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THE BENEFITS OF PEER-TO-PEER BOATING TO YOUR MARINA

THE BENEFITS OF PEER-TO-PEER BOATING TO YOUR MARINA

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PEER-TO-PEER BOATING TO YOUR MARINA?

As an outgrowth of the gig economy, the peer-to-peer model allows two individuals to connect to buy or sell goods or services directly with each other. In this scenario, the producer owns both the tools or means of production and their finished product. The boating industry is not immune to this development.

Peer-to-peer boat and slip sharing and rental services are on the rise. Spurred on by the success of companies like Uber and Airbnb, allowing an individual to rent out their car or apartment, that level of ease can now be found in boat rentals and is flourishing with younger boaters. Today millennials and GenXers are more into creating an experience then collecting material possessions. As users of peer-to-peer boat renting, this can benefit a marina in many ways.

BOAT AND SLIP SHARING SERVICES CAN PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INCOME THAT HELPS OFFSET EXPENSES WITH OWNING AND MAINTAINING A BOAT.

One business setting the standard in peer-to-peer boat renting is Boatsetter. According to Boatsetter, recreational boat owners use their boats on average 14 days per year, sitting idle for 95% of the time. This could explain the decline in first-time boat owners – the costs associated with boat ownership (slip fees, insurance, maintenance) can be overwhelming for a young first-time boat owner.

By listing their boat on Boatsetter, owners can recoup many of their costs during their downtime, making boat ownership more affordable. This leads to more people able to purchase boats, and more boaters needing slips and other services provided by marinas.

PEER-TO-PEER SERVICES CAN DRIVE MORE FOOT TRAFFIC TO YOUR MARINA.

If recreational boats are idle 95% of the time, cutting that time down means more people using the boat, more people coming to your marina, more people buying fuel, snacks, food, and services. Think of the profit potential if you could turn a boat that is only used for two weeks of the year, to being used six or eight weeks of the year because the owner is able to rent it when he’s not using it.

IF YOUR MARINA SELLS BOATS, PEER-TO-PEER BOAT SERVICES MAY BE THE FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE TO CLOSE A SALE FOR A CUSTOMER WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSES OF BOAT OWNERSHIP.

It’s no secret that the core of the boat owning demographic is on the decline. The percentage of boat owners under 50 has dropped from 55% in 1997, to 35% in 2016. Millennials have now surpassed the baby boomers as the largest demographic in the U.S. Why are millennials not buying boats like their parents? Economists point out that many millennials have enormous student debt, and purchasing a boat is not a priority. Additionally, millennials are concentrating on their careers and don’t have much discretionary time. An investment into a new boat for only two weeks a year doesn’t make much sense. Investing in a boat that can help pay for itself just might make sense to many.

As part of the gig economy, mobile app-based services are on the rise, some of which can provide windfalls to marina owners and operators. Most are centered around offering marina services through their apps, such as slip rentals, boat rentals, and other reservation services.

According to the 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, people spend several hours a day on mobile apps. While the bulk of users are within the 18-34 year old range, all age groups are spending significant time with mobile apps as shown in the chart below.

MCUS.com News: Gig Economy Mobile App Usage

It should be noted that millennials are more interested in discovering new apps, paying for apps, and making in-app payments than other generations. Getting your name and services to this demographic can only help your bottom line.

Educating your slip owners to these possible additional sources of income, and taking steps to make your marina “peer-to-peer friendly” could make a significant positive impact to your operation’s bottom line.

WHAT PEER-TO-PEER BUSINESSES ARE IMPACTING THE INDUSTRY?

BoatSetter, having bought out competitor BoatBound and merged with Cruzin,  is potentially the fastest growing peer-to-peer boat sharing service today. Launched in 2013, Boatsetter has brought the sharing economy to the marine industry. They offer a unique boat sharing marketplace that will make boat rentals accessible to consumers regardless of their boating experience. Users can rent boats with or without captains, and boat owners can set pricing and rental duration. They have expanded their market to over 600+ rental locations with 66 international locations. Their fleet roster is in excess of 4000 high quality boats and yachts and growing.

Dockwa introduced their marina reservation services back in 2015 with 70 marinas and now has more than 500 marinas and 100,000 boaters using the app. Boaters can download their app for free or login online, then search, explore, reserve in advance and pay for their reservation all in minutes in real time. Participating marinas then use the Dockwa platform to confirm the reservation, collect payment and record the customer’s information into a database with a single click. Registering your marina is free, with a three-tiered software platform for reservations – the Basic Dockwa is free, with only minimal processing fees.

SlipFinder is another app-based service with an emphasis on booking slips in real time. Developed by a marina owner, SlipFinder helps users create a profile of their vessel, boat type, dimensions, and requirements. The company stresses that their system is not for making docking reservations in advance but instead for same day bookings. They offer spontaneous boaters an easy way to explore new marinas and locations, and to promote more active boating. Their system does not conflict with a marina’s existing reservation system but works in conjunction.

DockSkipper is a cutting-edge, peer-to-peer network platform which allows the listing and renting of private boat docks. Visitors to the site can create a free account allowing them to list their available dock on the website.  The listing owner controls their content, rates, calendar, cancellation policy and more.  Visitors who are interested in booking a dock on the platform can request to book any available listing.  If the listing host accepts, payment processing is integrated into the platform to allow pre-payment of bookings.  Finally, automatic dispersal of funds to the listing hosts is integrated, making the entire platform automated.

GetMyBoat allows you to book over 80,000 experiences in 171 countries. Book fishing charters, surfing lessons, paddleboard rentals, rafting trips, diving tours, and much more. From kayaks and sailing in California to yachts and snorkeling in Croatia, the GetMyBoat app makes it easy to find rentals, tours, and lessons all over the world.

Other offerings include Snag-A-SlipSlipSureDockBookingSailoTradewinds, and of course, the company that started the trend, Airbnb. Below is a database with a variety of apps and software designed to help marina owners and boaters.