Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a complete beginner, Borrow A Boat, the UK’s leading boat hire platform, is making it easier than ever to get more people onto the water.

Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Matt Ovenden, Borrow A Boat is on a mission to make boating more accessible, affordable, flexible, and inclusive for all.

Sailing is a great staycation option, and Borrow A Boat has vessels available throughout the UK, including in popular boating hubs such as Cornwall, Devon, Portsmouth, and Southampton.

Those venturing further afield can enjoy boating holidays in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, North America, and South East Asia. Greece, Croatia, and Turkey are the most popular destinations. Rental starts from just £40 per day and sailing yachts from £1,000 per week.

borrow a boat

Anyone looking for a more luxurious option can use Borrow A Boat Plus to find luxury boats and superyachts, all fully crewed. Prices start from approximately £10,000 per week.

Customers can choose from around 35,000 vessels in 65+ countries listed on the website, so there is plenty of choice: from catamarans, and motorboats, to sail and river boats, to luxury yachts and superyachts.

Boats can be hired with or without a skipper depending on the sailor’s experience and all meet the stringent safety and insurance codes, standards, and regulations for yacht chartering in their respective locations. Trips can be hourly, daily, seven, 14 or 28 days.

Borrow A Boat also pioneered peer-to-peer boat hire, meaning that boat owners can list their vessels and offer themselves as skippers. This helps to offset the high costs of boat ownership by reducing maintenance costs and marina fees, whilst offering consumers more affordable and flexible boating experiences.

A win-win for both the owner and the renter, Borrow A Boat’s service offers a revenue stream for owners, while providing renters with a large choice of vessels at the best prices.

How it works

For renters

⦁ Using Borrow A Boat (⦁ www.borrowaboat.com), find your ideal vessel by via filters such as size, location, and available dates. 
⦁ Decide if you want to sail with or without a skipper. Bareboat yacht charters (no skipper) are advertised on the website. You will need the relevant qualifications such as RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or the ASA 104 Bareboat certificate to take a boat bareboat.  Motorboats under 30ft will need RYA Powerboat Level 2.  Small ‘day boats’ typically don’t require licences.
⦁ Click “Book Now” to request a reservation.
⦁ Once confirmed by the owner or a member of the Borrow A Boat team, you will receive an invoice to pay 50% of the charter fee as a deposit to secure the booking or the full balance if the charter is within 30 days.  
⦁ Your confirmation will be issued including further information on the boat, the meeting place, car park, nearest provisioning location, any optional extras and recommended clothing, shoes, and items to bring for the charter, as well as an introduction to the boat owner and their contact details.
⦁ Check-in: meet the boat owner at the proposed location where you will be given a check-in tour of the boat for bareboat charters.  For skippered charters you will meet the skipper, usually on the boat.  There may be a contract to sign or extras to pay for at this point if not paid in advance, as well as a security deposit usually taken to cover any damage. This is a refundable security deposit by credit card and can be covered by insurance that you can purchase ahead of the trip. 
⦁ Set off on your adventure, with the necessary charter papers, charts, and maps plus contact details of the boat owner and an emergency contact, 
⦁ At the end of the charter moor up the boat at the agreed time and location and meet the owner for the check-out tour and checklist to review any issues on board and hand the boat back.

For private owners thinking of listing their boat for charter

⦁ All boats listed on Borrow A Boat (⦁ www.borrowaboat.com) for charter must have a valid safety coding certificate – contact a local boat surveyor for a safety coding survey and add any additional safety equipment identified as needed to the vessel to pass.  This varies by vessel but can typically include life rafts, life jackets, safety flares and navigational equipment.
⦁ Insurance for the vessel needs to be upgraded from Private Use to Commercial Charter Insurance which is possible with a valid safety certificate.  Ask Borrow A Boat for introductions to insurers.
⦁ Decide whether to list as Bareboat or Skippered, and you will need to provide a Commercially Endorsed skipper to operate a skippered charter.
⦁ Once all the above has been completed create your account on Borrow A Boat and create a boat listing. 
⦁ Add photos to your listing ideally with the boat looking clean and presentable on a sunny day if possible. 
⦁ Set your prices as requested.  Search for similar boats on Borrow A Boat if you are unsure of what price to list the charter for in your chosen location.
⦁ Create your listing. Include prices, availability, any boat rules, and images.
⦁ Wait for the requests to roll in.

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