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Thread: The Airbnb Of The Marina's

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    The Airbnb Of The Marina's

    The SF Chronicle published this piece on the burgeoning owner/renter market which is growing at a rapid clip
    with the confines of a marina or patch of water near you:

    image: Amy Osborne / The Chronicle

    Walk past any marina, even on a sunny weekend, and you will see most boats battened down and bobbing solitarily in their slips, longing for someone to take them out. In fact, the average recreational boat gets used only 17 days per year, according to a U.S. Coast Guard survey.

    Which makes boating ideal, in theory at least, for a peer-to-peer rental business. Those companies provide an online marketplace that lets people rent an underused asset, whether it’s a spare room, car or parking place.

    At least three companies offer this service for boats in the Bay Area and beyond. Boatbound and GetMyBoat are based in San Francisco. Cruzin is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but its chief executive officer works out of a Redwood City office.

    All have referred to themselves as “the Airbnb for boats.” GetMyBoat’s website bears more than a passing resemblance to Airbnb’s. “We are paying homage to them,” said Bryan Petro, GetMyBoat’s chief information officer.

    While the boat companies are not nearly as big as Airbnb, they have faced similar issues involving insurance and rental regulations.

    All offer an online marketplace where owners can advertise their boats and connect with potential renters, reviews of boats and renters and, most importantly, access to temporary insurance. The big issue with the rentals is safety, which is why the companies have worked with insurance firms to offer policies that cover the boat, owners and renters during the rental period.

    None of the companies charges to list a boat or browse listings. Boatbound and Cruzin charge only when a transaction takes place. They take 35 or 40 percent, respectively, of the rental income. Their fee covers listing, marketing, payment processing, screening renters, emergency services (like AAA on the water) and insurance.

    GetMyBoat is more of a listing service for anything from yachts to pedal boats. “If it floats, we rent it,” Petro said. It charges only for premium placement on its website, but it provides few services other than listings and access to an insurance policy.

    Owners can skipper their boat or rent it bareboat, without a captain. If they skipper it, they must have the proper Coast Guard license required to take out paying passengers. If they rent it bareboat, it must fit the Coast Guard’s definition of bareboat. “It means the owner is not providing a crew, captain, supplies or insurance,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jon Lane. Any insurance should be arranged by the renter.

    Boat owners set their own price and can reject any customers they deem unseaworthy.

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  2. #2
    That's comforting knowing people with no clue about the boat, marina or even the bay are sailing around on OPB's.

  3. #3
    Dan is a brave man! I've registered on Boatbound, but I haven't been able to pull the trigger on listing my boat.

    Maybe it wouldn't be so bad doing skippered charters ... if I had any free time ... but then I'd be hanging out with people I don't know ... who expect me to entertain them ...

  4. #4
    Don't think I could cut some stranger loose with my boat. Come to think of it not sure I should even be cut loose on my boat some days. But I could see in certain situations this being a great setup. Sounds like Dan rented it out over 50 times last year, that's enough for a good downpayment on a new boat. He also mentioned he thought about selling that boat at one point. So he might not be super attached to it at this point anyway. Don't know much about his boat but who knows, might even be worth more sunk with the insurance. And if it sinks while out on a charter you don't have to deal with the hassle of selling it or even being on board when it sinks.

  5. #5
    Having someone sink your boat for you might have appeal.

    Best to get the premium rum off beforehand.

  6. #6
    Group 3 Studmuffin Sanity Check's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    ≈ 38°N 122°W
    All great comments!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Whales View Post
    That's comforting knowing people with no clue about the boat, marina or even the bay are sailing around on OPB's.
    11:30am "I remember how to do this!"

    2:00pm "JESUS! IF YOU GET ME OUT OF THIS..."

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanity Check View Post
    All great comments!

    11:30am "I remember how to do this!"

    2:00pm "JESUS! IF YOU GET ME OUT OF THIS..."
    1:30pm "Wow, Sure gets windy here in the afternoon"

    2:15pm "Hey, hold my beer."

    2:16pm "Uh oh"

    2:17pm "Holy crap this water is cold!"

    2:18pm "I can't believe how fast that boat sunk."

    2:19pm "The owner better give us a refund since we didnt get a full day in."

  8. #8
    ....and that fateful afternoon, Jordy, sporting his latest Abercrombie & Filtch nautical attire set off from the marina with
    the apple of his eye, Brenda from accounting on what surely was to be and exciting and romantic voyage..............

  9. #9

  10. #10
    My boat is just a few feet from LunaSea, so I get to see the activity first hand. Dan is super hands-on, which is clearly what you have to be if you want it to work. I see him there giving a full briefing beforehand and waiting at the dock when the renters return to de-brief and make sure they put everything away correctly. I've also noticed some regulars that I guess are "Dan-approved" to go it alone, and I've seen him with a full crew of newbies tacking up and down the estuary, providing instruction.
    Too much work for my taste! $10k/year is a tidy sum, though. Wonder what the insurance nut is.

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