Amazing, in-depth Boat Rent vs Buy Calculator from Sailo

I rarely post product reviews on this blog, but today I am going to make an exception.
Sailo (Techstars ’15) makes it easy to rent a boat. Today they rolled out a visual calculator that helps people decide when it makes sense to rent a boat vs. to buy it. This project has been going on for a few months, and is a true labour of love.
This is not some kind of quick and dirty marketing trick, but a true value add showing the kind of details and craftsmanship I really admire. Sailo’s innovative Boat Calculator provides comprehensive and fully customizable data points, helping users to make informed financial decisions.
You can instantaneously see the long-term carrying costs, potential revenues from chartering, and a comparison to renting the same type of boat over the same term.  Many first-time buyers are unaware of the full costs of boat ownership, from financing, insurance, taxes, registration fees, docking and mooring fees, to winterization, maintenance, fuel, and electronics.

Even current boat owners are often in the dark when it comes to total cumulative costs, since they pay for items as they come up, and rarely add up total costs over the long term.  It is also difficult for owners to find accurate, up-to-date information on how much they could earn by chartering their boats.

Similar in scope and purpose to a home rent vs. buy calculator, Sailo’s Boat Calculator works with just a few pieces of information: boat type, price, days of use, zip code, and the length of the boat.


For example, a New York City-based boat owner who is considering the purchase of a $235,000 2005 Jeanneau 49DS, will incur total costs of approximately  $443,000  if selling the boat after 10 years. (This scenario assumes the owner uses the boat  18 days a year, which represents roughly 5% per year, the average US recreational boat owner use).

If he also charters the boat for another 18 days a year at an average charter price of $2,000/day he will make $265,000 in profits, which will bring his costs of ownership down to $178,000 over 10 years. If he would have rented the same type of boat 18 days a year for 10 years, the user would’ve spent $338,000 to rent. He saved $172,000 by owning.

In this scenario, ownership is cheaper than renting after 8 days of personal use and 18 days of chartering per year.

However, if the owner chooses not to charter, ownership becomes cheaper than renting only if the boat is used more than 25 days per year.

Sailo’s calculator enables current and future boat owners to view all the information on one platform in order to make an informed financial decision. The Boat Calculator is easy to use and free for visitors to

Check it out!

One comment

  1. Great use of technology to solve niche market issues to help with decision making. From my understanding the equations being used are quite simple financial modeling equations that are giving the user optimal scenarios for better and faster decision making. Could we apply a solution similar to this to solve fintech problems as I can see a host of applications.