There is a growing trend in peer to peer yacht charter. How does it work?
People already rent rooms, cars and bikes from one and other, so this movement was bound to hit the boating world at some point. The concept of the sharing economy works especially well with things that are expensive to own and may not get much use. Take a boat as a prime example, the average boat owner is on the water for a couple of weeks per year and the cost of maintenance averages at around 10% of the cost of the boat per year – it soon adds up and this is why peer to peer yacht charter makes sense for a lot of owners.
What is peer to peer yacht charter?
The arrival of peer to peer boat charter sites has provided a way to connect boat owners with those who want to set sail, via a secure platform. Sailing newbies, pros or even those who just fancy lazing around on a yacht for the day are able to rent affordable boating experiences.
One such site is Click&Boat, with more than 20,000 privately owned yachts available for hire across Europe. Boat owners create a listing for their boat, write a description and set a price. Users simply have to enter their search criteria, browse the boats available to them and then make a request to the boat owner.
Depending on their needs, charterers are able to choose from small motorboats to large luxury yachts, for a couple of hours to a couple of weeks. Owners registered to these sites are covered by insurance policies and rental contracts to secure the entire process and cover their precious boats.
Should I list my boat on a peer to peer site?
While it is comforting to know that your own boat is safely waiting for you in the harbour, if like many owners, you are not able to use your boat as often as you like, then chartering out your boat can help to cushion your expenses. As long as boats are well maintained, it is safe to say that those which are sailed regularly by competent crews are going to be in a better state than those which are left idle for months on end.
For the boat owners’ peace of mind, charterers are asked to provide the boat owners with their sailing CVs and bookings are not confirmed until the owner is fully satisfied with the hirer’s credentials. Boat lovers who do not yet have their own boating qualifications can sail with a skipper and gain experience along the way. After the charter, both owners and hirers are asked to rate and review the experience, in a similar way to the Airbnb system.
Airbnb of the Seas
Platforms such as Click&Boat, the “Airbnb of the Seas”, will no doubt prove more and more popular in the future, both for owners and charterers. On the one hand, yacht ownership calls for serious levels of financial commitment and recouping some of the costs by chartering your boat in this way makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, for those who want to go sailing but lack sufficient time and/or money resources to own a boat themselves, this solution also makes a lot of sense.