Help! I Love Boating But Don’t Want to Buy a Boat.

We’ve all heard the old adages about boat ownership: “The only two good days of boat ownership are the day you buy and the day you sell it” or “It’s a hole in the water that you pour money into.”  Agree with all that or not…The truth is: Boat ownership requires more than just an initial financial outlay.

Boat Ownership

Let’s (for discussion’s sake) assume we can afford a boat that would satisfy our boating desires, or perhaps we’ve even been down the “boat ownership road” before. The purchase of a boat requires a lot more investment than just the initial financial outlay. It requires additional investments in upkeep, insurance, salaries for boat crew (possibly), cleaning costs, fuel,  storage, upgrades, improvements, winterization, haul outs and so much more. Beyond the financial outlay that comes with purchase and upkeep, there’s the time commitment. One of the worst possible things you can do for a boat is to leave it sitting idle for too long. An idle boat sitting in the harsh elements is doomed to problems. Problems can range from issues as minor as dead batteries or corroded belts to hull corrosion and major mechanical malfunctions.  Taking your boat out on a regular basis is key to preventing the threats associated with sitting still. The bottom line: ownership of a boat requires a level of commitment that some of us may not be able to offer. Does this mean we are not boating enthusiasts? Or, that we don’t dream of heading out into the South Florida waterways every chance we get? I think not. It just means that we aren’t able to (or willing to) undertake the responsibilities of boat ownership and all that it entails. Boating is one of those unique pastimes that gets into one’s DNA and becomes a passion. Whether the preferred method of boating is sailing, fishing or cruising, it can climb down into your soul and leave you wishing, daydreaming and even altering your lifestyle to get more: more pink sunsets, more early morning pursuits of the rumored sailfish, more sailing expeditions with family in tow with the backdrop of the clear blue bay. More boating... While the business side of our land bound lives may continually interfere with our ability to scrap it all and set sail on a one-way adventure into the horizon, our passion can still be kept afloat…even if boat ownership is not in our near term.

Love boating, on your own terms

The sharing economy, in the same vein as Airbnb for travel accommodation and Uber for taxi-style car travel, has brought a new option to the boater who seeks to experience the joy of boating without the commitment of ownership. Boatsetter has created an online platform where boat owners can share their privately owned boats with boaters for half days, full days or extended boat charters. Captains can be included so that the boater truly only has one task – enjoy the boating experience.­­­ Charters can originate from all over the world, including the top boating destinations of Florida, Chicago, California, Seattle, Mexico (and hundreds more!) Boat ownership is the penultimate achievement for many boating enthusiasts but it is not for everyone for a myriad of reasons. Lack of ownership desire or capabilities should not limit us from leading a boater’s lifestyle. With boat sharing as a great option, going boating is easier than ever…and for the non-committal among us, better than ever!


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