How to Start a Boat Rental Business

If you live close to a waterway you might consider starting a boat rental business. The business is simple, easy to execute and fun.
Having a passion for boats, rivers, fishing and leisure is important to the success of your enterprise. The business involves renting out motorized or paddle vehicles to fun lovers.
The enterprise is not only targeted at tourist but applies to urban transportation. To maintain a successful boat rental business your location is very important and the type of motorized vehicle.
You can start by buying the vehicles or leasing them from another company. Your customer base includes commuters, vacationers, tourists and research teams.
Another very important consideration is the comfort and safety of your customers. Before launching your enterprise there are a few things to consider.
How to start a Transport Shuttle Business
By Maepet (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
Do your Homework
Before starting any business venture you need to do research. The research is to gain valuable knowledge of the enterprise including permits, licenses and government regulations.
 Find out safety and insurance protocols, networking and contractual issues. It is likely a boat rental business will need to have contractual agreement with host community, jetty owners or local government.
The business attracts levies, fees and strict rules of operation. Other major considerate are funding, business structure, staff and management team.
You also have to research on the type of water vehicle you want to buy. Study the demography, businesses in the area or if it’s a tourist location.
Buy or Lease Boats
The choice of vehicle you need depends on your business template. The type of water body also impacts on the choice of boat. The location could be close to a lake, natural estuary, rivers, ocean, sea or pool.
The type of boat costs, functionality and maintenance differ. You have a large selection of boats from motorized vehicles to mechanized boats.
The type of vehicles include row boats, sail boats, kayaks Surf boards and jet skis. Others are gondolas, pedal boats, power boats and canoes.

List of Water Vehicles
1.    Jon boats
2.    Mini pontoon boats
3.    Rowing boats
4.    Jet Skis
5.    Kayaks
6.    Sail boats
7.    Water toys
8.    Power boats
9.    Gondolas
10. Pedal boats
11. Electric boats
12. Canoes
13. Surf Boards
14. Theme boats
You need to find a good location for your boat hiring business. There are many locations where you can setup your boat hiring business. The only rule is nearness to a body of water.
Some profitable locations are fishing clubs, yacht clubs and marinas. Other cool locations are in amusement parks, tourist destinations and theme parks.
Setup the enterprise at summer camps, near rivers, city, state, beach front and beach properties.
Decide on your Services
The services offered to customers are ferry transport, leisure trips and tourist guides. Other services are taxi, fishing trips, sight seeing, skiing and underwater diving.
Set reasonable price for your service and create a good accounting system. You get paid by hiring out your boats or annual fees.
Offer discounts to regular customers and proper safety gear. Before arriving at a price factor working cost, insurance, tax and amount paid to host.
The job comes with some dangers or hazards such as drowning and accidents. You need to provide adequate security and safety gear.
You need a comprehensive insurance cover and safety instructions. Make sure your first aid kits are certified and easily accessible.
Promote your Business
Although your business is location specific you can still attract customers. Use handbills, posters and television advertisement.
Your peak period is during holidays increase advertisement during this period. Try to network with hotels and tourist centers including travel agents.
Build a website and highlight your services to attract customers.


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