The Rich

Miami's Most Expensive Boats Are for Rent on a New App (If You Have $14K to Burn)

The sharing economy is alive and well in Miami. Average Miamians can make some extra cash by renting out their home or pick you up in their car using smartphone apps like Airbnb and Uber, all while possibly skirting a few laws along the way.

Now, the Magic City's caviar class can get in on the game. A new app, called GetMyBoat, allows owners to put their personal watercraft — from humble fishing boats up to uber-luxury yachts — up for rental

Launched in 2013, GetMyBoat now has more than 58,000 listings worldwide in 7,000 cities. From paddleboards to luxury yachts, the app lets users rent out watercraft by the hour or by the day.

"There's a generational shift that's happening where millennials and younger generations want access to something rather than owning it, whether it be a car, a house, or for that matter, a boat," says Bryan Petro, a spokesperson for GetMyBoat. 

Prices, as you'd expect, vary wildly whether you're looking for a paddleboard or a blinged-out party yacht. A 16-foot kayak will set you back $10 per hour, but a little extra cash gets access to some of the extravagance in the upper echelon of Miami's boating community. Browsing the listings is a jarring reminder of just how much wealth is sunk into high-end boats in our town.

For $6,700 per day, for instance, you can rent a 72-foot Sunseeker Predator Motor Yacht. It comes complete with twin engines; three cabins, each with a TV; a saloon; a galley (kitchen); snorkeling and sportfishing equipment; a fish finder and radar; and CD player. 

Another listing, a '94 Ferretti, goes for $6,500 per day; you get a jacuzzi, a bar, a BBQ, watersports equipment, air conditioning, a galley, CD player, and Bluetooth. 

Then for $11,000 per day, you can charter an 112-foot Westport yacht that houses 13 people and comes with climate control, a bar, watersports equipment, fishing gear, a galley and stove, and autopilot. 

But it doesn't necessarily have to be one person who shells out the entire sum; everyone can chip in. "That's the beauty of it," Petro says. "At $500 a day split six ways, that's less than a nice dinner you're going to have for an hour or two."

Miami appears to be onboard with app-renting boats. The area is one of the most-used for the app so far, according to Petro. "It's a hotbed for boating in general," Petro says. "Miami is one of those destinations where there's a lot of traffic, a lot of interest, not only from renters but from owners."
The app is the brainchild of Bay Area entrepreneur Sascha Mornell, who came up with the idea around 15 years ago. After Airbnb took a similar idea to the lodging market in 2008, Mornell's boat version hit the market. Today, five to 10 boats are added every hour. 

The winner of Miami's most expensive listings goes to a user  named "Greg" who lives in Miami Beach. Two of his boats, a 125-foot Grand Floridian yacht for 240 passengers and an 111-foot Summer Wind Luxury yacht, can be chartered for $14,000 and $12,499 per day, respectively. 

Like Uber, the app's listers are not considered employees but are instead independent contractors who are required to undergo vetting. Owners are also required to abide by all state and federal laws that regulate boating. Each new lister is provided with a boating "resource" upon joining GetMyBoat. Safety is one of the company's highest priorities, Petro says. All boats are required to have life jackets and other safety equipment. 

"That's something we make pretty transparent," Petro says. "It's not as simple as getting an Uber where you get in a car and take off. There are qualifications. We have an insurance product to ensure protection of the owner, renter, boat."

And like other sharing apps, GetMyBoat gets a small cut from each lister. Petro wouldn't say how much, but adds that it's under the industry standard of 10 to 15 percent. 

"We want to bring something people otherwise can't afford right to their phones," Petro says. 
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David Minsky is a U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He has also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky