Can You Make Money Chartering Boats?

Yes, owning a yacht for rent can be profitable, but it rarely “pays for itself”. Renting your boat has some unique benefits that can create opportunities to get a return on your investment in many ways, such as offsetting the cost of ownership or selling your yacht for a profit. Chartering your vessel is the most common way to make money with your boat. The charter market has been a thriving industry for years, and customers are willing to pay a good amount of money for the private use of a boat, whether it's a luxury yacht, a weekend sailboat, or a one-day fishing boat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the demand for this sector, as people seek socially distanced vacations to enjoy with small groups of family and friends. However, you must remember that your income will be at the mercy of the weather, fish bites and mechanical breakdowns. Many charter fishing captains have seasonal work or backup income in one form or another. But talk to any charter fishing captain and they'll all probably tell you the same thing: they love their job.

In the highly competitive world of yacht rental, where it seems that almost all boats are for rent, all yacht managers and brokers can do is help mitigate some of the yacht owner's expenses and perhaps justify some tax deductions if the yacht owner dares. Not including this in the balance sheet can artificially increase the profit margin, until you impose yourself with an astronomical repair bill that eats up all the money you thought you'd earned renting the boat. There's simply no way an owner can reimburse their capital repayments based on freight; that's not what the charter business is all about. Day cruises are very popular around the world, and private day trips offer good earning potential, especially for smaller ships.

The average number of weeks is longer for the rental of sailboats and catamarans, usually between 14 and 20 weeks. In the long term, freight is a good strategy to increase the value of your boat, which would otherwise depreciate over time. Finally, assign the rate you charge customers for a day of charter fishing; this figure is the money that comes in (everything else measures the money that goes out). In this scenario, the boat owner hires an outside company to take care of the boat and book its rental.

The break-even point for the Maverick 36, which uses the company's pro forma of management, is 112 chartered days per year. Charterers qualified to sail or sail can rent their boat and take full control of it, plan their own itinerary, make sure it is stocked, and sail and dock themselves.

Pamela Taschereau
Pamela Taschereau

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