Fancy a holiday on the water? You need to know about the leading platform that links boat owners to wannabe sailors.

Ever noticed how many boats just sit in a harbour for most of the year? French entrepreneurs Edouard Gorioux and Jérémy Bismuth did and acted on it by launching a site to help boat owners rent out their boats. In turn, this helps renters to go sailing at a lesser cost than otherwise available.

In 2013, Edouard and Jérémy launched their boat rental start-up Click&Boat; the platform that has since become European leader in private yacht charter and bareboat rental with more than 22,000 boats in 26 countries. Click&Boat allows owners to safely and intelligently cushion their boat expenses by renting it to other individuals. In 2017, the "Airbnb of the seas" opens its platform up to professional renters and aims to become the world reference for boat rental.

‘During our 4 years, we’ve came across tens of thousands of individuals, all facing a wide variety of needs; types and sizes of boats, "sporty, “day tour," or "cruise" to the ability to travel autonomously or be accompanied; for half a day or several weeks…’ Says Edouard. ‘Our partners recognize that this knowledge of the diversity of the expectations of amateurs sailors constitutes a major asset. It is with this experience that we are evolving to become the reference model of a site for online boat rental.’ Here Edouard looks back at his business journey, the challenges behind starting afresh and the sites that he relies on.

I came up with the idea when… I was on holiday with Jeremy on the French coast in August 2013. Over the course of our trip, we saw a huge number of boats were just sitting in the dock. We also knew that there are lots of people who would love to be out on the water (but may not have their own boat) and we immediately saw a solution. We decided to create Click&Boat, the first platform to connect boat owners and boat renters. We now connect more than 22,000 boat owners to 200,000 sailors all around the world.

The biggest challenge was to… convince the first boat owners to trust us and join us. In the beginning, nobody knew Click&Boat and of course you wouldn’t trust just anyone with your precious boat. Now, after more than 45, 000 rental agreements carried out and more than 40,000 customer reviews available on the platform, Click&Boat is a trusted and reputable platform for boat owners and renters.

The average day is spent… No day is the same! Boat rental is very seasonal so a day during the winter is completely different to a day during the high season where we will have more than 500 rentals being carried out in one day.

The team consists of….many different skill sets and nationalities because of our strong international development. Our team of more than 40 includes developers, customer service, marketing and those in communication from all nationalities including French, German, Italian, Spanish, British, Croatian, Polish.

My favourite quote… “If the plan doesn't work change the plan but never the goal.” It’s even written on our wall of our houseboat, it’s really important for the team spirit.

I am where I am today because of… my passion for sailing, lots of work and a little bit of luck!

I am who I am because of.... each test we have had to cross to get to where we are today. I am convinced that trials and challenges strengthen character and make us stronger for the better.

The best advice I've been given… to follow your own road.

In five years I’d like to be… to be present throughout the entire world and to continue to open up Click&Boat to new countries. We are currently preparing our launch in Poland.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online… Never forget that the satisfaction and the enjoyment of the client is THE heart of the business, whether your company is online or offline. This is what drives every element of our business.

The websites I most frequently use are… to check the volume of visits for a website, (to check ranking positions on google and Click&Boat obviously.

What apps do you use to be more productive… We use Slack to exchange between collaborators on all types of subjects and projects. We have channels that cover all subjects, from the most fun (Like Thursday Squash) to the more serious topics. We also use Trello as a way to track our projects and to move forward and achieve our goals together.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date is… seeing our great customer testimonials flood in. Knowing that we are helping people to discover the world of sailing, and hearing about the fun they had doing it, is the most rewarding part of the job.

February 2018