A new online marketplace for boat rentals makes it easier than ever to make some extra cash from your boat. Like Airbnb, but for boats, Sail.me is an exceptionally user-friendly website and app that connects would-be boaters with boat owners.
The young company only just finished developing the platform, including mobile apps for iOS and Android, when the pandemic temporarily put its marketing plan on pause, so it is only now beginning to promote the site. Despite this, Sail.me has already managed to attract more than 2,000 boats thanks to a well-built platform that ranks high in search engines. Most of these boats are located in Europe though, so it is now actively seeking to increase its listings in the US market.
This costs the boat owner nothing. Not only is it free to list an unlimited number of boats, but renting out a boat can also be at no charge to the owner. Sail.me gets a 20 percent service fee for each booking, but the owner can choose to have the renter pay this instead, or any portion of the fee, such as a 10 percent/10 percent split. The renter can also pay for fuel and cleaning if the listing is set up like that.
One advantage of Sail.me over other boat rental sites is the payment process. Unlike sites where the customer submits a request to book and payment is dealt with afterwards, Sail.me streamlines the process. When the owner accepts the booking, the payment process is automatically completed and the customer’s credit card is charged. Sail.me securely handles all online transactions and owners are paid after the rental is complete, via Pay Pal, wire transfer, direct deposit…their choice. Alternatively, owners also can opt to be paid in cash for the rental or any add-on services at the boat’s base before the rental begins.
To get started listing a boat, users only have to click “Boat owner?” in the top right-hand corner of the Sail.me home page. Clear instructions and tips accompany each step, from including a captain or not, describing the boat’s features, uploading photos and setting availability, security deposit and prices (by the week, day, half day or even hourly). A simple-to-use, yet quite sophisticated calendar tool allows the owner to set different prices for certain days of the week or for holidays.
It’s easy to market a boat to its best advantage with suggested preset add-ons. Have a center console ideal for fishing trips? Add fishing gear as an option. How about a party boat? You can include catering or a DJ for an extra fee. Is your boat based near a popular dive spot? Offer snorkel gear or scuba diving lessons.
The intuitive site walks the owner through all of these options. All that’s left is to add up the rental income, and the site makes that straightforward as well with a feature that allows the owner to enter and track all expenses.
Check it out at sail.me.