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Boat Sharing In Florida Benefiting Boat Owners And Renters

Photo courtesy of boatsetter.
Photo courtesy of boatsetter.

Airbnb, Uber … and now you can rent a boat for anywhere from $60 a person to a few thousand to live the yacht life for a day. We look at how one boat sharing company marketing to central Florida residents and visitors got started.

In 2012 Jaclyn Baumgarten’s two brothers were thinking about selling their boats because they hadn’t used them all year. She suggested they rent them out but their recreational boat insurance didn’t allow it. So Baumgarten got with some maritime underwriters to create a peer-to-peer policy that covers the boat owners, renters and boat captains.

Baumgarten’s now CEO of boatsetter, which touts itself as mixing the rental mechanics of Airbnb with the on-demand labor dynamics of Uber. Baumgarten says they’re focusing on the Florida market and adding more boats every day. She said they're seeing younger generations who may not be able to afford a boat, taking advantage of boat sharing.

“Because we can offer captains on most of our rentals you don’t have to be an experienced boater, so we’ve had about 60 percent of our users are under the age of 45 and up to 34 percent are under the age of 35,” said Baumgarten.

Boatsetter isn’t the only company getting in on the Internet-based boat sharing business.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows more than 915,000 boats registered across the state.