We live in the sharing economy. Aside from the famous Airbnb, sharing vehicles and much more has become an everyday reality especially for those of you who live in big cities such as London, New York, Paris and Rome. We are sure you are getting accustomed to use services like Barclays’ Bikes, (now Santader), Zipcar, Car2Go, Ubequoo, to ‘rent’ bicycles or cars.
In the UK even big players are venturing into peer-to-peer services like EasyCarClub (the logo will remind of EasyJet), BlaBlaCar and others that are based on the ownership or cars being on a private basis instead of being owned and managed by fleet operators like in the case of Zipcar.
In the boating industry things are a little more complicated but chartering or sharing a boat has been practiced for quite some time even if with much less technology involved in the process. After more than 50.000 people read our our article on Investing in Yachts to Charter we had to dig into a number of platforms that are slowly but steadily changing the game.
Today in the Yachting industry we have quite a few new web-based companies putting effort and resources into making the boating and yachting experienced more accessible to more people.
There are essentially:
- Yacht charter aggregators
- Peer-to-Peer boating and yachting platforms
- Traditional yacht charter firms
- Boating and yachting companies providing curated yachting experiences
- Hybrid platforms that work primarily with single yacht/boat owners and small fleets
- Yacht managers with big branded fleet
We have tried to create 6 macro categories, however not all companies do fall strictly in one of the above and some of them embrace traits of more than one of the above or have pivoted along the way from a business model to the other.
We refer broadly to the Airbnbs of yachting when considering mainly those platforms that are not too selective on the of new boat listings and welcome new boats right from the front end of their website (have a list your boat option) and focus primarily on entry prices as low as €100/day or even less.
We have asked some of the founders to help us and comment on this article main point.
Former Cruzin.com founded in 2012, a U.S. based peer-to-peer platform now merged becoming BoatSetter.com
It was started by Jaclyn Baumgarten and it is now based in Miami Florida.
We have asked Jaclyn to give us her comments on boat ownership vs easy access and she replied with a few meaningful lines:
BOATSETTER, often receives inquiries from perspective owners asking us what types of boats they should consider purchasing because they want to offset the cost of ownership through the Boatsetter program.
It’s a U.K. based counterpart of the aforementioned, focusing mainly on peer-to-peer and small fleet owners and it is called BorrowaBoat.com founded by Matt Ovenden.
We asked Matt to give us his comments on whether new platforms could actually bring innovation to the industry and his words were very clear to us.
” ..bringing the sharing economy to boating, with a wider choice of boats than in the current market, and wider choice of locations and better prices, will bring real change and benefits for the customer, and boat owner”
Another case of peer-to-peer that started in the U.K with a very different take from the previous ones but much more similar to Airbnb is BedsOnBoard.com