Apr 28, 2022 - Things to Do

Get out on the lake this summer with the "Airbnb for boats"

boats on lake Minnetonka.

Boaters on Lake Minnetonka. Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Want to spend a day boating on Lake Minnetonka this summer? There's an app for that.

What's happening: GetMyBoat, a boat rental company described as an "Airbnb for boats," lets owners rent out their watercraft β€” including Jet Skis, kayaks and paddleboards β€” in roughly 9,400 locations around the world.

Zoom in: In the Twin Cities, the site offers about 30 rentals, which are primarily concentrated around Lake Minnetonka. Prices range from $75-$400 an hour before fees, with capacity as high as 16 guests.

  • Under Minnesota law, you don't need a license to operate a boat if you're over 18. Though some owners offer to provide captains for inexperienced boaters.

Of note: Boat owners who want to list their vessel should make sure they're up to code and covered by insurance.

  • Owners don't need to register their watercraft as commercial vehicles, but the state must inspect the vessels before they can be rented out, Joe Albert, of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, tells Axios.
  • GetMyBoat also doesn't offer rental insurance for owners or renters.

What they're saying: It can be a lucrative deal. Edward Freeman, who also runs Captain Ron's Boat Rentals in Minnetonka, tells Axios half his business comes from GetMyBoat.

  • He makes about $15,000 a month during peak season renting three boats through the app.

What's next: If you're planning your summer outing, book sooner rather than later. Freeman says boats fill up months in advance.

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