By: Paul Standring
How much is my time worth? This is a question you should be asking yourself when deciding on any kind of big lifestyle change, including buying a boat. When considering what kind of boater you are (owner vs renter) you need to think about what your time is worth to you.
If you want to get technical about your hourly rate, just divide your yearly salary by 2,080. This number is equal to one year of 40-hour workweeks including a two-week vacation. For example, if you make $100,000 a year, an hour of your day is worth about $50.
Hourly worth is just one piece of the much bigger puzzle. This number doesn’t take into account the opportunity cost of your discretionary time. You only have a certain amount of time away from work and a certain amount of time available with your family. Throw in other factors, like nice weather, and your hourly value will skyrocket. This is why we urge potential boat-owners to consider the time involved with owning, and especially trailering a boat.
Here is an example of the time it takes for a boat-owner to go out on one trip:
It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon and you have no plans. The grandkids want to spend some time with you and you have been wanting to take your boat out on the lake for weeks. After several minutes (or hours) of deciding whether or not it’s worth the hassle, you decide to get ready to go out. You pull the truck around and hitch up the boat (15 minutes). You get the family together and stop at the gas station to fill up the boat (15 minutes). Since it’s beautiful outside, everyone else in the world had the same idea and the boat ramp is packed. You wait in line to get to the ramp (30 minutes). You get the boat in the water and go park the truck (10 minutes). You realize you forgot to replace your anchor line after it got hung on the tree root the last time you were out so you head to the marina to get a replacement and put it on (30 minutes). By this time, your family has been waiting to get going and they are not happy when you finally get on the water. It takes about an hour for everyone to relax and begin to enjoy (1 hour). After a few hours on the lake, the sun begins to set and it’s time to pack up. You wait in line again at the ramp (15 minutes). You hitch up and pull out (15 minutes). You drive home and unhitch the boat (15 minutes).
If you were this boat owner, you would have just spent two and a half hours dealing with transportation and maintenance of your boat. That’s almost three hours out of your Saturday spent getting the boat to and from your destination. Add on the hour it took getting over the family’s bad mood from the process. To top it off, we could multiply the equation of your valued time by the time involved for every passenger. For example, if there were four other people on the trip, it would be fourteen total hours wasted. Take a moment and let that number sink in.
The scenario explained above is common for boat trailers to go through. This is just one of the major reasons we want you to consider how much your time is worth. Taking advantage of a boat club membership or a slip rental (for owners) can reduce or eliminate the time and hassle that owners like the one described here go through.