Why Boats Are Becoming Big Business

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The travel and tourism market has had a rocky few years, with fluctuating restrictions and incomes making holidays impractical for most. However, this has given travelers time to reconsider what they want to get out of their vacations. As a result, the travel industry has seen an increase in certain holidays and activities that had previously played second fiddle to the traditional beach trip and city break.

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One sector which has seen a record increase in inquiries is the private boat rental sector. According to a report by Transparency Market Research, “the global boat rental market is projected to surpass the valuation of US$ 19.7 Bn by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of ~5% during the forecast period”.

Boats have traditionally been associated with luxury and a rich, unobtainable lifestyle. Still, peer-to-peer rentals have made them more affordable, both to own – because you can make money back on your purchase – and to charter for an excursion. Now holidaymakers looking to do something a little different can choose from a large selection of local boats of all different types and sizes, captained and un-captained, to take them on an afternoon of adventure.

Peer-To-Peer Rental: How It Works

Much like Airbnb has given holiday homeowners a new way to make money from their properties, the peer-to-peer boat rental market allows boat owners to monetize the days when they aren’t using their crafts. Some new business models let you register the details of your boat and can link you instantly with people from all over the world. Just set your price and availability, and they will do the rest.

Borrowaboat CEO & Founder Matt Ovenden describes the concept as “an online marketplace for boat charter, helping boat owners reduce the cost of ownership while helping to make boat chartering more flexible and accessible and delivering more variety. We help two groups of people simultaneously – the enthusiasts and the boat owners”.

When prospective customers search through the site, they can filter by port, boat type, dates available, and whether or not the craft is captained. They cover popular destinations such as Key West, The British Virgin Islands, and the Greek Islands. Having all the information laid out for them helps customers make informed decisions and reduces the number of inquiries from timewasters.

Why Rent Out Your Boat?

Boats, even the small ones, are a costly investment. Mooring fees, maintenance, and gas costs can all mount up. Unless you live on it or use it regularly for business, it’s a purely luxury item that doesn’t help pay for itself. And if it’s moored at a vacation home, you’re using it even less. Renting it will bring in an income to help with the boat’s costs and maybe even make a profit.

Demand for chartered boats remains high, guaranteeing interest for boat owners. The boat rental market is still new, which means major players don’t yet dominate it. This makes it easier for independent sites to offer competitive rates, so now is absolutely the best time to get a good deal on listing fees for your boat. Once the market becomes dominated by one or two main websites, the benefits for the owners decrease.

The Boat Rental Industry Expansion

The largest boat rental sector is currently Europe, with the warm seas of the Mediterranean proving alluring. By contrast, the most rapidly growing sector is North America. Experts predict that the industry will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around five percent over the current decade.

Traditional boat charter companies have always owned the boats themselves and leased them to customers at a high price. They have been able to do this because of the relatively small number of boats available. But now that thousands of privately-owned boats have entered the marketplace, rental prices have fallen. This has meant that privately chartered boats are now within reach of a broader range of budgets, and more and more people are finding that they can readily afford to rent a boat on their vacation.

With boat rentals moving into the online marketplace, booking has become much more manageable. Customers can search for precisely the type, size, and location of the boat they are looking for, compare all available crafts, and then make their reservation, all within a few minutes. It has become as easy as renting a car or a holiday home. And the more accessible something becomes, the more likely it is to reach a wider audience.

What The Future of Boat Chartering Will Look Like

Chartering companies have already started to work with other travel providers to collaborate on special packages that would include air travel. In some cases, accommodation is likely to become much more widely available. Combining airfares and accommodation with boat rentals means that people aren’t limited to boating only in their area, and we could soon see long-weekend boat trips as common as city breaks.

It is also likely that the market will become less fragmented. Practices will be set between rental companies that will level the playing fields. Expectations of prices and customer service will dictate the success of many companies, as the bigger companies are often best placed to undercut smaller start-ups.

Boat chartering apps have exploded onto the scene in the last year, and these are rapidly becoming the most popular way for customers to secure rentals. In the future, the majority of chartering will be done through apps, significantly reducing the need for face-to-face communication and streamlining the process.

In Conclusion

The boat rental market is rapidly expanding and becoming a service of highly regarding between tourists, and there is still time to get involved and experience it. Anyone who owns a boat can benefit from renting it out, and using peer-to-peer rental websites is a quick and efficient way of doing so.