Author Topic: Buying a Boat vs Renting  (Read 8374 times)

FarmerPete

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Buying a Boat vs Renting
« on: July 06, 2015, 02:51:47 PM »
Okay, save the face punches till you read my question.  I was recently on vacation with about 25 family members for a week.  We do this every couple years.  Having a boat available would be fun, and the cost divided between a dozen adults wouldn't be too bad.  The problem is, the places I was calling to rent a boat wanted over a grand for the week.  Sure, that's $100 a person, but it seems like a lot of money.  The question is, would it be better to buy a boat, use it for a week or two, and then sell it be better than renting?  I remember watching a Top Gear UK where they were trying to buy a car for under $1000 to drive from Miami to New Orleans, and then sell the car at their destination.  The premise was that it would be cheaper than renting.  I guess that's basically what I'm trying to replicate with boats.  My thought is that apart from taxes and a couple weeks of insurance, the boat really shouldn't loose much in value over the course of a few weeks.  I guess there is risk of repairs, as I would be buying an older and cheaper boat anyways ($3-4k range).  Anyone ever done something like this before?

P.S.  I really need to find some friends with boats, cause I'm sure I could rent a boat from them for a lot less than the $1k marinas want.

stephan

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 03:23:45 PM »
It probably would be. At such high price changes it makes you think. However that means that you will have to stay in the place where you are selling it since you probably will not sell it emmidiately. And you will kind of spend a considerable amount of time to figure out what things on a boat to look for. I would say it depends when you stay after the trip and when do you finish the trip. After summer I would expect that prices of boats will drop significantly, so be careful!

mtn

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 03:36:46 PM »
How many days would you be using it out of the year? Also, what are you using it for? PWC's may be a better option.

Jack

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 03:46:24 PM »
What makes you think you could sell the boat quickly once you're done with it? Chances are, whoever you bought it from in the first place had been trying to get rid of it for months (especially if you got a good deal). And if you can't sell it quickly, carrying costs - i.e., maintenance and dock rental fees -- will kill you.

sunday

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2015, 04:03:24 PM »
Do you know much about boats? 3-4k is very little for a boat for that fits 10 people comfortably. It sounds like it would be a really old boat, and old boats, unless meticulously taken care of, have lots of problems. And like Jack said, it would likely be a headache trying to get rid of it. Marina fees add up quickly too.

Don't buy a boat you want to use once. Spend the $100 and save yourself a huge headache.


abhe8

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2015, 09:32:24 PM »
I agree. Rent.

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FarmerPete

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2015, 10:35:17 PM »
Let me clarify my expectations. I live in the Midwest, so boating would be inland lakes. I have no expectation that the boat would fit everyone, as it's about a dozen adults and a dozen kids. I also have no desire to dock it at a marina.  I'd keep it on a trailer when not in use in the water. I've got space on my driveway to store it for a bit when it's time to sell.  In general, we've been vacationing in early summer, so reselling it should still be possible.   

I'm seeing boats for 4k that look alright. If kbb has the book value higher than they're selling, the boat is popular, and I pay a bit to have it looked at, I fell like I could come out ahead.  Of course I'd have to make sure it came with anything we needed like life jackets, etc.

Anyways, it was just a thought. I just feel like these rental places are scams. PWC are even more expensive to rent. I could buy an old one for cheap, but I know PWC/jet engined boats seem to break more often than a standard I/o or outboard boat.

Jack

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2015, 07:30:42 AM »
Let me clarify my expectations. I live in the Midwest, so boating would be inland lakes. I have no expectation that the boat would fit everyone, as it's about a dozen adults and a dozen kids. I also have no desire to dock it at a marina.  I'd keep it on a trailer when not in use in the water. I've got space on my driveway to store it for a bit when it's time to sell.

And you already have the big truck to pull the trailer? (If so, why?!)

FYI, my previous advice applies just as well to bowriders and pontoon boats (like you'd use on a lake) as it does to the sorts of center console, trawlers, or sailboats that you'd use in the ocean. In fact, lake boating is what I'm familiar with -- my parents owned a boat when I was a kid, and I remember them complaining about how much it cost to store (and how hard it was to get rid of!).

To be clear, I'm not saying I think you'd actually lose more than the $1000 rental cost in cash buying and then re-selling a $4000 boat. I'm saying that there's significant risk that the time, hassle, ancillary and opportunity costs might add up enough to make it not worth it.

