Boat rentals have completely changed my outdoor strategy

I don’t know why it never occurred to me that you can rent a boat, but you can. Knowing that, I wonder why anyone would ever own one.

My family went camping with several good friends of ours last weekend at Glendo, and on one of the days we were there, our friends rented a pontoon boat. I didn’t know you could rent a boat. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. You can rent cars, trucks, tractors, and just about anything else. Why not a boat?

But better than that, you can rent just about any kind of boat you can think of. Want to just zip around on the water by yourself? Rent a JetSki. Want to fish? Rent a fishing boat. Want to water ski? Rent a ski boat. The boat our friends rented was an old Sun Chaser Party Barge, and it wasn’t fancy, but it floated. Better yet, it had enough power to tug the kids around on a raft behind the boat.

I’m not sure exactly what it cost, but it was a whole lot less than it would cost to buy a boat. Sure, we only got to use it for one day, but I’ve owned two john boats over the years, and I put them in the water a total of three times. That worked out to less than one boat trip per summer.

And when I owned the john boats, I was stuck with the john boats. I could fish, but I couldn’t take more than one or two other people with me, and we could only go as fast as I could row the things. Certainly not fast enough to pull a skier.

Knowing I can rent whatever kind of boat strikes my fancy, my options have opened up immeasurably. And if I ever do decide to buy a boat again, I can test out a bunch of different kinds first, before I commit to whatever type of boat I end up with.

The other nice thing is that you don’t have to worry about it one moment past when you get off the water. You just go to where the boat is, get in, and go. No hauling, no boat ramps, no trailer wires, no winterizing.

It may end up costing me more to rent, but if I get out of those headaches, it’s worth it.