Swiss firm introduces ‘boat-swapping’ business model

Author:
Publish date:
BoatAffair “swap” boat in Spain

BoatAffair “swap” boat in Spain

A Swiss company has developed a new addition to its peer-to-peer business model — boat swapping. BoatAffair.com has adopted the Airbnb-style model that U.S.-based firms such as Boatsetter and Boatbound have pioneered by connecting boat owners with interested parties who want to rent their boats.

But BoatAffair.com has added an extra component by allowing its members to trade boats without exchanging cash. The company instead uses a block-chain system with Bitcoin-style coins as the common currency.

“We started the business in Europe but do have yachts for charter in Miami and Los Angeles,” Adrian Walker, the founder of the company, told Trade Only Today. “People have also started to list their boats for swapping. We have three going on now. It’s a low-cost option. In fact, if the two owners come to an agreement, they stay on the others’ yachts free of charge.”

Walker said that when a boat owner lists on BoatAffair.com, he or she receives 500 Boataffair coins. These coins can be used by an owner who wants to do an “indirect” swap for a larger boat or as payment to another owner who does not want to do a swap but wants to charter the boat. In cases where there is a “direct” swap, no coins change hands. The owners trade boats for an agreed-upon time period.

“The coins do not translate to real money,” says Walker. “The owners decide how much value a coin has according to how they see the value of the boats in terms of the size, age of the boat and so on. It has been used successfully with home-swap models. The market will determine who gets more coins for each swap.”

While only about a half-dozen boats are listed, they are spread out around the world, from Croatia to Tasmania. Walker has high hopes for the swap model. “Right now, we’re seeing a sailboat owner in the Netherlands planning to swap with another owner in Croatia,” he said. “There are others in the works. We expect this part of our business to grow over the next few years.” Unlike the charter part of the business, owners speak directly to each other about potential swaps via the company’s Messenger tool.

Walker says that BoatAffair.com will make most of its revenues through chartering yachts to non-boat owners for real money. The startup has a team that reviews each yacht listing to make sure it reflects the details of the listing, as well as providing insurance information. “We use a secured payment system just like Airbnb,” says Walker. “It’s a traditional model that most people would recognize.”

Related

STAR BRITE DEBUTS NEW MARINE DESCALING FLUID

Star brite introduces Marine Descaling Fluid—a powerful, easy way to descale raw water-cooled systems using recirculation. It saves time, energy, and a lot of headache, allowing for a faster, cost-effective return-to-service for equipment.

NAW Elects 2021 Officers

Michael Medart of Medart Engine and Marine takes the helm as chairman of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors board.

Caterpillar Names Global Manager

Alex Berg will lead the manufacturer’s pleasure craft and yachting segment.

Nearly 320K Boats Sold in 2020

NMMA says new-boat sales are at their highest level in 12 years, with all powerboat segments up 8 to 22 percent.

‘Injection of Capital’ for Cox Powertrain

The British company said it will use the $16.7 million to expand operations and ramp up production of its CXO300 diesel outboard.

Groupe Beneteau Releases Preliminary 2020 Financials

Revenues were down 15.1 percent for the 16-month period that ended Dec. 31. A full report is due next month.

A Modern Twist on Word of Mouth

The supercharged power of user-generated content.