July 5th, 2007
Let’s face it: dedicated fishing boats are expensive and fairly specialized pieces of machinery. Unless you fish fairly frequently, boat ownership may not make sense for you. This is especially true if you want to fish on the west side of Vancouver Island where the conditions require larger, better equipped, and more expensive boats.
Let’s look at the costs:
1) Purchase Price: A new boat that is capable of fishing the west coast of Vancouver Island is going to cost a minimum of $45K. I’m talking about a boat that is at least 20′ long with a single 150 HP main engine, 8+ HP trolling/emergency engine, GPS, VHF, etc. Of course you can spend a LOT more than $45K!
2) Annual Costs: Now that you’ve purchased your boat, you’re going to need to pay for moorage/storage, insurance, annual maintenance, etc. This can easily go over $1000/year.
3) Depreciation Costs: Is there anything, other than computers, that depreciates faster than a boat with an outboard engine? If you were to sell that brand new boat after 2 years, you’re probably looking at taking at least a $10K loss. Ouch! After 5 years your $50K boat is now a $25K boat.
4) Opportunity Cost: Lets say you’ve got $45K to spend on a boat. Wouldn’t you be better off investing that money somewhere at 10% instead of buying an asset that depreciates massively and is worth a fraction of the original price after 10 years? That $4.5K in interest can pay for a lot of fishing and you’ve still protected your capital!
5) Spousal Cost: Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones whose significant other is in full support of your fishing boat purchase. If so, then you are probably in the minority!
6) The Compromise Factor: Can you really get the specialized fishing boat that you want? Owning a specialized fishing boat is about as practical as driving a 2 seat convertible if you’ve got a family. A lot of fishermen going looking for an offshore fishing machine and end up with a bowrider ski boat!
How often do you REALLY go fishing?
If you fish 100 days a year then it clearly makes sense to own your own boat. But how many of us can really say that? If you’re like most people, you probably get out fishing a couple of weeks per year at the most. How much are you really paying per fishing day?
Add It All Up!
Do the math. Every situation is different, but I’m guessing that boat ownership doesn’t make much sense if there is a rental alternative available to them. The cost per day is actually significantly cheaper if you go the rental route.
Why Renting Makes Sense
- Preserve your capital and avoid depreciation costs – Invest your money somewhere and make a profit instead of sinking your capital into a depreciating asset.
- No maintenance concerns – All the maintenance is performed by the rental company. You just pick up the boat and then drop it off when you’re done.
- Happy spouse – Can you put a price on that? She gets her driveway back and she might even get to stop having to drive your 3/4 ton pickup truck!
- Get the boat you want – Forget about trying to fish from a bowrider lake boat and go fishing on a real fishing boat.