Is it Better to Rent, Own, or Charter a Boat?

Boats are a huge responsibility to care for, from purchasing boat insurance coverage to storing and maintaining the boat year-round for just a few months of boat usage. However, there’s also other options: renting and chartering are available as well. While all options require some type of coverage, that coverage is dependent on the owner of the boat, and the costs can vary.

All in all, it’s expensive to own a boat yourself. The U.S. Superyacht Association found the annual cost for operating a 180-foot vessel to be around $4.75 million, according to a 2016 Bloomberg article. While it’s acceptable to purchase a boat if you have the extra funds, some might want the benefits of the boat without having to drop that type of cost. Here’s whether it’s better to own, rent, or charter a boat:

Owning a Boat

Owning a boat brings you the satisfaction and pride that you don’t quite get from renting or chartering a boat. While it may be expensive to purchase and maintain, it’s also literally unlimited usage of a boat, right at your fingertips.

If you want to constantly go boating, such as during spring, summer and fall, then it might make more sense economically to buy, advises Boats.com, and with a boat that you own, you won’t have to worry about bad maintenance that’s out of your control. Insurance will be a necessity when owning a boat, meaning the boat insurance average cost will start at $300 per year. If you’re not ready to take the jump into ownership, don’t worry. It’s time to instead explore your other options.

Renting a Boat

The biggest benefit of renting is that the entire responsibility of the boat doesn’t fall on you, making this a perfect option for new or inexperienced boaters. There are however certain responsibilities that come with renting, such as making sure the boat doesn’t break down. Renter boats have been known to have sub-standard maintenance on them, but renting can also mean that you can travel to new places and find new adventures without dealing with trailering or making long cruises. Renting means not worrying about storing the boat or dealing with emptying the head.

Having insurance will still be important when renting, although it will be done differently since it’s not your boat. Be sure to speak with your boat insurance agent about your coverage for renting.

Chartering a Boat

Chartering comes with a lot of advantages. First off, it’s always possible to customize your boat experience; finding the amenities that you want will be entirely possible. Not only will a captain and crew be included, but you will also have access to the most cutting edge technology possible. Chartering is for any budget and allows you a glimpse into the world of boat ownership. If you’re an inexperienced boat operator or you just want the opportunity to kick back on the boat and enjoy the scenery, this is a great option.

If you are chartering a boat for the day or even for the week, you will not need your own insurance policy. If you are chartering out the boat that you own for others’ use, then you will need a special-tailored boat insurance policy.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.

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