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Earn money by Chartering Your Boat

Updated: Mar 1, 2023


Most would agree, Buying a boat is an act of passion. The desire to explore the open water, the sense of freedom you feel when sailing, and the sport of boating, combine to create a true love affair which, for most, is the main incentive for saying "let’s go for it". Yet time constraints mean you might not get to spend quite as much time on your treasured new asset as you might like, and the boat regrettably ends up just sitting idle – and costing you money in the meantime. Most boat owners have admitted that they were initially gung ho and made all kinds of plans to spend every available moment available, on the water. However, statistics show that realistically, owners spend less than 20 days per year on their boats. Considering that boat payments, slip fees, insurance and maintenance are an ever-present part of all boat owners’ budgets, the question becomes, is there a way you can make some revenue from your boat when you’re not using it and off-set some of those costs? Can you make money chartering your boat? The answer is a resounding yes, and here we take a look at ways your boat can pay for itself.

Listing your boat on a chartering platform for others to use is the most common way of earning an income from your boat. The charter market has long been a thriving industry, with charterers willing to pay good money for the private use of a boat, whether it’s a luxury yacht, a weekend sailboat or a fishing day boat. There are a myriad of ways you can charter your boat, and the best part is that you can stay firmly in the captain’s seat (proverbially or not) as you decide which method works best for you. Choosing to rent out your boat is one option, you will need to advertise your boat, liaise with charterers, make bookings, hire a captain and crew (or captain it yourself, once you have a commercially endorsed US Coast Guard OUPV Captain’s license. Do You Need License to Sail a Boat? Commercially insure the yacht and provision your boat. While this option means you save the commission costs of a charter agent, there is a lot more work involved for you…time you could be spending on your boat yourself.

Peer to peer chartering platforms, like Buku, are set up to do the hard work for you. In return for a small commission, they will ensure all paperwork is in order, handle customer service for charter guests, source professional captains, offer a comprehensive liability contract and make sure everything goes smoothly. So, whether you’ve acquired an 80 foot motor yacht, or a 30 foot sail boat, there are established charter platforms available, that offers everything a passionate boat owner needs in order to earn income.

Crewed Charter Boats

Crewed charter boats offer a higher level of service and are available for anyone to charter. On smaller yachts under approximately 60 feet a crew would usually consist of a captain and or a first mate/steward, while larger yachts will require more crew. Provisioning is done according to the guests’ preferences. Your guests can either opt to pay a premium to have meals cooked or prepared on board for them; however, they usually bring their own food and drinks. The itinerary for each cruise is usually pre-determined by the captain and or owners (We suggest that you cruise to places/waters you are familiar with), however custom excursion experiences can also be an option. It’s completely the boat owner’s discretion. Charter guests can simply delight in their experience, while the captain takes charge of operating the yacht and the crew ensures their safety, comfort and enjoyment. The chartering platform offers a convenient and private communication between guests and captains, while as an owner your input can be as extensive or as minimal as you desire.

Hourly or Day Boat Charters

Day cruises are hugely popular, and private day charters offer good income potential, especially for smaller boats. From fishing to watersports, sightseeing and wildlife watching, there are many types of trips you, as the boat owner can offer. Due to the increased popularity of chartering, a booking/chartering platform is a great option when choosing to host day charters, as they will advertise your boat, schedule trips and work with the Captain and charter guests. It also means your boat isn’t booked for weeks at a time (as with charter/ownership agencies), meaning more time for you to spend on it yourself.

Peer-to-Peer Yacht Charter

Making waves in the charter market are websites where you remain in total control, and use their platform to make connections with potential customers. One type, is peer-to-peer charter, whereby you list your boat’s details, add photos and videos, offer available dates and select a price. To book a charter, interested customers log onto the platform, create an account, provide ID, and agree to terms and conditions. After which, they can then choose to charter your boat. The website takes an administrative commission, but otherwise you you or your chosen Captain, host the charter and reap the financial rewards.

Buku offers the ability for you to list your own vessel, to include jet skis and other recreational water crafts for charter on our site, so you can start earning money towards the operation and upkeep of your new pride and joy. Just contact our peer to peer experts for more information and to find out if your boat is suitable for charters at

Sea You on the water

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