Boat ownership isn’t cheap. Depending on how often you take your boat out, it could just be sitting in the marina for most of the year without being used. What if you could use that downtime to bring in some extra income?
Well, you can! Many boat owners rent out their vessels to bring in supplemental income. You might wonder who would be crazy enough to hand their luxurious custom powerboat over to a complete stranger? Apparently, plenty of people. The boat rental industry is growing at a fast rate and is expected to reach almost $20 billion by the end of 2030.
If you want to enter the growing world of boat rentals, here’s what you need to know.
Is Renting Right for You?
Boat rentals aren’t for everyone. After all, you’ve worked hard to pay for such a large investment. You don’t want it to be damaged by an inexperienced boater. To help you make the difficult decision, here are a few of the pros and cons for renting your custom powerboat.
Pros of Renting
Obviously, the biggest benefit of renting is the additional income. Boat rentals can bring in anywhere from $400 to over $1,000 per day, depending on the type of boat and the area. If you own a high-end luxury custom powerboat, like a Mystic, you’ll have no problem hitting the higher end of the spectrum (or more!).
You can also use renting to keep your boat active during the off-season or when you’re away. Sitting idle isn’t good for boats. They need to move to keep all the mechanical systems in working order. The longer your boat sits—especially in saltwater—the more chance you have of something going wrong.
If you take long vacations in the summer or don’t use your boat for extended periods of time, renting is a great way to keep your boat moving to avoid issues that come from inactivity.
Cons of Renting
Although you’ll be bringing in some extra income, renting your custom powerboat comes with its share of risks. Of course, the largest risk is letting a total stranger use your expensive boat. You never know who will be taking your boat out on the water. They might not treat your equipment as nicely as you do, resulting in potential damage you’ll have to fix.
The extra use will also require more maintenance. Most manufacturers suggest you change your engine oil every 100 hours. If you rent your boat out a couple times per week, 100 hours might come quick. You might have to change your oil and perform engine maintenance much more frequently.
Renting your custom powerboat can also hurt the resale value because it’ll have higher engine hours and more wear and tear.
Considerations Before Renting Your Custom Powerboat
Before you even think about renting your boat, you need to consider insurance. You never know if the person renting your boat is an experienced boater or a newbie who doesn’t even know how to start the engines. It’s important to protect yourself in the case of the latter.
Make sure your boating insurance covers renters BEFORE handing over the keys. Adding a supplemental policy isn’t a bad idea either. The more coverage, the better!
In addition to insurance, you’ll want to come up with a way to vet potential renters before you let them take a cruise in your custom powerboat. Depending on your level of trust (or insurance), a simple phone call might suffice. More cautious boat owners prefer to take potential renters for a ride first to show them the ropes and make sure they can operate the equipment properly.
Regardless of the method you use, be sure to vet all renters and make sure they can handle your boat’s power! Don’t forget to get all their contact information too. Cover all your bases in case they decide to ride off with your prized possession.
How to Rent Your Boat Safely
Renting your powerboat can be a big risk if the proper steps aren’t considered. That’s why many boat owners are going online to rent out their watercraft.
There are several websites that allow boatowners to register and rent their boats completely online. The most popular boat rental site is Boatsetter.com. It’s similar to Airbnb, except for boats.
Renters can browse through lists of boats based on type, style, and size until they find the perfect boat for their excursion. Once they request to book the boat, the website handles the transaction from start to finish.
Boatowners can set their own prices and their required deposits (which is always a good idea to cover missing lifejackets, minor damage, etc.).
One of the best parts of renting your boat online is that insurance is covered! Most boat rental websites require a deductible—paid by the owner—that covers insurance if someone gets injured or the boat is damaged. The deductible is typically around $500 or two percent of the boat’s value, whichever is more. It might sound like a lot, but you’ll be happy for the coverage if anything bad happens during a rental. Most boat owners set the required deposit to cover the deductible, so it’s like the renter pays for the coverage.
The only downside to the convenience of renting your boat online is that the rental company will take a cut of profits. Most boat rental websites take 30 to 40% right off the top. While that might be a decent piece of your profits, it’s hard to argue with the ease, efficiency, and safety that comes with renting your boat online.
Start Earning Rental Income on Your Custom Powerboat
Renting your custom powerboat can be helpful to cover some of the maintenance and insurance costs of owning a boat. It’ll bring in some extra revenue during the times when your boat would otherwise just be sitting at the marina doing nothing. It’s also a great way to prevent your boat from sitting idle during the off-season. Of course, it’s not for all boatowners. Weigh the pros and cons to see if boat rentals are right for you.
Want to get into the boat rental industry but don’t have a boat? The experts at Mystic can help! We build the best custom powerboats on the market. Each boat we build is uniquely designed to suit the style and preferences of the client. If you’re ready for a life on the water, contact us today to schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss your needs.