When I was writing for more than two dozen publications, articles about fishing, boating, hunting, conservation, outdoor articles with lots of associated photos, both from the decks of my boats and from the decks of other vessels, the boat was considered a tool of the trade and was a legal write-off. The same held true for boat maintenance, slip rent, insurance, etc..., all perfectly legal. I was fortunate in that I had discovered a wonderful book called "Tax Loopholes - All The Law Allows." The publication not only listed the IRS regulations, but additionally, listed several court cases involving those regulations, which would have been legally binding had I been audited.
Of course, you MUST keep written records of each and every transaction involving the endeavor, which in my case was documented using both Quicken and Quickbooks, Intuit programs that I consider invaluable for accurate bookkeeping.
While some unknowing individuals may claim that the easiest way to get audited by the IRS is to claim a home office deduction, that's a load of malarkey. I've had a home office since 1975 and never been audited by the feds. I had a single audit from that state which required me to provide detailed documentation of my deductions and expenses for a specific tax year. I opened my Quicken and Quickbooks programs, and printed out every single report for that year. The reports totaled just over 100 pages of information, all in 12-point font. I sent the reports via UPS with a return receipt requested card, which came back to me about two weeks later. Three months later I received a postcard from the state that said "Thank you for your cooperation, no further documentation is required."
I'm confident that the person that received the package took one look at it and said, $hit, I'm not gonna' go through all this crap" and tossed it in the trash.
Keep in mind that most people don't understand what a business write-off really represents. Essentially, if the write-off is legit, the money you spend will not be taxed as income. Instead, it is looked upon as a business expense, money spent to generate income. Consequently, this will lower your adjusted, gross income by the amount spent. But, you still have to spend the money in order to take the deduction.
I know one person that purchased a really nice sailboat, keeps it in south Florida all the time and charters it out every week of the year with the exception of the month of January, which is when he and his wife go south to escape the cold. He legally can write off all of the expenses incurred for 11 months of year that are associated with the charter business. The charters, by and large, have been paying for the cost of everything, including the purchase price of the boat. He's hoping that when he finally gets to retire, which will be in the next five years, he can move south and spend his final years sailing. He said he's well aware that at that point all those write-offs will become history.