For example, say you buy the boat for $4000 and then sell it for $3500 a year later. During that time, maybe you've spent an extra $100 in gas trailering it back and forth to the lake a few times, been fined $50 from your HOA for the eyesore in your driveway, spent $200 on having it checked out mechanically / tuned up / winterize / de-winterized, spent another $30 taking out classified ads, and spent 10 hours of your life showing it to potential buyers. And of course, $3000 of that $4000 could have been in the stock market for that year if you hadn't bought the boat. Is it still worth it?

mskyle

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 07:51:41 AM »
Let me clarify my expectations. I live in the Midwest, so boating would be inland lakes. I have no expectation that the boat would fit everyone, as it's about a dozen adults and a dozen kids. I also have no desire to dock it at a marina.  I'd keep it on a trailer when not in use in the water. I've got space on my driveway to store it for a bit when it's time to sell.  In general, we've been vacationing in early summer, so reselling it should still be possible.   

I'm seeing boats for 4k that look alright. If kbb has the book value higher than they're selling, the boat is popular, and I pay a bit to have it looked at, I fell like I could come out ahead.  Of course I'd have to make sure it came with anything we needed like life jackets, etc.

Anyways, it was just a thought. I just feel like these rental places are scams. PWC are even more expensive to rent. I could buy an old one for cheap, but I know PWC/jet engined boats seem to break more often than a standard I/o or outboard boat.

I have seen friends and family members buy "boats that look alright" and end up spending way more money on them than they expected and/or getting stranded at the wrong end of the lake and needing a tow home.

snogirl

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 08:05:10 AM »
Rent the boat or rent/buy kayaks.
My kayak is easily one of my best $200 I ever spent.
It is a cheap plastic one from Dick's Sporting Goods.
No gas or insurance.
Gives me exercise.  Noise free. Minimal maintenance.
Everyone can do it.
We have them at our yearly family gathering (lots of people) at our Maine lake house rental.
I use mine all the time on the ponds & lakes in Vermont.
Much easier to deal with than a buying & flipping a boat.


 

Midwest

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 08:13:41 AM »
Okay, save the face punches till you read my question.  I was recently on vacation with about 25 family members for a week.  We do this every couple years.  Having a boat available would be fun, and the cost divided between a dozen adults wouldn't be too bad.  The problem is, the places I was calling to rent a boat wanted over a grand for the week.  Sure, that's $100 a person, but it seems like a lot of money.  The question is, would it be better to buy a boat, use it for a week or two, and then sell it be better than renting?  I remember watching a Top Gear UK where they were trying to buy a car for under $1000 to drive from Miami to New Orleans, and then sell the car at their destination.  The premise was that it would be cheaper than renting.  I guess that's basically what I'm trying to replicate with boats.  My thought is that apart from taxes and a couple weeks of insurance, the boat really shouldn't loose much in value over the course of a few weeks.  I guess there is risk of repairs, as I would be buying an older and cheaper boat anyways ($3-4k range).  Anyone ever done something like this before?

P.S.  I really need to find some friends with boats, cause I'm sure I could rent a boat from them for a lot less than the $1k marinas want.

I use my boat about 75 hours a year.  Depreciation has been $500 - $600 a year.  Repairs average about $150 a year.  Maintenance is $100 - $150.  Winterization is easy and is included in the maintenance costs..  Insurance is $250 but I have a $1M liability attached.

Buying and reselling every year, you would lose.  If you think you would use the boat otherwise, your costs will be less than $1k per year excluding gas for the boat , storage (may not be applicable) and a vehicle to tow (may not be applicable).

At $4k, you may or may not be buying someones problems.  Typical issues would be outdrive problems (leaking boot especially), rotten stringers (if not composite) and trailer issues.  Inboard marine engines do not fall apart at 1000 hours.  My boat has 1100 and runs great.  It's typically the outdrive on an IO that has more issues.

You could spend a little more and buy an old inboard (mastercraft, nautique, malibu) but inboards aren't everybody's thing.  The nice thing about inboards is a) quality  and b) lack of an outdrive to cause the afore-mentioned problems.

If the rentals are anything like the ones I've seen (junk), you could have a much nicer experience if you are willing to deal with some hassle (maintenance).

On renting from friends, no way I'd rent my boat out.  To much liability and too po'd when the inexperienced renter trashes it.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 08:22:20 AM by Midwest »

rubybeth

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 08:50:15 AM »
If you're only using it during that one week, I think renting is better. As others have pointed out, reselling it may not be easy, and $100 for using a boat for one week out of the year isn't bad at all. Plus, with insurance, maintenance, etc., $100 is probably an even better deal than buying. I can't tell you how many times my dad's boat has had problems. Luckily, he's very handy and has been able to fix them himself, but if you don't know how to do that stuff, parts and labor aren't cheap, plus there's hassle factor.

mtn

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 09:16:11 AM »
My background: My grandpa had a 16 foot Runabout (Sea Ray) with a 100hp outboard. My grandpa had a 16 foot aluminum with a 9HP engine. My dad has a 18 foot aluminum with a 70hp outboard. My fiance's dad has a 23 foot I/O, and an 18 foot aluminum with a 75hp outboard. Between two uncles there are 4 PWC's and a 23 foot I/O, with about 3 canoes and maybe another small fishing boat. I have a lot of experience with all of these. All of the outboards are 2 strokes.

