NauticExpo e-Magazine - #17 - Boat Sharing - NauticExpo e-Magazine

The Online Boating and Maritime Exhibition

Boat Sharing Is Here

NauticExpo e-magazine wants to wish all its loyal readers a Happy New Year. Thank you all for helping make the past year a great success. Our 2018 issues will be loaded with even more boating and maritime innovations!

In the year’s first installment we explore the world of boat clubs, boat sharing and private-party rentals. According to French boatbuilding giant Beneteau, each contributes to democratizing getting out on the water. Catch our interview with the head of their boat club. We also tested the new Figaro III, the first series yacht equipped with hydrofoils. Don’t miss our video of the sea trials.

Once again, thanks a lot for your commitment and enjoy the read!

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The business model is halfway between buying and renting.
Beneteau will make available its Flyer lines in its Boat Club (Courtesy of Beneteau)

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Beneteau will launch its new Boat Club at the beginning of 2018. Borrowing the idea from the US, the French boatbuilding giant is counting on it to generate significant growth. We interviewed Bruno Lescher, head of the Boat Club.   NauticExpo e-magazine: How will the Beneteau Boat Club work? Bruno Lescher: We’re using...

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For renters who aren’t sailors, the system provides a new type of accommodation, often in an exotic location.
Boat sharing turns a vessel into a rental asset (Courtesy of Cobaturage)

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A boat is usually the second most expensive family asset after the home. Yet most are used only a few weeks annually, lying idle the rest of the year while the maintenance bills roll in. Boat sharing can mitigate these costs by turning the vessel into a rental asset, even if it never leaves the dock.


Click&Boat, founded by a couple of French computer contractors, offers a way to offset boat ownership costs. According to the company, very few of the million boats in France are used for more than 10 days a year. Maintenance, insurance and mooring fees can make boat ownership very expensive. They cost owners an average of 10% of the price of the boat each year.

For renters who aren’t sailors, the system provides a new type of accommodation, often in an exotic location. Rubbing shoulders with billionaires on the Costa Smeralda or nestling against the old town quay in Nice while paying a pittance is the lure dangled by a raft of internet start-ups featuring peer-to-peer service.

The schemes vary. For example, Antlos takes a more holistic approach, encouraging renters to learn to sail.

“We believe there are around seven million suitable boats globally, so our initial dream of introducing one million new beds into the global tourism market is possible,” says Beds on Board co-founder Tim Ludlow. The company offers boats as floating rooms with no seagoing activities.

The schemes vary. For example, Antlos takes a more holistic approach, encouraging renters to learn to sail. Others, such as SamBoat, are forging tactical partnerships for rapid growth. “We’re building partnerships with important French shipyards and just signed an agreement with Dream Yacht Charter, the world’s biggest charter operator,” co-founder Laurent Calando told NauticExpo e-magazine. Competitor Click&Boat features more than 20,000 private yachts and estimates average owner earnings of  €2000 per year. They recruit Yacht Managers to arrange handovers.

How it Works

Most operations allow owners to deal directly with renters through a third-party application. Many offer a feedback option similar to Uber’s star rating. Platforms such as Zizoo do not charge owners to list their boats. Instead, they charge charter operators a percentage of the rental fee, typically 12-15%.

Bed on Boards offers boats as floating rooms (Courtesy of Bed on Boards)

The Beds on Board Message Center gives renters the ability to chat with the owner, a handy way to ask how to switch on a pump, for example. Others, such as France’s Trip’n boat, use a car-pooling model. Available places are listed on its website.

Antlos advertises a wide range of accommodations—cabins, suites or entire boats. The company, which recently relocated to London from Italy, also lists shared cabins for solo travelers wanting to mix with others. “At this stage, we’re targeting boat owners in the Mediterranean and Caribbean who are the captains of their own boats and willing to host holiday makers,” CEO Michelangelo Ravagnan told NauticExpo e-magazine.

He created the platform because of the huge potential. “Our target market is coastal and maritime tourism involving 650 million travelers every year and a global turnover of $200 billion.” Accommodations vary from basic—a 30-foot monohull—to a lavish 60-foot catamaran.

Location is another variable. Many marinas are in undesirable spots, while others are in the heart of a major city—Nice, Cannes or Barcelona. Future offers may include complimentary membership in the nearest yacht club, an excellent way to give non-boaters a glimpse into this sometimes rarefied world.

