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Global boat rental platform

Building the world’s biggest peer-to-peer boat rental platform with over 34,000 boats

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Skipper My Boat is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent boats to boat owners, charter operators and captains. Users can browse, compare and book boats. For boat owners, it’s the easiest way to monetise their expensive assets.Skipper My Boat is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent boats to boat owners, charter operators and captains. Users can browse, compare and book boats. For boat owners, it’s the easiest way to monetise their expensive assets.


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Yachts, boats, superyachts and catamarans


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Annual visitors to the website


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Holidaymakers, captains, owners and crew

Our Solution

After successfully launching an MVP, we took the time to split up the project into three dedicated code bases. After building the multi-purpose API, a great deal of time was spent focusing on UX and SEO to keep users engaged on the platform.

Building the leading site in React.js meant we could also quickly release mobile apps in React Native. A key component of development was the ability to quickly adapt to the market demand, resulting in a number of unique features and marketing campaigns that could be deployed in under a week.

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“The Airbnb of boats” - NewsWatch reviewed the platform, showcasing the ease of use on the modern platform to easily book and set sail around 140+ countries with simple add-on extras available for the convenience of the holiday maker.

We worked with SkipperMyBoat to build a solution that heavily focuses on technology to change the fragmented $51 billion boat charter industry and make rentals easy and online.

Users can browse and compare boats based on location, price, number of people, type of activity they want to do and user experiences, with a heavy focus on usability the platform also supports social sign in, multiple payment options, wishlists, multi-user bookings and more tools to bring the guests and hosts together.

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SkipperMyBoat user interface design illustration

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SEO Marketing website

Attracting holidaymakers, boat owners, captains and crew onto one platform is no easy feat. We spent many hours building a range of landing pages and highly converting funnels to onboard all four areas of people that are needed to make the platform work.

We combined organic traffic, PPC ad campaigns, and referral marketing to help maintain consistent 10% month-on-month growth over a 12-month window. Our team ran specific campaigns around US holidays where engagement and bookings were the easiest.

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Streamlined checkout system

Using Braintree payments and Stripe to support Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, credit and debit cards and utilising PayPal Credit to offer interest-free payments for all our users in different countries.

Our team later added the ability to pay half now and half one month before the booking. Plus, alongside at checkout, we added split payments by everyone in the booking to increase checkout conversion by 18%.

A much-requested feature that we launched was add-ons system for per-day and per-trip extras so customers could book experiences like scuba diving, massages and fine dining alongside hire crew to make every yacht excursion magical.

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Secure booking platform

We were keen to ensure every type of user could accept one platform for consistency and to ensure every person shared the same excellent quality. Our oAuth 2 JWT login system ensured sessions were protected and encrypted.

Hosts and guests could communicate together through our web socket internal messaging system. To help improve the host process, we streamlined the calendar and booking views, allowing hosts to manage multiple boats all on one page.

iOS and Android app

We used React Native with web views that were authenticated behind the scenes to load in react.js pages, which saved 35% on development time when launching the mobile apps. Our bookings and messaging system used a centralised push notification server to ensure a user logged into web, Apple and Android could receive the same reliable notification standard.

By setting up an iOS app we increased customer retention at around an additional 22%. This was based on research which showed the user agent the majority of our high-paying customers used was running on the safari-iphone UA when loading our website.

Geolocating assets that move

Building a search system with a few filters with start and end dates is relatively simple. Adding in more options from different datasets and quick loading times can get a bit more complicated. The real challenge how our locations aren’t fixed. The boats can be in different locations on different days, and location schedules can change regularly.

Using MongoDB, we built a three-dimensional relationship between the boat, the boat locations per day and the search terms they enter; we can use a MongoDB geospatial to return results. To maximise availability and bookings we let hosts set their boats to be available in multiple locations in the future, then let the host move the boat depending on what is booked first - this increased bookings with a 3-month plus lead time by 24%.

Business Consultancy

We ensured Skipper My Boat secured £320,000 in funding by assisting them in building a proof-of-concept for potential investors to complement their pitch deck and our market research.

Once the runway was assigned, we established good process management and best practices like organisational, security, and internal communication systems. We also wrote significant amounts of API and business documentation to ensure the company scaled with future hires and gave a clear strategy for moving forward.

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