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

Expected pay: $100 + per half-day for your boat; approximately $40 per hour for captains

Husl$core: $$$

Commissions & fees: 35% (including insurance) or 15%, 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, like GetMyBoat, 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 35% fee on each rental, provided that they take the site’s commercial insurance policy (which is underwritten by Geico Marine). Boats with Commercial Insurance or a Charter Insurance Policy pay less — a 15% fee per rental. Still, this fee is considerably higher than the fees charged to boat owners at GetMyBoat, which accounts for Boatsetter’s lower Husl$core.

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 2.7% + $0.55 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 has a $1,000 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

Although the site says it provides job opportunities for boat captains, the details are scarce. Links to information about captain pay and whether the captain would owe a commission to the site led to error pages. By fiddling with the booking option, it appears that captains cost renters a bit more than $40 per hour. However, it’s unclear how much of that goes back to the site vs. the captain. For now, GetMyBoat appears to be the better option for owners, instructors and captains.