Impressive growth

The boat sharing market here in the US has shown some impressive growth over the past two years.

Seattle based Boatbound has more than 17,000 boats available in more than 2,100 cities.  The boat types vary, from 8ft inflatables all the way up to 155ft mega yachts with full crews. 

As for demographics for the smaller boats, they see a lot of 30-40-year old’s and for more of the time charters (45ft+), they see older families.

A lot of their owners are doing extremely well and have had a few owner’s payoff their entire boat payments within six months. They say their golden rule is three rentals a month to start. If an owner can capture three rentals the boat essentially becomes a free and clear asset.

Leading online boat rental marketplace Miami based Boatsetter announced at the end of 2016 that it had completed $13m of Series A funding.

Boatsetter wants to make boat rentals as seamless as booking a room on Airbnb. Its users can go on boating adventures from the coastal waters of California to New York harbour, and from Spain to Brazil. Boatsetter is expected to host 10,000 high-quality rental boats, activate 200 marinas and connect boating enthusiasts to 2,000 captains in 2017.

Another alternative to boat owning is the Freedom Boat Club. It now has 135+ franchise and corporate owned club locations in 23 states and Canada, 16,000+ members nationwide and a fleet of 1600 boats nationwide.

Their membership demographics run from young professionals and young urban families to active seniors and retirees and are determined by their geographic location.

While it’s too early to forecast boat sharing’s ultimate impact on boat sales some of the facts bode well.

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