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Old 30-11-2014, 09:54   #1
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Airbnb For Wannabes?

After our Atlantic crossing this summer we had good luck using Airbnb to find places to crash while traveling in Portugal and Spain. Having some experience in the hospitality business, I found many Airbnb offerings to provide excellent value in terms of accommodations, location, and price.

Besides the value, I like that fact that my money directly benefits an individual who probably really needs it, as opposed to a corporation that is just looking to make a profit.

Part of our deal livingaboard in the northeast while we work and save to make our getaway, is that we take a trip somewhere sunny and warm to remind us why we are shoveling snow off the dock and having to run 500' of garden hose every time our tanks run dry, usually in the middle of doing the dishes.

I am interested to know if anyone has any experience Airbnbing a boat and/or could make any recommendations?

With the expense of a repowering project looming ahead of us this spring, we are looking more for a cheap place to crash where we couldn't otherwise afford shoreside accommodations than we are looking to charter a boat. Sailing would be nice but we got our fix this summer. Living at anchor for a week, swimming from the boat, drinking rum, and being layabout would be more than good enough.

Could be on a mooring or in a slip. Could be Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, Central or South America but we would prefer direct flights from NYC.

Cheers!
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Old 30-11-2014, 10:10   #2
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

I hope you get some good responses on your topic, as it is an interesting one.

I stayed in a AirBnB condo for two weeks once and enjoyed the experience (the hosts were very nice couple) and the location (downtown, walking distance to restaurants and great brewpub).

Doing the same on a boat (with or without the hosts) would be an interesting twist.

I have often admired some beautiful big yachts and wondered what it would be like to live on one for a few days or a week. Access to the water and associated things would be very nice for a boater/sailor too.
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Old 30-11-2014, 10:29   #3
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

So far we found one guy in the USVI who might work. He offers a berth on his boat for a base rate and will provide meals, daysails, and snorkeling trips for additional fees.

I'm guessing he is a liveaboard cruiser pretty much like ourselves so again, I like that my money would be going to a person who needs it rather than a business or corporation.

As afar as big and fancy goes, I'd take a J-24 on a mooring in Cruz Bay if the price was right. Really. If someone knows of a boat sitting somewhere warm and sunny doing nothing, let me know.

Edit - regarding big and fancy, I don't know how many big and fancy yachts are slumming for tenants. Not saying it's not possible, but I wouldn't expect it. The guy we found in the USVI has a 42' ketch. Sounds like he lives aboard so that you would be sharing the boat with him. I guess, probably for an additional fee, he will go sleep somewhere else for newlyweds.

During our travels this summer we stayed in vacant apartments that we had to ourselves. Not sure, I think with Airbnb there is not necessarily a host involved, which would be our preference, but really depends on price.
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Old 30-11-2014, 10:42   #4
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

I am not understanding how this is different than chartering? There are literally thousands of people private chartering their boats. I can think of 30 or so right here in the San Blas islands Panama. The Eastern Caribe and Med must be full of them.

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Old 30-11-2014, 11:00   #5
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

Um, cheap place to crash at a fixed location that happens to be a boat on a mooring or in a slip vs paying competitive charter rates to use the boat to it's full potential and take it places?

How can you not see the difference in that?
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Old 30-11-2014, 11:04   #6
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

I was confused by your description of being provided meals, daysails and snorkeling trips. This is pretty much the itinerary for chartering most places.

I don't think those that private charter their boats care at all about what the charter wants (or doesn't want) to do during the charter.

I am talking about private charters, not Moorings, etc.

If the whole difference is some threshold of "cheap" or other terminology, then I guess that depends on the exact private charter also. Many boats here charging $500/wk.

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Old 30-11-2014, 11:39   #7
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

I guess an example of what I think of as "cheap" or "good value" would be the guy in the USVI who is offering about $170 a night for two berths at a mooring in Great Cruz Bay on St John.

This seems like a pretty good deal to me when compared to $650 a night for the cheapest room at the Westin Resort on Great Cruz Bay, considering the cheapest room at the Westin probably doesn't have a view of the beach we'd be looking at from the boat. I don't know for sure but would be surprised to find a charter boat during high season in the USVI or BVI for anything less than $400 a night.

I mean, I'd really prefer staying on a mooring and being able to swim from the boat rather than staying in some cheap hotel room away from the beach, wouldn't you? Westin is owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide which is a huge company. Personally, I'd rather give my money to Captain Richard since I think the 1% already has enough.

