Private Boat Rental: Offsetting the Cost of Boat Ownership

Offset the cost of boat ownership by chartering your vessel through Boatsetter’s user-friendly platform, where boat owners can list their boat for free.

Unlock Your Boat Earning Potential

There’s nothing like the freedom of buying and owning your own boat. You can go nearly anywhere you want, at your own pace, on your own time. There are endless benefits to getting out on the water every weekend. Plus, there are the physical and mental health benefits. A boat gets you outside, connects you to the natural environment and provides a great platform for enjoying watersports and getting exercise. Being close to water is good for the soul and provides boat owners with enriching experiences with friends and family – not to mention that boats are also a gateway to meeting new people with shared passions and interests. But owning a boat can be an expensive endeavour as well, with the cost of ownership quickly adding up. From maintenance to insurance, fuel and storage fees, there are a few eye-stinging expenses associated with owning a boat.  However, as any boat owner will tell you – it’s not just the boat you are paying for but a superior lifestyle. If you spend any spare moment you get out on the water like us, the costs are easy to justify. That said, there are some great ways to help offset the cost of ownership.

Boatsetter has come to the rescue for thousands of boat owners who need an extra cash flow or revenue source to take the pressure off their finances. Boatsetter has designed an innovative platform that allows boat owners to offset the cost of ownership” by chartering the vessel through their user-friendly platform. You can even list your boat for free. Earning money by renting out your boat sounds a bit too good to be true. The cost of boat ownership is outpacing incomes but Boatsetter provides the perfect solution to get more people out on the water. And while renting out a boat sounds complex and a bit of an insurance nightmare, the Boatsetter’s crew have been diligently working behind the scenes for over six years to ensure that boat owners are fully covered with peer-to-peer insurance. They have been working with one of the largest boat insurance providers, Boat US and Geico Marine, to develop a sophisticated insurance set-up where all parties are covered and avoid any issues arising. Integrity underpins the way that Boatsetter have set their platform up. 

Boat Owners Can Have Their Own Side Hussle

Shea Unti is the Head of Supply for Boatsetter. He comments on how Boatsetter aims to make boating lifestyle more accessible in the future, “The platform provides the opportunity for more people a chance to get out on the water. We want to make boating accessible to anybody who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to either charter or own a boat. The pricing is completely transparent, and all costs are inclusive of insurance.” 

While many boat owners start off using the platform as a way to subsidise their boats, some have an entrepreneurial spirit and end up using the platform as a secondary business,” says Shea. “Some boat owners have commented that they wished they had discovered Boatsetter earlier because it would have meant paying off their family boat that much sooner. In some instances, boat owners are considering buying a couple more boats to enable them to turn the boats into more of a profit centre.” And if boat owners find themselves with an entrepreneurial bug, Boatsetter has all the tools in place for them to capitalise on setting more charters up.  

Improving the Utilization of Vessels 

The average boat owner in America only uses their vessel for approximately 15 days annually. There are thousands, if not millions, of boats just sitting in the harbor or storage doing nothing. Boatsetter is on a mission to utilize existing vessels before they end up in a boat graveyard, which is where they tend to end up if they are not used sufficiently over time. 

Putting Boat Owners in the Driving Seat

One of the challenges that Boatsetter faced was boat owner’s resistance in trusting a new platform and insurance programme. But thanks to a gradual increase in awareness within the boat owner community, the concept has really gained momentum. Boatsetter provides the tools to enable boat owners to feel in control. They can choose which profiles potential renters they accept and reject. They can ask about a renter’s boating experience so if they don’t feel comfortable, they don’t have to accept the booking. The set-up is legal and works with trusted third-parties, such as Boat US who have a fantastic reputation among the boating community.  

Upskilling Boat Captains  

Boatsetter has qualified legal and licenced captains on their database for renters to choose from, as not every renter will have an active USCG licence. As a result, many US Coast Guard captains are finding that Boatsetter is a great building block in their career path, mainly because they are adapting their skills to different types of vessels in various locations, but also because they are working frequently.

