If you own a boat or yacht, you will know how expensive it can be, especially after you've paid for insurance, maintenance, and tax. But how about actually making money out of your hobby?
Whether you own a boat or already have an established tour or charter business, here are twelve of the best strategies we know to offset running costs and develop additional revenue streams.
1. Get a license and run charters and trips
If you have a well-equipped boat in good condition, why not share your boat with keen seafarers who do not? Once you have the required licenses , a whole host of options open up to you, be it chartering your boat or running tours. If you've already ticked this off the list, read on for ways to make money from your boat...
2. Be imaginative and find your nicheWith your boat you could run fishing charters, whale and dolphin watching trips, oreco-tours... or develop your own niche. Nurture your creative entrepreneurial streak and provide your local tourism industry with what it needs!
3. Provide personalised cruises
Boat trips in popular destinations sometimes get a reputation of being packed with tourists, meaning you have to jostle for the best photo angle and, well, feel like a bit of a sardine. If your business offers personalised cruises for small groups, you can provide a welcome alternative.
Integrate TrekkSoft with your website and allow guests to create and book a custom package that's perfect for them.
4. Run photography tours
If your customers take loads of photos on your boat tours, why not offer a dedicated photography trip? Take your boat by the most scenic spots in your region, and offer plenty of time for photo stops.
If you're a talented photographer, you could even provide a quick masterclass at the start of the trip and provide tailored advice for guests as you go.
5. Partner up with diving companies
Is your region popular for diving as well? You could think about cross-selling your tours with diving companies, partnering up for trips, or offering package deals.
6. Host special events such as wedding cruises
Another option is to offer your boat or yacht as a special venue for events that deserve a bit of celebration. For instance, you could host an afternoon wedding cruise with a few canapes on offer from your local catering company: a luxury option for your inventory!
7. Offer sailing lessons
Are you an exceptional sailor? Do you have a teaching qualification, or could that be a goal for you? Happy customers of your boat trips might be intrigued by the option, especially if they want a gift for a friend or to tick off a bucket list goal. It can be a lucrative revenue stream for you too.
8. Your customers expect to book online
Once you've found your niche and created your business plan (our blog can help you with that), TrekkSoft provides the booking, rental, and payment software to take your boat or yacht business to the next level.
You can also cross-sell your activities with local companies on the Partner Network, and build a transactional website from scratch using our Website Builder. We'd love to have a chat with you about your business!
9. Consider peer-to-peer (P2P) rentals
10. Partner up with Airbnb hosts
Increasing numbers of travellers are opting to stay in alternative accommodations using platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway on their vacation. Since this trend shows no signs of stopping, tourism companies shouldn't ignore its potential!
We've compiled five ways for tour and activity providers to work with Airbnb hosts, including offering them a referral commission and offering their customers special deals. Another option is to...
11. Offer your boat as a unique rental experience
Some of the most appealing options on Airbnb are the most unconventional. There are treehouses, castles, and of course: boats. If your boat has a fantastic interior and living space, why not rent it out for overnight stays while it is docked in the harbour?
12. Read about a company that's already succeeding, Catamaran Cruises Maurituius
We caught up not long ago with Christophe Desmarais, the entrepreneur behind Catamaran Cruises Mauritius. He has loads of advice to share, especially for other boat and cruise companies. Here's one of our favourite quotes from the article:
"The internet has opened a world of opportunities for anyone out there with an entrepreneurial mind, and I have seized this opportunity to develop my website into a platform and am now leveraging the traffic by converting inquiries into bookings".
We're offering free consultations to show you how online booking and payment software can change your business:
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.