The reason for posting and asking for recommendations is that you can't just search for "sailboats" on Airbnb. So it's kinda hard to know what all is out there. The guy in USVI would probably work for us, just that we've been there and done that. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 30-11-2014, 11:55   #8
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

I recall looking online for accommodation in LA recently on a holiday house website and found a few boats to rent in a marina. Its not quite the Caribbean, we ended up staying down at Newport beach, we had been to LA many times over the years which we are not very fond of, but we loved Newport Dana Point there is a good bar down there for drinking Rum in called Turks good Bloody Marys to very nice area. Would be interested if you find what you are looking for.
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Old 30-11-2014, 12:11   #9
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

Um duh! At the bottom of the "more filters" bar there is a keyword search. Problem solved. I'll report back with our experience.

Cheers!
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Old 30-11-2014, 12:23   #10
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

Hmmm....I had something different from a J24 in mind when you posed your topic...

More in the line of a stateroom on a yacht in Monaco harbor during Grand Prix race (or other times).

Or a big yacht that is staying in Tahiti.
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Old 30-11-2014, 13:09   #11
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

I've been looking around a bit. Key West, Miami, Bahamas and have found a range between nice and expensive and cheap and rudimentary. Some are liveaboards and some are absent. Some include use of the boat at no additional cost ($100 night Bahamas). I even found a boat in the marina across the way in here NYC that is very cheap compared to hotel rooms and I might even use them for some overflow guests we may have this summer.

I've noticed two things that stand out.

One, the lack of amenities we put up with as liveaboards is laughable.

Two, almost all of the reviews I see for people who stay on boats are excellent. The seem like they mostly come from non-boaters who were searching by location and ended up on boats because the were cheaper/more interesting than places on shore but had a great time despite the lack of amenities.

Kinda interesting.
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Old 30-11-2014, 13:49   #12
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

hey delancey and all of you, maybe this will interest you

• Airbnb - Statistics & Facts | Statista
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Old 30-11-2014, 14:03   #13
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

If I were going to stay on a boat that was NOT going anyplace?

Why wouldn't I stay in a hostel? Better plumbing, no dinghy, no stuff to trip over...And pretty much the same lack of privacy.

From an owner's point of view...the marina won't like it, the insurer won't like it, the local authorities may already have it in for airbnb, but then again, I never wanted to be in the hospitality business.

Might be a good way to serve a niche market, offering cheap accommodations on the water during major events, i.e. when there's a sailing race series in town, and sailors are looking for a cheap bunk at a time when everyone is full up.
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Old 30-11-2014, 14:51   #14
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

Airbnb has been in the news a lot here in New York which is where we first heard about it. We have used it to find to find places for family to stay when they have come visited us here in the city as well as for ourselves when we have traveled.

It's as much a marketplace for short term rentals of vacant apartments and second homes, as it is a way for people to let rooms in their own homes, and apparently a way for some cruisers to supplement their income.

As you can see from the link provided by tomBe it is a huge business, and growing.

Hellosailor - I think you are missing the point. You aren't necessarily sharing someone's boat with them. For example, I have found two dozen listings for different boats in the Florida Keys including Key West.

Some are people who have a boat sitting in a slip in a marina. They don't live on the boat but they live nearby and keep an eye on things as needed. They also rent the boat for sometimes half of what the cheapest room you can get a hotel for.

They get to offset their expenses and wannabes like me from the frigid north get to live the life for as little as a day or as long as a desired without having to pay for a charter for a week minimum and then have to pay marina fees on top of it! I have found several listing that even include dinghies and kayaks or hobie cats for free.

Besides getting a cheap place to stay I have found interactions with hosts when we have had them to greatly enrich our experience providing us a "locals only" insight to places where we would otherwise only see the touristy side of things.

If you don't like boat plumbing, dinghies, or tripping over stuff, then, well, what are you doing here in the first place?
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Old 30-11-2014, 15:09   #15
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Re: Airbnb For Wannabes?

"If you don't like "
I didn't say me. I suggest that the larger world, the general AirBnb audience, will prefer something more. You mention using a J/24...come on, that's tent camping and I can find larger level places to sleep in a tent.
AirBnb has gotten a lot of PR in a lot of big cities, mainly as they try to shut it down or regulate it, since it often violates municipal laws for hotels (without a license) or occupancy codes or rent controls or lease terms.
All of which are the same for renting out your boat. If your marina doesn't allow liveaboards and you are using it as a hotel? Expect to lose your lease.

As I said, there may be a niche market, but I wouldn't expect a lot of traffic from the general public.

I was just reading something in a paper the other day, about some entrepreneur who bought up twelve properties to rent out via AirBnb. He figured he'd make a fortune. Well...Now he's got twelve mortgages to pay, and there have been problems preventing him from renting them all, and he's crying about twelve mortgages.

The grass always looks greener over the septic tank. AirBnb can work very well, for some people and some circumstances. But again. Who's going to pay how much to sleep on what kind of boat? By all means try it. Legally, or under the radar. Let me know how it works out.

And, whether anyone takes the boat out, clogs the head, steals it, or sinks it.

Sailors who need a berth for an event in port. Maybe. General public? Ah, not so sure.
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