ON THE SEA
Boatsetter App Spurs Boating-On-Demand Sector Surge
Let’s face it, life is better on the water. Luckily, one adventure-inducing app is making it super easy for everyone to enjoy on the water experiences: Boatsetter. This lifestyle and leisure-oriented app allows people everywhere to book a boat on-demand.
This peer-to-peer boat rental company has more than 50,000 boat listings available in over 700 locations worldwide, making it easily accessible no matter your location. Through this app, those wishing to wander the water without the hassle of boat ownership can find over 20,000 different makes and models available to rent in a variety of styles and sizes, from family-friendly pontoons and sailboats to luxury yachts of every sort.
No matter your level of experience on the water, Boatsetter makes it easy to discover and enjoy a wide variety of experiences by connecting qualified renters directly to boat owners and licensed captains. In fact, the company has the largest database of U.S. Coast Guard-Certified Captains, making it possible for those with no prior boating experience to get out and enjoy the water safely and confidently. Boatsetter also reports that it’s the world’s only legally compliant and insured peer-topeer boat rental.
I also love that it caters to “nautical newbies,” offering a free, on-water beginner’s boating course that is dedicated to teaching new boaters about the fundamentals of boat operation and safety.
Boatsetter is a great option for a variety of on-water experiences like bachelor and bachelorette parties, sunset cruises, sandbar hopping, fishing charters or just renting a catamaran, party boat or yacht to cruise the blue seas and escape from the daily grind. Whatever body of water is near your location, Boatsetter brings friends and family together on all types— oceans, bays and inland lakes and rivers.
With my own Boatsetter yachting experience, I appreciated the Captain’s extreme local knowledge of the waterways we were traversing. I learned that boat owners and Captains available through the service can deliver unique itineraries and make recommendations for local restaurants, sandbars, party coves, things to do and places to see to ensure you make meaningful maritime memories.
And, Boatsetter doesn’t just serve those looking to rent a water experience. The company is fostering an entirely new industry within the sharing economy, helping thousands of boat owners become entrepreneurs in their own right. Whether it’s a side hustle or mainstay career, Boatsetter is apparently a great means to a monetary end for vessel owners and Captains.
According to Boatsetter CEO and Co-Founder Jaclyn Baumgarten, Boatsetter is the leading marketplace app for onwater experiences and boat rentals. She says that, to date, more than one million boaters and boat owners have collectively turned to Boatsetter to discover the endless possibilities the water provides. This apparently includes generating impressive income.
“Boatsetter is ideal for boat owners who want to defray the cost of boat ownership or become entrepreneurs on the water,” she said. “We are rapidly forging a path to entrepreneurship for thousands of boat owners, with some reporting they have generated over $100,000 in revenue in 2021, alone. Boatsetter owner/operators that have one or more boats listed comprise fully 70 percent of the Boatsetter platform.”
Amid these decidedly impressive stats, I reached out to Baumgarten to learn a bit more about what is propelling her company’s success. Here’s a bit of that conversation.
MK: In a category that does include other boat rental apps, what sets the Boatsetter service apart from other options?
JB: For one, Boatsetter is the world’s only legally compliant and insured peer-to-peer boat rental platform, having partnered with GEICO and BoatUS to pioneer the first-ever peerto-peer boat rental insurance policy in 2014. Boatsetter also boasts the largest database of USCG-certified captains, making it possible for even those with no prior boating experience to tap into an incredible array of water activities with utmost safety and confidence. As for the owner/operator aspect, Boatsetter has a higher cohort revenue retention than the leading home sharing platform, meaning boat owners realize higher revenues year-overyear. Boatsetter also has the fastest Return of Asset Purchase known as “ROAP”—which is the number of rental periods required to pay off the asset in full—of any peer-to-peer marketplace.
MK: How about marketplace differentiation…what things might people not know or expect about the Boatsetter service, but should?
JB: Our Boatsetter Academy, which launched this past summer, is a complimentary on-water beginner’s boating course, and is evangelizing the industry and inspiring and educating new waves of boaters across generational lines. Our Academy is dedicated to teaching new boaters of any age about the fundamentals of operating a boat. It is the largest free boating school in the country, quickly becoming a “Khan Academy” for boating.
Boatsetter is also the largest U.S.- based fishing marketplace, offering a variety of fishing boat rentals and charter experiences in top destinations facilitating everything from deep-sea to inshore to freshwater fishing.
Also noteworthy are our multi-day bookings that are ideal for renters who want to get out on the water for consecutive days in a row. Local boat owners handle coordination with renters to drop off the boat in the morning and then pick it up in the evening, before repeating a similar process the following day(s) for the duration of the booking.
Our Instant Booking is extremely popular, allowing renters to book with automatic owner approval at the click of button. Renters that use the Instant Book feature are able to get out on the water within 48 hours of finalizing the booking.
MK: How will the service continue to navigate the difficulties presented by the pandemic to assure guest health and safety and confidence related thereto?
JB: Boatsetter provides a seamless way for people to reconnect at a time when our collective health and wellness is dependent on our personal safety. Now more than ever, people are looking for new experiences, time outdoors and ways to be together with friends and family. Boatsetter is a safe, convenient and fun way to do that—and stay close to home.
MK: Do you offer an amenities addon service?
JB: Yes, through our Boatsetter Lux, we offer a White Glove Concierge service to guide guests through planning a customized, exclusive and unforgettable charter trip for destinations around the globe.
MK: What is your personal favorite aspect of the service?
JB: I love that Boatsetter breaks down the barriers like money and access that often prohibit people from experiencing life on the water. Likewise, because Boatsetter is a two-sided marketplace, we are uniquely positioned to empower existing and new boat owners and operators—as well as gig economy entrepreneurs—to make money during an economic downturn. Mentoring and empowering other like-minded entrepreneurs is a personal passion of mine. I’m fortunate that, at Boatsetter, we are not only succeeding in our dream of enabling incredible on-water experiences for all, but we are also creating entrepreneurs on the water.
MK: What service standards do you employ?
JB: This is an important question. Boatsetter prides itself on having the highest quality fleet in the industry. To maintain a network of reliable, safe and fun boating experiences, boat listings may be removed or permanently deactivated for not meeting owner standards.
There are numerous reasons why an owner may be removed or deleted from the Boatsetter platform. These include, but are not limited to, being unresponsive or slow to respond to clients; high booking cancellation rate; non-compliance with our terms or USCG regulations; and too many complaints from clients for reasons such as poor customer service, inappropriate or unprofessional behavior, lack of cleanliness, nonfunctional equipment, or boat conditions that do not match the boat listing.
To help ensure our service standards, Boatsetter has a world-class support team to assist throughout all stages of the booking process, for both owners and renters. Particularly on the owner side, our team offers support through 1-to-1 coaching sessions, owner webinars and training modules.
MK: Any interesting/unexpected/ little known factoids/trivia about the service?
JB: One of the core values that our staff holds close to our heart is #MindYourWake, which means more than just being conscious of the impact we have on our waterways. It also encompasses our planet at large, upholding the value of being mindful of how we treat our environment and each other as teammates and human beings. Just this year alone, our team will participate in seven different waterway clean-up events located all across the country—thus far picking up over 1,000 pounds of trash!
In all, Boatsetter offers the ultimate, authentic experience for anyone looking to get out on the water without hassle. Renters can expect owners and Captains to not only ensure a comfortable and safe ride, but also local knowledge of the waterways and surrounding city. It’s a great way to ensure your aquatic adventure not just meets—but exceeds—expectations.