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The Short Version: Perhaps you and that special someone have been dreaming of spending more time on the open water, but buying a boat is a big investment and involves a lot of upkeep. Luckily, Boatsetter, a South Florida-based boat rental business, offers access to thousands of boats in hundreds of locations worldwide. From speedboats to sailboats — and everything in between — renting with Boatsetter is easy, and you even have the option of requesting a captain and crew. So whether you’re looking for a half-day scuba excursion or a week-long charter, Boatsetter can help you create a romantic experience on the water.
If you and your partner are always dreaming of heading out on the open water — for fishing, snorkeling, or a romantic excursion — then chances are you’ve spent a good deal of time trying to befriend someone with a boat. Fortunately, Boatsetter can help you end that search.
The company’s mission is to help you find and rent the perfect boat for your needs, so you no longer need to borrow one to take that special someone out on the water. And business has been booming.
“We’ve had huge growth since the company started in 2013,” said Jorge Cabré, Senior Marketing Manager at Boatsetter. “We are the number one platform for boat sharing, the number one platform in the boat rental community, and we’ve grown to encompass over 600 locations all over the world.”
If you’re looking to rent a boat, you can enter search terms such as trip dates, the number of guests in your party, and where you plan on boating. Boatsetter does all the rest. If you own a boat, you can list it on Boatsetter’s website along with a profile that includes the make and model, year built, type of boat, how many guests it can accommodate, and your location.
“Our website offers a search, connect, book, and sail process that’s really easy for people,” Jorge said. “It’s similar to searching for an Airbnb property, and Airbnb is one of our investors, so you’ll see a lot of similarities. We also have a great phone customer service department for people who aren’t necessarily comfortable booking online.”
Boatsetter has options to select a captain and crew — the service currently has more than 2,300 captains — if you don’t have any boating experience or want to focus on the ride, not the navigation. In addition, there’s insurance coverage and plenty of safety measures for a full-service and stress-free experience.
Coming up with unique and romantic date ideas can be difficult, but whether you’re planning your first date or your 50th anniversary, setting up an open-water excursion may not be at the top of your mind. That’s why Boatsetter’s mission is to make boating accessible to all.
“There’s this perception that boating is an elitist activity, and only the rich and famous have access to it,” Jorge told us. “Our mission is to make boating accessible to everyone. For example, I recently had a group of spring breakers rent a 19-foot Yamaha Jet Boat for around $550. There were five of them, so that’s roughly around $100 per person to spend the day on the water in Miami Beach.”
From watersports to a couple’s sunset cruise, Boatsetter offers access to thousands of boats with price points to fit nearly every budget.
“Sharing these experiences on the water and making them affordable makes us all feel great. Every day, we work together and listen to each other about the ways that we can improve the guest experience. It’s very collaborative, and I think the reason why we’re experiencing such explosive growth,” Jorge said of the staff of 20 and the Boatsetter company culture.
Take to the open Atlantic Ocean aboard a 42-foot sailboat docked in St. Augustine, Florida, or cruise the Tyrrhenian Sea on a powerboat that calls Lazio, Italy, home. With Boatsetter, you can rent a vessel in nearly every corner of the world. The company, based in South Florida, racked up more than 12,000 rentals last year.
“We also have a lot of activity on lakes. Chicago is a big market for us as well as Lake Michigan. We recently acquired one of the biggest charter companies in Ibiza, and that has given us exposure in international markets,” Jorge said. “It’s seasonal on the Mediterranean but gets pretty busy during the warmer months. Mexico is also a place of interest for us.”
With a growing trend in the tourism industry of vacation boat rentals, Boatsetter is poised to grow its strategic partnerships as well as expand the existing relationship it has with Airbnb, including its sub-brands like Luxury Retreats.
Visit the Boatsetter website and you’ll be privy to a list of locales that cover areas from Sacramento and Spain to the Bahamas, Maui, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island.
Boatsetter can help you make memories to last a lifetime aboard a sailboat, speedboat, yacht, and other vessels. Most Boatsetter users just want to get out on the water, no matter how much time they spend there.
“Nearly 97% of our bookings are either half-day, one-day, or eight-hour charters,” Jorge said. “We tend to see a lot of couples who rent a boat and go to a waterfront restaurant, watch the sunset, and plan a really unique date. We also have guests explore local islands, anchor at sandbars, wakeboard, scuba dive, or fish.”
Jorge told us that one of the most popular couples rentals is a pontoon boat because of its maneuverability, which makes for a relaxing, no-fuss experience. He also recommends more lavish vessels such as a yacht complete with captain and crew.
“It’s a great, full-service way to enjoy the open ocean,” he said. “Anchor next to a sandbar and have a meal on the boat with relaxing music. If you’re not sure what kind of trip to plan with your date, we have helpful social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, and the blog on our website, that provide a lot of ideas.”
Boatsetter brings that recurring dream you’ve been having of being out on the water much closer to reality. From Galveston to Grenada, scheduling a one-of-a-kind boating excursion has never been easier.
“You can book a boat for the amount of time that you want, and our platform offers a direct conversation between the renter and the owner of the vessel. You get to see a picture of the boat and the final price — including food, fuel, and drinks — before booking.”
Whether for fishing, snorkeling, sunbathing, or simply getting away from it all, it’s easy to see why Boatsetter has become the premier platform for boat sharing.
“Everyone in this company is passionate about what we do, passionate about boats, and passionate about the type of experiences that we’re creating,” Jorge said. “Being on a boat can produce some of our best memories, and we want to share that with people. We want people to be lucky enough to experience the calm and peacefulness of being on the open water.”