Having looked at the rental prices it seems quite a lucrative business - ok i know theres no such thing as an easy buck but looking at the outlay 50K+ and mooring fees plus other fees add up it still seems a fairly reasonable return if you get 20 weeks rental a year out of it.
Love to buy one and rent it out a few weeks to pay for the purchase and running if possible.
had a butchers at Canal Junction and there are some BIG companies out there but also seem a lot of smaller firms which obviously compete.
So anyone ever done this?
I run a fleet of hire narrowboats and its anything but an easy way to make money. A few points to think about are:
Do you want to run it yourself? If so are you a fully qualified mechanic or willing to pay for one every time somenthing goes wrong (which it will)? If you are going to do it yourself, are you willing to be on call 24 hours a day should someone contact you with an issue which they feel needs resolved.
Do you want someone else to run it? If so how much will they charge and what are their conditions like regarding payments for servicing etc?
What day are you planning to hire it out from/to? If a Saturday, are you willing to give up your whole Saturday to prepare the boat? You will need to fill up the water tanks, empty the sewage tanks, fill up with fuel, check the engine and batteries, check all of the lights, TV, toilet etc. Change the beds, clean the cooker, fridge, toilets, sinks, showers and floors. Remember that during the week you will also have to wash and iron any bed linen or towels you give people.
Do you have somewhere you can operate it from or will you need to look for a mooring in a marina which has facilities (such as pump out and fuel)? How much will they charge you for operating from there? What are their annual mooring fees like? Is it near to where you live or will you have to travel there and back every Saturday and any time there is a problem?
How much are you planning to charge for a weeks hire? Generally you need to undercut the big names or people will tend to go with them. Undercut too much though and people may think your boat is rubbish.
Currently we are allowed to use red diesel which is about 84p a litre here. After November we will have to use white diesel so you will be paying the same price as at the forecourts (or more). Will you include this in your hire cost or pass it on to customers? Currently our boats use between 70 and 140 litres of diesel a week.
If you are one of the big companies it is quite a lucrative business. If you are a small operator it is very marginal and you really need to be doing it for the love of it.