How to take a Boat Rental Business online? A Comprehensive Guide for Entrepreneurs

Boat Rental Business Guide

As the purchasing power of the millennials increases, so does their preference for the experience economy. There is a widespread notion that experiences are much more valuable than material possessions, especially amongst the millennials.

The boat rental industry is a major beneficiary of this changing customer preference. The boat rental business has proven its worth as a resilient business as even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry was able to thrive as people think of it as a safe means of leisure travel.

According to Bryan Petro, the COO of online boat rental marketplace GetMyboat, many people discovered the thrill of boating for the first time during the pandemic. According to Bryan, there was a 39 times increase in the demand for boat renting during the pandemic.

The renewed interest in boating and the high profit-making potential of the boat rental industry attracts several new players towards the industry.

This blog will look at the various aspects that will help aspiring entrepreneurs set up their own boat-yacht rental mobile app solution.

Market potential

Identifying the market potential is a critical phase of market research before building a boat rental app. There is a vast untapped potential in the boat rental industry by choosing the best mobile app development company. According to a forecast, the U.S. recreational boat market will grow at a CAGR of 4.5% by 2024. Another statistic suggests that the Global Yacht Charter market is expected to reach $27.8 billion in the luxury segment by 2027 at a CAGR of 15%.

Benefits of taking boat rental business online

Top advantages of taking Boat Rental Business Online

The business to provide an online boat rental service is booming due to some inherent benefits it provides compared to the offline model. We have mentioned below some of the significant benefits that the online boat booking business offers.

More options

While planning a boat trip, one of the significant hassles consumers face is the lack of options. Not every tourist has extensive knowledge about the different types of boats, and not every boat can meet the needs of the passengers. Another hurdle is the unavailability of the crew. The boat enthusiasts have to check different options for renting a boat by calling every boat renting agency, which is a tedious task. A business providing boat booking services online can remove this hurdle by allowing boat lovers to filter out the best boat according to their requirements.

An online boat rental booking service will help the tourists book the boat of their choice, whether it’s a party yacht, a honeymoon cruiser, or an adventure sailing boat.

The benefits of an online boat rental service are not just limited to the people who rent the boats, but the boat owners also stand to gain a lot from the online boat rental service. The boat owners won’t need to advertise on multiple platforms to rent out their boats. Through the boat rental mobile application, the boat owners would easily connect with the users.

Better management of boats

An application for boat reservation can prove to be a booking rental app like Airbnb for boats. It is much easier to manage the listed boats and provide their trip details to the users on an online platform instead of offline mode. The backend of the boat rental mobile app solution will collect, categorize, and store all the data related to the boats securely, making it easily accessible to the administrators. The admins will get a dashboard where they can view and check all the comprehensive details of every boat rental, reducing the workload of the admins substantially.

24 x 7 booking available

While the offline boat rental services work only during working hours, the users can book a boat through a boat rental platform 24×7. This boat rental system feature maximizes sales as the booking hours to rent a boat are not limited.

Cuts manual workload

Boat rental and yacht management software solutions will eliminate a lot of manual workloads and optimize customer service. In addition, online booking apps for Boat & Yacht Charters will ensure that all the bookings are in sync and are updated in real-time, providing the required information to the users immediately.

Turn your boat rental business idea into a tangible solution.

Most Popular businesses in the boat rental industry

A few key players in the online boat rental market dominate the boat rental industry currently. Aspiring entrepreneurs willing to develop a boat and yacht rental app need to know about the competition they will face in this market.

Boatsetter

boatsetter app

Boatsetter is a peer-to-peer boat-sharing platform that allows boat owners to connect with the people who want to rent boats. Started in 2012, the company was one of the pioneers of online boat renting in the USA.

GetMyboat

GetMyboat App

GetMyboat boasts of being the world’s largest boat rental and charter marketplace. The portal has more than 140,000 boats on offer and caters to clients in more than 186 countries worldwide.

Click & Boat

Click & Boat App

Click and Boat is a Paris-based online boat rental company. Set up in 2013, the company now has 35,000 boats registered on its platform. Click & Boat has more than 400,000 users globally and is one of the fastest-growing startups in Europe.

Zizooboats

Zizooboats App

Zizooboats is a Berlin-based boat rental startup and leading boat holiday platform inspired by the French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau. Zizooboats has 21,000 boats registered on its portal, and the company currently serves more than 500 locations worldwide.

