Is It Time for Boat Swapping?

An online match-making service for boatowners interested in boat swapping, launched earlier this year at, is now claiming members from many corners of the world. The premise: To allow busy boatowners to travel in far-away spots without piling the cost of chartering on top of the cost of already owning a boat at home.

A one-year subscription costs 70 euros (about US $108). The pitch: “From Seattle to the Great Lakes of North America, from the Norwegian fjords to Geneva Lake, from Brittany to Marseille and from the Balearics to La Rochelle via the Canaries and the Caribbean, an extensive selection of destinations is made available and preliminary contacts are taking place.”

So far, most of the boatowners who have signed up appear to be in Europe, but there is a global sprinkling, including sign-ups in the U.S. Skippers who swap make their own arrangements and settle their own details. Legal advice is available, but the company makes it clear that it is the boatowner’s responsibility to verify such matters as competence, insurance, and seaworthiness before making a swap.

Posted May 19, 2008

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