Platform Boat

Boatsetter's Slow Sail Into The Sharing Economy -

Two-party marketplaces are complicated, and three-party marketplace are so complicated as to be almost unheard of. And yet, that is exactly what Florida-based Boatsetter has built: a platform to connect boat owners, charter firms and renters together to build better boating experiences.

With a fleet of about 10,000 vessels on offer — ranging for 19 feet to 150 feet — the platform is growing fast, according to Jaclyn Baumgarten, CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based Boatsetter, which has seen its revenue increase five-fold over the last year alone.

The service is often referred to as “Airbnb for boats,” as it has a very similar sharing feel about. Those who want to rent a boat can chose from nearby supply. But the service also makes boaters rent a captain — either one attached to the boat itself, or a separate captain of their choice.

Safety is the firm’s calling card: apart from offering maritime professionals along with boat rentals, Boatsetter also offers $1 million in liability coverage, $2 million in boat damage coverage, plus additional umbrella coverage to make renters feel safe.

Moreover, she noted, Boatsetter taps a hole that naturally exists in the marketplace by pairing underused boats with people who want to sail them.

And, when it comes to boat ownership, underuse is the rule rather than the exception. Most boat owners rarely use their extremely expensive toys. According to The Economist, a French yacht slips its moorings on average for just 10 days a year. America’s 12 million recreational boats get slightly more time at sea, about two weeks a year.

But boat expenses are ongoing. If boat owners finance their vessels, there are loan payments. And even if someone owns a yacht outright, mooring fees, storage costs, maintenance and upkeep can pile up quickly. On the low end — think small sailboat — costs can run at around $4,300 a year ($358 a month). At the high-end, a $10 million super-yacht will cost an owner millions of dollars a year to own and operate.

While owning a boat is expensive at any end of the market, not owning a boat is also expensive for those who have active maritime interests — charters are short, and they are expensive.

What Boatsetter offers is savings to both sides. The typical boat owner on the marketplace, according Boatsetter, isn’t looking to profit on boat ownership so much as simply hoping to defer the ongoing parade of costs that go into owning a boat — meaning Boatsetter can often make a more cost-effective offering than a traditional charter offering.

Moreover, the firm takes a cut from all parts of the transaction — 28 percent of the rental fee from the owner, 10 percent of the captain’s fee and a 7.5 percent booking fee to the renter are all paid to the platform — which creates an easy easy way to book and manage payments across the platform, without it having to hold any inventory of its own.

The challenge in sharing boats, is that it is different from sharing something like a home via Airbnb. Put simply, it is not easy to accidentally destroy a home or apartment. A boat, on the other hand, can be crashed or badly damaged merely because someone is insufficiently experienced at the helm.

One incentive that helps overcome that is money, of course. Though owners don’t necessarily enter the Boatsetter marketplace looking to turn a profit, many in fact do, particularly if they own a powerboat, the most popular model on the platform. One of Boatsetter’s top users in Miami netted over $150,000 in about a year with a 27-foot powerboat, according to Baumgarten.

But Boatsetter has also avoided some of the problems others that have tried to enter this market have faced, by taking a very risk-averse approach to boat sharing. The firm insures boats for owners, a cost the renter ultimately pays as part of the standard contract. And to rent a boat, the renter must be pre-approved by the insurance...


MoneyGram Shares Slammed On Revenue Slide Amid Compliance Efforts -

MoneyGram shares sank as much as 25 percent during intraday trading on Friday (November 9), as the company reported results that reflected the impact of new compliance rules to stop fraudulent transactions, which has hurt top line momentum — and which will continue.

And, as previously reported, the company has disclosed that it has agreed to pay $125 million as part of settlements with the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department tied to fraud allegations.

Taken together, the announcements hint at a regulatory landscape that is already resulting in headwinds, though management stated on the earnings call with analysts that longer term the company is undergoing a restructuring that should help stabilize and normalize results.

In terms of results , MoneyGram posted total revenues of $347 million, down almost 13 percent year on year and missing the Street by $31.4 million.

Money transfer revenues were $304 million, a figure the company said in its earnings release was down 14 percent on a constant currency basis. Bill payment revenues were $17.4 million in the quarter, down from $20.3 million last year.

Digital efforts, said management, continue to gain steam, and were a relative bright spot in the quarter, with gaining 3 percent to account for 16 percent of money-transfer revenue.

In reference to digital transformation initiatives previously announced, the company incurred $1.2 million of expenses in the third quarter and has incurred $14 million for the year. The company expects to spend an additional $2.5 million to $5.5 million over the life of the program. “This program reflects the alignment of the organization with the delivery of new digital touch-points for customers and agents, and the optimization of the company’s global network,” said MoneyGram in its statement. The company expects efficiencies that will result in $30 million of expense reductions in 2018 and, upon completion, $45 million on an annualized basis.

Compliance Efforts, Continued

The compliance efforts have led to significant volume reductions, said the company, as certain corridors were affected and where in some parts of Asia, business declined by 79 percent, while in Africa, that impact was 51 percent. CEO Alexander Holmes told conference call participants that the impact to the top line came amid “deliberate decisions to stop doing business with certain customers in certain corridors.” New revenue streams, said the firm, were not enough to offset the volume disruptions seen elsewhere and thus the end result was “a net negative.”

And amid those decisions, said management, MoneyGram is viewing those actions as “kind of a reset” — and the deferred prosecution agreement disclosed on Thursday (November 8) means that additional oversight and compliance enhancements will be underway.

To get a sense of those new efforts, MoneyGram said in separate SEC filings that there will be “enhanced due diligence” where agents deemed high risk or operating in a high-risk area will be subject to higher level scrutiny. As noted in the filing, “If the total combined monetary value of [monthly values tied to actual or alleged fraud] exceeded five percent of the total monetary value of money transfers paid by that agent location for each of the three preceding months, MoneyGram will suspend the agent location’s ability to conduct further money transfers pending a review to determine whether the agent location can continue operating.”

In additional detail, in response to questions about “dormant” agents, management stated on the call that examination of certain locations is leading to an examination of how to rationalize those operations.

Holmes and CFO Larry Angelilli said on the call that the competitive landscape is also changing a bit as peers in the industry are taking down their pricing in regions such as Asia and Africa. Those...


Man drowns after boat capsizes in the Flathead River - WENY-TV

By Don Fisher - KPAX News

Click here for updates on this story

KALISPELL ( Mark R Thorsell ) -- A 79-year-old Columbia Falls man is dead after drowning in the Flathead River.

The call came in around 12 p.m. on Tuesday, for a report of a small aluminum boat capsizing just north of the Pressentine Bar Fishing Access Site.

Many units responded to the scene including Flathead County Sheriff’s deputies, Flathead Search and Rescue, Evergreen Fire and Two Bear Air Rescue.

The boat and two individuals were located by Two Bear Air less than a mile north of the access site.

One person was able to make it to shore, while a paramedic was dropped into the water and attempted to revive the other one but those efforts were not successful.

That victim has been identified as Michael Allen. The other person was hypothermic but uninjured and was treated by Columbia Falls Ambulance personnel.

The cause of this accident remains under investigation.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Mark R Thorsell


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