By far, ignoring the canoes/kayaks, the easiest and cheapest has been the small aluminum with the 9HP engine. In 40 years, the only maintenance items that we've had to do on that was a new transom at about 35 years (total cost about $200). The engine has been pretty flawless too. At the end of the season, fill the last tank with STA-BIL and run it through, and then disconnect the gas tank and run it until it dies. Change the lower-unit oil at the beginning and end of each season. Probably overkill to do it twice, but we're playing on the safe side. We don't worry about the trailer since we beach-launch this one.

Our boat--the 18foot aluminum with floor--was a $1,500 boat that we immediately put about $3,000 into the engine, new floor, new trailer wires, new bearings. Don't think we could have found a better boat for the money that we had into it. Since then, we've spent about $2,500 rebuilding the lower-unit. Our engine was rode-hard and put up wet when we got it though. Otherwise put the battery on a tender the night before using it if we haven't used it in awhile, re-pack the bearings on the trailer before putting it away, and see above for the engine maintenance.

The big boats are too much of a pain IMHO. I like 20' and under. Easier to store, easier to launch, we can moor them outside, just better all around. For us.

The PWC's are great though. For $10,000 my uncle had two brand new ones. He spends about $200 a year at the end of the season having the shop check them out. They get used a LOT. For families that are mostly older kids, these are probably better than the boats. Go out for a quick 5-15 minute jaunt, come back and hand them off to someone else and go swimming or tanning or play with the dog. My other uncle has the same thing but bought his used. His have been nearly as reliable.

My dad is looking at buying a place by his brothers (on the lake) and he will get a bigger boat to go chase bigger fish, and probably 1 or 2 PWC's. But we get the use out of our boats and toys, since someone is up there most weekends. Is it cheaper than renting? We've asked ourselves this. No, it isn't. But we don't have to worry about it if we want to go out and chase the Walleyes at night or super early in the morning. And we don't have to worry about it if we decide on a whim to go up to the lake, we know the boat is there. Financially it doesn't make sense, especially in a Mustachian way. But as my grandpa has said countless times, that lake house he bought in the 70's and those boats he bought in the 70's and 90's were the very best investments he ever made, because as a family we are all so close that you cannot imagine it. Would he have had the same thing renting? I doubt it. But that has to be your call to make.

mtn

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2015, 09:22:32 AM »
Oh, and we already had vehicles to tow these with. (And seriously, no facepunches deserved in these instances). But while we could mostly all get bigger boats since we can tow way more than we do, conversely you don't need an F350 to tow a boat. We towed with a Crown Vic for a long time; the Corolla has a 1500lb towing capacity, an outback has about 3500 with brakes, the Oddity we used to have... well, that transmission sucked so I think that was actually over-rated.

Jack

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2015, 09:38:10 AM »
Oh, and we already had vehicles to tow these with. (And seriously, no facepunches deserved in these instances). But while we could mostly all get bigger boats since we can tow way more than we do, conversely you don't need an F350 to tow a boat. We towed with a Crown Vic for a long time; the Corolla has a 1500lb towing capacity, an outback has about 3500 with brakes, the Oddity we used to have... well, that transmission sucked so I think that was actually over-rated.

It depends a lot on the boat. An 18' aluminum with a 70 hp outboard is quite a lot different than a 26' fiberglass with a 300 hp I/O. The former I could see getting towed by a Corolla; the latter, not so much!

mtn

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2015, 09:48:26 AM »
Oh, and we already had vehicles to tow these with. (And seriously, no facepunches deserved in these instances). But while we could mostly all get bigger boats since we can tow way more than we do, conversely you don't need an F350 to tow a boat. We towed with a Crown Vic for a long time; the Corolla has a 1500lb towing capacity, an outback has about 3500 with brakes, the Oddity we used to have... well, that transmission sucked so I think that was actually over-rated.

It depends a lot on the boat. An 18' aluminum with a 70 hp outboard is quite a lot different than a 26' fiberglass with a 300 hp I/O. The former I could see getting towed by a Corolla; the latter, not so much!

Absolutely agreed. But my point is that you often see Suburbans being used to tow relatively small boats. Figure out if you actually need it or not. That 26 footer with a Chevy 350, or 2 150HP Outboards? Yeah, I'd want at least a full sized pickup/SUV.

James

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2015, 10:04:58 AM »
I am pretty sure you aren't comparing apples to apples. The boat you would rent is worth more than the ones you think of buying. So it's not a rip off, it's just different.


You are very likely over the years to buy a lemon, find out it needs huge expensive repairs, and then not be able to sell it without the repairs.


If you want a boat and it is worth the money, then rent. I highly recommend against buying a boat just to sell it after using it.


