February 6, 2019 — An increasing number of Americans choose peer-to-peer (p2p) boating for their spring vacation, data held by Click&Boat suggest. The company, which operates a leading boat rental platform, has seen an exponential increase of 180% in U.S. bookings in March and April when most schools and colleges in the country are out for one or two weeks.
Reasons for renting a boat include spring break parties for college students or one-week sailing trips for families with school-aged children. Most popular boating destinations during this time of the year include Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Key West), Annapolis, Seattle, San Diego, California (Newport Beach and Marina Del Rey), New York and the Great Lakes, with more exotic destinations in the Caribbean, such as Cuba, the British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas, also on the rise.
Last summer the company saw an increase of 338% compared to last year, while global bookings rose by 109%. Overall, the number of U.S. boat renters registered on the platform grew by 355%. Click&Boat’s fleet in the U.S. has quadrupled from 200 to 1,000 boats within two years.
Miami is America’s p2p boating capital in the spring
No part of the country has embraced the sharing economy more enthusiastically than Miami. The ‘Magic City’ is a major spring break destination for college students from all over the country. Although the average age of a Click&Boat renter throughout the year is 38 years old, in Miami and the broader region of Florida it drops to early twenties in March and April. Younger boating aficionados prefer motorboats and speedboats in Miami and Fort Lauderdale while older and more seasoned sailors opt for sailboats in Annapolis.
Traditionally, college spring break dates fall between late February and late April, with March being the peak period across the country. However, many colleges in Florida plan their spring break earlier, from late February to early March, to help students avoid the crowds of out-of-state students flocking to Florida’s beaches in the spring.
P2p boating on the rise in the U.S.
Peer-to-peer boat rentals have given a boost to the recreational boating industry, worth $37bn or approximately 0.2% of the country’s G.D.P. according to Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (B.E.A.) figures, by enabling sailing fans to rent boats that can be up to 40% cheaper. Edouard Gorioux, Click&Boat co-founder, said: “Americans love p2p boating – perhaps it suits their love of adventure and independence. Particularly in the spring it’s the perfect choice to spend some time with your kids or buddies.” There are around 12.2m U.S-registered boats according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. However, the average boat is used by its owner less than a month a year.
Click&Boat is a boat rental platform founded in 2013 by two French entrepreneurs: Edouard Gorioux and Jérémy Bismuth. The platform, available through a website (www.clickandboat.com/us/) and a mobile application (on App Store and Google Play), enables boat owners to safely and intelligently cushion their maintenance expenses by renting out their boats to other sailing enthusiasts. In 2017, the “Airbnb of the seas” according to CNN opened its platform to yacht charter companies.