Home Business NewsBusinessBusiness Growth News Exploring the growth of borrow a boat and the chartered yachting industry

Exploring the growth of borrow a boat and the chartered yachting industry

by John Saunders
1st Feb 22 5:31 pm

The boat- and yacht-for-hire market is growing, with those who can afford taking to the seas as the difficult conditions of the past couple of years force people to stay at home more and not enjoy the freedom of movement they previously had. Out on the open seas, life is good, enjoyable, and people are making the most of the space and fresh air the oceans offer.

One company that has experienced some pleasing growth in this market is the company Borrow a Boat, which you’ll find at htpps://www.borrowaboat.com/. Below is a look at what has been happening there, plus a wider look at the growth of the market.

Successful crowdfunding at Borrow a Boat

Borrow a Boat has become considered the ‘Airbnb’ of yacht chartering and has more than 35,000 vessels in over 65 countries. The company’s mission is to make boating more accessible, inclusive, affordable and flexible. Meanwhile, boat owners can generate income from their boats and lower their own high costs of boat ownership. Marina fees and maintenance costs are two expenses with which they contend.

Borrow a Boat has already completed two rounds of crowdfunding. In 2021, the second round, in which the company raised an extra £499,000, paved the way for global expansions to charter into eight new countries, including the US, Canada and Australia.

Now the business has even more plans for growth, having completed a third, successful round of crowdfunding towards the end of 2021. Since 2017, the business has raised around £3.8 million. It has more than 900 investors and has rewarded them with the achievement of revenue of £136,525 in July and August of 2021 alone, compared to the £110,380 it generated.

The business has raised a large part of its investment through crowdfunding and is looking to exit. It’s now exploring a possible flotation on the stock market, which is its preferred option. An initial public offering (IPO) would be ideal, which is why it has been in discussions with Aquis Exchange about this.

It’s easy to understand the company’s excitement about the venture. To enter the stock exchange could be something of world first in the boat charter marketplace, the company believes.

Operating in an industry that’s enjoying growth

The travel sector, although starting to come back from the turbulence of the past couple of years, is still somewhat suppressed, according to the company, and could bounce back in a big way in 2022. Industry observers will feel, however, Borrow a Boat’s good news is something of a reflection of an industry that is gearing up for growth.

Experts have predicted respectable growth for the global charter yacht market. Back in 2019, the market size was 6.50 billion USD. The turmoil of 2020 saw it grow by just 5.04% the following year. Now experts have estimated the market size will increase to 10.82 billion USD by 2027, for the 2020 to 2027 period, and have calculated the compound annual growth rate to be 6.04%.

One of the reasons for growth has been the high level of competition in the industry. Many start-ups have emerged. Some companies are also expanding their presence so they can explore new markets that others have not yet explored.

Companies have been increasing their fleet size, too, to stay ahead of their competitors. Many are entering into agreements with yacht manufacturers to make sure that new yachts go to them.

Predicted market leaders

North America and Europe are expected to lead the market. Consumers in America prefer to charter yachts to make the most of large discounts. Florida has one of the greatest gatherings of superyachts, holds around 30,000 lakes and has two coastal borders, one in the Atlantic and the other in the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, northern Europe also has a rich marine culture. England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany all boast splendid yachting opportunities. A variety of yachts are available, such as luxury yachts, crewed yachts and motor yachts, are available.

Why the boom in the popularity of chartered yachts and boats for hire?

There are several different factors. Taxation has been one. For instance, the French authorities have reformed some of their tax rules around yachting. Depending on where they’re sailing, people who charter a yacht may or may not have to pay VAT.

Another factor driving growth has been a general increase and interest in marine tourism and leisure. Boating for pleasure has become more popular over the past few years, creating scope for charter yacht rental companies. Yachts provide a sense of luxury, with high standards and comfort, for anyone who wants to enjoy the finer things in life, but equally it’s possible to use a yacht simply to go fishing or exploring. Some booking systems also allow people to book yachts when they’re booking flight tickets, which is helping to drive growth.

Times may have been tough in the travel industry, but in the charter yacht market, some operators, such as Borrow a Boat, have dug deep and not only weathered the storm, but also grown during it. That resilience is paying off in a market that looks set to grow. Thrilling times lie ahead for Borrow a Boat as it looks to expand and take even more steps towards completing its mission of making charter yachting more accessible, flexible, affordable and inclusive.

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