Airbnb for boat owners

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

a wide choice should be available throughout Europe and the Caribbean

Following its French success, SamBoat, the peer-to-peer boat rental platform has come to the UK. The concept is that SamBoat puts private boat owners and potential renters in touch with each other making “yachting part of the sharing economy.”

Boats are expensive things to run and maintain. An acquaintance of mine who kept one said it was like pouring money into a bottomless drain. Another had a year of interest and left it moored on a riverbank and never went near it again until it was sod three years’ later. And that is part of the problem. Unless a boat is used regularly it spends a lot of time, tied up and doing nothing. SamBoat says that boats are only used on average about ten days per annum.

By introducing owners and renters together, SamBoat says that owners can now make money out of their boats and that money will contribute to the all-expensive maintenance and running costs.

It offers rental prices on average 30% cheaper than the standard market rate with flexible pick-up and drop-off times. It also claims that service quality is also improved through the strength of the user’s community and their reviews.

Like the similar Airbnb model, there needs to be a range and style of boats, geographically wide-spread and a large number from which the renter can choose.

SamBoat says that it has more than 10,000 boats available across Europe and the Caribbean. Prices start at £30 per day and the boats available generally split into three types, motorboats, sailing vessels and superyachts. If you don’t feel comfortable skippering a boat then you can hire a skipper as well.

And if you don’t want to take a vessel out of the moorings (which seems a strange thing not to want to do) then you can just hire it as an alternative to a hotel or guesthouse for the night or even longer.

SamBoat is just three years’ old and was founded by French boat enthusiasts, Laurent Calando and Nicolas Cargou. So far they have dealt with 70,000 booking requests and are growing by about 300% per year. Will it be as big as Airbnb has become? Time will tell.

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