Do you live in a place close to water? Are you interested in investing in the marine/tourism industry? Or you live in a beach town or community? Then boat rental might be the perfect business for you. Boat rentals involves hiring out boats to fishermen, tourists, law enforcement agents and other people who need such services, in exchange for cash. Boat renting is a very lucrative business and to start your own, you need the following information:

9 Type of Boats

First, you have to understand that boats come in different shapes and sizes and each of these boats have different uses. For instance, there are -:

Used specifically for fishing.

  • Bowser

This kind of boat is used to transport water or fuel.

  • Canoe

A canoe is navigated through water using a paddle.

  • Cabin Cruiser

This kind of boat is usually large enough for people to sleep and dine in.

  • House boat

A houseboat just like the name implies, is built like a house and people who rent it do so to use it as a temporary accommodation on holidays or for vacation.

  • Lifeboat

A lifeboat is used to rescue people when there has been an accident on water.

  • Speed boat

Speed boats usually have engines and can move very fast on water.

  • Steamboat

A kind of boat that is powered by steam.

  • Submersible

A kind of boat that can move under water.

Starting a Boat Rental Company – Sample Business Plan Template

Successful boat company owners usually have boat rental clubs on the side, in order to generate more revenue. This involves getting people to register as a member of your boat club in exchange for access to your boats at specified times. Boat rental clubs help you to make more money and help your registered members to save money by receiving discounted prices. Also, people see it as an opportunity to network and socialize.

  • Buying your Boats

To run a boat rental business, you certainly need boats and not just boats; you need solid boats. This means that you must exercise caution when shopping around for boats for your boat rental business so that you can get ones with best features and perfect prices.

You may approach boat dealers yourself or boat construction companies and give them a design of what you want. You may also approach a broker to purchase it on your behalf. These people possess extensive knowledge about boats and would be able to help you choose the right boats for your business. In order to start your boat rental company, these are the steps you should take-:

8 Steps to Starting a Boat Charter Company

1. Find out the legal requirements

You would have to pay a visit to the local water authorities (Ministry of Inland Water Ways) to find out the basic requirements for starting a boat rental company in your area. For instance, you may have to hire a professional captain for your boats in some states while in other states, this may not be a necessary requirement.

2. Choose the type of boats you want to rent out

I already listed some of the popular types of boats that are usually stocked by boat rental companies. But it is left for you to study your area carefully to decide on the type of boats that are likely to be in high demand before you buy them.

You also need to factor in your location. For instance, if you want to start your business in a tourist town, luxury boats and cruise boats would do well in such areas. Also, you should look into your budget to determine how many of such boats you can afford.

3. Purchase your boats

At this stage, you can now purchase your boats. Since you are totally unfamiliar in this business, it is more advisable for you to purchase a small fleet with additions when your business becomes bigger.

4. Build a dock to store your boats

You would need a place to store your boats to keep them safe and allow your customers easy access to them. You can either choose to dock your boats on water or opt for dry-docking instead.

5. Insure your boats

Boat renting is a very risky business and accidents may happen on water which may lead to loss of lives and your assets-boats. In some cases, you may be required to pay compensation to the family members of people who lost their lives or sustained injuries in the accident; this is when having an adequate insurance policy comes in handy. The insurance company would be able to take the burden off your neck at least to reduce the financial consequences to the barest minimum.

6. Set your prices and determine services you would render

The next step to take is to really sit down to design packages according to the services you would provide and then determine the prices for each package. For instance, you can offer buffet or romantic dinners on board, massages or any other unique services that would help to improve your client’s experience on-board.

7. Comply with safety regulations and purchase enough safety gadgets

To keep your clients safe at all times.

8. Marketing

This is yet another very important aspect of this business. You should market your business using all mediums available to you. However, some of these strategies can draw customers to your business;

  • Create a website

This would make it easy for people looking for such services in your area to find you online.

  • Hire agents to sell cruise packages

If you look on the internet, you would find different boat and cruising companies offering different packages for people to enjoy. You can come up with your own package and then engage the services of tourist agencies, travel agents, affiliates and ticketing agencies to help you sell your cruise packages for a chance to earn attractive commissions.

  • Organize events

You can also promote your boat hiring business by organizing events like fishing, boat races, dinners and other fun events.

  • Partner with event planners

Lastly, you can partner with event planners to encourage their clients to host events on your very large boats.