As a business minded person, there are many ways you can earn money from every available resources around you including from your boat (s). Today we are looking at the various ways you can make money from your boat as a boat owner.
The ways to make money using your boat include but not limited to the following:
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 can tailor 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 factored in beforehand.
The number of guests you take will be determined by the number of cabins you have if this is to be an overnight cruise.
Although some guests may just want to relax, be waited on and pampered, many will want to join in on activities on the boat. Let them steer (under guidance), hoist the sails and even scrub the deck if they are so inclined.
2) 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 unless you have your own compressor. If not, you will need a PADI card to fill your bottles.
3) 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 pastime.
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. If there is a company already doing this, in a particular area, inquire if they need extra boats.
A simple advertising display on the sidewalk or someone handing out leaflets to tourists is also a good way to get passing traffic interested in what you are offering.
Check in your area for restriction regarding the distance required for viewing dolphins or whales, some areas are quite strict, which in my opinion is a good thing.
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 on board.
6) Earn from Other Cruisers
Although boating is seen as a rich man’s sport, cruisers are a tightfisted bunch. You might think that you can’t make money from them but you’d be wrong. If you have skills such as:
These are all marketable and you can charge for your time. Obviously, your pricing would have to be determined by the area you are in and the availability of parts and access to other people with the same skill set.
Besides the above skills, there are other entrepreneurial ways of earning from your fellow cruisers. Bottom cleaning, water delivery, pizza delivery for example. People want an easy life and are willing to pay people to do jobs for them.
If you have a water-maker, you can make and charge others for water. It will save them having to go ashore for it.
7) Yacht Charter Companies
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 bare boat 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 that requirement.
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.
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 of the bill for fuel and food.
This way, what could have been a down time and an expense for you, can be turned 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.
If your boat is a classic style yacht, the chances are good that it will get used and you can set a good price for the rental of it.
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 in a far off country.