🔓'Airbnb of boats:’ App offers rentals in Central Florida

GetMyBoat has more than 150,000 listings in more than 150 countries

From homes to cars, rental apps are becoming more and more popular in our everyday lives. With spring break and summer approaching, you may want to spend some time on the water. But you don’t need to go out and buy a boat, you can rent one through the GetMyBoat App.

Even if you don’t know how to operate a boat, you can add a captain to your rental to take the helm during your excursion.

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The app launched in 2013 in California and has now expanded to more than 150 countries. Many boat owners in Central Florida are benefitting from the app.

“It could be cost prohibitive to a renter who wants to use a boat a couple times a year and it doesn’t make sense to own and it’s beneficial to us, the boat owner, who doesn’t use the boat every day to rent it out. It’s a win-win for both parties,” boat owner Mike Germond said.

Mike and his wife, Charlotte, own a few boats along Lake Butler in Windermere and admit they don’t get to use their boats as often as they’d like so they want to give others the opportunity to enjoy them.

“To be able to share the equipment is a dream come true and to be able to cover our cost and enjoy it when we want to is great,” Charlotte said.

The Germonds cover some of the cost for upkeep by renting their boats through the GetMyBoat app.

“It’s sort of the Airbnb of boats,” Mike said.

The app and website provide a marketplace, connecting renters and boat owners around the world. Listings include Powerboats, pontoons, jet skis and sailboats. You can search by boat type or destination. If you don’t know how to operate a boat, some rentals come with captains.

“They’ve got the infrastructure, the search engine, viewership, the websites. It’s an easy point of entry for a host like us who own the boats or an individual or company who want to get their boats in front of more people,” Mike said.

Some boat owners get creative, offering unique experiences. For example, the Germonds created a celebrity map.

“There’s a lot of celebrities on the Butler’s Chain and it’s fun to know where the ‘whose who’s’ are and when you’re from out of town it’s fun so we created a celebrity map. The homes are beautiful ... why not do a little sightseeing,” Charlotte said.

GetMyBoat has more than 150,000 listings and expects this spring break to be one of their busiest seasons since the start of the pandemic.

News 6 asked the boat owners if they were concerned about liability and they said they have insurance and GetMyBoat also offers insurance options to keep everyone covered.

Also, through the app, you will be able to contact the boat owners directly but not until you have secured a reservation for the boat. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the cancellation policies that vary for each boat rental.


About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.