For many yacht owners, there is never enough time on board — between work and the kids in school, life can get in the way. So why not put your yacht to work for you during the times when you can’t use it?
That’s the premise of Sail.me, a new online marketplace for boat rental that connects yacht owners and charterers. Simply put, it’s like Airbnb for boats.
With a database of 2,000 boats and growing rapidly, Sail.me is actively seeking more listings in the US market. It joins the online boat rental market with a few advantages over its competitors, including an exceptionally user-friendly platform with unique features, a streamlined payment process, and the fact that it’s free for the boat owner.
Through the website or app (for both iOS and Android), owners can list their yachts, set prices and availability, manage bookings and interact with renters in real time. The beauty of the platform is it’s just as seamless for charterers, who can quickly and effortlessly browse through popular cruising grounds to find available boats.
One of the site’s coolest features is the ability to include custom itineraries for each yacht, complete with photos and local highlights. Owners are well aware of the best anchorages, land excursions and on-the-water activities that surround their yacht’s home base. Entice would-be charterers with these favorite routes, and then add optional extras that complement the itinerary like a Jet Ski or scuba diving instruction, so clients have a one-stop-shop for planning their vacation.
Yachts can be rented out by the day or by the week, with a captain and crew or as a bareboat. In the latter case, the charterer must disclose their qualifications, experience and licenses, which is viewable to the owner when they book. Pricing for the charter can be fixed or flexible. 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.
When an owner accepts a booking, the payment process is automatically completed for online payments, unlike other sites that make this an extra step after the booking request. Sail.me securely handles all online transactions, disbursing the funds at the charter’s end. Alternatively, owners can opt for payment in cash at the yacht’s base prior to departure.
There are never any fees to list a boat. Sail.me charges a 20 percent commission for each booking, but the owner can choose to have the renter pay this instead, making the site’s services completely free for the owner.
Owners can get started by clicking on “Boat owner?” on the top right-hand corner of the Sail.me home page. After setting up a secure account, they can add a boat in four steps, each accompanied by clear instructions and tips. Choose the cancellation policy, security deposit, whether to include fuel, payment method, and required and optional add-ons. It truly is intuitive to navigate the site, and for any lingering queries owners will find the FAQ section to be satisfyingly comprehensive.
See for yourself at sail.me.