Chicago Sees 118% Increase in Boat Rental Bookings Year Over Year

Chicago Sees 118% Increase in Boat Rental Bookings Year Over Year


CHICAGO, July 19, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Boatsetter, the leading marketplace for on-the-water experiences and boat rentals in the U.S., is creating an entirely new industry within the sharing economy – and rapidly forging a path to entrepreneurship for thousands of boat owners in the process. In Chicago, Boatsetter saw 118 percent year over year growth in boat rental bookings.

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Boatsetter experiences in Chicago (Photo: Business Wire)

Boatsetter is the world’s only legally compliant and insured peer-to-peer boat rental platform, having partnered with GEICO and BoatUS to pioneer the first-ever peer-to-peer boat rental insurance policy in 2017. This opened up a new world of possibilities for boat owners who, on average, use their boats only two weeks of the year.

“There are more than 15 million privately owned boats in the U.S., most of which sit unused for the vast majority of the year,” says Jackie Baumgarten, CEO of Boatsetter. “This makes them extremely expensive and underutilized assets. Boatsetter is a game changer because we help defray the cost of ownership, and we enable entrepreneurs to start their own business from the ground up.”

Boatsetter provides private boat owners with a way to safely and legitimately list their boats, and its intuitive platform makes it simple to manage one’s bookings. Boatsetter connects owners with renters and U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains, and manages all of the logistics to allow private boat owners to earn income. To date, more than one million boaters and boat owners alike have used the platform, and last year, Boatsetter saw a 50 percent increase in the number of boats listed for rent.

“Our voyage with Boatsetter started back in 2013 as a way to offset the costs of boat ownership when my friend and boat partner moved away. Now our vibrant small business with 5 boats -and growing- provides a unique experience for clients, and income for our employees, cleaning crew, mechanics, and independent captains,” said Chris Brooks, a local Chicago owner who has completed almost 430 bookings since joining Boatsetter.

“There is nothing better than the positive energy created by dozens of our smiling customers casting off to enjoy the beauty of sparkling Lake Michigan on a glorious summer day. [We] have Boatsetter to thank for building the team, technology and network to bring together fun-seeking customers with boat owners like myself.”

Boating is a natural extension to the sharing economy, which has allowed people to turn homes, cars, RVs, swimming pools, and more into revenue generators. In fact, Boatsetter has a higher cohort revenue retention than the leading homesharing platform, meaning boat owners realize higher revenues year over year.

Owners of all ages, with all sizes and styles of boats, can build a successful business on the water. Some Boatsetter owners reported generating more than $100,000 in revenue in 2021 alone, and Boatsetter Operators – peer-to-peer owners with one or more boats listed – make up 70 percent of the Boatsetter platform. Millennials make up the largest segment of Boatsetter owners at 42 percent, while 75 percent of the boats that are rented are less than 26 feet in length.

“Boatsetter made it easy to get started and they’ve helped me extend my marketing to reach renters who are local to Chicago and visitors to the area,” said Dan Vevers, another local Chicago owner who joined Boatsetter in May 2021. “So far, I’ve completed almost 65 successful rentals with my boat, ‘Yachts of Fun.'”

Boatsetter has more than 50,000 boat listings of all styles and sizes, from pontoons, to catamarans, to fishing boats, to yachts, with the smallest boat for rent measuring just 8 feet in length, to the largest at 222 feet. Boatsetter is available in over 700 locations and counting.

About Boatsetter: With more than 50,000 boat listings available in over 700 locations worldwide, Boatsetter is the leading marketplace for on-the-water experiences and boat rentals. Boatsetter makes it easy to discover and enjoy a wide array of on-water experiences by connecting qualified renters directly to boat owners and licensed captains. Featuring the largest database of USCG-certified captains, Boatsetter makes it possible for even those with no prior boating experience to tap into an incredible array of water activities. Credited with pioneering the first ever peer-to-peer boat rental insurance policy, Boatsetter has empowered boat owners with the tools and support to become entrepreneurs on the water. Launched commercially in 2014, over one million boaters and boat owners alike have turned to Boatsetter to discover the endless possibilities the water provides.

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Mollie Leal

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