BoatDay App: Like Uber, for Boats

This could be yours (for a day).EXPAND
This could be yours (for a day).
Prayitno via Flickr Creative Commons

When Kimon Korres’ friends came into town, the first thing they wanted to do was go boating. “Find a boat online and I’ll take care of the rest,” Korres told them.

But finding an affordable, reliable, and convenient boat was no easy feat. To rent a boat for the day was cost-prohibitive – and that was before paying for a captain, insurance, food, or equipment. “I was convinced there had to be a better way,” Korres says. “I thought about car sharing and house sharing and figured there had to be something that didn’t cost $800 to $1,000. I really couldn’t believe there wasn’t an easier way.”

That’s when his idea clicked: boat sharing. Korres, who had been a corporate attorney, set out to develop an easy way for boat owners to connect with clients who wanted to spend a day on the water. “We have all of this water, and it’s a shame not to have a way to get on it,” says Korres, a Miami native and avid boater.

Discussions started in late 2013, and a year and a half later, BoatDay was born. The smartphone app launched July 10. Users can log on and browse a variety of boating activities.

“There’s a lot of ways to go out and rent a boat, but you’re really just renting a boat and the rest is left up to you,” Korres says. “With us, you’re booking more than just a boat. You’re booking an experience. Whether it be a day of fishing, paddleboarding, a catamaran with music and food, the idea is for it to be as simple, seamless, effortless, and comprehensive as possible.”

Boat owners – or “hosts” — from Miami to Fort Lauderdale can make a few extra bucks by taking users out on the water, instead of letting their boats just sit in a marina. The hosts stay with and drive the boat.  Hosts are fully screened (criminal background checks, DMV records, sex-offender registries) and insured and covered by Boat Day's half-million dollars in excess liability coverage that would cover any injuries to guests while onboard. “There’s more hosts coming through on a daily basis,” Korres says. “We want to keep expanding to bring affordable boating throughout the state.”

And affordable it is. Average costs range from $50 to $80 per person for a BoatDay experience. “If you’re looking to fish for two hours on a smaller boat, we have that for you,” Korres says. “But then we also have much larger boats. We basically give you the chance to find the boat that fits your needs, lifestyle, and ambitions for that day.”

So if your weekend looks a little bleak, BoatDay is available for download at BoatDayapp.com and boats can be booked in less than five minutes, with payment processed in the app. “Really, just in a few minutes you’ll know that you have a great weekend planned,” Korres says. 

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