With interest rates continuing to rise, inflation nearing 25-year highs and the cost of living going through the roof, Aussies are being forced to consider whether they can afford their non-essential luxury items like their boats.
Boating is a way of life in Australia, with 1 in 10 people having a boat licence and more than 925,000 registered boats on our waterways. The $9b industry employs almost 30,000 people Australia-wide.
Now, rather than selling their boats, owners can use their boat to offset the increased costs of living by listing it for hire rather than being forced to sell.
“We have seen an increase in new boat owner marketplace registrations through all parts of Australia, with the highest density coming from popular boating locations along the Queensland coast, and not surprisingly Australia’s most expensive place to live, Sydney,” says Matthew Lloyd, managing director of Australia’s largest online boat hire marketplace Book My Boat.
“The platform provides boat owners with an opportunity to turn their under-utilised boats into an income generator.”
“This not only helps them hang on to their boat during these difficult times, but it also means their boat is helping them pay the weekly bills. We are turning peoples’ boat-idle days into paydays.”
Boat owner registrations on the marketplace have shot up around 80% in the last quarter as boat owners turn to their boats to boost their household income.
The fundamentals of the boating industry lend themselves perfectly to the share economy.
With boat utilisation rates as low as just 7%, Book My Boat aims to unlock up to 300 million idle boating days per year.
Matthew says his goals have always been to make boating more affordable and accessible in Australia.
“Generating an income from your boat offsets the high costs associated with boat ownership, whilst providing unprecedented access to the boating lifestyle to all Aussies who may not own a boat or maybe simply on holidays and want to explore a new waterway,” he says.
“We’re not talking about luxury yachts at Book My Boat – 96% of registered boats in Australia are under 8m in length. These small trailer-size boats are ideal for listing on the marketplace.
“They are transportable, versatile and typically simple, uncomplicated boats to operate. These boats represent a great opportunity for family and friends to enjoy a day out on the water on a weekend.
“Owners of these smaller boats are the ones really feeling the pinch of the increased costs of living. It gives us great pride to be able to help these everyday Australians out in their time of need.
The most popular boats on the platform currently are around 4-6m in length and capable of holding up to 5-7 people. Bowriders are the most versatile with families, friends and fisherman all enjoying what they have to offer. These boats are renting for between $400 - $600 per day which represents real value to our rental customers and a great source of income to our boat owners.
Book My Boat provides a full comprehensive insurance on all boat hires to take the risk out of the transaction for both parties. Boat owners set their own prices and conditions and all boat hires are protected by mandatory security bonds to ensure fuel and any minor damage is accounted for.