What: Boatsetter connects boat owners with people who want to rent watercraft, and sometimes, the crew to sail it. 

Expected pay: Owners set boat rental rates; approximately $50 per hour for captains

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: 20-35% (including insurance) or 10%, if you already have a commercial liability policy. (The site also charges fees to renters)

Where: 2,100 waterways worldwide

Requirements: A boat for rent; or appropriate certifications and experience to work as a captain; smart phone

Boatsetter Review:

Boatsetter provides an online marketplace where you can connect with people wanting to rent your watercraft or hire you as a boat captain. Boat owners pay a 20-35% fee on each rental, provided that they take the site’s commercial insurance policy. The insurance is underwritten by Geico Marine and the price varies based on the boat. Boats with commercial Insurance or a Charter Insurance Policy pay less — a 10% fee per rental. 

Boatsetter also charges processing fees on any additional payments processed on behalf of the owner or renter. This includes fuel, damage/security deposit payments, or other miscellaneous charges. The current processing fee is 3% + $0.15 per charge. 

The site holds a minimum of $500 per rental as a security deposit, but owners can ask for a higher deposit. (It’s worth noting that Boatsetter’s insurance policy now has a $7,500 deductible, so if you have a fancy craft, you might want a deposit that covers the deductible.) If there’s a claim, the renter’s security deposit will be captured to pay the insurance deductible, damages, and fees. 

If a boat owner cancels a customer reservation — or fail to show up or have the boat in acceptable condition — Boatsetter has the right to impose a $100 fine.

Captain the ship

This site also offers the ability to sign up as a boat captain, assuming you have the appropriate credentials. Boatsetter says boat owners determine how much captains earn. However, the site publishes a captain pay-out schedule, ranging from $50 to $100 an hour, based on the length of the boat. 

Captains pay no fees to the site, so you get 100% of the hourly pay that was promised. However, to get jobs, a boat owner needs to hire you — or designate you as a favorite captain for people who rent a particular boat. You can, however, also search for opportunities near your location on the Boatsetter platform and assign yourself as an eligible captain to any and all available boats.  If boat owners are U.S. Coast Guard licensed, they can also captain their own boats for charters.


Even though Boatsetter charges somewhat higher commissions to boat owners than competitor GetMyBoat, there is no money due until and unless you rent out your boat. If you want to get the maximum number of rentals, we’d recommend signing up with both sites. This also appears to be a good place to sign up as a captain. 

Updated 7/14/2022

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