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Renting Out a Boat

Projected Income Around $300-$1,500/month (depending on boat type, location, and rental frequency)
Costs to Start Varies (maintenance, safety equipment, insurance, and docking fees if the boat isn't already owned)
Time to Start 1-2 weeks (for paperwork, maintenance, and setting up rental listings)
Category Renting Out Vehicles

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

We absolutely recommend renting out a boat to make extra money as a side hustle. For boat owners, it’s an excellent avenue to offset ownership costs and earn. Key concern: Maintenance, safety, and proper insurance coverage are crucial to protect both the boat and its renters.

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cons-icon Cons

  • Wear and Tear: Frequent rentals can accelerate boat depreciation.
  • High Responsibility: Ensuring renter safety is paramount.
  • Weather Dependency: Income can be inconsistent due to weather conditions.

pros-icon Pros

  • Leveraging Assets: Use an existing asset to generate income.
  • Seasonal Boost: Especially profitable during vacation or peak seasons.
  • Variety of Clients: Cater to tourists, fishing enthusiasts, or event planners.
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Boats are an expensive commodity item with high maintenance costs, so very few people own one. Providing a unique boating experience by renting out a boat can be a perfect way to make money.

If you have your own boat and are looking for a way to monetize your vessel, learn how to rent it out in this short guide.

An Overview of Renting Out a Boat: A Primer

Like renting a car, renting out your boat is an excellent side gig to earn extra income for little work. 

It’s the perfect way to provide someone with the joys of driving a boat without the burden of ownership. And with the high demand, you can expect to make a good income.

You can rent your boat to a potential renter with the help of a peer-to-peer boat rental company, which provides a layer of safety.

If you’re renting a boat long-term, you could rent it on one of these sites for a short period, which can be defined as rental arbitrage.

How Much Can Renting Out a Boat Earn You?

Boat renting is highly profitable, even after considering the cost of maintenance and insurance. Most ships go for around $200 to $500 per day; more, if an overnight stay is involved. You can compare the prices to renting out a truck.

However, yachts can fetch more money– around $4,000 daily or $200 to $400 per hour. Speedboats are also quite popular. The fastest ones are in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.

For mid-sized boats that costs $500 per day, you could earn close to $60,000 annually by renting it out for only ten days every month.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Side Hustle Renting Out a Boat?

Assuming you already have a boat, you don’t have to pay boat rental companies for listings; they don’t cover all your expenses. Though they charge a percentage for each rental, you’ll still have to pay for the following:

  • Insurance
  • Docking and storage
  • Maintenance
  • Safety equipment

It’s standard practice to charge for fuel, cleaning, and damages. The renter also must pay for a certified captain. You typically don’t need a boating license either, though some states require you to have one.

Without boat ownership, it typically costs around $500,000 to $1,000,000 to buy one. But you can also find decent boats in the $50,000 to $100,000 price bracket and restore them before renting.

Where Can You Find Gigs Renting Out a Boat?

You have two primary options for renting out your boat — finding non-boat owners independently and listing your boat on a boat rental platform. Here’s a complete breakdown of both options:

Where to Independently Find Gigs Renting Out a Boat

If you want to avoid paying commissions to rental agencies, market your boat rental business yourself by:

  • Paying for local ads
  • Setting up a blog
  • Marketing on social media
  • Networking in the local community
  • Handing out flyers
  • Posting on bulletin boards
  • Attending boat shows

Just make sure to acquire liability insurance before signing a rental agreement.

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Gigs Renting Out a Boat

You can choose from several gig economy rental platforms to enter the boat rental industry.

Here’s a list of our favorite companies:

  • Boatsetter: Arguably the most famous boat renting platform, Boatsetter provides its service in most places around the world. Their insurance and liability coverage under GEICO is unmatched. The only downside is their pricey commissions.
  • GetMyBoat: This is the #1 alternative to Boatsetter. GetMyBoat charges around 8.5% for their rental service. They help you get additional insurance with BCI.
  • Click&Boat: The go-to choice for all renting boats in Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Their liability insurance coverage comes through their partner Assur-Travel.
  • SamBoat: SamBoat’s main selling point is allowing you to effortlessly find boats to rent without a license. If you want insurance, you can get it through Cowen Insurance Company Limited.
  • Sailo: Though it’s smaller than its competitors, its primary markets are the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. The commissions are low, though you’ll have to figure out insurance yourself.

Why You Should Consider Renting Out a Boat As a Side Hustle

Despite the risks involved, you should seriously consider renting out your boat for the following reasons:

  • Cover boat ownership: If you become a boat owner, you may struggle to keep up with the high loans, boat maintenance, insurance premiums, slip fees, storage, and operating costs. You can cover most costs by renting it out for a few weeks a year.
  • Easy profit: CNBC reports that one boat owner makes $39,000 a month by renting out only two boats. Even if you just have one, that’s still around $19,500 each month.
  • Providing happiness: This business helps you contribute to the local tourism and help someone live out their dream of being a boat owner, even for a short time.

Problems With Renting Out a Boat for Money

You should rent your boat because it’s a great way to make extra cash for just a few hours of your free time. However, first familiarize yourself with the risks involved:

  • Liability insurance challenges: Few insurance companies are willing to support your boat rental business. 
  • Wear and tear: Although you’ll make good money, a massive chunk of it will go toward repairing damages and maintenance.
  • Risk of damage, vandalism, and theft: Some renters won’t have the best intentions in mind. You might notice things going missing or new scuff marks on the hull.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Make Money Chartering Your Boat?

You can make good money by chartering a crewed boat. The price depends on the time of year, boat size, and number of crew members. Renting out a small boat for $300 to $1,000 daily paves the way to a $100,000 annual income.

Can a Boat Be an Investment?

Although a boat isn’t the safest investment, it can become an excellent money-maker if you rent it out. However, since new boats depreciate quickly, consider buying and restoring a used boat instead. You can then set a daily rental fee between 2% to 4% of the boat’s value.

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7 Sep 2023
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Renting out my boat has been quite the voyage. On sunny days, it's out on the water, helping me rake in some good money. Maintenance is a chore, but it's all worth it when I think of the extra income and the joy it brings to renters. Just make sure you're insured and ready for the responsibilities!

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