“I got out on my boat as much as I wanted this season!”
Unfortunately, these are not words I hear often. Despite our best efforts, life tends to become much busier than we imagined. This also means that one of the first things to be put on the back burner is a ride on your boat.
Fortunately, there are ways to still make your investment worth it, even if you’re not getting out as much as you want. So whether you want to make the most of your boat while you’re not using it, or you just want to make a little cash on the side, this blog will guide you through the best ways to rent out your boat!
Important Things to Know
- Be very thorough and meticulous with the insurance that you have on your boat. Although many of these websites have options for insuring your boat through their platform, it is always important to double-check how much and what kind of damage your plan covers. The last thing you want is to lose money on this experience or damage your investment.
- In many cases, your boat is required to have a licensed captain behind the wheel while you are renting it out. Almost all of the websites have options for connecting you with a captain, but this is another thing to consider when you’re deciding whether or not renting your boat out is right for you! For most small boats such as pontoon boats, ski boats, etc. you can let renters captain the boat themselves as long as they have taken a boaters safety course. This obviously adds additional risk and may make your insurance cost more.
- Assuming that everything goes exactly as planned and you never have a problem with renters damaging your boat, those are still miles put on the engine and frame that you can’t get back. With the average life of a boat motor engine being around 1,200 to 2,000 hours, it’s important to decide how many of those you want to be used by someone else.
This option, although not the most lucrative, is the safest when it comes to peace of mind when renting out your boat.
If you own a boat, you likely also live in an area that has charter or boat rental companies. Although they likely have enough inventory to handle the less busy times of the year, there is a possibility that they need more boats during the busy season. This provides an opportunity for you to rent your boat through them.
Here is an easy 3-step process for renting out your boat through a charter or boat rental company:
- Call them to see what their inventory is like and whether or not they are looking for more boats to have on site.
- Meet with them to determine if your boat is right for them.
- Discuss insurance, pricing, and availability with them to hopefully come to some sort of agreement.
One last piece of advice I have when meeting with a charter or boat rental company is to have the dates you KNOW you will be able to rent it out already figured out. It will be very hard to have a productive discussion about future renting potential if you are not sure how often your boat will be available.
Once an agreement is made, they should take care of everything from there, leaving very little leg work for you moving forward!
Peer-2-Peer (P2P) Rental Website
Since the conception of companies like Airbnb and Uber, peer-2-peer companies have been gaining more and more popularity, for good reason!
These platforms allow you to make money while allowing customers the ability to pay for an experience they may not have been able to get before.
Here are some of the most popular P2P platforms out there for renting out your boat:
- Boatsetter – This one is definitely the most popular!
Like most P2P platforms out there, almost all of these apps or websites allow you complete control over how often you list your boat, the price you set for the rental, options for liability insurance, and much more.
They also can tailor to a very specific clientele, and do a great job of walking you through the entire process with a pretty user-friendly experience (depending on the platform).
Airbnb and VRBO
Although many people think of Airbnb and VRBO as the main places to find rooms and beds to rent, they have also added the ability for hosts to list their boats on their platform, given they meet certain requirements.
This obviously applies to a very specific market. However, if your boat is equipped with a bedroom or set-up that will work for sleeping quarters, you may be able to list your boat on Airbnb or VRBO.
Each platform has different specifications and requirements for boat listings, and there are many boxes to check when going through the process of listing your boat, many of which are very similar to the P2P requirements listed above. At the end of the day, all these rules and regulations required by these companies are put in place to keep them, and you, protected and covered from any damage costs or liability. This ensures that the platform is able to provide the customer and host with the best experience possible.
If you have been wondering whether or not you can rent out your boat to make some extra money on the side, hopefully, this blog has helped answer some of your questions!
The good news is that these boat rental platforms have been around for long enough that you can be pretty confident that all your bases will be covered. The popular platforms will walk you step-by-step through the process of renting out your boat, from that first web search all the way through your first rental. There have been thousands of people who have been able to make money from renting their boat when they’re not using it.
If you are looking to maximize your profits, you can go through platforms like Boatsetter and Boatbound to set your price and market to a specific group or clientele.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for maximum peace of mind and minimal effort on your part, check out your local charter or boat rental company to see if you can make a partnership that’s mutually beneficial for both of you!