15 Profitable Boat Business Ideas

Updated: July 24th, 2023

Are you interested in marine business ideas? The boat business is simply fun in its own right and, like an automobile or RV rental, a great way to earn a passive income.

You can make money through peer-to-peer boat rentals, boating lessons, boat sales, e.tc.

Finding the best boat business ideas can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are dozens of boat business ideas.

We put together a list of 15 profitable boat business ideas you can start today!

Here they are:

1. Start a kayak store

Kayaking has shown steady growth in the last decade. According to data, touring kayaks anticipate revenue growth in the coming year. The demand for kayaks is attributed to increased awareness about fitness & health. Kayaking and rafting are effective cardiovascular workouts, and people across the globe are increasingly taking an interest in these sports.

If you love watersports, you can start a kayak store. Your business can focus on renting kayaks to water sports tourists or manufacturing and selling kayaks at wholesale and retail prices.

How much you can make: $100,000 — $400,000/month

How We Started A $400K/Month Origami Folding Kayaks Business

Oru Kayak's founder Anton Willis discusses how he turned a passion for kayaking and design into a $5 million per year business selling origami folding kayaks, discussing their launch on Kickstarter, and how they have built and retained a passionate customer base.

Anton started Oru Kayak over 11 years ago
Anton grew the business to $400K/month
Read by 7,499 founders

2. Start a recreational boat rental service

Boat hiring and boat rental services are tapping into the booming market of the experience economy. Today, most consumers prioritize experience over material items. Boat rental services are necessary, not just for tourists but also for family, couples, friends, and even solo. Investing in the right recreational boat rentals can have a significant return on investment.

Listed are the steps to start a recreational boat rental service business.

  • Register your business name
  • Permit and licenses to operate
  • Obtain equipment for the operation
  • Hiring staffs
  • Organize your business and activity flow
  • Promote your business

3. Start a fishing vessels and boats business

A fishing vessel is a boat or a ship used to catch fish in the sea, lake, or river. According to statistics, rising demand for fishing equipment in fishery technology will boost the global fishing vessel market.

Starting a fishing vessel business can be a profitable venture. To start, research the market and identify the potential markets to focus on. Options in this business include manufacturing the fishing vessels, becoming a fishing vessel reseller, renting fishing vessels, or repairing damaged fishing vessels.

Before starting the business, research the necessary permits and licenses, and target the markets with high demand for your services.

4. Start a boat repair business

Just like vehicles, trains, and airplanes, boats will break down. When they break down, the boat owners contact a nearby technician to help with the repair service. According to reports, the global boat repairing market will grow at a CARG of 7.6%. The growth is mainly because of the increased adoption of boats as a means of transport.

Therefore, starting your own boat repair business can be profitable. To start, identify the boat repair services you can offer in your area. Focus on providing the services to meet customer satisfaction and earn referrals.

5. Start a boat cleaning service

Boat cleaning is a low barrier to entry business, with high-profit margins and low competition. If you love working on boats and looking forward to starting a boat business, this could be your best time to start the boat cleaning business.

To start a boat cleaning business, target the regions where boats are a popular means of transportation and fishing. Advertise your business, and focus on offering superior service so customers keep returning and referring your services to others.

6. Start a boat equipment shop

Boat owners require different equipment to keep their boats safe and to comply with maritime laws and regulations. Essential boat equipment includes:

  • Safety accessories
  • Personal floatation devices
  • Basic first aid kits
  • Visual and sound signaling devices
  • Fenders and docking equipment
  • Water skis, etc.

You can start an online boat equipment and accessories shop like boatoutfitters.com or open a physical shop within the coastal region or where canoeing is popular.

7. Start a boat propeller business

A propeller serves as the boat’s drive train and is a vital link between your boat and the water. Boat proper business focuses on selling new propellers to boat manufacturers and boat technicians or repairing damaged boat propellers.

If starting a boat propeller business, do proper research, so you find where customers are and who they are. Then, pitch them and focus on producing high-quality propellers.

8. Start a boat storage business

According to statistics, sales for recreational boats have hit a new high, and so is the demand for boat storage facilities.

Therefore, starting a boat storage business can be an excellent opportunity to make money. Your target market will be boat renters and owners. The best places to start a boat storage business is along the coastline, where boats use is widespread.

9. Start a fishing boat charter business

Fishing boat charter service is offered by board owners to professional or recreational anglers at a set rate per time limit or customized rate to meet group needs.

Many people enjoy fishing. However, few people own the boat and other fishing equipment. Moreover, owning a fishing boat may not be economical for recreational anglers. Therefore, they prefer a fishing boat charter service.

If you own a fishing boat, you can start the charter service and earn good profits from your business. Target those on recreational fishing expeditions and even professional anglers who prefer to rent fishing equipment rather than own it.

10. Start a boating training business

Do you love water activities and looking for an entrepreneurship opportunity that relates to your passion?

How about starting boating classes?

As more people become interested in water sports and fishing, there is an increased demand for boating lessons.

Your boating classes can focus on various areas, including, Introduction to boating, advanced boating lessons for those who want to go deep sea, and general boating safety and environment care for boaters.

To start, identify a target market and procure the necessary apparatus for your business. Advertise the boating lessons widely, and focus on growing your business.

11. Start a kayak rental business

If you happen to live near a lake or a water body, you may consider starting a kayak rental business. Kayak rental is a low-expense business and easy to operate without so much involvement in person. If you want to keep the business passive, you may want to operate it by appointment only.

12. Start a boat racing tournament

For the past decades, boat racing has become popular in different parts of the globe. If you are a rower or love the sport, you can start your boat racing tournament. Boat racing is a sport in which boats or other types of watercraft race on water.

Boat racing tournaments make money from sponsorships. You can partner with a popular brand in your region. Work on making the tournament popular, and other brands will want to be involved, as it is a way of marketing their businesses.

13. Start a boat racing academy

Boat racing has become a popular recreational sport. Besides, clubs are organizing boat racing tournaments, a trend that has seen many people interested in the sport. Beyond the obvious fun and challenge, boat racing is a recreational activity.

Many people book classroom sessions at academies near them to learn boat racing basics. If you love boating or are interested in a boat business, consider starting a boat racing academy. Your boat racing academy has to be near a waterbody and have all the safety equipment before starting to admit learners.

14. Start a boat museum

A boat museum keeps a collection of large boats to canal company buttons. Visitors explore the historic docks' exhibitions and experience a broad collection of canal and river craft. Typically, the boat museums help to tell the story of canals and the people who worked on the boats.

Boat museums also offer a wide range of opportunities for students to explore curriculum-linked topics, including industrial history, local history, technology and navigation. Consider starting a boat museum if you are interested in collecting fancy water sports objects.

15. Start a boat sports blog

The boat sports blog covers news and opinions on boat-related topics and activities. To start a boat sports blog, decide on the stories you want to cover, choose a blog name and buy a domain. You can earn money from promoting boating-related equipment and accessories with a boat sports blog.

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.