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May 25 2013

21' fishing boat on Cayuga Lake

I recently came across a new company that may be of interest to the membership.  The name of the company is Boatbound.  Their organization provides peer-peer boat rentals.  Statistically boats sit idle about 90% of the year.  If you could rent out your boat 2 or 3 times a month and possibly cover the cost of ownership would that interest you?  I know what your thinking.  I am not going to let a stranger leave the slip with my boat.

  I understand all the natural objections to such a thought.  First off how do I know if the renter is qualified?  What happens if the boat is damaged? Not to mention the emotional attachment most of us have towards our boats.  First off, Boatbound has a 1,000,000 insurance policy through Lloyds of London which goes with each rental.  There is a qualification process that they put potential renters through and you as the owner are the final decision maker as to whether or not your boat goes out.

Consider this, as members of the NY Boating Club we are all boaters, most of us own boats and since we are spread out throughout NYS, many of us have different types of boats and we also boat in different types of conditions.  Maybe you are interested in a day or two on the Erie Canal and would like to rent a boat, or you’re an upstate boater and want to try your hand at a little salt water fishing.  We already have a member who is interested in renting his 20’ Pursuit  dual console set up for fishing on Cayuga Lake, or you could take his boat out for a day on the Seneca/Cayuga Canal.  He totally understood the benefits this program offered him.  His boat sits at the dock most of the time and would love to offset the cost of ownership.

I am sure you have lots of questions so we put together a short list of the ones I had and presented them to the founder of the company Aaron Hall.

Aaron , The NY Boating Club is a member based organization committed to being the most comprehensive online resource for the NYS Boater.  Could you provide a brief description of how the insurance policy works and what it covers?

Bill, Common private pleasure warranties have prevented boat insurance policy’s from allowing policy holders to rent their boat(s).  Essentially if a policy holder takes money in exchange for letting someone use their boat and something happens, their policy is null and void.  This is not the case with the Boatbound insurance policy offered through Lloyds of London.  The Boatbound insurance program provides $1,000,000 liability coverage on every rental by making our policy the primary during the rental period.  This way if something happens, the boat owner’s boat is covered, and their private insurance policy is not affected (or put into use)  You can find full details of the insurance program here  

Aaron, what types of boats will qualify for your program.  NY with it’s varied bodies of water and types of boating opportunities means there are lots of different types and sizes of boats.

Bill, Our team reviews each boat that is listed to verify it’s eligibility and seaworthiness prior to allowing renters to book it.  Owners can list any type, size, or value of boat on Boatbound.  Any boat over 25 years, 45’ feet long, valued at over $250,000 or that travels faster than 55 mph, will still have the opportunity to be approved, but may require additional documentation, or underwriting.  At this time we will not be approving any racing boats, carbon fiber hulled/masted boats, trimarans or ferrocement hulled boats, personal water crafts (PWCs) are also not permitted to be listed on Boatbound due to the increased risk they present.

Aaron, what are some of the benefits for our membership using your site, could you describe in some detail how a potential renter and boat owner get together?

Bill, the boatbound platform provides the opportunity for boat owners to offset ownership costs by renting to pre-screened, qualified renters.  Boatbound also creates a way for non-boat owners to rent any type of boat, at any price in any location, with no membership fees or regional limitations.

Renters can search for boats by location, date and capacity.  They can then further filter results by boat type, price and length.  When renters find a boat they would like to book, they can message the owner or submit a booking request.  Owners have full control over who they rent their boat to and when.  Boatbound displays the renters qualifications and any endorsements or reviews as well as their boating history.  The boat owner can also message the renter to ask any qualifying questions prior to approving.

Once approved both the renter and owner will receive a confirmation e-mail with each party’s full contact details so they can arrange the details around the rental pickup.  After the rental period is over each party will have the opportunity to review each other helping to build trust and credibility in the marketplace.

Aaron, what are the fees that your business charges for this service and how is the boat owner compensated for the service.

Bill,  membership for both boat owners and renters is 100% free.  Boatbound pays owners 24 hours after each rental period begins.  All payouts are done via an instant transfer to the owners bank account.

Boatbound  takes 30% of the rental price to cover the cost of the insurance and our on the water support through BoatUS. And BoatUS concierge.  There is also a 5% service fee charged to both the owner and the renter.

Boatbound holds a $500 security deposit on each rental.  This security deposit is automatically refunded to the renter 72 hours after the rental period has ended (as long as there are no outstanding disputes ie. lost lifejackets, etc)

Example : 

$1,000 rental price

-$300 Boatbound fee

-$50 Service Fee.


$650 Total Payout to owner

Additional administrative fees will be charged in the case a boat not being returned on time or a boat being returned messy or without being refueled.  You can view all the Boatbound fees here 

Aaron, what areas are you currently operating your service in?

Bill, Boatbound will ultimately be available anywhere in the US.  Our initial focus will be in three states.  (NY, CA, and FL)  but will continue to expand our presence as markets develop.  The great news for NY Boating Club is that NY is one of our early launch markets, so that means that we’ll be focused on rapidly growing the supply of boats in your area!

I will be starting a new thread in the forums section on this subject looking for feed back from members on this opportunity for boaters in NY.

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