Boat Sharing & Peer-to-Peer Boat Rentals
Peer-to-peer boat sharing is very similar to other forms of peer-to-peer services used to rent sporting goods, automobiles, and even houses (similar to companies like Airbnb). Using peer-to-peer boat rental companies allows you to try out different kinds of boats and boating without having to invest in a boat of your own right from the start, and unlike regular boat rentals since you’ll be stepping aboard a privately-owned boat, it’s likely been well cared for and babied, rather than used hard and disregarded.
If you live anywhere there are boats, one or more peer-to-peer boat rental services almost certainly has a fleet to offer. Most of them allow searching by zip code, so you can find a boat near your home or one where you’ll be vacationing.
How Boat Sharing Works
Any boat owner can list his or her boat on a number of peer-to-peer sharing platforms that specialize in boats. The service takes a cut of the rental fee, and in exchange the parties involved can get third-party peer-to-peer boat rental insurance, safety and security checks, a secure payment system, and the ability to review ratings.
As a renter, you can search through the database by location or by type of boat and pick out any size or style you like—some of these services have tens of thousands of different boats available across the nation and even internationally—and learn about them before you ever step aboard. Then you connect with the owner to make sure you’re comfortable with each other, find out what sort of gear is aboard the boat and included in the rental, and other details. In many cases, you can also choose to hire a professional captain if you’d like. Then you book your date, and hit the water.
Age Requirements to Rent
Minimum ages depend to some degree on state laws where you’ll be boating but as a rule of thumb, in most places you’ll need to be at least 18 and most peer-to-peer platforms also facilitate rentals to legal adults, only. In some cases, age requirements may change if you hire a professional captain and won’t be running the boat yourself.
Peer to peer boat rental costs are dependent on the location, as well as the size, type, and age of the boat you’d like to rent. The range runs the gamut; you can find a dinghy rental in some places for as little as $25 a day, or you can rent a motor yacht or power cruiser that comes with a captain and costs thousands a day.
What You Need to Enjoy Your Peer-to-Peer Boat Rental
Boat sharing and peer-to-peer rentals are very similar to regular boat rentals in what you can expect once onboard. To learn more about what to pack and bring onboard for your rental, be sure to read our Renting a Boat: Boat Rental Guide.
Peer-to-Peer Boat Sharing FAQs
What is peer-to-peer boat rental?
Peer-to-peer boat rental is a service that facilitates renting a boat directly from the owner, as opposed to a rental company.
How does peer-to-peer boat rental work?
You search through the database of a peer-to-peer platform to find the type and size boat you’d like to rent, use the system to contact the owner, and book a date.
How much does peer-to-peer boat rental cost?
The price range is huge, since you can rent everything from a kayak to a motor yacht through a peer-to-peer service. It can cost $25, $2,500, or even more if you want to rent a huge motor yacht with a captain and crew.
Boating is all about having fun, and that starts with stocking up on the coolest boating accessories to enhance the fun. From towable tubes to snorkeling gear and so much more, check out our list of eight fun things to have onboard your boat this summer.
Follow our Buying a Used Boat Checklist to learn more about the process of buying a boat from a private seller. Purchasing a pre-owned boat second hand from a private party can help you save money on the price, but it is a "buyer beware" situation.
Ready to plan your own sailing vacation? Whether you're on a sailboat or a motorboat, follow these simple tips for planning a weekend trip onboard a boat—from choosing your destination, to provisioning, and fun activities for the whole family.