Boat Business Ideas: How to Make Money with Your Boat
One of the best things about boating is that it’s an activity that can be spun in a lot of different ways:
- Some people love to head out for sunset or dinner cruises.
- Others like to go out for a day of wake sports with the kids.
- Still others want to head to colorful coral reefs for an afternoon of snorkeling, while yet others want to wet lines and spend a whole day fishing to their heart’s content.
- Then, there is a whole menu of special-event boating options, with everything from onboard bachelor and bachelorette parties to on-the-water wedding proposals and milestone birthday celebrations.
For budding entrepreneurs listing their boats with Boatsetter, each type of activity that people like to do aboard a boat represents yet another business opportunity, plain and simple.
Boat owners can target all these different types of customers by investing in marketing and boat accessories that will help focus the boating experience on what clients want to do. With a little creativity, it’s easy to compile all your boat business ideas to create package(s) that will set a boat apart in the rental marketplace.
3 Smart Ways to Make Money with Your Boat
Once you list your boat on the Boatsetter marketplace, you’re able to easily connect and communicate with an avid supply of boat renters located all across the country. Then, comes the fun part. Crafting and customizing your boating experiences to attract both local and visiting renters who are looking to book an on-water adventure.
If you’re trying to figure out how to start your own boat business, here’s three creative ideas to get you started.
1. Offer your own watersports adventures
Say you want to target families with kids for a day of wake sports.
- You can outfit your boat with kid-size life jackets, kid-size water skis, kid-size wakeboards and similarly kid-sized tow toys.
- Have kid-friendly (and coral reef-friendly) sunscreen aboard.
- Include a cooler packed with juice boxes and kid-friendly snacks in the boat-rental fee.
This same concept can be applied to offer fishing adventures! Stock your boat full of rods, reels, bait, tackle, live wells, and coolers—transforming it into the ultimate angling machine.
2. Host special events onboard (and actually make it special)
Maybe you want to target people interested in having a special date or a wedding proposal on the water.
- Work out a deal with a local florist to include flowers at a price that you can add into the boat-rental fee.
- Talk to the local liquor store about ordering cases of Champagne at a bulk discount, and provide bottles on board, pre-chilled in a cooler.
- Have good-quality “unbreakable” Champagne glasses on board, along with the option for renters to add a “to-go charcuterie board” that you arrange with your local butcher, or a sampling of chocolates from your local sweets shop.
3. Plan snorkeling tours and scuba diving excursions
What if you want to target families of snorkelers as your rental clientele?
- For starters, you’ll need snorkeling gear in adult and kid sizes.
- Talk to a local scuba shop about a deal on repeat rentals of rash guards or wet suits.
- Invest in a couple of GoPro cameras that guests can use for the day to take underwater photos.
- Have “fish books” on board that will help guests identify everything they saw underwater, once they get back aboard and are drying off.
Ready to Start Your Own Boat Business?
No matter which type of clients you want to target to make money with your boat, you can hire captains who know the best itineraries for fishing, snorkeling and romantic scenery, as well as boat managers who can help to run the day-to-day operations. Local event planners can also be a huge help, and may work for a percentage of the rental fee as a commission.
The big thing to remember is that no matter which kinds of clients you want to target on Boatsetter, the boat is just the beginning. The experience is the thing you want to sell. Accessorize the boat to fit the experience, and then market that experience to the world.
- Still hesitant about listing your boat on Boatsetter? Be sure to read: Is Owning a Boat a Good Investment?
Kim Kavin has been on boats in more than 50 countries and islands, including in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. She grew up learning to steer a ski boat and Hobie Holder at her grandfather’s lake house in New Jersey, and went on to spend time aboard everything from America’s Cup racing sailboats to submarines.
Kim is a PADI-certified scuba diver and animal lover who always enjoys a good, long look around a coral reef. Her award-winning writing and editing regularly appears in national marine magazines and on leading websites. In her early years, she was a Dow Jones editing intern and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. When she’s not writing, Kim can usually be found hiking northwest New Jersey’s beautiful park trails with her adopted shelter mutt, Ginger.