Rent a sailboat. There are so many different ways to enjoy boating—owning a boat limits you to what one vessel is designed for. There are also so many places to enjoy boating. You can go fishing in British Columbia for one trip and cruise the Caribbean the next time the sea calls your name.
The average boater uses his or her boat about 8% of the year. That leaves 92% of the year when the boat is not in use. Twelve months per year of storage, maintenance, and insurance for 30 days of enjoyment? Hmmm. As mentioned above, when you rent a boat, you’re only paying for the hours you use it.
When you own a boat and you don’t use it, you feel guilty. Why? Because you have this huge investment that you love, so why would you do anything else on a summer weekend? Well, there are lots of reasons. There are lots of other fun activities and destinations to enjoy - you might enjoy them less if you’re leaving your boat idle and empty.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of making boat rental easier and more accessible is for people who would never consider boating as a pastime in the first place. The high cost of ownership leaves a lot of people on the sidelines. With online rentals coming of age, these people can give boating a try. Maybe you have always wanted to anchor at a secluded beach to watch the sunset, or wake up to the sound of water gently lapping against the hull outside your cabin. Try it for a day, a weekend, or a week. Maybe you’ll love it and do it again. If not, you’re not committed to anything.
Boat ownership certainly has its pleasures, and many boat owners wouldn’t have it any other way. They like what they like, and they like it the way they like it. Renting has its advantages for both owners and renters. Owners can turn some of their boat’s idle hours into revenue to offset the cost of ownership. Renters can use any type of boat, anytime they like, without the cost of ownership.