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Mar 29 2014

Last season, I introduced the membership to a company called Boatbound, a “pier-to-pier” boat rental marketplace. Almost a year later, Boatbound has become the largest boat sharing platform in the US. As a refresher, Boatbound enables boat owners to offset their boat ownership costs by renting their boats to pre-screened, qualified renters, with full control over who rents and when.

 

In just a short amount of time, Boatbound has drawn significant interest from various industry players and has secured several major partnerships to fuel their growth in 2014 and beyond. They’ve just announced a partnership with Brunswick, the largest player in the marine industry and will be rolling out to Brunswick’s Owners Clubs (which may include many of our members) in the coming weeks. As part of the partnership, Brunswick also invested in Boatbound’s latest financing round, further adding to Boatbound’s credibility and growth abilities. In addition, Boatbound has also locked down the sailing side of the boating market by partnering with the American Sailing Association, the domestic leader in sailing education and certification.

 

This summer, Boatbound will be officially launching in the New York-area market, and I wanted to hear from the membership what you think about Boatbound, as well as your thoughts on a potential partnership with them. As I mentioned in my initial piece last year, every owner has concerns around allowing people access to their boats. Despite that, I’ve been impressed with what Boatbound has built, particularly the system they have in place for ensuring that boat owners are renting to pre-screened, qualified boaters.

 

I had a chance to follow up with Co-Founder & CEO Aaron Hall last month to get the latest updates:

 

Aaron, why focus on launching in NY this season?

 

“Boating in the Northeast has always been a summer pastime, and our research and local market knowledge supports that notion. The New York Metro area has the most in-water slips in the country, so that paired with the high density of Owners Club members makes it instantly attractive. New York is also a market with a very educated, tech savvy consumer, which makes adoption for an online service easier.”

 

Aaron, how can the members of the NY Boating Club benefit from your service?

 

“There are many benefits Boatbound can offer your members. Our service enables owners to offset their costs by renting directly to other NY Boating Club members. For members looking to experience other parts of NY’s extensive waterways, they now don’t need to haul their personal boat because they have access to quality boats across the state. As NY Boating Club aims to be the most comprehensive resource for the NY boater, Boatbound aims to make boating more affordable and accessible for those NY boaters.”

 

What other information should our members know about Boatbound?

 

“We understand that boats are not like houses or cars, and require a unique level of skill to operate. That is why we knew putting owners in control, and securing a comprehensive insurance policy were essentially. As an owner in our community, you have full control. You set the price, availability and have full control over who rents your boat. We have some owners who only allow their boat to go out with a licensed captain, and others who will actually take a novice boater out before the rental to train them. Common private pleasure warranties don’t allow policy holders to rent their boat(s). Essentailly if an owner takes money in exchange for letting someone use their boat and something happens, their policy is null and void. That is why we knew creating a comprehensive policy that would supercede an owners during a rental period was so important. Our policy, through Lloyds of London, provides $1mm liability coverage and up to $2mm in hull damage protection. It becomes primary during the rental period, so is something does happen, the renter, owner and boat are covered. These two essential components are what make Boatbound work, and we will continue to make improvements as we go forward.”

 

Its been impressive to see the growth Boatbound has achieved in the last year and I think this peer-to-peer (sharing economy) idea will ultimately transform boat ownership and how people think about boating. Boatbound will be in the New York area this April and I’ll share dates/locations of their launch events so you can meet them in person and learn more.


I invite the membership to check out Boatbound here and learn more about their platform, as

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