Your wife needs a new car, your child needs soccer supplies and you want a new boat. It can be a really hard argument to deal with, but it is one that all enthusiasts will go through many times during their lives. If you are having a bit of a time trying to justify purchasing one, when there are a lot of demands for the family finances, maybe renting one would be a better option.

Below are some pros and cons.


You will never have to worry about storing it during the off season. There are many neighborhoods that will not allow you to keep it in your driveway, and off-season storage can cost you in the long run. Plus, if you store it in what could be considered a bad area, then you have to worry about vandalism and theft.

You will never have to worry about emptying it.

If you decide to rent one, then you can travel to many new places and have new adventures in new waters without having to make a long cruise or trailering it.

There are no regular maintenance chores and there are many cases where you don’t have to deal with washing it down when you are done for the day.

If you are a new boater, then renting is much smarter. Many new enthusiasts haven’t decided if boating is right for them or which one will fit the needs that they have. It allows a person to get a feel for that vessel.

If you rent a boat, then you don’t have to worry about having a contract and deal with all the expenses that come with purchasing one.

Now the Cons:

When you rent one, availability can be a real issue. If you decide to wait until Friday night to decide you want to go out on the water, then you may find that all of them are gone on Saturday.

You have to haul all of the gear to and from the vessel on every single trip. That means that your fishing poles, water skis, coolers, and anything else has to go in your car and then taken to it. If you own it, you can just load it up and you can leave it on board. A bigger con is that the more often that you transport all the stuff you need, the bigger the risk of breaking something.

When you rent one, you have to take what you get. If you are fishing, you may be stuck with a bowrider which isn’t great for fishing. Speedboat lovers may end up getting passed by a canoe.

The maintenance for rentals are not the greatest. If you rent one, you have a higher chance of breaking down or dealing with worn out or broken accessories.

Similar to a car, even though the layout is smaller, it is possible that you spend more money renting a pontoon. This is really true if you do it regularly and if you want to go boating every nice weekend between spring and fall, then it is more economical to purchase one.

Which is better? Take time and rate each con and each pro with a score between 1 and 10 and go from there.