How much does it cost to develop a boat rental solution?

One of the most important questions that budding entrepreneurs need to address is the cost of developing a boat rental app. The boat rental app development cost will depend on the features that one wants to implement, the UI/UX of the application, and the location of the mobile app developers.

For instance, a basic solution will cost much less than an advanced solution with features like real-time boat tracking, cloud integration, CRM integration, and push notifications. The location of the online boat rental solution development company will also have an overbearing effect on the cost of mobile app development. For example, a firm based in North America will charge 3-5 times more than one in India.

Depending on the complexity of the custom boat rental mobile app and the location of the developers, a boat rental app development can cost anything between $12,000- $100,000. So first, contact a top boat rental app development company and request a quote.

Monetization strategies for an online Boat/Yacht rental business

Boat Yacht rental business: Monetization strategies

Entrepreneurs would like to assess the monetization opportunities from a boat or yacht rental app before they invest so much effort and money in developing the app for boat reservation services.

Here are the primary monetization strategies for the best boat renting apps.

Commissions

Like a taxi booking app, the top online boat renting business can charge the boat renters a particular commission amount depending on the type of boat or yacht. For Example, Business owners can charge 5% on a small boat that is less than 16 meters and charge 10% for a Luxury Yacht that is more than 24 meters.

Featured Listing

Most boat or yacht owners would be more than willing to go for featured listings to get more business. Featured listings will distinguish the boat owners from the competition and help them increase their revenue. The owners of the boat rental platform can charge fees depending upon the type of listing.

Advertisement

Advertisements on the Boat Rental and Yacht Charter booking platforms can prove a decent revenue source. The boat rental business owners can easily get ads from boat makers, boat accessories sellers, and lifestyle product sellers. The business owners can charge for advertising according to the number of hits/app downloads that the business can garner.

eCommerce Integration

The boat booking app owners can tie up with various businesses and sell their wares on the application. Many boating-related businesses would be interested in gaining boating enthusiasts’ attention and would love to partner with a platform that provides them with this opportunity. eCommerce integration can prove to be tricky, and a good boat rental app development service provider can help you mitigate the challenge.

Subscription plans

Many boating enthusiasts would love to subscribe to a subscription plan which provides them good discounts on availing boating services. By providing the subscription plans, the online boat appointment business can not only increase its revenue, but it can also thwart competition as customers who have a subscription plan are less likely to switch over to competitive online booking businesses for boat rental and yacht charter.

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Types of Activities for Boat-Yacht Rentals

Boat-Yacht Rentals: Types of Activities

Before taking boat-yacht renting business online, the entrepreneurs need to know about the activities that drive the demand for recreational boating. We have listed below the major activities that users love to do when renting a boat or yacht.

Cruising

Cruising is a major recreational and holidaying activity for boat and yacht lovers. Many users love to just laze around in a boat or a yacht in the open blue ocean.

Water sports

People rent boats for various water sports activities like speed boating, jet skiing, and sailing. Powerboat racing and jet ski racing are water sports racing that is really popular amongst boat aficionados.

Fishing

Fishing is a really popular recreational activity. In many countries, the activity has a strong cultural significance for many people. The calming activity of fishing lures many users to rent a boat or a yacht for a family outing.

Sightseeing

Sightseeing is a popular activity for boat lovers as it allows them to explore the sites uniquely. For example, boating enthusiasts can go sightseeing in the San Juan Islands to spot killer whales and enjoy exquisite seafood. Other popular destinations for boat lovers are Manhattan, San Francisco, Lake Havasu, Southwest England, Lofoten islands in Norway, and the Bay of Naples.

The overall flow of a boat rental business app

Before creating an app for your boat rental business, it is essential to envision the customer journey. Mentioned below is the flow of the boat and yacht rental app.

  • The customers who want to rent a boat or yacht will first register and log in to the app.
  • Customers would then select the city, state, and country where they want to rent the yacht or boat.
  • A list of available boats and yachts will be displayed once customers hit the search button.
  • The best boat rental app solution will even let the customers apply various filters to narrow down their search.
  • The customers can then choose to book the boat or contact the Boat Rental or Yacht Charter Booking app owners for further details.
  • Once the booking of a boat or yacht is confirmed, the customer will receive a notification and the receipt for the booking by email.
  • After the trip, the Online booking system for Yacht Charters and Boat Rentals can ask the customers for their feedback.

