You’ve been asking yourself, should I buy a boat? Â Great question. Â It is a big investment, both in time and money, so we want to help you make sure you are making the right decision.
It implies, of course, other questions such as . . . Am I sure I’m a boater? Â Do I have the money? Â Do I have the time to maintain it? Â Do I have room to store it? Â To answer these and other questions, you may want to consider other options besides owning. Â Then you can decide what type of boater you are.
Type 1: Renter
Are you brand new to boating? Â Do you or your family have very little experience on the water? Â Are you unsure of your discretionary income? Â Renting may be for you.
This is the option with the smallest commitment. Â Renting may be a good way to find out if the boating lifestyle is something you and your family will enjoy. Â If you are looking to make memories with your family, you might want to make sure that they will be good memories! Â We know some folks who bought boats, then figured out their kids didn’t like it quite as much as they hoped. Â The premature boat purchase turned into a very expensive lesson. Â You may want to test the waters, so to speak, with renting.
You should always take a good look at insurance when renting. Â Many marinas use insurance policies which do not give you much liability protection. Â More on this in another post, but take a good look at the liability involved when renting.
Telling factors: If you only envision going out on the lake 2-3 times a year, you are probably a renter. Â If you have less than a thousand dollars to spend, you are probably a renter.
Monetary Investment: Minimal Â Non-Boating Time Investment: Minimal
Type 2: Boat Club Member
Do you envision boating once or more a month? Â Do you want someone else to handle storage, maintenance, and up-keep? Â Boat Clubs may be for you.
Boat Clubs have taken off over the last few years with good reason. Â Clubs offer nearly all of the benefits of owning, but with much less of the hassle and time commitment. Â You pay a low, flat monthly rate and go out as often as you want. Â None of the maintenance cost or hassle. Â None of the storage and transport cost or hassle. Â Clubs often have multiple locations so you can enjoy different lakes and areas. Â Boating accessories are often included. If you want the flexibility of boating when you want, where you want, and are in it for the on-the-water experience only, then Boat Clubs may be for you.
Monetary Investment:Â Moderate Â Â Non-Boating Time Investment:Â Minimal
Type 3: Owner
Do you enjoy tinkering? Â Do you enjoy maintaining your car, yard, or house? Â Do you have considerable discretionary income and time? Â Ownership may be for you.
Boat ownership is a big step, so make sure this is going to be a worthwhile investment. Â It’s great for the person who loves working on their own stuff. Â It’s great for the person who has the discretionary time it takes to see that the boat is maintained properly, stored properly, and safe. Â If you are considering storing and transporting the boat yourself, see this post.
Monetary Investment:Â Extensive Â Â Non-Boating Time Investment:Â Extensive
Still thinking ownership may be the way to go? Â We’ve developed a free eBook titled Should I Buy a Boat?: The True Cost of Boat Ownership which walks you through many of the considerations involved. Â Reading through this valuable resource will either save you major headaches down the road, or help make you certain that ownership is the way to go.
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