I had dinner last week at a little restaurant by the marina. It was a perfect night and I was looking out at all the slips full of boats, wishing that I knew someone who would take me out on the Mississippi River for a ride.

And then I got thinking about all the other “sharing” services that are out there: Uber, Airbnb, etc. and I wondered why there isn’t a boat sharing service. If people are willing to rent out their homes to strangers, why wouldn’t they loan their boat? Or, like Uber, why isn’t there a way to know who would happily take on a passenger or two in exchange for gas money?

I think there is an unfilled niche in this area. In 2010, there were 12.5 million registered recreational boats in the U.S.*  Surely one of their owners would let me glide with them along the river in exchange for a case of beer!

Think about what role you could play in the sharing economy. Maybe you have something to loan, or perhaps you are the one who uses the services. Or maybe you are the one with this great idea that could start a whole new industry! If you figure out how to get me a ride, please let me know!

beth triplett

Source: National Marine Manufacturers Association U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics Report, 10/3/11 at http://www.nmma.org

Look at all these boats I could have been sharing!

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