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The Uber (really Airbnb) for boats

Many times boats seem to figure in people’s retirement and/or recreation plans. But ask anyone who owns a boat and they’ll tell you it’s not cheap.

There is the cost of the boat itself, maintenance, slip fees, storage, insurance, towing and more. The costs quickly add up.

Thanks to this helpful website, which likens itself to Airbnb on water, people who don’t own boats can enjoy the watercraft experience. At the same time, the company helps boat owners defray their costs.

Company is like Uber and Airbnb on water

GetMyBoat.com was launched in, appropriately enough, the City by the Bay in 2013. GetMyBoat’s mission is to allow boating enthusiasts to be able to rent a range of boats from kayaks to luxury yachts without suffering the costs or headaches of ownership.

The company adds that the average boat is only used around 8% of the year. With GetMyBoat, owners can make having a boat more affordable by using it to earn some income on the side.

“GetMyBoat began when co-founders Sascha Mornell and Rafael Collado were out on the water,” said Val Streif, the company’s head of marketing. “They asked themselves, ‘How can more people gain access to great boating experiences for less?’ A few years later and with the emergence of the sharing economy, Sascha and Rafael brought GetMyBoat to life.”

Today, the company has 130,000 listings in 184 countries covering 9,300 destinations. GetMyBoat has rentals in Mexico, the U.S., Canada, France, Holland, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates, and many more countries.

Like Uber and Airbnb on the water, guests can rent all manner of watercraft by the hour, the day and even the week.

A look at the listings of boats shows that yachts are quite popular. Depending on the model, size, location and whether a captain is included, a yacht can go for anywhere between $80 an hour to a whopping $112,153 a week.

(125-foot luxury superyacht. Photo courtesy of GetMyBoat.com)

Popular boats for long-term stays are houseboats that can accommodate any number of guests. Houseboats tend to be rented for overnight stays or a week.

 

Related: Dance, cook, hike: Airbnb Experiences go way beyond room rentals

 

Benefits for boat owners and renters

Users can browse online from a selection of watercraft to find the ones that best suite them, simplifying the complicated process of booking a boat. Renters also can connect worldwide with the boats’ owners to confirm reservations.

Renters can leave detailed reviews of their experiences. Meanwhile, owners can leave endorsements for renters that help them build trust in the GetMyBoat community.

Perhaps the most helpful service is the company’s messaging app. The app allows renters and owners to chat with each other in real-time. That comes in handy if there are questions or problems with the boat.

But remember, Uber and Airbnb haven’t always had the best reputations. Airbnb, in particular, has been hit with dozens of complaints about owners installing hidden cameras inside rentals.

But Streif of GetMyBoat claims the company has not encountered such situations.

“We have never had a problem with hidden cameras being used on our boat charters or rentals,” she said. “The vast majority of renters/guests who book experiences with us are booking with a professional captain to accommodate them the entire time. Many boat charters are also just for the day.”

If you’re interested in learning more about what GetMyBoat offers, you can visit its website or download its free app for iPhone and Android.

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