“The two happiest days in a boat owner’s life: the day you buy the boat, and the day you sell the boat.” To all those laughing and nodding along, welcome fellow former boat owners! If that’s not you, let us fill you in on the pitfalls of boat ownership and the budget-friendly, stress-free alternative of boat rental.
Boats Are Not An Investment
Plain and simple, boats are not an investment. Like cars, the depreciation begins the second the boat hits the water and usage hours start creeping up. Unless you can find a way to create a business with your boat, expect to spend a lot of money and hope the experiences are worth it.
In addition, many people don’t factor in the immediate necessary regular expenses that come with boat ownership. Unless you’ve purchased the vacation lakehouse prior to the boat, you’ll need to rent either a dock slip or storage facility to house it. Depending on the climate, you may also need to transport it to a climate-controlled storage facility for the winter and pay a monthly fee. Pro Tip: It’s worth it if they also winterize it for you. Lastly, a sneaky expense often forgotten is the fuel cost. A large boat can easily burn through $1,000 in gasoline during a busy weekend.
Boats Require Extensive Maintenance
The rule of regular boat maintenance is to do a basic inspection and cleaning after each use and a complete inspection after every 100 hours of use. The basic utility inspection includes checking for leaks, tightening/loosening fastenings, greasing the propeller, and thorough cleaning, especially in saltwater climates. The annual inspections should be done by a professional and can become extremely costly if repairs are needed. Compared to car mechanics and repairs, boat maintenance experts are harder to find and boat parts are more expensive in general. In addition to routine maintenance, boats require appropriate storage and thorough winterizing if you don’t live in a warm location.
Boat Owners Are Permanent Boat Captains
Of course, boat owners are proud to take their friends and family out for an exciting ride. However, at some point, the novelty of it all begins to fade. As the owner, no one is going to love and respect the vessel as you do, so it is only natural to assume you are also the designated driver. Being the permanent boat captain eventually becomes more like a chore, rather than a treat, especially if you have company that enjoys drinking. And hey, a boat without a beer just feels wrong! You should be able to relinquish the responsibility and relax occasionally, too.
Boat Ownership: The Reality
During my adolescence, my dad finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a boat owner thanks to a cute little 17-foot 15-year-old Bayliner our neighbor was offloading. This was the first and happiest day of his boat-owning life. On paper, it sounded like a fantastic idea! My family is full of water-loving outdoorsy people, so what better way to create memories together than while out tooling around on lakes every weekend?
Well, we weren’t wrong, and we look back on those lake memories very fondly. However, in addition to the happy times, it’s impossible to broach the topic without someone sarcastically adding, “Yeah, it was great when it worked,” followed by a collective sigh and ensuing eye roll. Many long stories short, our little boat “full of character” was very temperamental. I blame a large chunk of my dad’s gray hairs on the Sundays we made the 90-minute trek to the lake with another excited family, only to turn around dejectedly after an unsuccessful attempt to get the engine running. He tried everything, but not a single mechanic nor miracle fix was successful in making the aging boat reliable. The fees and headaches started to add up, and once I left for college, he finally gave up and sold our boat. It was, indeed, his second happiest boat ownership moment. His new favorite saying became, “A friend with a boat is a good friend indeed.”
Why We Became Boat Renters
Despite a few disappointing boating memories, our love for spending the day on the water never dissipated. Years ago, I took my dad to our favorite Missouri destination, The Lake Of The Ozarks, for Father’s Day and we rented a boat, just the two of us. The speed boat was prepared for us, the engine started immediately, and it provided a perfect vacation for the day. At the end of the day, when the typical boat owner was attempting to load their boat on the trailer, thoroughly clean it, and transport it back to storage, we instead happily dropped the boat at the dock and walked away without a second further obligation. Truly, it was the third happiest day in this former boat owner’s life. It clicked, we became dedicated “Boat Owners On Vacation Only” and agreed to only rent boats from here on.
Boat Rental Services
We’re willing to bet that most larger lakes and beach towns have many local boat rental companies. However, many of these local companies offer the stereotypical “rental” experience and the limited inventory is outdated and beaten up. Furthermore, if you aren’t comfortable driving a boat or simply want to be able to enjoy yourselves and overindulge in cold beer safely, most local places do not offer captain services.
While traveling, I am a devoted vacation home rental person and will now only book a hotel as a last resort. I enjoy the personal touches that come with renting from an individual rather than a company. I began to wonder, “Why doesn’t a peer-to-peer rental company, a la Vrbo, exist in the boating world?” Turns out, someone much smarter than me wondered this almost a decade ago, and GetMyBoat was born.
GetMyBoat Peer-To-Peer Boat Rentals
GetMyBoat launched in 2013 to connect boat owners directly to interested consumers. On the boat owner’s side, it’s a no-brainer! Here’s a fun fact: The average boat is only used 8 percent of the time. Owners can finally see a return during the remaining 92 percent of the time to help offset the endless miscellaneous expenses. Finally, someone did the impossible and discovered a way to make boat ownership an investment! For the rest of us, GetMyBoat makes enjoying the water via a nice rented, modern boat (or other watercraft) so simple. Browsing and booking can be easily done via the computer or their convenient app, and you can be captaining your own (for a day) ship in no time!
Hire A Boat Captain
One of the biggest bonuses of renting from GetMyBoat is that many of the options include a captain to steer you and the group around for the day. Even if you are a seasoned skipper, captaining a boat around a new destination is intimidating. I remember a specific instance of my aforementioned father, an experienced lake boater, bottoming out a rental boat while we were vacationing in Siesta Key, Florida. Looking back, the entire situation is amusing, but I assure you he was not amused at the time as the whole family all piled out of the boat, into the water, to rock it off the sandbar. Hiring a captain as part of the rental package ensures your anxiety stays low and you are free to sit back, sip some drinks, and enjoy the expert experience.
Boat Rental Locations
GetMyBoat offers the largest collection of peer-to-peer rental options around the world. The site and app boast over 130,000 (!) rentals available in over 9,300 locations across 184 countries, so no matter where you’re vacationing, if there is water nearby, chances are they have at least a few options. In more popular boating locales, such as Miami or Lake Travis, GetMyBoat has hundreds of active listings so you can choose all the amenities (and whatever budget) you desire.
Boat Rental Options (And So Much More)
GetMyBoat has the best luxury selection of available boat rentals I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking to charter a yacht for a special occasion, they have many waiting for you. If you’re simply looking for a modest ski boat to test if your legs still remember how to waterski, thousands of options await. For the adventurers, GetMyBoat facilitates complete fishing and whale watching charters and has an extensive selection of sailboats available. Finally, even if boating isn’t quite your thing, they also offer a large selection of other water activity accessories, including paddleboards, kayaks, and scuba gear rentals.
To find your new rental cruiser without all the ownership headaches, browse GetMyBoat now.