Owning a yacht is part of a luxurious lifestyle. However, many fail to realize that the upkeep of a personal maritime vessel comes with a lot of responsibility and work. Often, those who were once gung-ho about owning a yacht eventually lose interest and end up selling their boat to someone else looking to get into the hobby of recreational sailing.
Enter Boatsetter, a service aspiring to be the ultimate recreational boat solution. Think of it like a car or bus rental service, except for recreational seafaring ships. RewardExpert recently spoke to the CEO and cofounder of the boat sharing company, Jaclyn Baumgarten, to talk about this new innovative service.
Turning a passion into a company
Baumgarten says her happiest memories have taken place on a boat. During her youth, her family would often plan trips to a nearby lake in order to spend time boating. Baumgarten’s love of boating would eventually lead her to found Boatsetter in 2012.
“I got the idea when my brothers were boat owners and were complaining about not being able to use their boats often enough,” Baumgarten said. “The cost to maintain them was starting to outweigh how often they went boating. It was at this point that Airbnb and Uber were starting to pick up, so I suggested that they rent out their boats instead of selling them.”
Despite the clever idea, there were obstacles to make boat rental a reality. While the thought had crossed the brothers’ minds, their insurance simply wouldn’t let them. Baumgarten devised a solution. Working with some leading marina underwriters, Baumgarten was able to create a brand new peer-to-peer insurance policy, which would be backbone behind the creation of Boatsetter.
Experiences, Not Just Ships
Unlike a simple car ride, there are numerous activities which can be experienced out on the open waters. From deep sea diving to a romantic dinner, Boatsetter provides more than just the ship. One of the key aspects of Boatsetter is the ability to select from a database of thousands of U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains.
Baumgarten highlighted that the captain contributes to the trip experience and Boatsetter finds captains who are best suited to the each renter’s experience. “We’ve seen multiple times that a fairly run-of-the-mill ship can be made great with a charismatic captain. Likewise, even the most expensive ships are not as enjoyable with a captain you don’t get along with. Each captain has a bio and a series of reviews left for them by previous renters, allowing you to get a feeling for each one.”
While they started out in the U.S., Boatsetter understands that their service is often used by those vacationing or taking trips. Since their inception, they’ve been able to expand and offer boat rental services in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and even Croatia. They hope to make one of their next offerings available in Brazil.
The sharing of wealth with the sharing economy
Boats, and especially yachts, carry with them a certain level of prestige. They have a special place in people’s minds and bring with them a preconception of immense wealth. Baumgarten’s looking to change that mindset and had a couple of words to share on the topic.
”I think people ought to know that going out on a yacht is affordable and accessible. People had a preconceived notion that boats were only for the extremely rich. But now with Boatsetter, we have a 50k boat available for $100 a person. Boats should be seen as an affordable part of your trip, just like lodging, transportation or sightseeing.”
Along with other companies in the “sharing economy,” Boatsetter continues the trend of making travel more accessible to everyone. If you’re planning a trip, keep Boatsetter in mind and consider maybe adding a little bit of maritime fun to your next adventure.