Boat rental group playing in the sunshine

 A group of friends playing in the sunshine on a Boatsetter boat. Image credit: Boatsetter 

Sunshine State Start-up 

 Jaclyn Baumgarten is Boatsetter’s CEO and co-founder. In 2012 Jaclyn was driving by the marina on a beautiful day and was struck by the number of boats just sitting there redundant. This is something that resonates with any boat owner. Jaclyn had the idea percolating in her head to create a peer-to-peer rental platform for years but in 2013 she decided to set up her own boat rental company. Jaclyn was faced with competition as the proliferation of peer-to-peer platforms grew, which resulted in her merging her business with another front-runner to strengthen their offering, providing the most robust business proposition in the boat rental market. Worldwide.


Boatsetter has become one of Florida’s most successful peer-to-peer businesses. Boatsetter has grown exponentially over the last six years and as a result has opened up three offices. Their flagship office in Fort Lauderdale, ‘Venice of America’, which was the natural choice given its prominent position in the boating world. 


> I am a boat owner. Where can I charter out my boat?

Boatsetter lists boats all over the world. In the US, they have boats listed in all 50 states. Their database currently has multiple 1000s located across the globe listed on their database. Wherever you own a boat, you can list it on Boatsetter. 

> What types of boat trips can I go on?

 You can use Boatsetter for fishing, cruising, sailing, sandbar hopping, celebrating special days or exploring the city waterways. Boatsetter also has more intrepid trips listed; for example, a Boatsetter client recently booked a fishing charter in Alaska. The options and possibilities for discovering the world’s waterways are endless.

> Do I need any insurance in place before I register my boat online?

Boatsetter requires that all boat owners have existing recreational insurance in place, which serves as a litmus test for the insurance policy offered on top for extra security. Any boat owners who want to find out more about the insurance policy can visit Boatsetter’s safety page to read an executive summary detailing its coverage level. 

> How do I charter my boat out?

Go onto Boatsetter and fill in some basic information about your boat including the location, year, size and model. At the touch of a button Boatsetter will provide a rough estimate of your earning potentials from chartering out your boat. Get registered within a matter of 15 minutes. Make sure to have pictures of your boat ready to upload to your profile. Renters want to see what it looks like. 

> Is there a way of rating and reviewing profiles?  

At the end of each rental, both parties- the owner and the renter, will receive a notification prompting a review of their experience, including rating the vessel and the captain (if used). They use a five-star metric, and the platform allows users to leave comments. Feedback is three-sided for the boat owner, renter and captain.

> What types of boats does Boatsetter accept?

Boatsetter lists any type and size of boat. The only requirement is that the boat should be in excellent condition. Crafts range from 10 feet to sea toys (such as kayaks and stand up paddleboards) to boats up to 70 feet plus. On average, though, most of the boats listed are between 20-30 feet. 

> What if my boat gets damaged? 

Both the renter and the owner have the application on their phones. There is a check-in and checkout form, just as there would be in a traditional car rental. For example, if you either pick up a car or drop it at the airport, you’re going to walk around the vessel and check for any damages; the same process applies here. In the rare situation that the boat has any flaws or damage, the app is cleverly designed so that renters can mark any defects off on the app. Boatsetter encourages renters to take photos and take videos of the vessels. That way, both parties agree with the vessel’s state when it left, and then the condition of the vessel went and returned. 

With each booking, and there’s already a pre-authorised security deposit on the renter’s card, that sits in escrow until the trip is completed, assuming there are no damages or no claims have been made, the deposit is released back to the renter accordingly. If there’s a more serious claim, for example, if someone lost an anchor or made some damages to the boat, the boat owner would start the claims process with boatsetter and Geico. 

Boatsetter is creating a world where anybody can get involved by setting sail on their sailing adventure. Boat ownership is now that bit more attractive. 

With the help of Boatsetter, boat ownership is now that little bit more affordable. If you are a prospective boat buyer considering a boat purchase, browse Boat Trader’s listings online. 

Written by: Emma Coady

Emma Coady is a freelance writer and marine journalist who creates content for many household names in the boating industry, including YachtWorld, Boat Trader and She also writes for several boat builders as well as charter and rental companies and regularly contributes to Greenline Hybrid yachts, TJB Super Yachts and Superyachts Monaco. Emma is the founder of Cloud Copy and enjoys traveling around Europe, spending as much of her spare time as possible in or on the water.


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