Take out a craigslist add, maybe you can find a private renter? But I doubt it, the cost of repairs if you screw up a boat are huge. The high rental costs factor that in.

mtn

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2015, 11:02:07 AM »
I am pretty sure you aren't comparing apples to apples. The boat you would rent is worth more than the ones you think of buying. So it's not a rip off, it's just different.


You are very likely over the years to buy a lemon, find out it needs huge expensive repairs, and then not be able to sell it without the repairs.


If you want a boat and it is worth the money, then rent. I highly recommend against buying a boat just to sell it after using it.


Take out a craigslist add, maybe you can find a private renter? But I doubt it, the cost of repairs if you screw up a boat are huge. The high rental costs factor that in.

This is all right.

Now, one thing to consider would be buy the boat and don't sell it. But then you have to store it.

sol

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2015, 11:06:17 AM »
I have a friend who flips boats as his retirement hobby.  At any given time he usually has four to six parked on his property.

He's a boating fanatic, though, and I think part of the appeal for him is in always having a "new" boat to play with.  I don't think he's getting rich, but I'm sure it at least covers the title and insurance costs.

This isn't something I would try on my own.  Just like cars, boats can have hidden problems and unplanned repair costs that make any given deal a crapshoot.  He says he makes money on average, but only by spreading out the risk.

Midwest

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2015, 02:28:35 PM »
I am pretty sure you aren't comparing apples to apples. The boat you would rent is worth more than the ones you think of buying. So it's not a rip off, it's just different.


You are very likely over the years to buy a lemon, find out it needs huge expensive repairs, and then not be able to sell it without the repairs.


If you want a boat and it is worth the money, then rent. I highly recommend against buying a boat just to sell it after using it.


Take out a craigslist add, maybe you can find a private renter? But I doubt it, the cost of repairs if you screw up a boat are huge. The high rental costs factor that in.

My experience looking at the marina boats is just the opposite.  Usually what they are renting are pontoon boats or jet boats.  I think the $5k boat (unless you want a pontoon) is nicer.

Emg03063

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2015, 07:55:04 PM »
If you want a boat and it is worth the money, then rent. I highly recommend against buying a boat just to sell it after using it.


Take out a craigslist add, maybe you can find a private renter? But I doubt it, the cost of repairs if you screw up a boat are huge. The high rental costs factor that in.

^this.  Someone out there with a $3-$4k boat they are trying to sell would love to clear $500 for a week's use.  You do have to address the risk of breakdown during rental period and who pays (maybe agree to split those costs, cap your liability at $500, and you won't be out of pocket more than the marina rental option in a worst case--just out of the use of the boat part of the time).  I'd email sellers in the area you want to rent with a proposal like that, and see if anyone bites.  If not, I'd rent.  Risks of ownership outweigh the benefits IMO.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 07:57:58 PM by Emg03063 »

incamustache

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2015, 08:27:39 AM »
 Let me just say this, I grew up with family and friends that had many boats on the local lake. What I have to say is that a boat = a money pit. There is no way about it. Now whether or not the enjoyment will equal out the cost, that is for you to decide. But I also had one for a summer and to me the enjoyment vs the cost and non fun things (getting the boat ready, towing it to the lake, waiting forever for ppl working on their jetskis and boats in the boat ramp, backing it into the water, etc..) after a summer with a boat I was done. I would suggest rent.

Bob W

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2015, 08:53:15 AM »
Rent,  buy some kayaks and buy 2 jet skis in December.     

MsPeacock

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2015, 09:59:26 AM »
This plan also hinges on the 12 other adults agreeing to this? Because I think that is highly unlikely to come about, aside from all the pro/con of renting vs. selling.

I'd rent - easier and the cost of $100 for a week isn't much.

jml2307

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2015, 07:26:02 PM »
Stick with the rental. What is your time worth? How long will it take to find a decent boat in ready-to-go condition, transfer title, insure and register it. Then tow it to your destination, launch it and haul it back out. Then you get to tow it home, list it, and deal with PITA tire-kickers who want to beat you up on your price. If I had to guess, you are looking at about 20-30 hours of extra work opposed to renting. For the $100 you would save, it doesn't seem worth it.

On vacation, it seems much nicer to walk up to the marina office and hand over the $100 and walk away with keys. If it breaks down when you are using it, they come get you and probably give you a discount or refund. Plus you won't have several thousand dollars of yours tied up in a depreciating "asset" for several weeks or months.

Also, I have heard they are called BOATs because you always need to Break Out Another Thousand :)

Jack

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Re: Buying a Boat vs Renting
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2015, 08:14:33 PM »
Also, I have heard they are called BOATs because you always need to Break Out Another Thousand :)

Boat /bōt/ (noun) -- A hole in the water into which you throw money.