For several years now we’ve been able to share cars and bicycles (especially in cities) — enabling people who don’t actually own a car or bike to rent or use one for part of a day — and now we’ve entered the era of boat sharing.
We’re talking everything from kayaks to catamarans to fully crewed yachts, in more than 60 countries around the world.
This is one of those great ideas I wonder why I didn’t think of it myself. The folks at GetMyBoat did — they launched their service in March — and more power to them.
Some 92 percent of boats are sitting idle in marinas around the world at any one time; why not create a system so others can rent them out when the owners aren’t using them?
Here’s how it works: you sign up at GetMyBoat.com, either as a boat owner or a prospective renter.
If you’re an owner, you list your craft, its availability and price, and post photos. More than 9,600 boats are currently listed. And the best part is, you don’t have to pay any kind of fee or commission for the rental.
If you’re a renter, you can search listings based on your location and needs, reserve a boat, and work out payment details with the owner.
Boats may be rented for as little as an hour or by the day or week.
GetMyBoat also partners with an insurer to offer coverage during the rental, provides downloadable checklists and legal agreements, and provides free online safety training and education.
And now, you can do it all via your iPhone; GetMyBoat has just released an app in which you can search and book boats in your vicinity in a matter of minutes.
For baby boomers who may have wondered what it’s like to own their own yacht — but don’t have the resources or time to actually take the plunge into ownership — this is a great option.
Or maybe you’ve always wanted to try kayaking and find yourself in a great spot for it with no commercial rental stand in sight; just check your smart phone and see what’s out there.
While boat charter companies can also sign their boats up, I like the fact that GetMyBoat gives private boat owners a chance to enter the marketplace as well, so that their otherwise-idle boats can be put to use — a new element of the sharing economy that’s now spread to water as well as land.
Be sure to download my free report, “How to Ride the Coming Wave of Boomers,” available here. It’s all about the best ways to market travel to baby boomers — the biggest-spending group of travelers the world has ever seen.
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