Also read: The Complete app development guide for Clients

Basic Functionalities of Boat Rental App Development

Features of Boat Rental App Development

Every boat renting app has to have certain basic features and functionalities to function properly. We have listed some of the functionalities based on user types.

Boat Charter User Panel Features

Multiple filters

The users of the boat rental application should be able to apply multiple filters like location, size of the boat, motor type and boat type, duration, crew size, and so on.

24/7 Support

The customer support mechanism should be robust to ensure the success of a boat rental business app. The leading boat rental app for an easy boat reservation system can offer customers various customer support channels like email, IVR, Chatbot, live chat, and social media pages to provide 24×7 support to customers.

Multiple payment options

Chartering a boat turns out to be an expensive proposition for most people. By providing multiple payment options, the boat rental service provider can allow its customers to avail themselves of various benefits from credit card companies, banks, and online wallets. The boat rentals could also provide financing options for boat charters to boost sales.

Multi-currency support and multilingual

Both these features will help the online boat charter app serve tourists better. It will also help the owners to provide an Online booking system for Yacht Charter and Boat Rental, making its business truly international.

Detailed Invoicing

The online boat and yacht rental company should ensure to prepare a detailed invoice during checkout. The invoice from the ideal boat rental app should include details like the number of days the boat will be rented, any additional services, cancellation charges, crew charges, fuel charges, the duration of the tour, charges to extend the tour, insurance fees, and so on. A detailed invoice will avoid future disputes and improve the boat rental agency’s reputation amongst its users.

Boat/Yacht Owner’s Panel Features

Fleet management

The boat/yacht owners should have fleet management options, including a rental buffer period, ability to manage boat availability, store the details of the renter, send alert option for returning the boat, see the remaining boat rental period.

Rental income calculator

The rental income calculator will inform the boat owners about their boats’ rental earnings and estimate the average annual earnings that can be made through their boats.

Features for the Boating Business Owner Panel

Reporting and Analytics

The online boat reservation solution should have multiple analytics features to help the business owners measure the progress of the business. Also, real-time reports of boat renting details such as Boat-yacht booking or Boats currently in use with graphical representation.

Third-party integrations (TPIs)

By collaborating with third-party services like Airbnb and TripAdvisor, the owners of the boating business can get better visibility for their business.

Discounts and promotions module

There should be a discounts and promotions module through which the business owner can effortlessly create and promote discount coupons.

Multi-user CMS

The owners should create multiple sub-admin accounts to handle the online boat renting business much more efficiently.

Looking for experts to develop your boat rental app?

Advanced features of a luxurious online boat rental app

To provide a boost to the boat rental app, business owners should consider adding a few advanced features to the app for boat renting services. Below are a few suggested advanced features to help the boat rental business satisfy its customers with the best Boat Charter app.

Multiple social signup options

The boat rental business should provide easy social signup options like signing up through Google, Facebook, or Instagram to its customers in their Boat Rental App to ensure minimum friction in the signup process.

Push notifications

Push notifications have proven their worth as an effective tool to boost customer engagement. The leading Boat rental app can send timely updates, alerts, reminders, and new offers to the users using push notifications. According to research, push notifications can help improve the customer retention rate by 3 to 10 times. Push notifications can also help to track customer behavioural patterns.

In-app call-chat

The users should be able to contact the customer care team of the boat hire app through in-app calls or in-app chats. This way, the customers can easily resolve their queries without wasting time searching for the customer care contacts of the online boat booking app.

In-app navigation

The in-app navigation system of the app for boat rental would allow the users to identify and navigate through the waters and know their position at any time.

CRM Integration

CRM integration will help the boat owners to manage their customer base effectively using Custom Boat Rental Application.

Real-time tracking

There should be an advanced feature that lets the app owners monitor the user’s activities like what they are searching for, their buying trends, and so on. Then, later on, the boat and Yacht hire business owners can analyze this data and derive insights that can aid them to improve the usability of app.

Panic button

Boating accidents can prove to be life-threatening. That’s why it is a great idea to provide a panic button to the users using the boat rental application, which they can press and call a rescue team in case of an emergency.

Cloud solution integration

The business of boat and yacht charter should consider integrating cloud solutions with its online solution. The cloud integration will help the business store all the data about its customers, deals, and prices secure and scalable. Cloud solutions will also allow online business owners to build a scalable infrastructure. The scalability of the boat rental app solution can prove to be especially advantageous for startups who cannot afford to invest in high-end I.T. infrastructure.

