Starting your Boat Business

Boat business is a simple business to start. If you got a boat or can get one on rent, you are good to go. It is an interesting, fun business. There is not much red tape involved. Unless you want to franchise it, you are not going be dealing with too much documentation. It’s not a business, you can do without passion. Simply put it cannot be seen as just business. Unless you love the waters and boats, you won’t last long in this. Regardless of the size of your fleet, your love for the boat business is important.


History of waterborne transportation dates back to 1500 BCE. The seas have stood witness to trade and travel for centuries. With increase in networks, it is growing rapidly. Now it extends to sport, travelling, business and vacations. Rent a boat services are sought for in these days. Yacht travel has been romanticized extensively in the last few decades.

Know your market

Research your competition thoroughly. There is going to be plenty of ground work required. It is not some data you can get online or ask around. Know about the number of dealerships in the area. Know about the type of clients you will deal with. Know whether they would like leisure trips or sport or business trips.

Compliance and standards

Manufacturers may happily sell their boat to you. Nevertheless, they will give no guarantee on commercial certification. You need to see about the whole package. In case of imported boats, makes sure they meet the local requirements in standards.


You need boat dealership business license before operating on waters. Government representatives or agents can direct you to the right offices. Once license is approved, get a written notification on the same. It is important to bag appropriate insurance coverage for the company. Mandatory licenses and insurance policies vary from territory to territory. Inquire the licensing department about insurance requirements as well.


It doesn’t matter if you own one boat or a fleet or a franchise, location determines your success. Make sure the lot is enough to host your inventory. The dock can’t look dangerous and put off the customers. Customers must feel comfortable to walk in and around the boat.

Maintenance issues

Boats require a lot of attention and maintenance. Boat owners need to be pro-active when it comes to maintenance. Electrical systems, fresh water systems, corrosion checking, cleaning, paint, canvas, upholstery, oil changes, impellers cooling systems, etc… require consistent attention. The challenge is not about money, but time. Unless you can afford time for maintaining boats or can hire people who will do that for you, there is no point in starting a boat business.

Connecting with agents

When you plan to introduce your boat into charter industry, invite local travel booking agents to inspect it. They will, in turn promote it in their circles. It ensures getting to the market quickly. Such a launch party puts your boat on the map. It launches your boat business in style.