Rent, Own, or Boat Club?

An important question that I hear a LOT as a membership director for Carefree Boat Club is “How should I boat – should I rent, own, or Boat Club?” and my answer is always the same; it depends.  I know this sounds a little like a cop out so to speak but it’s true.  The reasons someone might own a boat are very different from someone who may just rent occasionally.  So I thought I would answer this question and post it here to help you figure out what boating lifestyle is right for you.


View of South Holston Lake from a rented Pontoon

There are many reasons someone may want to rent a boat.  If you are just interested in boating for a day here and there this may be the option for you.  You have to pay for the gas you use as well as the rental fee (generally about $100-$500 a day) but it’s a quick and cheap way to get out on the water.  Though the boats are not very powerful but will get you from point A to point B. More often than not however you will get a nice, clean, fun pontoon boat great for one-day family excursions for that picnic on the lake.


How Much Is My Time Worth

There are lots of advantages to owning a boat.  You can use it any time you want, and if you have it trailered you can take it all over the country.  However this is also the most expensive and limiting way to boat.  The average boat owner spends 15% of the boats Original cost every year on their boat.  For instance if you were to buy a $24,000 boat the first year investment is about $26,000 and $4,000 every year after that.  The best thing about owning a boat is that you can have any boat you want for your specific purpose, however that is also one of its greatest limitations.  This is great for people who want to only use a boat for river fishing or wake surfing.  This is not so much the option for those boaters who want it to be a social gathering place.

Boat Club 

Manitou V-Toon High Performance Pontoon

This is a favorite for many people.  It is much cheaper than owning a boat, and doesn’t come with any of the hassles.  Members of the boat club can use a huge number of boats from any Club Location as often as they want.  Members are not limited to one type of boat either when they join; they have access to wake boats, fishing boats, high performance pontoons (that’s right a pontoon that can go 55 mph and pull skis), and luxury boats of many kinds. This is a great option for social boaters and people who don’t want the hassles of owning a boat but all of the joys.  As a member of Carefree Boat Club they provide the boats and you provide the fun!


For those of you who just want a quick summary of this information here is a chart so you can easily compare. What’s your favorite way to boat, tell us in the comments?  Thanks and happy boating!
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