Rebound in Boating: Ultimate Social Distancing Fun on the Water

Rebound in Boating: Ultimate Social Distancing Fun on the Water

by Kurt Knutsson

According to, the leading Airbnb-like boat rental platform, boat rentals and yacht charters are up by 350% in the month of May. The boating industry is seeing its largest sales in a decade as an offshoot of the pandemic.

Bringing your social distancing to the privacy of your own watercraft is being fueled by people looking for a safer way to adventure into the world. What better means, than to explore 71% of the earth’s surface covered with water. 95% of Americans live within a one-hour drive of navigable waterways.

A quick download of the Getmyboat app available on both iOS and Android will have you booking a contactless boat rental or charter in no time.

From an inexpensive lake runabout by the hour to a megayacht by the week, there is something for every budget and suggested Covid-19 Safe rental practices are being offered by where you can choose from 130,000 bookings in 184 countries.

When I went out with Captain Shaan on the 40 foot Vandutch called Skyfall that you may recognize from a 007 movie and the HBO tv show Ballers, there was ample space to keep a safe distance. Like many rentals, it’s available with or without a captain. My ultimate desire would be to charter or rent bareboat where you are the captain.

Check to make sure boat is disinfected and safe

Cleanliness has been amped up according to GetMyBoat’s Covid-19 Boating Safety guidelines. Each vessel is sanitized between each use to include all interior and exterior surfaces. Allowable Coast Guard approved passenger capacity is being further reduced to allow for greater personal space onboard. Shared equipment is being thoughtfully limited so that items are not passed between guests. Some boat operators are placing deck markers to remind passengers to keep safe distance.

Tip: Rent during the week to get a better rate. Not only can you bring your work from home life onboard, there are tools that will make sure it works flawlessly.

Your boss will never know you are on the water with this powerful and easy marine tech.

Tech Tip: Stay Connected onboard with a Shakespeare Stream Wireless Signal Booster

My favorite tech add-on is the Shakespeare Stream Wireless Signal Booster. It’s the go-to cellular internet booster that helps you stay connected and streaming data whether in the slip or cruising just offshore.

Stream music, video, email while staying connected to work and loved ones. Many people know me as the CyberGuy for my passion about tech. Few know how passionate I also am about boating and having the right tools while onboard. The Shakespeare Stream Wireless Signal Booster is a must have at this moment in life.

It makes a huge difference in creating a solid connection to your digital world while escaping land. You can get the Shakespeare Stream Wireless Signal Booster $649 at West Marine.

Installation is easy and you will be amazed at how reliable your connection to any wireless carrier performs. Any phone that is placed within an inch or two of the helm pad can share its boosted signal with others onboard by activating the personal hotspot. The marine grade components are high quality and built to last especially in salt water environments where I spend the most time onboard away from land.

Boat Buying vs Boat Renting

Boat renting platforms like GetMyBoat are challenging the age-old boat owners saying that the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life is the day you buy the boat and the day you sell the boat. Shaan and his boat investment partner put their half million dollar spotless luxury day yacht on to offset the overhead before the pandemic. With demand up sharply, Shaan predicts Skyfall will be a windfall now and projects it be a profitable 2020.

That could be why boat sales are seeing record numbers – the best in a decade. Top brokers never saw this coming. Including Barbara Kaufman, a world renowned yacht broker who operates in California and Florida, “There are more buyers than there are sellers at this point. People thought it would be the other way around. My business is consistently busy all year, but nothing like this. I’ve never seen this much activity.” Barbara’s current listings are here.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports new boat sales rebounded sharply with a 59% increase beginning in May compared to April. People looking to social distance might have been looking at boats for sale in order to be able to enjoy their days despite living in the middle of a pandemic. Overall, there’s a 9% increase from pre-pandemic levels, and initial June data indicates a very positive start to recreation boating with the best sales in a decade according to the NMMA.

Boat Buying Tips

  1. Be ready before you shop
  2. Always use representation on purchases higher than $100K
  3. Get an inspection. Make sure your investment is signed-off by a non-biased party

More of my summer tech picks here

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