If thoughts of the looming winter are already prompting dreams of helming a yachtthrough azure waters dappled with sunlight, you might want to check out Borrow A Boat – a brilliant new website that lists thousands of sailand motor boats for rent in locations around the world.
Launched (ha ha) last year by entrepreneur and sailor Matt Ovenden – who previously ran a successful eco-energy business – Borrow A Boat currently lists over 13,000 privately owned and local charter vessels.
The easy-to-use site features over 50 popular sailing hubs in places as diverse as Antigua, Belgium, Cuba and Lithuania. Visitors simply click on their preferred destination to reveal an overview of typical sailing conditions and suggested routes, together with a map showing marinas where Borrow A Boat vessels are available. Clicking on the boat icon over the relevant marina on the map instantly brings up details of what’s on offer and when, along with full specifications and daily pricing.
In Croatia, for example, the site currently shows boats available in six marinas between Zadar and Split on the Dalmatian Coast. Earlier this month, a Sunseeker 105 was on offer for a week out of Podstrana at a cost of £6,230 per day, while £2,416 a day could have got you an Elegance 76. There are, however, more basic yachts listed for considerably lower daily rates.
One of the key features of the site is a search-refinement facility that makes it possible to specify not only location but also to filter from seven types of boat; a price range of about £50 per day to over £40,000 (the average is about £250); and whether the boat is available immediately online or needs to be booked through the owner.
It is also possible to specify any extras required on board – from cooks to bicycles – as well as the layout, age and manufacturer of the boat.
Owners, meanwhile, can upload details of boats to rent and may opt to manage the handover/handback and cleaning of the vessel themselves for a greater proportion of the charter fee, or leave the work to a local specialist.
Seasoned sailors who are pining for the big blue should be warned, however, that looking at Borrow A Boat can lead to a voyage by laptop that can easily see the entire day drift by...