Floating your boat

Author:
Publish date:
Jake McHenry (left) and Ross Larson, co-founders of Float. Courtesy Float

Jake McHenry (left) and Ross Larson, co-founders of Float. Courtesy Float

Float, a new peer-to-peer company based in Minnesota, launched an app that works like an Airbnb to connect boat owners in the state with those interested in renting boats on an hourly basis. Float organizers’ Ross Larson and Jake McHenry told Americaninno.com that it is listing pontoons, fishing boats, cruisers and other vessels.

“Some of my favorite memories of Minnesota were being on a lake on a sunny day,” Larson said. “But not everyone has access to a boat or the opportunity to use one. That’s what we want to help them achieve.”

Minnesota has one of the highest levels of boat ownership in the United States, with one out of six resident owning a boat, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

“We made some of our happiest memories on the lakes, soaking up the sun, jumping in the water and making new friends. We founded Float to bring that same experience to everyone,” the pair, who have been friends since first grade, said on their website.

But the two also lamented the fact that many boats sit idle at the dock.

“It was never a matter of if we were going to start a business together, but when,” McHenry said. The two agreed on an initial idea in 2017, and about this time last year they quit their jobs to work on Float full time.

Float started working with owners on lakes around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area last spring, organizing about 25 rentals by the end of the season. The company plans to attend at the Minneapolis Boat Show next week with the hope of recruiting more boat owners, as well as connecting with dealers and marinas.

The partners said they hope to close on a $250,000 seed round before the start of the boating season. They also plan to expand into Wisconsin.

“People love to show off Minnesota’s lakes,” Larson said. “They’re proud of where they live, and they want to share it with others. We want the same thing.”

Larson said the company will donate a portion of each rental to fighting aquatic invasive species in Minnesota.

Related

ABYC Foundation Seeks Nominations for Educator Award

The award recognizes “an outstanding instructor who is shaping future marine service technicians.”

P.R. Firm Rushton Gregory Signs ePropulsion

The Chinese manufacturer of electric propulsion products introduced a standardized lineup earlier this year.

Dometic Updates Pro-Trim System

The new design allows boaters to trim the outboard and adjust the jack plate without removing their hands from the wheel.

Brunswick Partners with Carnegie Robotics

Through the alliance, Brunswick aims to enhance its autonomous technology offerings.

Nicole Vasilaros to Depart NMMA

The group credits the senior vice president of government and legal affairs for “countless contributions to the protection and expansion of the recreational boating industry.”

Site Unseen

A website is often the first interaction a customer will have with a dealership, but it must provide more than an online brochure or they will click elsewhere.

C.G. Amends Documentation Rules

Federally documenting a boat now must be done every five years, rather than annually.

The 2021 Top 10 Most Innovative Marine Companies Awards

The marine industry consistently honors products and people. The industry, however, has not recognized forward-thinking companies that are moving the industry in new directions. Soundings Trade Only’s mission is to reflect, inform and inspire.