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How To Start A Successful Online Kayak Rental Business

kayak rental

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The kayak rental industry is a significant contributor to the recreational market with increasing demands in various regions of the world. While people do enjoy boating and water sports activities, it is not practical for them to buy their own kayaks. As a result, they only get the option to rent a kayak at a marina or any other waterfront location. This is one of the major reasons behind the kayak rental industry’s strong and steady growth. 

However, capitalizing on the opportunity is not easy. To begin with, you will need to find a business location to provide kayaks, work out licenses and invest in an kayak rental software. In this blog, we will help you understand how you can launch your kayak rental business, set up a storefront and everything you need to look for in your kayak rental software.

Key Things to Look for When Launching a Kayak Rental Business 

To launch your business, you need to understand the revenue model and business model first. Afterwards, you need to think about the various challenges you may face in business operations and their solutions.

1. Revenue Generation Model 

With the help of Kayak/Boat rental software, the business owner can generate revenue through multiple channels. The most profitable channels are:

  • Rental fees
  • Rental add-ons
  • Display ads
  • Gift cards

2. Business Models

There are two common viable business models in kayak rental:

  • B2B kayak rental business model: In this business model, you lend Kayak’s directly to waterfront hotels and B2B kayak rental businesses. This includes bulk orders but revenue generation channels reduce to rental fee and maintenance charges only. You can charge for shipping as well but may need to arrange your own trucks for shipping.
  • B2C kayak rental business model: In a B2C kayak rental model, you are the waterfront kayak rental company from which the general public rents kayaks for recreational purposes. A key benefit of the B2C model is you get frequent orders but may have to look after the various needs of general customers as well. Lastly, you get all aforementioned revenue generation streams.

3. Workflow of an Online Kayak Rental Business

The following is an exemplary workflow for kayak rental operations. It can vary from business to business and as per your specific requirements.

  • Customers sign up on the kayak rental storefront and browse listings
  • They select a kayak and enter rental dates through a booking calendar
  • To place an order, customers pay the rental fees and submit a security deposit. They also select their rental add-ons on the checkout screen
  • The business owner provides the selected kayak on customer visitation
  • On return, the business owner inspects the kayak for any damages and deducts reimbursement from the customer’s rental security
  • In case of no damages, the entire rental security is returned to the customer

4. Day-to-Day Challenges and their Operations

While operating your kayak rental business, you may get to face the following challenges:

ChallengeSolutions or Features to Resolve the Challenge
Unexpected wear and tear, product damagesRental security management
Late cancellations resulting in the loss of order processing costs and lost opportunity costsPre-defined late cancellation charges
Late returns affecting the capacity to fulfill next orderPre-defined late return penalties charges
Regulatory norms to collect identity proofs and address proofsDocument verification module
Ensuring compliance to your rental terms and conditionsRental agreement module with eSign
Making time for scheduled maintenance and servicingRental buffer period integrated with automated inventory
Constant demand for complementary products such as attire, glasses, selfie cameras, etc.Rental add-ons option
Customers asking for seasonal discountsRFQ option for bulk orders, discount management module
Sportspersons requiring long-term rentalsRental durations discounts

Communicating with non-native English speaking audience
Multilingual support

5. Selecting a Kayak/Boat Rental Software

There are two types of kayak rental software available in the market.

  • Self-Hosted Solutions: A self-hosted kayak/boat rental software like YoRent leaves the choice of server to business owners. Meaning, they can select a faster or more secure server. Furthermore, as the business owner gets complete control over the server, there are no monthly recurring charges, making self-hosted solutions highly cost effective in the long run. An example of a self-hosted kayak rental solution is YoRent. It is fully customizable and 100% white label rental software to build rental website.
  • SaaS Solutions: SaaS solutions are hosted on the software provider’s server and delivered as a monthly subscription. Due to this, they also have monthly recurring charges and entrepreneurs may need to upgrade to a bigger package in order to use full features of the software. Examples of SaaS-based kayak/boat rental solutions are Sharetribe and Booqable.  


Launching a kayak rental business also means you will get a lot of time to spend near the water, which ensures a good work-life balance. Apart from these, in festive times, your business can see a boost as well. However, to stay ahead of competition, kayak rental businesses will need to figure out their USPs and work on branding, marketing and discount strategies. To start generating revenue in the upcoming holiday season, the best time to launch a kayak rental business is now. 


  1. How much does it cost to start a boat/kayak rental business?

The overall cost depends upon various factors, such as warehousing, licenses, permits, etc. which can vary from region to region. However, your online kayak rental storefront should cost between $2000-$8000 if you opt for a readymade solution. Or else, if you opt for bespoke software development or want customizations in your solution, then the online storefront can cost you as per the following rates:

  • USA – $50-$100 per hour
  • Canada – $40-$80 per hour
  • UK – $40-$80 per hour
  • Mexico – $25-$75 per hour
  • India – $25-$75 per hour
  • Brazil – $25-$75 per hour
  • Philippines – $25-$75 per hour
  1. What are the top regions to start a kayak rental business?

Due to the increasing popularity of water sports, launching a kayak rental business is profitable in many regions. But for an idea, you should consider launching your business in the United States, Ecuador, Canada, Mexico, Croatia and the United Kingdom for maximum profit.

  1. Do I need business insurance to launch a kayak rental business?

Being a high energy water sports, there are some chances of injury in kayaking. To ensure the safety of customers and prevent litigations, kayak rental businesses are recommended to opt for a general third party liability insurance. Furthermore, to prevent losses in terms of kayak damages resulting from kayaking accidents, you should also have Personal Watercraft Insurance (PWC). 


Author Bio: Saurabh Thakur is an ecommerce analyst & blogger, who has been active in the ecommerce industry since 2013. He is passionate about technology and always looking for new opportunities to help startups to establish their businesses online. He also has a good knowledge of branding & reputation management and has successfully delivered a wide range of projects in the past. Connect with him via Linkedin.


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