When it comes to valuable property, boat slips can be a large—and potentially lucrative—investment. If you’re looking to leverage your slip for some extra cash, there are several approaches. Keep reading to find out which route is best for you.
Should I Sell or Rent My Boat Slip?
When it comes to the central question of selling or renting, your personal needs are an important part of the equation, but you need to consider external factors, too. Simply put, consider selling if property values have gone up significantly since you purchased it. Selling can also be advantageous if the slip is located at an in-demand marina and/or a popular city.
On the other hand, renting the slip out can make more sense if property values haven’t changed much, interest rates are high, or you want a longer-term source of revenue. To learn more about the rent vs sell question, including the best strategies for pricing it check out this article.
Considerations When Renting Your Boat Slip
For boat slip owners that are looking for continuing income from their property, there are several strategies for renting the slip out. Namely, you need to consider whether short- or long- term rental is the right solution for you. A variety of factors come into play, including the slip’s location, size, amenities, the season, and how much time you have to interact with potential renters.
Advantages of Short-Term Rentals
From a sheer profit perspective, short-term rentals (think Airbnb) are potentially the most lucrative because you’re charging per-night instead of per-month. If you have a full-size boat with living quarters onboard, short-term rentals can help you make money by essentially treating the moored boat like a hotel room or guesthouse.
The main caveat for successful short-term renting is the location of the boat slip. In high-traffic or desirable areas with lots of tourists or travelers, finding people interested in using the slip for a week or less will be much easier than in comparatively lighter-traveled areas. Short-term rentals will also be easier to book during warmer months when more people are out on the water.
Another important consideration for short-term rentals is whether your slip is located in a marina or yacht club that allows liveaboards. Places that prohibit people from staying overnight will obviously be less appealing to tourists or travelers looking for a place to anchor for a few days.
Finally, short-term rentals are fairly straightforward to book through companies that specialize in them like Airbnb. You’ll pay a percentage of income in exchange for being matched to interested renters, as well as services like dispute resolution and liability insurance. Besides paying a fee, being engaged in short-term rentals will take some of your time as you answer messages, check on the property after guests leave, and clean everything (if renting out your moored boat) between bookings.
Advantages of Longer-Term Leases
If you’ve decided rental is the way that you want to go, but you’d prefer to spend less time managing the property or are in a less-popular area, long-term rentals can be a great way to get monthly revenue. While you won’t be able to charge as much as nightly or weekly rentals, you will at least have guaranteed occupancy once someone signs a 6- or 12- month lease. This can be a good way to bridge through the off-season, even if you are primarily doing short-term rentals.
Longer-term leases should be priced competitively, so make sure you check out comparable rents in the area. When figuring out what amount you’re comfortable asking for, also consider a “ballpark” monthly rental amount of between .08 and 1.1% of the overall value of the property to ensure you’re getting a positive return on investment. You’ll also need to decide if you want to pass along any yearly fees to the tenant.
While craigslist used to be the go-to for people to look for local rentals, the site has been saturated with scams and bots, so look elsewhere. Additionally, boat slip rentals are a fairly niche market, which is another reason you should consider listing your boat slip on a dedicated site like Moor for Less.
The Best Way to Make Money From Your Boat Slip
Of course, the best way to ensure revenue is flowing from your boat slip is to choose the method that you’re most comfortable with. If you’re not willing to be a landlord, selling might be the best option, even if you get a slightly smaller ROI.
There is also room to get creative; for example, you could list your slip to sell at market value (rather than trying to sell it competitively) and rent month-to-month in the meantime as you look for a buyer. You could do short-term rentals during the summer months and longer-term rentals during the off-season or some combination thereof.
If the math of renting makes more sense for your bottom line but you want to be hands-off, you could also use a property management company to do the heavy lifting for you (for a percentage of the rent).
Regardless of which way you decide to get revenue from your boat slip, online visibility is a huge part of doing it successfully; you’ll make zero money if no one is aware the property is for sale or lease. This complete guide to renting or selling your boat slip has tips on the best way to get your rent or sale listing seen by the most people while saving money in the process.