The share economy has been growing rapidly over the years with everyone having a smart phone and the internet connecting us all. Ten years ago it seemed pretty crazy to get into a strangers car, now we click a button on our phone and a stranger comes and picks us up, thanks Uber. Then there is Airbnb where people rent out their homes or rooms in their homes for random people on the internet to stay. All of this once seemed crazy but is becoming a norm in today's society. A fast growing company in the watersport industry is Boatsetter who is finding the need for a shared economy in boating. Boatsetter connects boat owners and licensed captains to individuals that want to go boating. Basically you can rent out your boat and earn some extra cash or if you don't own a boat you can now find the perfect boat for your day or weekend at the lake!
Benefits of Boatsetter for the Renter
Boatsetter makes finding the right boat for your day on the water easy. Whether you are looking for a boat for watersports or cruising, a fishing boat to explore a local fishing hole, or a sailboat to leisurely set sail, and even Yachts. I think this is a great idea and it is great to have an alternative option to buying a boat or Yacht. If you are someone that loves to be out on the water but doesn't have the time or resources to own your own boat, Boatsetter could be a great fit.
There search system allows you to filter by many different factors. First you can search by location and date that you would like to rent a boat. You can select your party size from 2 to 13+, some of the larger boats can hold parties over 50+. If you want to narrow down your search you can categorize by Fishing, Celebrating, Sailing, Watersports and Cruising.
Renting a boat this way can be a fun and somewhat affordable option if you are visiting a city. The price of your rental really depends, you can find deals on their site and you can also find really nice boats that will cost a good chunk of money to rent for the day.
One thing to be cautious of is that some users have complained that the experience was not as advertised. When buying anything on the internet you should always look to see if there are other reviews on people. If other people have vouched for a boat and have stated that it is the same boat as the pictures or the amenities live up to what they should be, you will most likely be safe and not have your day set back.
Another cost to be aware of is that many of the bookings will require you to cover the fuel costs, even though your booking price will not include this. Since fuel can change and is based on what all you are doing it is agreed upon that the renters will cover the fuel at the end of the rental period.
Why a Boat Owner Should consider Renting out their Boat
If you are a boat owner you might be considering if you would want to rent your boat out. Some of the reasons why you might want to rent your boat is to make more money, to help others get out on the water, or maybe you love being out on the water and meeting new people. You can choose to rent your boat as much or as little as you would like to meet your desires behind using their platform.
When renting your boat out you have two different options on Boatsetter you can do one of them or both. The first is to be the Captain, meaning that if anyone wants to rent your boat you would be the captain and no one else would be driving your boat except you. This can be a lot of fun meeting new people and helping them have a great time. If you don't have time to drive your own boat you can get connected with a USCG Certified Captain through Boatsetter.
One additional expense you will have to occur is having a commercial charter policy covering your boat during rentals. This is a requirement from Boatsetter to rent out your boat. Boat owners pay a 35% fee on each rental, provided that they take the site’s commercial insurance policy (which is underwritten by Geico Marine). Owners with their own Commercial Insurance or a Charter Insurance Policy pay less — a 15% fee per rental.
As a boat owner renting out your boat you can expect to choose the dates that the boat is available and decide if you want to be the Captain or if a Certified Captain will need to be hired to drive the boat. After that you are ready to receive requests. Upon requests you can either accept, decline or open up a further conversation. Having an additional conversation you can vet out the people and see if they are a good fit for your boat. You might be okay with having a family come out and rent your boat but you don't want a bunch of college kids that might just be drinking and end up damaging your boat.
In the event that you do rent out your boat and the renters damage your boat, there is some good news. Boatsetter holds a security deposit and can reimburse damages to an extent if it is reported within 48 hours of the renting period.
One of the reasons you might not want to rent out your boat is that it is an expensive vehicle. I get it, you put in a lot of hard work to buy that boat and the last thing that you want is for something to happen to your baby. Renting your boat out isn't for everyone and that's alright.