Boat rental marketplace GetMyBoat, boating safety certification provider Boat Ed and the marina reservation platform Dockwa have announced a new partnership between the companies. The partnership aims to increase participation in recreational boating by reducing common barriers of first time boaters.
A 2014 report by the National Marine Manufacturers Association found that the number of boats used for recreational boating has fallen 11 percent since 2005—which means boaters have fewer places to turn when beginning the sport. According to the National Recreational Boating Survey released by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2012, 27 percent of U.S. residents operated or rode in a boat that year — but the average boater used their boat only 11 days per year. *
By joining resources, this partnership will make every aspect of boating easily accessible. In the past, booking a boat or getting certified required days or months of planning. GetMyBoat, BoatEd and Dockwa are reducing the time spent in front of the computer or on the phone and giving boaters the opportunity to organize right from their smartphone.
“We are utilizing technology to bring boating to everyone,” says Bryan Petro, COO of GetMyBoat. “This partnership enables our community to get educated and learn how to be safe on the water – an integral part of the community. By utilizing the tools that we all have at our fingertips, we are excited to partner with innovators that share our values and strive to make access to unique experiences easily available and affordable.”
With 60,000 boats in 169 countries, GetMyBoat allows users to browse their location for the perfect watercraft, connect with owners and book a boat rental or charter directly through the GetMyBoat app for Android or iOS. Using the app, GetMyBoat says it has reduced the time it takes to book a boat from months on end to 24 hours or less. The startup also enables local boat owners to list and rent out their private watercraft as part of the sharing economy.
“There is just so much about boating to enjoy, whether that means going paddling in a canoe, fishing at the lake, or cruising the coast with your family. It’s our goal to encourage more people to spend more time embracing those opportunities,” said Jason Alexander, Boat Ed CEO.
Boat Ed works with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and state agencies to offer online boating safety certifications. Boat Ed also produces the Boat America student manual used to teach in-person classes throughout the U.S.
Boaters can use Dockwa, a free site and app for marina reservations, to discover, reserve and securely pay for slips and moorings at hundreds of marinas throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. Those marinas in turn use Dockwa to manage reservation requests and communicate directly with each boater.
“It’s fantastic to align ourselves with more marine industry innovators such as Boat Ed and GetMyBoat, and to see the overwhelming support from boaters and marine professionals alike,” said Dockwa CEO Mike Melillo. “We’re thrilled to partner with two of the leaders in the marine industry to expand on Dockwa’s mission to increase access to boating for all.”
* The 2012 report is the most recent data available, but more recent observations by the partner organizations support the findings.