Summer is here and the urge to be out on the water in a boat is overwhelming. But what if you don’t have a boat? You don’t even have a friend or a relative with a boat. In the past, your only options were to save up and buy your own boat, rent a boat from a pricey marina, or just sit and cry. Now there’s a new option: rent a boat from the boat’s owner.
You’ve heard of websites where you can rent houses, apartments, and rooms from the owner, and now that concept applies to boats. The renter is happy because he gets the boat he’s longing for, for the amount of time he needs it. The owner is happy because she gets to rent out her boat when she’s not using it and make some money at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.
According to the US Coast Guard’s most recently published survey, there are 22.2 million boats owned by Americans, but those boat owners only spent an average of 11.3 days on the water in the entire year. So the boat rental business makes a lot of sense.
There are many boat rental websites out there. At least one is international—you can rent boats all over the world. On most of the websites you can search by location, type of vessel, dates, and price ranges. Some even have the choice of whether or not you want to have a captain, so you can concentrate on having a good time, without the responsibility of piloting.
You can rent paddle-boards, kayaks, canoes, personal water-crafts, fishing boats, cruisers, and even sailboats! Whatever watercraft is your idea of fun, you can find it online. Most sites offer email, chat, and phone support for any questions you may have. Most sites also offer boating insurance to make your experience worry free.
If you’re starting to get serious about making the commitment to buy a boat, renting also makes a lot of sense. You can try out different makes and models and find out for sure what suits you and your family best. It’s a great opportunity to bypass a case of buyer’s remorse.
When you rent a boat, you can expect a similar experience to renting a car. You’ll need a driver’s license, a credit card, and a deposit. The owner (or agent) will give you a tour of the boat, a run-down of its operation, and any quirks that are pertinent to that particular vessel.
You’ll want to make a detailed visual inspection, and make note and take photos of any existing damage. You’ll most likely take possession of the boat with a full tank of fuel, and you should plan to return it in the same condition. There may be extra charges for any accessories you want to take along, such as fishing gear or sporting gear. Also, if you bring the boat back dirty, expect to pay a clean-up fee.
Now you have no excuse for sitting on the sidelines. Jump in this summer with a boat rental, and find out what you’re missing!