Click&Boat offers a way to offset boat ownership costs (Courtesy of Click&Boat)

Zizoo’s partnerships with charter companies give it one of the most varied listings. The more than 11,000 vessels include power and sailing catamarans and monohulls, and even traditional Turkish Gulets. “With a rapidly growing inventory, team and tech innovations, Zizoo aims to target even more users through [geographical expansion],” CEO and co-founder Anna Banicevic told us.


Dealing with varying regulations around the world is crucial to growth. The future also may include paying environmental levies for marina usage and the increased sewage.

Accommodations vary from basic—a 30-foot monohull—to a lavish 60-foot catamaran.

In addition, some countries require boating licenses and insurance of the vessel for accommodation purposes. Some companies insist on walk-on access, while others include boats on moorings. Renters may need a sense of adventure to book a racing boat with jagged edges and lines to snag the unwary visitor. Others might want to experience the charm of an old wooden fishing smack.

Are production boat builders ready to take the plunge? Fountaine Pajot recently bought a majority share in Dream Yacht Charter. Another indicator is the Beneteau Boat Club, launched in 2017. Membership plans offer access to power boats in France and Spain. Beneteau is the world’s largest recreational boat builder, with partnerships throughout the charter world. Its club may be extended to the Italian and British coasts, and to other continents.

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Boat Trials
The foils are used to create righting moment and to replace the previous 300-liter water ballast system. They also prevent drift.


The Beneteau Racing Division has been working on replacing its Figaro II sailing yacht with a trendsetting, hi-tech monohull. The result is the Figaro III, the first series yacht equipped with hydrofoils. NauticExpo e-magazine went for a test sail.   Every element of this new 9.75-meter one-design monohull was...

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  • Wärtsilä's vision of a Smart Marine Ecosystem (Courtesy of Wärtsilä)

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    Finnish giant Wärtsilä intends to lead the shipping industry’s transformation toward a smart marine ecosystem. The shift is underpinned by four major trends: big data analytics, intelligent vessels, shared capacity and smart ports. NauticExpo e-magazine talked to marine solutions president Roger Holm.


    NauticExpo e-magazine: How do you see big data contributing to your vision?

    Roger Holm: It will change the way we work. We’ll start to offer more of our services via the cloud. Take a simple example—weather. Why not talk to the cloud all the time about weather changes and combine that smart information to optimize fuel use and emissions?

    The more data you have, the more you can use it to, say, run a ship’s engine at peak efficiency, which is around 75% of rated power for most applications. And as we learn, such systems will become more autonomous.

    NE e-mag: Wärtsilä has repositioned itself as “the smart technology group.” How does the development of intelligent vessels fit in?

    Roger Holm: We continue to develop our portfolio. We’ve already successfully controlled a ship’s operations by satellite from 8000 km away. And we recently bought Guidance Marine, recognized as a technology leader for sensor solutions relating to vessel control systems, including remote control operations.

    “We believe unmanned shipping is currently on a journey.”

    We have a five-tier development program and are opening digital acceleration centers [DAC]. We have one in Helsinki, are about to open another in Singapore and two more during 2018 in central Europe and North America. The DAC concept is to look at what we have, put people together who have ideas and develop them in a totally different way, rather than by traditional thinking.

    We know we’ll fail sometimes. But it’s better to fail fast and learn from it, as digital solutions will greatly improve efficiency, safety and profits for our customers. We and a customer are planning the use of artificial intelligence for autonomous operations, but I can’t say more than that.

    We believe unmanned shipping is currently on a journey. You start by optimizing systems. My feeling is that most of our customers think the same. And I don’t see huge differences with our competitors. The main challenge is that rules and regulations are not keeping pace.

    Smart Marine Ecosystem components (Courtesy of Wärtsilä)

    NE e-mag: You’ve been talking to PSA about shared capacity. Who else are you talking to?

    Roger Holm: We’ve had discussions with other port management companies, but I can’t mention them at present. As for competitors, we’ll have to work with them. But I think it will take years. It’s a step-by-step approach. It will start with areas where we don’t compete directly, and where we see value in cooperation. Are you big enough to optimize on your own? Today maybe, but in the future…?

