Rent vs. Own

Many people find themselves wondering what to expect when they decide to take the plunge into boat ownership. Initially, the financial impact can vary greatly depending on if you decide to purchase a brand-new boat or a (potentially) less expensive used boat. With either option, the undoubted truth is that your cost of that boat has just begun after you write the first check.  

            Before handing over a suitcase of cash for your dream boat there are a few things to consider. First, will you be trailering your boat? If the answer is yes, you should know beforehand if your current vehicle can tow the size boat you plan to purchase. If you happen to own a Toyota Camry for instance, you first need to purchase a new SUV or pickup truck. Once you are set up with an adequate vehicle, you can worry about learning how to drive around town and at boat ramps with a trailer after you buy the boat. Secondly, where will you be storing your boat? On the trailer at your house? In the water at a marina or at a dry storage facility? Consider all these factors in advance in hopes of avoiding any budget issues or simply upsetting your neighbors when you stage a boat in the front yard.

            Now that you know which vessel best fits your needs, have the right vehicle to trailer your new boat and have a storage plan, you are ready to purchase but what do you need to do next?  Before leaving the boat dealership, you are going to want to have an insurance policy in place protecting your new asset in addition to registering the boat with the state and any other required municipalities. Once those boxes are checked you can head to your nearest marine store to purchase all the basic safety equipment that are required on all vessels. These items include, life jackets, fire extinguishers, whistle, flares, etc. Depending on the type and size of boat you purchase, these requirements vary greatly.

Your initial safety gear purchase is always the most expensive.

            Next point of consideration is maintenance. Cleaning the interior of your boat or spending more money on dry storage to prevent the need for cleaning is arguably the least important. Boat engines should be serviced before there is an issue, so you do not find yourself stranded offshore or on a large lake somewhere. Paying a qualified mechanic regularly and preemptively can save you countless lost days on the water. Remember, when a boat engine is rarely used or goes months without running, you will undoubtedly experience more maintenance costs due to fixing issues. Lastly, if you find yourself trailering your boat often, maintaining your trailer is important so you do not spend your Saturday stranded on the side of a busy highway.  Grease your bearings, have a spare, and always have working trailer lights.

This was a boat we had growing up boating on Wilson Lake on the Tennessee River.

At this point, if you are thinking that you want to avoid the time and money that is required of boat ownership, then renting a boat might be a more cost-effective alternative. Not only do you spare yourself the initial coast of buying a boat when you rent but you also no longer need a new vehicle, insurance, storage, and the need to pay a mechanic to service your boat. By renting through Boats to You Rentals, “you make the memories and we take care of the rest.”

Happy Boating!

Captain Mike