Welcome to the ‘Airbnb for Everything’ Age


In the sublet economy, you can turn anything into extra cash: your house, your car, your boat, or your backyard.

Jaclyn Baumgarten grew up sailing on Lake Michigan. Her happiest memories take place on boats with her family, carefree on the open water; as adults, her older brothers both purchased boats so they could extend their nautical adventures. So when they each called one week to separately complain about the expensive upkeep on boats they barely used, Baumgarten set out to solve the problem.

Baumgarten turned her brothers’ headaches into Boatsetter, “the Airbnb for boats.” Boat owners can list their vessels on the platform, and people who want a day on the water can rent one for a few hundred dollars. The platform handles the peer-to-peer insurance and offers a network of captains who, for a fee, can take out groups without any sailing experience.

Boatsetter is among a growing number of startups forging new rental marketplaces for luxuries like boats, extra bedrooms, or backyard space. Call it the sublet economy. Everything you own can become an source of extra income, and everything you want to rent can be leased from a friendly stranger.

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