Is Connecting The Boating World

Published in the October 2018 Issue July 2019 Feature

Summer of 2000 was unforgettable, and not just because it was the first of the new millennium. Ted Wilden and a group of friends headed out to an area known as the Playpen north of Navy Pier and rafted up what would become the largest power boating event on Lake Michigan. Today, over 500 boats tie up each year with more than 10,000 party-goers aboard for one of the top must-do events of a Chicago summer well-spent.

Chicago Boat Scene Party being the hottest ticket in town means more and more non-boat owners are looking for a way to hang out off the shores of our Gold Coast neighborhood. Enter

Boatsetter is the fastest-growing boat rental marketplace globally, giving boat owners a way to offset their ownership costs by renting their boat to pre-screened, qualified renters. Every rental includes comprehensive hull and liability coverage as well as on-the-water towing through its trusted partners, TowBoatUS and Geico Marine.

Boatsetter connects potential renters, with boat owners and captains to make boating accessible to anyone, anywhere. Boatsetter exists to connect the boating world in a way that it has never been connected before by bringing together renters, boat owners and Coast Guard licensed captains.

GLB editors caught up with Margot Horner, who rented a boat through for the Chicago Boat Scene Party weekend in July of this year.

GLB: How did you find out about Boatsetter?

Margo Horner: I found Boatsetter by doing a simple Google search. I found a number of boating websites; however, I liked the level of service Boatsetter offered and the variety of boats to choose from. None of the girls in our group own a boat, and the majority of us are not based in Chicago, so this was the perfect option for us!

GLB: Are you a first time boater? If so, how did the Boatsetter team set you up for success?

MH: Boatsetter matched us with a very skilled and friendly captain, so our lack of knowledge of how to operate the boat was not an issue at all!

GLB: Was this your first time at Chicago Scene? What did you think?

MH: Yes, first time at Chicago Scene and first time using Boatsetter, though hopefully it won't be the last! We would absolutely recommend Boatsetter. The whole process was easy and painless, so by the time we were at Chicago Scene, we had nothing to worry about (besides having a great time).

GLB: What advice do you have for anyone attending Chicago Boat Scene next year with a boat?

MH: We had an amazing day celebrating with our soon-to-be-married best friend. From the time we met the boat's owner on the dock to the time we returned, it was nonstop fun. Our only piece of advice is to have a game plan going in. Trying to find our friends to tie up to was a little tricky because of our poor planning. Hats off to our captain who navigated our large boat through the masses safely until we figured out where we were going. Also, definitely pack plenty of food and beverages so you can keep the party going all day!

Boatsetter is the AirBNB of the boat world and recently implemented a new search algorithm which means search results change daily as they are tied to real-time data points. Reviews and rating, response rate, inquiries, approval rate, instant book, newness, and cancellation rate will all play a role in the algorithm when calculating the boat’s ranking.

“We want to ensure that everyone has a great experience when they rent a boat on Boatsetter,” says the Boatsetter team. “That’s why we’ve gone the extra mile to give every Boatsetter boat owner and renter peace of mind with extensive insurance and world-class support.”






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