Boats are a great way to spend time with friends and family. Buying a boat is wonderful, but renting has also become a popular option for many people. So, how can you decide if you should rent or buy a boat? Consider the pros and cons of each choice below.
The Case for Renting a Boat
Most people who love boating, fishing, and being on the water will buy their vessel. But there are strong arguments for renting. When you rent, you don’t commit to the financial burdens of boat ownership. Maintenance, boat payments, and repairs add up fast, so renting can be more affordable for many boaters.
Renting can also make accessing the boat easier. Instead of hauling a boat six hours for your family vacation, you simply drive to your destination, pick up the boat, and enjoy. Plus, you don’t have to worry about storage, which is yet another expensive.
Renting a boat, quite frankly, is just a more convenient option, and if you are only using a boat a few times a year, it’s also far more affordable. Purchasing a boat, especially a new boat, also means consuming the depreciation, which is not a problem for renters. When you rent, you can also try many kinds of boats, which is great if you are just learning about boating.
The Case for Buying a Boat
When you buy, the boat is yours, which has obvious benefits. Most importantly, the boat is available whenever you need it—you don’t have to call ahead and reserve the craft, and you don’t have to hope the boat is available for your one weekend at the lake. It’s yours to use as you please. Being able to use your boat spontaneously is rarely a luxury for renting.
In the long run, buying can also be more affordable, especially if you use a boat many times over the course of a year. Renting will cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars every time, depending on the type of boat you rent—for people who rent frequently, this can quickly pass the costs of buying.
Rent or Buy? How to Make the Final Choice
Making the final choice whether you should rent or buy a boat can be tough, but you can decide based on one question: how much will you use a boat per year? There is no official rule, but generally, if you are using a boat once a year, renting will certainly keep you happy. If you plan to go boating once a month or more, then perhaps you’d like to buy. You should also consider your comfort level with storage, maintenance, gas, and trailering to help guide your decision.
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