A “sharing economy” model now has a place in the burgeoning yacht and luxury boat rental industry
Sometimes you need a boat – you just don’t want the whole boat. A new start-up has an app for that. Boatcation
revolutionizes the world of international boat chartering by solving a problem faced by boat lovers who have struggled to find affordable, convenient boat rentals for planned vacations or spontaneous trips.
With Boatcation, users can find like-minded vacationers to join in chartering a boat for a specific time. In this way, Boatcation brings the “sharing economy” of Airbnb and Uber to the business of luxury boat rentals.
The website is expected to pre-launch in June 2021 for immediate summer vacation bookings, and the app is expected to go live later this year.
Founders Amine Hassar and Isabel Meier-Preschany originally set out to address the challenges of boat rentals because they both shared a passion for boats, but had experienced difficulties finding individual boat tours at reasonable prices. “We both wondered why it was always so expensive to charter a boat, something we had done on vacations for years,” explained Amine.
Renting a boat, whether for a day or a week is often expensive. A luxury that not every consumer can afford, relegating it to a one-off experience due to cost. Boatcation changes this dynamic by providing a cost-effective platform where users and owners can meet each other half way. Current charter options through Boatcation include 600+ boats spanning 15 countries, with daily prices varying from $300 for a smaller boat and up to $25,000 for an expansive Superyacht.
While there are many non-ownership sharing platforms coming into vogue, none to date have sought to evolve the social interaction, shared responsibilities and values of co-creation inherent to boat sharing.
The founders’ solution was to devise a way to meet people with whom one could share the costs of chartering a boat. They joined with partners from the yachting, finance and technology industries to launch Boatcation. The platform uses proprietary technology to connect interested boat renters from all over the world through matching parameters. The platform will allow for a wide range of different interests and search criteria.
The concept is beneficial to both the consumer and the owner. It’s a win-win deal for consumers who enjoy significant savings mixed with the allure of fun to be had in new found social interactions on the high seas. Boat owners get to efficiently reduce the cost burdens of ownership and to enjoy found money revenues from otherwise idle assets and those who want to enjoy the open waters but not the costs of plying them now have the freedom of going solo – with others.
Each user creates a profile on the app, similar to one on social media. Based on the location, users can connect with other users who share similar interests and hobbies and are then able to message each other through the app to determine if the match is compatible and whether the users’ respective plans will work out.
Other notable aspects of Boatcation include:
• The platform is free to use for users and boat owners. Boatcation charges the boat owners a transaction fee of 15 percent on regular charter and 18% on sharing charter.
• Boat owners can list their boats for free. Every boat comes with a skipper, unless the user has a license and prefers to charter it themselves.
• Boatcation currently has 600 boats and yachts across the U.S, Middle east, South America and Europe (Italy, Greece, Spain, Monaco, France and beyond)
• Prices vary from $300 for a smaller boat, and up to $25,000 for an expansive Superyacht for a day.