How Much Is My Time Worth? That is a question that you are asking, or should be asking, when making any type of lifestyle decision, boating included. If you are trying to decide what type of boater you are, then you need to consider what your time is worth.
It is fairly easy to come up with a “per hour” number. Divide your yearly take-home income and divide it by 2080. That’s the number of hours a full-time (40 per week) employee works in a year, assuming a 2 week vacation.
For instance, an hour is worth $50 to a person who makes $100,000 a year (100,000 divided by 2080 = 48.07 rounded to 50).
That is, of course, only one piece of the puzzle. It does not make any assumptions about the opportunity cost of your discretionary time. You only have a certain amount of time away from work, or a certain amount of time that your family has available as a group. Throw in other factors like enjoyable weather and your hourly value may go way up. That is not so easy to put a number on.
And that’s the reason we are always quick to get potential boaters to consider the time involved in boat ownership, especially if you are considering trailering your boat. The following example is a consideration of the normal boat outing routine for an owner.
Let’s say you have a Saturday with nothing to do. The weather is looking great and the kids or grandkids want to spend some time with you. You own a boat and it stays in your front yard.
You get up and pack supplies. You pull the truck around and hitch up the boat (15 minutes). You stop at the gas station and fill up the boat (15 minutes). Since it is a beautiful Saturday morning, when you get to the boat ramp, you have to wait in line for 30 minutes to even get to the ramp (30 minutes). You put the boat in the water and 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. You head to the marina to get a replacement and put it on (30 minutes). Your family has been waiting to get going through this entire process and they are not in a happy frame of mind when you get back. You finally set off and it takes an hour or so for everyone to fully relax (1 hour).
After a few hours on the lake, it’s time to pack it 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).
All-in-all, you just spent two and a half hours dealing with transportation and maintenance of your boat. And an hour getting over the resulting bad mood from the process.
Now we could multiply that by the time involved for everyone. There were 4 other people who had to go through the same thing. They had to wait on you. That’s 14 total hours if you consider everyone’s time. That’s 14 hours of a very pretty Saturday. That is not an uncommon scenario for boat owners who trailer.
Take that number and multiply it by your hourly value. If it is $50, then the transport time alone cost you $250. Add to that the time it takes to get relaxed $100. If it was possible to put a monetary value on the other participants, you could do that as well. Keep all of this in mind when considering your options.
And that is 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 either reduce or eliminate the time and hassle described here.