Smart Chatbots

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) enabled smart Chatbots will help boost the customer satisfaction rate of an app for renting a boat. The Chatbot will answer FAQs and resolve common queries quickly to spend maximum time enjoying on the boat instead of waiting for the customer care executive to respond to their queries.

Weather checker

Weather can play spoilsport on a boating expedition. A weather checker feature in application for charting a boat and yacht can help boating enthusiasts plan their trip according to the weather.

Tech stack for Yacht & Boat Rental App Development

The technology stack selected by the best boat rental mobile app developers will overbearing effect on the mobile app’s performance. Therefore, we have given below a suggested technology stack for a top-notch boat rental app development.

Database: MongoDB, Cassandra, Postgress, MySQL, and Mail Chimp

Payments: Braintree, PayPal, and Stripe

Push notifications: Push.io, Bandwidth, and Twilio

Cloud environment: AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure

Coding | Programming Languages: Java, Kotlin, Swift, Flutter, React Native, and Objective C

Location: Google places API, Core location framework, Google Maps.

Analytics: Hadoop, Cisco, IBM, Apache Flink, Spark

Things to consider before starting boat rental services

Apart from building a good mobile app and handling the technicalities of the business, there are a few other factors that need to be considered before starting services to hire Boat and Yacht. We have mentioned below the major factors that one needs to consider to ensure the success of the boat rental services.

Robust security

Boat rental services providers should build an app for boat renting and chartering that should be equipped with robust security. Multi-factor authentication should be deployed to prevent user identity theft. There are various modes for multi-factor authentication like social login, email, OTP sent on a mobile number, biometrics like face I.D., and fingerprint scans. Robust security is required to gain users’ trust as sensitive user data like email, phone number, and payment details are stored with the boat rental app. Any data breach can ruin the reputation of the app, and hence in app development for Boat hire app, the boat rental business owners need to emphasize security.

Watercraft insurance and damage policy

Before the boat rental services providers list a boat, they must ensure that it is insured. Listing an insured boat is necessary because if there is any mishap, then the boat owners and riders will have monetary compensation for their loss. In addition, insurance saves the boat rental company from costly legal cases when a mishap happens. Most countries in North America and Europe make it mandatory to ensure the boats/yachts.

Types of Rental Agreements

Sometimes online boat rentals rent the boats from the boat owners and then rent them out to the users. In this case, where the online boat rental company evolves from being an aggregator to renting the boat themselves, the online boat or yacht charter company needs to enter into rental agreements with the boat owners. Below mentioned are the major types of rental agreements that top boat rental companies use.

Basic Rental Agreement

A basic rental agreement is generally for smaller boats that do not require much crew support and are often rented for a short period, like a week. Typically there are no specific terms for the attendees of the boat, and many times the boat owner is the captain of the boat. A basic agreement is not appropriate for luxury boats and yachts.

Charter

The charter agreements involve renting out the boats for longer periods, like for several weeks or months. Normally there are three types of charter agreements.

Bareboat charters

Under bareboat charters, the owner of the boat does not provide any crew. Therefore, apart from acquiring the crew, the boat or yacht renter is also responsible for the boat’s maintenance.

Crewed charters

The crewed charters involve renting out the boat/yacht exclusively for private use. The boat/yacht comes with its own captain and crew who take the boat renters to their destination. Commonly crewed charters are preferred for luxury yachts.

Cabin charters

Under the cabin charters, the renters get a boat/yacht with the crew. In-cabin charters, the renters might need to share the boat with other passengers. A cabin charter is economical for people who do not want to rent out the whole yacht/boat for themselves.

Hire the best Boat App Development team at affordable cost.

Bon Voyage

Boating as an experience is gaining traction, opening up a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs. Like most businesses, disruptive change has come to the boat rental industry due to technology. The users love the convenience of booking a boat/yacht through a mobile app.

While building a boat rental app, it is important to get the combination of UI/UX, features, and security rights. A professional boat rental mobile apps developer like Prismetric can help you in your endeavour of building a robust boat rental application.

At Prismetric, we have more than a decade of experience in developing high-quality mobile apps for our clients. Our expert team of dedicated developers, UI/UX designers, testers, and product managers would help you right from the ideation stage to the execution stage of app development for your boat rental business.

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