Boat Clubs on Lake Wylie VS. Daily Rentals on Lake Wylie
People ask us all the time if they can sign up for a membership program since our boats are so new and so nice. We are only a daily rental outfit that rents pontoons boats on Lake Wylie and do not offer memberships…. And here is why.
Most boat memberships charge a large “joining fee” and then monthly dues year around. You can’t sign up in May and cancel in August.
If you are the type of person that uses a boat 3+ times week, a boat club membership might make sense over buying a boat or renting a boat. But unless you use it that much consistently, does it really make sense?
**For perspective: I live on the lake. I can walk to my boat in less than 30 steps from my back porch. I love the water. I live for it. So does my whole family! Even with that, with all that in my favor, I don’t go out on the lake more than once a week for a day on the water! When we do go on the lake it’s not more than a few hours, 4 hours at the max.
So, lets jump into the numbers.
First let’s look at buying a boat: even if you take care of a boat really well that you’ve purchased, you can expect a decent bit of depreciation loss when you sell it. So when buying a boat, the depreciation is a cost in addition to fuel and maintenance and insurance, and parking/storing. All of this adds up to a huge cost. Let’s say you bought a $45,000 boat. You keep it for 3 years. Sell the same boat 3 years later for $30,000. The raw boat cost you $15,000. Add in the all the other expenses to that and you get a huge number. Ill let you do that math.
Now let’s look at a general Boat Club Membership: Your initial joining fee for a boat club is generally ~$3,500-$5,000. Then on top of that you get to pay roughly $250-$350 a month fee (another $3,000-$3,600 a year contractually in monthly fees). So far in year one your cost is already $8,000-$8,600. By the end of year two the damage is $11,000-$12,200. And so on and so forth. This does not take into consideration if you want to use a boat more than your membership package allows and you pay an extra fee for more usage. This also doesn’t include the price of fuel you pay for each day. There is a subjective ‘cost’ of frustration as well having a membership you pay for and all the boats are already reserved. You can calculate what that dollar value might be for you if you were to be paying for a membership and the date you want is already reserved completely by the other members. Most ALL clubs have a 1 Boat/8-10 member ratio… Think about that for a second. 8-10 people have access to one boat. Imagine a warm Saturday in the summer. 8-10 families wanting to get on the water… 1 boat….
Now for Daily Boat Rentals: As I said before, I live 30 steps from my boat and we love boating. LOVE IT! With all that in our favor, we don’t go boating more than once a week in the summer and usually only for a half day outing. If you assumed the entire summer is May-September and every week was perfect warm weather with no rain (which never happens; we lose many weeks in the summer to bad weather), you are looking at 20 weeks of 4-hour boat rentals. We charge on average $350 for a 4-hour boat rental during the summer. If you really truly rented 20 times, every single week of the summer, that is $7,000 a year. We include the fuel in our price, the insurance, the maintenance, the storage/parking, etc.
So, WHY PAY FOR SOMETHING YOU’LL NEVER AS MUCH AS YOU THINK!? Pay for what you actually use with a daily boat rental instead.