A group of South Florida marine executives has launched a Web-based service that offers captains to would-be renters. The concept for BoatSetter has been more than a year in the making and was officially launched at the 2014 Yacht & Brokerage Show.
“Our model aims to accomplish a number of things,” said Andrew Sturner, president and CEO of Collaborative Boating, BoatSetter’s parent company. “Our mission is to provide a truly affordable boating experience by matching boat owners with pre-screened renters and captains. We strive to be a catalyst to help grow the $121 billion marine industry by introducing boating to a whole new audience of future boat owners, providing incremental income to marinas and captains. We are not just about the transaction, but the elevation of the overall experience and innovation of the industry.”
By logging on to www.BoatSetter.com, owners will fill out a profile and list their boat for rent. Renters are offered a variety of experiences and activities in addition to the boats and captains to bring those experiences to life. Once boaters find what they are looking for, the system handles the transaction. The renter simply shows up to the marina ready to enjoy a day on the water.
BoatSetter also provides insurance, $1 million in primary liability protection and up to $2 million in hull coverage, which is included in the cost of the rental. On-water support services from BoatUS are also available free of charge.
Central to the BoatSetter model is the ability for renters to hire a professional, licensed captain by listing a number of participating captains. Each owner will be encouraged to pre-select a few that they prefer.
“We think the captains make all the difference in the world,” Sturner said. “First, it will give owners peace of mind that their boats are being handled safely by a professional, and secondly, it will make the experience better for consumers who want a day on the water, but don’t necessarily want to physically be behind the wheel.”
BoatSetter provides services to qualified captains through the Web portal www.CaptainsWanted.com.