13 Ways to Make Money With Your Boat

Yachts in Dubai
Yachts in Dubai | Source

Begin Earning From Your Boat

Is your boat burning a hole in your pocket with the general upkeep, mooring fees and very little time to enjoy it?

Maybe you thought you'd use it more than you do. If this is the case perhaps it's time to look at other options which will allow you to keep the boat, but earn from it as well.

Whether you are a liveaboard or a weekly/monthly/yearly user of your boat you'll find ideas here you may not have thought of before. Some of these will be better suited to some types and sizes of boats than others. Browse through and see which could turn your boat from a pain in your wallet into a pleasure craft again.

It may be necessary to check that with your boat insurance company if you wish to take paying passengers. Your policy may need to be changed in order to run your boat as a business. It also goes without saying that it is necessary to have up to date and tested safety equipment on board sufficient for the amount of people on board.

1. Personalized Cruises

Many people would love to go cruising but don't want to go with the cattle brigade who go on the large cruise ships. There are free spirits who are looking for something different but worry about chartering one themselves. The trip could be for a few days to a couple of weeks depending on what your client wants to see and where they want to go.

You are in essence tailoring the cruise around them. Many owners charge their customers additionally for food, drinks, fuel, and mooring charges. If the cruise is a set agenda, as some of them are, then all these costs can be included.

The amount of guests you can take will be determined by number of cabins you have if this is to be an overnight cruise.

Funny Fishing Shirt

A Funny Fishing T-Shirt
A Funny Fishing T-Shirt | Source

2. Fishing Cruises

Does your boat have the capability to be used as a fishing boat? This could be for larger groups or simply a couple. You have the option to make these trips as specialized as you want. It could be for a day, half day, or longer if there is ample accommodation on board.

Whether you do this as a catch, tag and release or you keep your prize fish, the market has always remained strong as fishing of any sort is the world's favorite hobby.

3. Make Downtime Pay

We all know that potential paying customers may not come rushing immediately. Consider another income stream as well. You may already know many people who make money from various projects on the internet such as website design, writing or by completing surveys. I use as my favorite survey site. Their surveys pay better and are interesting.


4. Dolphin and Whale Watching

These are popular cruises for people on vacation. These will normally be just a few hours. In some places and at certain times of the year, you are almost guaranteed to see them. Do your homework to see where there is a demand for it and where the market isn't already saturated with other operators doing this. There are two ways of getting customers for this. First is a website highlighting your business, where you go, and what your guests could expect to see. The second way is to tout for business near the marina. Some areas will frown on this so make inquires and tread lightly. A simple advertising display on the sidewalk or someone handing out leaflets to tourists is also a good way to get passing traffic.

Photographic Tours

Photograpic Tours
Photograpic Tours | Source

5. Photographic Tours by Boat

Many people only think of photographic vacations on land. Open up this option with another angle. Views in and on a boat, views of cliffs from the sea, everything from scenic fjords of Norway to harbors at night. All of these provide a different aspect than most photographers would normally see. Advertiser this type of tour on photographic forums. If you are a skilled photographer, consider running courses as well.

Diving holidays
Diving holidays | Source

6. Diving Vacations

There are various diving sites around the world where divers flock every year. Position yourself in various ports and follow the seasons to make yourself a tidy sum. These can be as before, via your own website, advertising in the area, or through a company who organizes trips for divers. They, of course, would want a hefty cut as they have found the client for you.

There are restrictions with PADI and you should consult with them before beginning.

7. Yacht Charters

Allow charter companies to hire your boat out. They will pay you a percentage of the rental each time your boat is used. This can be as a bareboat charter or one with a crew. Be aware though, this will affect the resale value of your boat as many which are chartered are seen to be used hard and not maintained and upgraded as well as those which are used privately. Much the same as a rental car versus a private car.

8.Sailing Lessons

Can you teach someone to sail? The personal hands-on approach will help them feel more confident when they come to take their exam. If you are not capable of teaching, your boat could be used and an instructor hired. Some of those wanting to learn will know the basics but may want a refresher course. Still others may be complete beginners.

9. Wedding Cruises

Have weddings or hold receptions on your boat: Depending on the size of your boat, organizing weddings, or receptions on your boat is fast becoming very popular and profitable as some couples are looking for something a little different when tying the knot. This can of course be catered by yourself or the wedding party can organize this.

You would have to insist that the entire wedding party adheres to a strict dress code regarding acceptable footwear on your boat and encourage them to put this requirement on their invitations.

Besides weddings, consider advertising as an alternative meeting place for companies. or team building activities. Many younger companies are looking for something unique to offer their employees as perks without the additional expense of owning a yacht. Design a simple website targeting companies and email this to them. It is always a good idea to follow up with a brochure and phone call as well. Then, when the time comes, they will remember your offer.

