There’s nothing like spending the afternoon out on the water. But if you don’t have your own boat, renting one can be a time-intensive and pricey process.
That’s the problem that new iPhone app BoatDay is trying to solve. Boat Day allows you to quickly and easily reserve a spot on a host of boats dedicated to sailing, leisure, fishing, or water sports.
You can sign up for a solo spot or purchase room for your entire group of friends, and the whole process takes minutes — just like Uber.
BoatDay’s founder, Kimon Korres, said the initial inspiration for BoatDay came after a frustrating experience trying to rent a boat for the day when his friends were visiting him in Miami.
“Everyone has the same reaction, which is ‘There must be something there like that,'” Korres told Business Insider. “And the more we dug, we didn’t find anything. So I thought, let’s try to take this on and come up with something that addresses the problem, but more importantly, makes boating — which in Miami in particular is something that people want to do — an easier and more affordable process for everyone, rather than a once-in-the-while special event that you do on occasion.”
With this goal in mind, Korres teamed up with software developer and security expert Daniel Costa — who is now BoatDay’s CTO — to bring the idea to life.
“The biggest thing up front was definitely the affordability,” Korres said. “To get a decent boat for a few hours or a whole day, you’re going to be running close to $US1000. For a small or even a relatively large group, that’s a big ask right up front.”
BoatDay keeps things simple by offering per-person pricing instead, with the average afternoon cruise, fishing expedition, or sailing experience costing between $US45 and $US80 per guest.
Hosts, who are screened and insured, can decide which type of boating experience they want to cater to. The host is in charge of driving the boat, so no one in your party has to worry about finding someone with a boating licence. If anything were to happen to go wrong out on the water, the app also includes an emergency button.
“The thing we focused on in putting BoatDay and its features together is the boating experience itself,” Korres said. “There’s plenty of opportunities to rent a boat, but boating in my opinion is more than just getting a boat on the water — it’s about having an experience with the people you’re onboard with. So we focused on breaking down the boating event into components that allow the guests to go in and get a full sense up front of the experience they’re going to have.”
Within the app, people can browse available boats and filter results based on the size of the party, pricing, or the type of boating experience. Boats range in size from small fishing boats to sailboats “exceeding 40 feet,” according to Korres.
“The price is set by the hosts themselves, based on the length of the boat experience,” Korres said. “Some boats may be a 4-hour cruise in the afternoon, others might be an all-day fishing event. So based on the experience itself, the size of the boat, and what’s included — whether it may be fishing rods and bait, or food and drinks — the price is adjusted accordingly.”
And like Uber, when the day comes to an end, payment is already taken care of and you’ll have the ability to rate your host.
BoatDay is launching first on iOS, and will only be available in Miami for now. Users can log into BoatDay beginning Friday to reserve a spot aboard a boat, but the boating expeditions won’t set sail until the following weekend.
Korres says he plans to expand within Florida, and others states are also a possibility as the boating host business model can easily scale. An Android version of BoatDay is also in the works, scheduled for a launch in the coming months.
You can download BoatDay for iPhone by clicking here.