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2020 September October Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

BOATSHARE CONCEPTS Click

BOATSHARE CONCEPTS Click & Boat customers at the Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy. Putting the ‘app’ in boat rental Alternatives to exclusive boat ownership are gaining momentum. Online platforms offering charter, P2P rentals, marina berths, bundled services and shared navigation data are on the rise. Apps for reservations and payments continue to grow. Donatella Zucca reports on developments in general and in her home market of Italy. Although it is important to recognise that in Europe and North America boat ownership continues to dominate, even if the boats sit idly in their berths for most of the year, the global success of Uber and Airbnb have stimulated interest in boat sharing. For boat owners it’s a way to amortise the increasing costs of maintenance, taxes, insurance and berth rental, and help justify ownership if they lack the time – as is more and more the case – to enjoy being onboard themselves. For customers, especially in the millennial generation, who rate the pleasure of experience higher than ownership, renting time aboard avoids the boredom of being on the same boat, enables them to navigate freely without problems and, as marinas are key elements of the business, includes hassle-free mooring. New boat renters are very often novices. Many aged between 30 and 45 have never been on a boat. In the first weeks of July, Italian tour operator Made Eden Viaggi revealed that 80% of its bookings for boating holidays were The Click & Boat team promoting happy boating. made by people without a boat licence. According to a forward-looking study conducted by Transparency Market Research on the global trends of boat rental between 2019 and 2027, the market sector will expand, with a CAGR (average annual growth rate) of around 4% to reach a value of around US billion by the end of the period. This will be facilitated by digitisation and apps that simplify the process. The forecast, which was published in November 2019 before potential impact of the COVID pandemic could be considered, pointed to motor boat hire as leading the sector along with an albeit more modest projection for increased interest in electric boats. The B2C hire model, together with tour services, has good prospects for the future and the niche role of large luxury yacht rental is always worthy of note. The leading players, with highly advanced platforms, are to be found in Europe and North America. Together, by 2027, they are anticipated to cover 55% of the world’s boat rental market. Rationale for past and future growth has, however, changed. In the Pre- COVID world, where there was a general increase in per capita income that allowed for a higher spend in the leisure and luxury sectors, renting out one’s boat recovered some of the maintenance costs and increased interest in renting led to the rise of new business models. Post-COVID, boat owners are renting out in order to guarantee they can keep their boats and some are chartering a large boat in order to rent a smaller one. Customers renting large boats do so to stay safe with their families or opt for small boats so as to avoid the crowded beaches. The pandemic aside, day cruises 48 www.marinaworld.com – September/October 2020

BOATSHARE CONCEPTS Beneteau Boat Club will soon be launched at two further sites in Europe. and the Peer to Peer sectors are mostly driven by privately owned boat rentals, especially in Europe and North America, with rental of boats of around 8m (26ft) generally doing well. Sports boats are more popular in Europe. Large yachts are subject to most true boat share arrangements. Types and players Peer to Peer boat share, via online platforms, enables the customer to choose boats from different types of fleets and to find a boat near home or near a holiday destination as per Airbnb and Uber. Payments and procedures are online and via an app. Uber itself made its debut in 2018 in Croatia, offering transfers and daily cruises. Valeria Galli In our current environment, GetMyBoat stands out as market leader, with more than 130,000 boats and 9,300 destinations in 184 countries. Boatsetter, after its purchase of BoatBound, has tens of thousands of boats scattered around the world and places itself at the top of the Peer to Peer services in the USA. Samboat, established in 2014, has 40,000 boats in the Mediterranean and other parts of the world and, on average, John Giglio helps 90,000 people to get afloat every year. Positioned between boat rentals and yacht charter is England-based Borrow a Boat. This is active in 65 countries Luca Brancaleon and in the most sought after places in the Mediterranean. It has over 40,000 boats, is a leading voice in the sector and operates in synergy with the nautical industry. The French Click & Boat platform has over 30,000 boats to rent, by individuals and companies and is big in Italy. For property enthusiasts, fractional or shared ownership gives ownership of and use of a boat for booked periods without major financial commitment or the burden of having to deal solely with everything boat ownership entails. English broker Ancaster is successful in promoting this concept and currently has over 1,000 new and used boats available. Smart Yacht Club, based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, offers individual solutions and crewed yachts in the top Mediterranean locations and, in Italy, MedBoat Sharing has a timeshare service whose annual fee covers everything from mooring onwards. Yet another formula is the Boat Club, where members have access to a professionally managed fleet of boats. This concept was launched by Freedom Boat Club, the oldest boat club in the USA. It currently has around 20,000 members and several franchises including the Jeanneau Freedom Boat Club of the Beneteau Group, which in turn is active with Beneteau Boat Club, Boat Club France, Dream Boat Club etc. The Mediterranean is the most requested destination. Freedom in Europe John Giglio, president of Freedom Boat Club, sold the business to Brunswick in 2019. “[As a result], we are adopting many of the Brunswick brands into our fleet across North America but continue to buy boats from our long time boat partners,” he confirms. “Specific to our expansion into Europe, we have a great relationship with the Beneteau Group Sailing adventures are just a “click” away. www.marinaworld.com – September/October 2020 49

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