    NE e-mag: Wärtsilä is known for engines and shipboard systems. Are you moving into port operations?

    Roger Holm: The move to smarter ports involves new technology. This has kicked off our ecosystem approach. We have a lot of good starting points. We know engines, we know condition monitoring. We work with ports—induction charging is an example.

    We know the direction. I say to my people, Don’t think about where we will be in ten years. We’ll continue to develop the smart technologies, business models and competencies needed. This is not an all-or-nothing situation. As more and more ports join up, we’ll all see the benefits.



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    Wes Amelie in service (Courtesy of Reederei Wessels)


    MAN Diesel & Turbo recently completed the first-ever container vessel conversion from heavy fuel oil to LNG. The successful change to the Wes Amelie, a 1036 TEU container ship operated by German shipper Wessels, has already led to three further conversion orders. Many more could follow.


    Financially backed by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), the conversion aims to promote LNG in the country’s shipping industry. BMVI has pledged to subsidize both new builds and conversions of oceangoing vessels.

    The modification slashed Wes Amelie’s SOx emissions by about 99%, NOx by 90% and CO2 by up to 20%. Classed by Bureau Veritas, the vessel now meets both Tier II and Tier III emission requirements set by the International Maritime Organization. That’s vital to its operation on North and Baltic Sea feeder routes, where emissions control areas (ECAs) have stringent limitations.

    MAN PrimeServ converted the vessel at German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven in cooperation with gas specialist TGE Marine Engineering.

    Sister Ships

    At Europort 2017 in Rotterdam, Wessels signed a letter of intent with MAN to convert three of Wes Amelie’s sister ships to dual-fuel operation. Sixteen of her 23 sister ships are structurally identical, making for cost-effectiveness in follow-up projects.

    Wes Amelie receives her gas tank (Courtesy of MAN)

    “BMVI covered 60% of the engine conversion budget to a multi-fuel, four-stroke MAN 51/60DF unit,” explained MAN PrimeServ’s strategic marketing manager Denis Pissarski. “We’ve now received many requests for more information, especially from shipowners operating in ECAs, who see the economic and environmental benefits.

    “Additionally, our CSO Wayne Jones recently announced that MAN Diesel & Turbo will grant a two million euro discount, to be split over 10 upcoming LNG retrofits. And that has naturally attracted additional attention.”

    The conversion went “pretty smoothly,” said MAN PrimeServ’s upgrade & retrofit project manager Marcel Lodder. “We’d performed such conversions—a 48/60 engine to a 51/60DF engine—on stationary engines, so were confident about the technical details. Naturally, we needed to do some engineering beforehand, since a vessel is different from a plant.” One of the major challenges was the lack of space in the ship’s engine room. “As we were working with other parties during the conversion, it took quite some logistics to manage everything smoothly.”

    Future Proof

    The Wes Amelie is now in service. “Since this was the first application with a single-propulsion vessel in combination with a diesel-mechanical drive, we are very pleased to see extraordinarily good results.”

    Looking to future conversions, MAN Diesel & Turbo has acquired fuel gas supply systems (FGSS) specialists MAN Cryo. “We think that offering a combined solution—engine conversion plus FGSS plus bunkering—will be more attractive to customers,” Lodder explained. “They will then only need to coordinate with one project manager.”

    Apart from green credentials, Wes Amelie’s conversion has produced other benefits. “We expect the price gap between diesel and gas to grow,” Pissarski said, “so it becomes more cost-efficient for operators. Engine maintenance will also be reduced.”


    Michael Halpern

    Michael Halpern is a US-born and bred writer with experience in radio. He has lived in southern France for 15 years. Michael is the copy editor of NauticExpo e-magazine.

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    Øyvind Bordal

    Øyvind Bordal is a norwegian writer and sailor, based in Denmark and Caribbean.


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    Kevin Green

    Kevin Green is a Sydney-based yachting journalist who contributes to international boating publications.


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    Wim Vercauter

    Wim Vercauter is a freelance boating editor and a fire safety expert.

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    Celia Sampol

    Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She’s the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine and MedicalExpo e-magazine.

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    Tony Slinn

    Formerly editor-in-chief of IHS Maritime, Tony Slinn is an independent maritime journalist.

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