Car-sharing companies tend to highlight that people only use their cars, on average, less than 10 percent of the time. But when it comes to boats, owners use them even less, or an average of two weeks out of the year — that’s according to startup Nautical Monkey, which is aiming to create a business around peer-to-peer boat sharing.
That stat makes boats a perfect capital-intensive good to share between a group of people, and the latest subject of the so-called “collaborative consumption” movement, which uses the web to share physical things between strangers that meet online. This movement, which counts companies like Airbnb, RelayRides, Zipcar (s zip), and ThredUP, are tapping into consumers’ desires to use goods as a service, rather than owning a good out right.
Nautical Monkey, which is in beta, provides a web and mobile platform to help groups buy into a boat together, schedule when each person will use the boat, create legal documents for usage and collectively manage maintenance and fuel costs. It might not be the most eco-friendly thing in the world — to boat around and burn fuel — but sharing a good is far more sustainable than buying an expensive good and rarely using it. It’s the equivalent of owning an apartment or cabin that you don’t use and renting it out via Airbnb.
Nautical Monkey is offering free service to its first users up until the end of the year. If anyone wants to co-share a boat, or has a boat that you want to rent out, please test out the service, and let us know how it works. GigaOM proper is currently boatless. Check out this infographic below on using the web to share stuff:
Image courtesy of epSos.de.