There are plenty of ways to rent a vacation home in our computer-driven world, whether it’s rental agencies with an eye for architectural style or peer-to-peer platforms that focus on families. But one unique company is taking a new approach and offering nightly rentals on boats.
Launched in San Francisco in 2013, GetMyBoat is the world’s largest boat rental and charter marketplace, offering 75,500 rentals in 171 different countries. Similar to VRBO and Airbnb, GetMyBoat lets potential guests search and book boats from an app and also allows individual boat owners, rental shops, and charter companies a place to list their watercraft.
While there are lots of luxury yachts and sailboats for rent on the site, GetMyBoat also offers smaller watercraft like kayaks and jet skis. This means that if you’re staying in a hotel in San Diego, California, for example, you could rent a local’s single kayak for around $14 per hour. There are also boats for rent outside of vacation destinations like Miami; a quick search turned up several boats available for daily rentals in landlocked states like Colorado.
The most intriguing rentals are the overnight options. Boat rentals can come with or without a captain, so there are choices both for people looking for a charter and for experienced bareboaters who want to find their own way.
There are also options for vacationers who never actually want to sail a boat. A bit like boating bed and breakfasts, these rentals run the gamut from docked sailboats to houseboats on lakes to canal boats. This 42-foot houseboat moored in the French West Indies sleeps four people for $318 per night, stays put the entire time, and provides a kayak, stand-up paddle board, and snorkel gear. Guests access the boat in a small dinghy that’s a five-minute ride from the marina.
The risk in peer-to-peer platforms—as with anything expensive—is that owners and vacationers alike could have problems with insurance and damage while renting. Open water and inexperienced boaters no doubt raise this risk, but GetMyBoat tries to mitigate this problem with an insurance program that starts as low as $40 per day.
For owners and vacationers looking to stay in a boat without taking it for a spin, GetMyBoat could be a perfect solution. Many boats sit unused in harbors or moorings the majority of the season, and the risk of a boating disaster is lessened if it never leaves its dock. GetMyBoat could also work for travelers looking for unique lodging and boat owners hoping to assuage the high cost of yacht life.