This Website Makes Owning and Renting a Boat Completely Worth It

A new company takes the Airbnb model to sea

When August finally arrives in Seattle, owning a boat seems like a genius idea. Imagine it: tooling around Lake Washington every weekend, sailing up to the San Juans or just buzzing over to Bainbridge. The sun shines, the water sparkles…unfortunately, for most of the year the boat sits at the dock, racking up marina fees. This reality inspired last year’s online launch of Boatbound (boatbound.co), a San Francisco–based company that applies the Airbnb model of peer-to-peer (in this case, “pier-to-pier”) rentals to watercraft. Having expanded to Seattle, Boatbound makes it possible for boat owners to offset costs, and for those curious about the boating lifestyle to live it without the storage hassle. Owners set the prices, which in the Puget Sound area range from $110 for a full day on a classic inflatable-hull Zodiac to $1,100 for a full day on a Catana 472 luxury performance catamaran. Powerboats are a popular offering here (around $200–$400 per day), but mellow boaters may prefer a 17-foot canoe ($75/day). Renters and owners review each other online, and Boatbound screens renters (25 and older only) for driver’s licenses and previous DUIs, and provides boat insurance and round-the-clock water support (including towing, should your rental conk out). Boat shoes not included.

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