Recently, the well-known “ride-share” company Uber, began testing the waters with UberYACHT in Dubai. While that launch was for a one-time ride on a party yacht, it represents another step forward in a growing trend towards “ride-sharing” and “rentals” of luxury motor yachts. How is this trend effecting the private yacht charter industry, and do these new kinds of services pose any potential threat to your yacht charter income?
With so many yachts and other boats in South Florida, it is only natural that this area is kind of “ground zero” for start-ups with these “boat sharing apps.” One such app BoatDay launched here in 2015. According to the company the app will tell you what kind of boats are going out in your area, and what it will cost you to come aboard. They claim that their per-person cost structure is “almost always cheaper than other boating options.” However, this and similar services have raised concerns that they amount to illegal, or unlicensed yacht charters, and may be putting passengers safety at risk.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the US Coast Guard has been involved in investigating these apps, and issuing citations to any captain that is operating outside of applicable maritime laws.
A Growing Trend
Potential legal hassles aside, ride-share apps for boats and yachts are a growing trend, and a challenge that yacht charter operators are going to have to continue to contend with. GetMyBoat, a global boat-share service now operates in more countries and more locations then Uber’s ground transportation. The company has tripled in size since it launched it 2013.
However, instead of fearing this growth, owners of yachts for charter should embrace it! From an industry standpoint it means two things: one,that the economy is improving, and, two, that there is increasing demand for people who want to experience the fun and thrill of time on the water, without owning a boat of their own. In the long run, that is only going to be good for those involved in a yacht charter program. It just may require some rethinking of how to better compete with, or even become part of these boat sharing apps.
Keeping Up With Shifting Charter Demands
The key to continuing to earn offsetting income in this new and changing charter environment, is to evolve with those changes. That is one of the benefits of being signed up with a charter income program like the one offered through FYM. Our charter brokers and yacht managers have been involved in booking and running luxury motor yacht charters out of Florida for years. They know the business, and keep abreast of changes and trends to keep your yacht relevant and in-demand. It is all part of the worry free yacht ownership concept of On Demand Yachting.
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. Putting your boat in Charter can earn income, and defray some of the costs of ownership. On Demand Yachting from FYM can show you how. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.