The rental of pleasure boats continues to grow in Europe

● The pace of sales of boats destined for charter is very positive, so it is expected a record this year.
● The European charter sector consists mostly of microenterprises, although one third of the fleet is concentrated in medium and large shipowners.
● In the Mediterranean, sailboats of 10 to 16 meters predominate for rent. Also relevant are the number of catamarans from 12 to 14 meters and houseboats in interior areas of France, Holland and Germany.
● The quality perceived by customers after rents continues to rise, as internet searches continue to increase on boats for rent.
● Nautal has continued to record large growth rates, which has led it to open two new customer acquisition areas: Russia and Brazil.

Nautal, the leading online platform for rental of pleasure boats in Spain and one of the most important nautical charter marketplaces in Europe, has published its annual report with the data of the sector corresponding to the 2019 season, and based on its activity. Unlike last year, in which Nautal’s report focused on Spain, the analysis of these first nine months of 2019 focuses on Europe.

According to the report, the sale of new vessels to charter companies has continued to increase. Only in Spain, according to data published by ANEN, the National Association of Nautical Companies, “the rental market is still positive and registers a growth of registrations for charter (January-September) of 2.6% with 1,479 registrations against to 1,441 registered in the same period of 2018 ”.

According to Nautal’s experience, European shipowners are committed to maintaining current fleets mainly because they report higher reserve ratios, competitive prices, less need to apply discounts and better occupancy rates. So much so that in its platform, the percentage of the fleet that is less than 5 years old remains at 35% compared to last year; and since 2017, the year in which they conducted the first study in Europe, Nautal has increased the number of ships from 22,000 to more than 30,000.

Percentage of the types of vessels that have grown the most have been catamarans, boats and semi-rigid boats, with increases of over 50%.

Croatia is the country that offers more boats for rent, Spain is in third position

On the Nautal platform, Croatia is the country with the most boats for rent, to date it has about 4,300 published boats. Greece is in second place, and is followed by Spain, France and Italy.

In relation to the types of boats for rent, 40% of those offered in Nautal are sailboats from 12 to 14 meters in length. Although in each country the fleets have their particularities. In Spain the boats have the same representation as the sailboats. Greece and Croatia have a higher concentration of catamarans than the other countries, and in general, they have a uniform distribution among the different classes of boats. In the case of Germany, houseboats dominate, which are also very relevant in the Netherlands and to a lesser extent in the interior areas of France. In Turkey, the charter sector is led by gulets, boats that can have up to 10 cabins.

Spain continues to be the main destination of interest for sailing in Europe

With the Balearic Islands as the destination where more searches are registered. It is pertinent to note that according to their statistics, in Nautal they perceive a greater concentration of rentals by destination than by origin of navigators. Spain is the chosen destination in 41% of its sales. Followed by Italy and Greece with 10% each country.

While from the perspective of the origin of the client, 28% of its customers are Spanish, 8 points less than the previous year. Although this reduction is not due to a drop in sales, but to a very strong increase in customer reserves in other countries. 22% of its clients have German as their main language, 17% English and 14% French.

As growth is estimated to continue, in Nautal recently two new domains have been opened: and to meet the demands of these large markets.

A growing market, dominated by small businesses and good experiences

As in the previous Nautal study on charter in Spain in 2018, within Europe the activity is dominated by small companies, each of which has between one and five vessels.

In Nautal, only 92 companies, which account for 2% of the total, have more than 40 boats for rent each, but in turn they manage 35% of the charter fleet.

Regarding the size of the market, internet searches on boats for rent registered a growth of 16% compared to last year. Likewise, there has been an increase in the anticipation of the reservation, obtaining more rentals between April and May at the cost of the percentage of reserves in July and August. While the time in which most of his clients prefer to sail is summer.

In 2019, according to the surveys carried out after navigation, the level of customer satisfaction of Nautal is increasing. All the analyzed categories, «Boat Status», «Cleaning», «Comfort», «Owner’s attention and» Value for money «get an outstanding note.

Customer evaluations by shipowners also score more than eight, and in only 2% of evaluations the shipowner says he does not want to have that client again.

For Nautal it is very important that customers have a satisfactory experience. They also recognize that this does not end at the time of booking, but includes navigation and check out. For this reason, on the Nautal website, ships that have better ratings increase their positions and visibility, and consequently, obtain more rentals through the platform.