Sometimes we all want to get out on the water to feel the sea’s motion and view the land that we live in from a different perspective. Being on the water can provide unmatched relaxation and an escape from the everyday grind of life. The question presents itself, what is the best way to spend quality time on the water. My opportunities are available, including chartering, purchasing, or buying. Renting a boat may be the best option. So, is a boat rental worth it?

What are the drawbacks of owning a boat versus renting a boat?

-Cost to include maintenance, insurance, fuel, storage, etc.

-Finding the time to use it often enough.

-Upfront cost of purchasing

Owning a boat is convenient. With ownership, you can head offshore at any time you wish. With that being said, consider the cost to maintain the craft, storage, insurance, and general upkeep. In addition, there are some big bucks you have shell out to buy it. When you combine all of the time and money invested, you need to be sure that the boat will have plenty of use.

Many people decide to buy a vessel but rarely find the time to use it. Purchasing a boat is a considerable expense, and you will likely lose money trying to resell it after you have determined that you can get out on the water enough. 

What are the benefits of renting a boat versus owning a boat?

-No upfront cost.

-You will not have any commitment.

-Walk away from the boat after it is used.

Boat rentals are found all across the United States, from small lakes to the seas that surround us. Finding a boat rental company is generally an easy task. What is excellent about renting versus owning is that you can use a boat whenever you wish without needing to fork out any money beyond the single day use. 

If your schedule only allows you to get out on the water one time per month or less, boat rentals are likely the best option. With all of the costs that go into ownership, a single rental once per month will cost less than owning a boat. Keep in mind that the fuel burned that day will be in addition to the daily rental fee.

Another benefit of renting versus owning is that you can walk away when you are done for the day. No clean up is necessary after a fun-filled day spent on the water. Take into account that when you own a boat, hours can be consumed after the trip cleaning. 

What are the requirements to rent a boat?

The requirements to rent a boat can be highly dependent on the state. Check with both the state regulations in addition to specific rules from the rental company.

Depending on the specific company’s policies, the minimum age to rent is generally eighteen years old but can be as high as 25. 

States offer a boaters safety course to educate on both maneuvers a boat and understanding navigation laws properly. Not all, but most will require that the renter obtains a boaters safety certificate. It is best to take the class ahead of town; however, some boat rental companies will certify you with a course before heading out for the day. 


To answer the question of is a boat rental worth it is highly dependent on the person considering purchasing versus renting. If you are serious about buying, rent a boat for a few trips with the whole family and see if it is something that everyone will enjoy. Taking ownership to find out that it’s not the right fit is a costly experiment.

Another good option is to consider a boat club such as Carefree Boat Club or Freedom Boat Club, but again, a commitment must be made to use the boat multiple times per month to justify the expense. In the end, for the busy family, an occasional daily rental is likely the best bet.