An explosion in three years
All you had to do in the last three years was walk down the aisles of boat shows to see how quickly the number of companies dedicated to renting boats between private individuals was increasing. Boaterfly, Boatyng, Click&boat, Captain'Flit, Ocean Serenity, SamBoat, Sailsharing, to name but a few in France have embarked on the activity. Foreigners like Sailo also offer service in France.
Each of the start-ups raises important funds and actively communicates on its development.
An established market
While it is currently very difficult to obtain figures on the actual volume of boat rentals between private individuals, the practice is now well established. Click & Boat claims, for example, a turnover of 11 million euros for the year 2016, multiplied by four compared to 2015. More than 9 million euros are donated to owner-operators.
The most important French platforms such as Click & Boat or SamBoat announce between 5,000 and 8,000 boats available for charter each, spread across the European coastline, but also overseas.
If the rental sector between private individuals meets resistance among professional charter companies, it is now well established in the nautical landscape.
Beginning of concentration
After the euphoria of the first years, there is a first consolidation movement. Click & Boat announced on 8 November 2016 the acquisition of its competitor Sailsharing. Jérémy Bismuth, CEO of Click & Boat, does not indicate the amount of the repurchase, but has specified to our colleagues of the World"that it is indeed a purchase and not an exchange of share While the fundraising announcements of the various players follow one another, the operation is proof that the sector is attracting investors.
An international strategy
Born in France, most of the start-ups present in the rental of boats from private individuals online, are also developing abroad. Click & Boat claims a presence in 22 countries. Its competitor SamBoat has announced the recruitment of a dozen employees for its international development.
Regulatory framework in construction
Like all activities related to the collaborative economy, the rental of boats between individuals has until now lived in a vague legal framework, denounced by professional charter companies. The 2017 Finance Act now taxes income from the rental of property between individuals above the threshold of 7,720 euros. While it will probably frighten some individuals, it is much higher than the average income generated by the owners registered on the platforms. According to Click & Boat, its boats are rented on average 9 days at 350 euros per day, for a total of 3150 euros over the year.
The history of websites dedicated to apartment rental or carpooling shows that users do not wish to sort between a multitude of actors. Who will be the Airbnb of boating? The great maneuvers have begun.