Miami, Fla., — Capitalizing on technology and the growing trend of collaborative consumption, a group of seasoned marine executives has launched a new web-based service that connects boat owners with consumers who want to enjoy the boating lifestyle. BoatSetter will be the first rental marketplace that offers captains to would-be renters, as well as a marina affiliate program designed to make the entire experience smooth and enjoyable. The concept, which has been more than a year in the making, will officially be introduced at the 2014 Miami International Boat Show.
“Our model aims to accomplish a number of things,” said Andrew Sturner, president and CEO of Collaborative Boating, Inc, BoatSetter’s parent company. “We are giving people the opportunity to have a great day on the water. Our mission is to provide a truly affordable boating experience by matching boat owners with pre-screened renters and captains. We strive to be a catalyst to help grow the $121 billion marine industry by introducing boating to a whole new audience of future boat owners, providing incremental income to marinas and captains. We are not just about the transaction, but the elevation of the overall experience and innovation of the industry.”
This new approach truly invites all its users to become “Boatsetters”. By logging on to www.BoatSetter.com, owners will fill out a profile and list their boat for rent. Renters are offered a variety of experiences and activities in addition to the boats and captains to bring those experiences to life. Once boaters find what they are looking for, the system handles the transaction from start to finish. The renter simply shows up to the marina ready to enjoy a day on the water. BoatSetter also provides insurance, $1 million in primary liability protection and up to $2 million in hull coverage, which is included in the cost of the rental. On-water support services from BoatUS are also available free-of-charge. Everyone on board benefits from the process and is a part of the experience.
Central to the BoatSetter model is the ability for renters to hire a professional, licensed captain to guide them on their boating journey. Unique to the BoatSetter model, the website lists a number of participating captains, and each owner will be encouraged to pre-select a few that they prefer.
“We think the captains make all the difference in the world,” said Sturner. “First, it will give owners peace of mind that their boats are being handled safely by a professional, and secondly, it will make the experience better for consumers who want a day on the water, but don’t necessarily want to physically be behind the wheel.” BoatSetter provides services to qualified captains through a web portal called www.CaptainsWanted.com.
Another key differentiator of the BoatsSetter model is having marinas nationwide working to help promote and deliver the service and in return, reap the benefit of selling more gas, provisions, merchandise and performing more services. BoatSetter currently has more than 100 marinas in the program with more signing up daily.
One marina affiliate, Loggerhead Marina Miami, is already confident about the benefits.
“I see it all the time, boat owners who can no longer afford the expense of boating,” said Michael Hankins, Loggerhead harbor master. “BoatSetter offers the opportunity to offset costs and it affords us the opportunity to maintain their business. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
In addition to connecting renters with consumers, BoatSetter will be launching Tidalwavez, the first social media app for the boating industry. Tidalwavez is a revolutionary new app designed to help boaters get the most out of their day on the water. It’s a social network that allows boaters to share their activities and “drop anchor” to share and discover activities along their journey.
BoatSetter will be exhibiting this weekend at the Miami International Boat Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, booth S43, and will host a launch party Saturday night on the Masterpiece Yacht at Ramp 16 between 46th and 47th street from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.