Author: Bullbuster Team
When Does It Make Sense To Hire Charters Instead Of Owning A Boat
This article is not to say that you shouldn't own a boat. There is definitely certain freedom of owning your own boat and being your own Captain. There are many benefits. This article focuses on maximizing your fishing time in situations where going on charters is a better option than owning a boat.
1) Guides & Captains Know The Daily Conditions
If you are someone that fishes only on the weekends then you are likely not going to know the conditions like a local guide or Charter Captain. Their entire living is based upon knowing these conditions and keeping in touch every day in order to get the latest information.
2) You Might Have Less Time
To properly plan out a fishing trip takes research, multiple stops to the tackle store, and more. When you are young and free this may be how you fill all your time, when you have kids, this may also be a bonding exerience to teach them what it takes and to get away from the phone and the internet. However, if you do not end up becoming a professional mate, charter captain or guide, and have a career elsewhere, you may find that your time is better spent by hiring a local guide to put you on the fish. If you are not prepared with all of the right gear you are not going to be as successful.
3) They Know Where To Go
Local captains and guides have their own spots marked and know where to go at what time of the year. If you rent a boat and try fishing new areas, unless you plan on spending a lot of time heading in these areas or keep a network of fishing buddies that have fished that area recently, you are probably not going to get the same results.
Hiring a local guide or charter boat means that you are going to be getting service while out on the water. Depending on the type of trip you would like to take and what type of experience you would like to get you will need to look for a charter that matches that experience. Some charters cater to serious fishermen, some to partying/fishing, some to enjoying a day out on the water with fish as a bonus.
5) Costs Of Storage
When you start to compare the costs of boat ownership to the costs of going on a charter you may find going on a charter is less expensive, depending on the amount of fishing you are doing. Lets say that you realistically are going to go fishing once a month. Just storing a boat can cost ($20-$50 per foot per month , or $50 - $200 per foot per month indoors ). So if you have a 25 foot boat, this means you are probably paying at least $500/month just to store the boat. This is a half day charter in many places and may be a full day charter for an inshore deal.
6) Costs Of Maintaining Your Boat
The cost of maintaining your boat can add up quickly. They call boats BOAT (break out another thousand). It is estimated that the cost of maintaining your boat is about 25% of the cost. See how that adds up and calculate your fishing days to see if getting a charter makes sense depending on how many days you plan on fishing this year.
7) Boat Payments
If you are financing your boat that comes with a monthly payment. Calculate what that would look like, then compare this to the number of days you would like to fish, to see whether owning a boat makes sense or going on charters.
8) Down Payment
The same idea applies here. Understand how much you want to fish this year and compare these costs.
9) Experience Before You Buy A Boat
You may actually want to charter boats before buying a boat. This will give you an opportunity to fish homewaters as well as ask the Captain questions.
10) Time To Spend Time With People You Don't Usually Get To See
A charter is a great opportunity to spend time seeing people that you don't usually get to see. This is especially true when chartering a Sportfish. You can sit on the couch on the run out, eat food and really catch up.
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