Monaco Marina

Monaco Marina
Monaco Marina | Source

10. Make Sailing Time Pay

If you need to sail to another area to earn from that season's trade, turn your journey into a paid crossing with crew who will pay you. Some will pay to crew, gaining the experience, some will pay a portion for fuel and food. This way, what could have been a down time and an expense for you, can be turn into a money maker or at least offset some of the costs whilst underway to your next destination.

11. Film Crews

Contact advertising/media companies to allow your boat to be used as a prop. This could be for photographs or for films and commercials. Even if you can only negotiate some professional photographs to be used on your website promoting your new business, this is still worth doing.

If you are easy to work with, and adaptable and your yacht is in an area where a lot of filming goes on, don't be shy about getting the word out. Make it known that your boat is available for use.

Does your boat only cost you money?

  • Yes, it is sucking me dry.
  • No, I can afford the luxury of owning a boat.
  • I don't have a boat but I dream of owning one.
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12. Delivering Cargo

Although not as glamorous as some of the other suggestions there are still several places around the world where cargo needs to be shipped. This could be anything from fishing hooks to boxes of Cheetos. Find a market and become a supplier. Be aware of any regulations concerning import and taxes if you are moving things from one country to another. There may also be restrictions on certain islands concerning plants and animals which will need to be taken into account.

Do your research first to avoid a situation which could leave you in jail.

Saving Money on Your Boat

Although this article is about how to make money from your boat, don't forget that saving money on expenditures is equally as important.

Consider the following:

  • Boat insurance:.How much are you paying for your insurance? When was the last time you checked the competitors rates? Has anything changed on your boat which could lower your premium?
  • Cost of Mooring: If you are only using your boat in the summer, consider pulling it out onto the hard which is much cheaper. Or alternatively consider a less expensive marina.
  • Upgrades: Consider buying good used equipment instead of new. Any product you purchase new is going to depreciate as soon as it sold. Let someone else lose this initial amount.Check boating and sailing forums as there is usually a classified section with items for sale. Ebay is also a great place for boating parts and accessories.

As the old adage goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned”.

13. Start a Blog or Video Your Boating Adventures

Many people are writing blogs or videoing their adventures about their boating experiences. Making money from boating doesn't have to be only about hiring out your yacht. You can write about your adventures and earn money from it. This is how many people are funding their cruising, whether it is around the world or just around the bay. These blogs are not only targeted to those who own boats, but also people who want to share in your adventure. You can earn by putting ads on your pages.

Making a video though, in my opinion is even better. If you think you can't make anything from that think again. Have you heard of la Vagabonde? This is a series of YouTube videos following an Australian couple Riley and Elayna who have graciously taken us along for a ride on their yacht. It hasn't always been smooth sailing for them yet they documented it.

Their easy going personalities and fun loving spirit have captured the hearts of many viewers, including some influential people at Outremer. This couple who were trying to dry the condensation from auto pilot using a blow dryer, have been given a new Outremer catamaran worth a cool million. They also have a crowd funding campaign going to fund their trips. So the next time someone says you can't earn from a boat, just laugh at them.

I hope this has given you some ideas which will help you to enjoy your investment once again.

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Comments 9 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Wonderful ideas unless you are like me....boatless. Maybe some day, yes?

I hope you are well my friend.

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wow, I wasn't expecting such a comprehensive list of suggestions. As an avid hobbyist photographer, I would love the opportunity to go out on a private boat with someone who is experienced at boating and knows the area well.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Voted up useful and interesting. My husband grew up on the great lakes and always says boats are a hole in the water that you through money into.

Your article could buy some leverage for the kids and I.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

Hi Bill,

Yes, we are doing fine down here in beautiful Brazil. Lovely to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by

snerfu profile image

snerfu 2 years ago from Madurai, India

Great article, get me dreaming about water and sailing and all that. Guess that is what article writing is all about.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 2 years ago from Brazil Author

Hi Randomcreative,

My husband also is a photographer and is always open to new ideas. Most of the images we see, are looking from land towards water, rarely the other way.

I am pleased you enjoyed reading this.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I would love this as a living. Being near the ocean, I can see this as profitable. I only need a boat.

catalina 7 months ago

I lived in Brazil in a gorgeous beach town. I question is its best to own a beach home and rent it during high season or own a boat and live in it while you use it for tourism.

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 7 months ago from Brazil Author

That is a good question. Some friends of ours have a beach house which they rent out often and yet with their overheads, they can't seem to clear a profit on it.

With a boat, the upkeep is high but if you are living on it, some of that cost is absorbed in lieu of the cost of a home. That said, if you are taking passengers out, a change in the insurance would be needed.

I think both options should be considered before jumping in.

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