Opinion

Boat Ownership or Rental – Which is Better for You?

Boat ownership vs boat rentals, which is better for you?

Trying to decide whether buying or renting a boat is best for you? We can help with that!

Summer is here and there’s no better way to spend a hot Okanagan day than out on the lake! But boating is an expensive hobby, so I’m sure you’ve found yourself wondering if it would be worth it to buy a boat to enjoy those days on the lake, or should you rent instead? We wondered the same and came up with a list of things to consider, as well as an online costs calculator for buying versus renting!

Convenience & Flexibility of Boat Ownership

Having your own boat can be extremely convenient. You can decide when, where and how long you want to stay out on the water, and you don’t have to decide before you leave! With boat ownership you can also easily decide last minute without worrying about making a reservation or being disappointed when the availability isn’t there. You also get the opportunity to own the exact boat you want and have that great pride of ownership. Heck, you don’t even have to take it out, you can just spend the afternoon on your own boat while it’s docked and still have a great day!

Convenience & Flexibility of Boat Rentals

When renting a boat, you have a great deal of flexibility. You’re able to try new lakes without worrying about transporting your boat, and you can plan your day knowing there isn’t any boat to hitch up and tow around. You also can also have the convenience of never having to do regular maintenance on a boat. This is a great plus for those of us who aren’t mechanically inclined, don’t have the time, or hate to pay for maintenance because we feel we should be able to do ourselves. With a rental there’s less responsibility and therefore more time for other fun summer activities! With renting you additionally have the opportunity to try different boats, and you have the flexibility to rent a boat that will exactly fit your needs for the occasion. Sometimes you might want a pontoon boat, while other days a speed boat, or wakeboard boat. With renting, you’re never locked down into just one type with the same old options.

Costs of Boat Ownership

Owning a boat is a very expensive hobby. Boat owners find that if it’s not one thing it’s another. Some of the costs that you need to consider when buying a boat include:

  • Initial cost of the purchase (plus are you paying interest on a loan?)
  • Insurance, registration and licensing
  • Gas (for the boat itself, plus the extra needed for towing if that’s your choice)
  • Maintenance and cleaning
  • Water toys, such as tubes, skis, wake boards etc.
  • Depreciation
  • Boat trailering costs
  • Mooring/docking fees
  • Off season storage

Costs of Boat Rentals

When renting a boat you can cancel out practically all of the costs listed above. This is one of greatest benefits of not owning your own boat! You also don’t have the added guilt of having your expensive boat sitting idle if you just rent! The only costs to consider are obviously the rental cost, important because if you’ll be renting a lot this can add up pretty quick. Another cost shared with boat ownership is that of fuel. Fuel costs are rarely included in the cost of renting, so you need to be sure if you’re paying for this.

We found that we couldn’t really get too specific here with cost comparisons because everything varies, so we searched out a great little online tool for you to use if you’re serious about comparing actual costs.   Click here for an online calculator in which you can add in all the specifics relevant to you, and come up with a very clear renting vs. buying comparison. You can then factor in things like the size, year and value of the boat, how many days you’re likely to use it and how long you’re likely to own it, etc. Add to the costs the convenience and flexibility factors, and you should have a pretty good idea of which option is best for you.

GiftGator also has a great selection of boat rentals just for you, many of which do include all fuel costs!  Click here to check them out if you decide you’re in a renting frame of mind to enjoy those sunny Okanagan days!

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