Booming boat rental business amid pandemic


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – If you own a boat – or even a kayak or a jet ski – that just sits on a dock or on a trailer, you may be sitting on some extra income.

“Business has been …” Karina Sanchez searches for the right words. “We can’t even believe how great the business has been, we are so grateful.”

Sanchez and her husband own Waterhorse Charters in Mission Bay. Opened last year, they offer scuba diving excursions, party cruises, fishing and whale watching tours.

When the pandemic struck, they were forced to shut down temporarily by state warrant. But once given the green light to reopen, Sanchez says business is booming, people want to get out and do it safely.

“I feel like people are a little more comfortable going out in the water,” says Sanchez, “something that is outside; than having, say, a party in the water. home or just going to bars or something. “

Sanchez connects with many of his customers through the GetMyBoat.Com site, which is much like Airbnb for boats.

“Some data suggests that an average boat is only used 8-10% of the year,” says Val Streif, who represents GetMyBoat.com from its headquarters in Minneapolis. “And the other time, it’s just sitting on a dock or a marina.”

Streif says GetMyBoat has listings of private boat owners and rental services in 184 countries around the world, offering everything from kayaks and jet skis to pontoon boats and yachts.

“It’s a way for people to earn extra income,” says Strief, “when they’re not using the boat for themselves for personal gain”.

There are increased regulations during the pandemic – intensified cleanup, fewer passengers for social distancing and other steps depending on the boat or excursion offered.

“We require everyone to wear a mask while they are on board,” says Sanchez, “When they hire a regulator – which is the part you put in your mouth when you dive – whenever people take us in. rent one. we make them buy the mouthpiece. “

Sanchez says the changes aren’t hurting business because they’ve been sold. And they’re not the only ones, which is why GetMyBoat.com is looking for more boat owners to sign up and maybe help themselves “stay afloat” in these tough times by renting their boat.

Sanchez says the demand is there.

“Everyone is just thankful that they can go out on the water. So that has been great.”

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