This spring, after my boat was recommissioned for the season, I decided to look into renting it out for overnight accommodations. I had no idea what I was in for… and I love it.
I have rented my boat eight times since the end of May, I have 4 bookings for the next two weeks, and people on wait lists, believe it or not. It’s crazy.
Because of the bookings and inquiries I am getting, I am sure I could charge much more than I have. In fact, I have raised my rates twice since the season started. For the Independence Day weekend, I made a very pleasing amount of cash.
Not only do I rent for the overnight accommodations, invariably the renter will want to go for a cruise, for which I charge X per hour. Altogether, in the six weeks since the since the season began, I have made nearly $10,000, which is very much more than I expected; actually, I wasn’t sure I’d get any bites at all, but since 2 days after posting my listing, I have been inundated with requests and inquiries.
My next two guests, one booked for July 16, and other other for July 23, are both videographers, one of whom is filming a documentary about inland waterways so I am lucky enough to host some pretty interesting people. I even have an inquiry from a photographer who wants to shoot 6 models while out on the river. I mean, could life get any more difficult?
Of course I am far from the only one renting their boat via AirBnB. I just wish I’d thought of doing this last year, or the year before, when my boat sat languishing, unused, in its slip most of the Summer.
My wife and I did rent out a room in our house through AirBnB earlier this year, just to check it out. It went well, but we quickly realized it was not for us. Neither of us could sleep through the night knowing a complete stranger was in our house, in a room right down the hallway, even though the guest was the nicest, cleanest, most considerate guy you’d ever hope to meet.
With our boat, on the other hand, guests are not on-premises in our home, and the icing on the cake is we can charge much more for accommodations on our boat than we can for a room in our house.
The downside, of course, is that it is much more work to clean the boat after guests leave than a room in our house, but we charge a cleaning fee through AirBnB that no one has complained about yet.
As we have now been hosting via AirBnB for a couple of months now, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.