Side Hustle Case Study

Notes from the lake, sea and rivers near you...

Side Hustle Case Study, WAKE


Last summer we decided we wanted to get a boat… we searched around and found the perfect boat for our family. We chose a 2017 Wakeboard/Wakesurf boat. 

We paid $67,500 for the boat. 

We put $15,000 down and took out a loan for $52,500

We financed on a 15 year loan, 4.9 interest rate with payments of $412.44 

We were paying another $350 for moorage in the summer and $250 in the winter for indoor storage. We also have insurance of just over $100 per month.  

Our monthly expenses (not including maintenance) I was planning to be roughly $800

Now, $800 doesn’t sound like that much… but if you amortize that over one year, it’s about $9,600 per year. As a percentage of income, I thought… shoot, this is a lot. I also needed to buy boards, ropes, gas, gear, innertubes. I spent another $3,000 on miscellaneous gear before getting started. Now we are talking about $12,600 in costs for the boat. 

We have used Turo, owned a couple of VRBOs over the years and we use VRBO and Airbnb as guests all of the time… In fact, in two weeks we are headed for a trip to go Snow Skiing and staying in a AirBnB property at the mountain. We definitely love the idea of working with locals, and small businesses vs the big hotel chains. So we love the idea of the peer to peer marketplace.   

So I thought, what if I could rent my boat out a few times to help reduce the cost of boat ownership? 

How much could I charge per hour or per day? What is the demand like?

We ended up pricing our boat at $200 per hour bareboat (renter drives the boat) and $300 per hour with one of us driving it. 

I figured the average rental should be 4 hours or $800. 

With monthly costs of $800, that meant I just needed to rent my boat 12 times to pay for all of the years costs. 12 times in 3 summer months and I would have all expenses paid for the entire year. Not too shabby! 

12 rentals in 12 weeks, and I’ve got a “free” boat!

We ended up renting our boat 42 times the first summer.

We increased the price from 200 per hour to about $225, so we averaged $900 per 4 hours. 

We had many people rent it for 6 or 8 hours, and some days we had rented it 3x in one day. Some days we made zero, and the most we made in one day was 3400. That was 3 rentals and 2 with drivers. 

All in all, we grossed $54,000 our first summer. 

We paid off the boat at the end of the summer, and stuck it in storage. 

Now we have a FREE boat. 

This isnt for everyone, I get it. Maybe you don’t have time for 42 rentals in a summer. That was a bunch of running around and “hustling” so to speak. 

But if you can rent your boat out 12 times, you have a free boat. 

That is rad. 

Boats are a blast, they are sitting unused the majority of the time, and I just love this idea of other people have a ton of fun while I “earn” a free boat. 

You can do it too! Just sign up to host, choose who you want to allow to rent your boat… and off you go. 

By the way, if you only want to rent it while you are driving, so be it. Just do a captain-only rental where you are the only driver. This is definitely the best way to keep your boat issue-free. 

One of my favorite things to do this summer was teaching my kiddos how to wake-surf, wake-board and tube with friends and family. We had a blast. 

My second favorite thing was helping other friends/families have a blast on the water. It was so much fun watching families come back to the dock with huge smiles and the times I drove the boat I just loved seeing the kiddos wakesurf for the first time and have an ear to ear smiles. It was such a great time. 

My third favorite thing, was doing my first and second favorite things and getting a FREE boat out of the deal! Can’t beat that!

I’d encourage anyone with a boat to consider renting it while you aren’t using it (on WAKE) and for those hustlers out there… this is for sure the best side hustle over the summer. More on that in our side hustle comparison post.

Share your passion, help cover expenses, start a side hustle, or take it to the next level. Sign up today to be a host!

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