CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Want to spend a day out at sea or cruise to a boat-side restaurant? GetMyBoat pairs non-boat owners with a boat or boat captain.
The app was created in 2013 by co-founders Sascha Morell and Rag Collado. The pair realized how many unused boats were sitting in boating docks and the lack of access non-boat owners have to boats.
"So many people want to have access to boating experiences, but it could be very expensive and unrealistic for the average person. The average boat is used only about 8 percent of the year, so they wanted to make it easier for people to gain access to boating experiences," Val Streif, Marketing Manager for GetMyBoat, said. "Also, boat captains and boat owners to be able to earn a side income off of their boats when they aren’t using them," Val Streif, Marketing Manager for GetMyBoat, said.
Cape Coral boat owner, Captain Randy Busch, said the app is like the Uber of the charter industry. He has been using the app for nearly 2 years. His boat requires a captain, so he boats people around to their destinations. He said some people want to boat to the beach others want to be brought to a restaurant.
He said you might get a glimpse of wildlife as well.
“It’s a great time. We get to get to see a lot of dolphins out there, a lot of manatees and a shark here and there," Busch said.
The app takes around 8 percent commission from the boat charters. Busch said it's worth it.
"I don’t have to pay for a website. I don’t have to do all the paperwork that would normally have to be done for charter business," he said.
GetMyBoat also advertises his charters for him.
“They run everything. They do the advertising for us. When I see the ads out there on Facebook or wherever they are doing all that and they pay for all that," Busch said.
What's in it for the guest?
A unique experience and the opportunity for an affordable boat experience. Some boat owners allow you to drive the boat yourself and others like Busch's boat require a boat captain.
“Everything from the kayaks to the luxury yachts," Streif said. " I think Cape Coral, Fort Myers, that sort of area pontoons are the most popular and for pricing, it’s going to be able $250 for a whole day.
She said boating allows people to be outside and socially distant. Streif also said each boat is kept clean -- even before the pandemic.
“Boat captains will tell you that they spend a ton of their time cleaning their boats. All boat surfaces can be easily sanitized," Streif said.