you’re renting someone else’s boat, or renting your boat to someone else. Some companies may not cover your boat at all if the
boat is even offered in a P2P program. While
BoatU.S. Marine Insurance may provide a
policy to boats used for P2P rentals, there’s
no coverage of any type during the rental
period. If you would like to rent someone
else’s boat, and you have a BoatU.S. policy,
you can obtain an endorsement that will
extend the liability coverage of your boat
policy to you while renting another boat. But
bear in mind that this supplemental coverage
does not provide for any damages that you
may cause to the rental boat itself.
To deal with this issue, the P2P businesses
that BoatU.S. Consumer Protection is aware
of, provide their own insurance policies, covering damages that may occur while the boat
is engaged in a rental arrangement. But before
you enter into any agreement, check with the
P2P business about their coverage to make
sure you’re adequately protected no matter
which side of the transaction you’re on.
Boat owners should look at how much
the policy will actually pay if the boat is lost
completely, how much the payment will be
reduced by depreciation if the boat is dam-
aged, and whether salvage charges will be
deducted from the payment for damages to
the boat. Hopefully any deposit collected
will cover the deductible if the boat is dam-
aged, but again, be aware that there may be
depreciation to repair things like engines or
sails on older boats, and the deposit may
not be enough. Most P2P companies give
you a couple of days to inspect your boat
before allowing the deposit to be returned.
The good news is that typically less than
one percent of P2P rentals have problems
with damage, and they’re usually cleared up
fairly easily. Remember, if a renter wants to
continue renting, he’s got to have a positive
review. (To read about one BoatU.S. mem-
ber’s P2P experience, see page 28.) Keep in
mind that as a boat owner, you’re responsible
to make sure that your boat meets all relevant
HOW IS THE RENTER VETTED?
Most companies require renters fill out a
detailed questionnaire that asks about criminal and driving convictions, as well as boating
experience. But it’s your boat, after all, so you
can decide what else you want to ask, and
decide to whom you’re willing to rent. Most
P2P companies provide a pre- and post-rental
checklist for inventory and damage, and you
may want your own checklist for extra equipment. A photo or video documentation of the
boat’s condition inside and out, before each
rental, can help resolve disputes later on.
COSTS & PROFITS
What does it cost to rent a boat? The rental
price you can get for your boat varies based
on the size and equipment level of the boat
as well as the market area, and ranges from
kayaks in Annapolis, Maryland, for $45 a
day to a 10-year-old 30-foot powerboat in
San Diego, for $400 a day. A newer ski/
wakeboard boat in Austin can go for $600-
700 a day. A 31-foot Hunter sailboat in San
Francisco may rent for $500-600 a day. P2P
companies typically take 30 to 40 percent of
your rental (and in return, most P2P companies provide towing and insurance coverage
for the rental period). The money you get
for renting your boat has some other costs
to it, too; maintenance goes up the more
your boat gets used, and its resale value
may decrease due to higher engine hours or
wear and tear.
AND IF YOU’RE THE RENTER?
The last thing you want is an unreliable boat. For boats with current reviews, you’ll have to rely on previous renters’ experiences. People who’ve had problems with a boat are not usually shy about saying so. If there are no reviews, and you’re not
comfortable with the pictures and description, ask to see the boat before you make a deal.
Ask what the policy is if the boat breaks down and you can’t use it. In most cases, P2P
companies will work with the owner and renter for a full or partial refund, or find another
boat to rent. Boatbound, Boatsetter, and other P2P companies have agreements with
BoatU.S. to provide towing resulting from on-the-water breakdowns at no charge to
Look for a boat you’re comfortable with and that fits your needs, and be aware that
you’ll be paying fuel costs as well as the rental fee. Ask about any other fees or charges
before you climb aboard.
Make sure you get a pre-rental checklist so you can note any prior damage. Walk
through the boat, inside and out, looking for preexisting damage. It’s a good idea to take
your own date- and time-stamped photos of the boat, inside and out.
Look at the P2P’s liability coverage in the event you injure someone in an accident.
Make sure it’s at least as high as what you have through your own boat or auto policies.
If the engine quits, or there’s an equipment breakdown, how will the boat get back to the
dock? Ask the P2P company how they handle breakdowns. Some contract with BoatU.S. for
on-the-water towing service, so there’s no money out of your pocket. (If you are renting a
boat and have your own BoatU.S. membership with Towing Service, it will provide for a tow
up to your selected per-incident service level, even if the P2P company doesn’t provide it.)
You’ll need a credit card for the daily fee as well as an advance deposit. Most P2P companies return your deposit automatically after the boat owner inspects the boat and gives
the OK. For more on P2P boat rentals, see this story online, www.BoatUS.com/Magazine