Get On Board: The Water is Open

No boat? No problem. Round up your crew, take the helm and head out on a voyage of boating discovery. Rentals and charters let you enjoy a wide variety of boating adventures—from fishing to cruising to sailing or watersports—without owning a boat. They’re a great way to try different boat types if you’re thinking about buying a boat or trading up to a bigger model. 

Not quite ready to fully commit to boat ownership? Try an alternative to boat ownership, like boat rentalsboat clubspeer-to-peer boat sharing or charters, which are all great options for prospective boat buyers to “test the waters,” enjoying the opportunity to try various types of boats, or even specific brands and models before committing to their own boat purchase and the associated costs.

Editor's Note: Thinking about renting a boat this summer? During the age of coronavirus, boating is one of the best forms of a safe, outdoor recreational activity you can do with close friends and family. But when renting a boat or joining a boat club, there are some new factors to keep in mind to ensure a fun—and safe—experience. Learn more in Boat Rentals & Boat Clubs: What to Know During COVID-19.

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Buying Your First Boat Guide

So you’re ready to take the plunge and buy a boat. Download our step-by-step beginner’s guide to get up to speed on all the basics.

Ways to Get Out on the Water

Boat Rentals

Like automobile rental operations, boat rental locations are found in nearly all popular boating destinations, and give consumers access to a boat by the hour, day, week or even month. Renters typically pay for the rental period as well as the gas they consume. Renting is a great way to take out a boat occasionally, but may not be the best alternative for those who plan to boat more frequently as costs can accumulate rather quickly.

Boat Clubs

Frequent renters may be better served by a boat club. Rather than individual rentals, boat club members pay an initial membership fee then monthly or annual “dues” to be a part of a club that owns and maintains a variety of boats. When a club member wants to go boating, they check the club’s availability, reserve a boat for a designated time period, then show up at the dock and go.

Peer-to-Peer Boat Sharing

A third alternative to ownership, peer-to-peer boat sharing, is rapidly increasing in popularity. Peer-to-peer boat sharing is little different than peer-to-peer house, apartment or car sharing popularized by Internet-based sites like Airbnb and Turo. Boat owners enjoy the ability to make their boats available to their “peers” for rental when not in use, while the renter has a wider variety of vessels at their disposal than available through the typical boat club or charter provider and doesn’t pay any monthly membership fees.

Discover the Joys of Boating

Looking for more than a single day rental, but not quite ready to commit to boat ownership? Consider one of these clubs or organizations to get access to more boats, more often.

Explore Alternatives to Boat Ownership

Find the Right Boat for You

Owning a boat puts you at the helm. Explore the 23 different boat types to find the perfect one based on your preferred activities, and learn more about boat brands manufacturers.

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