Why is Coboaters a paid service?
Updated: May 12
A few people have asked us why Coboaters is a paid service. In this post, we provide answers to the most frequently asked questions on this subject.
An online business is a lot of work, and expenses
You may have heard the following at your local yacht club…
“ A website costs at least $1000 to make!”
“Well if you go to this or that platform, it’ll only cost you ten bucks.”
“Don’t pay for a developer team to make you a website! My 12-year-old nephew’s a computer wiz, he can set you up and it’ll only cost you a pack of Twizzlers.”
And son on, and so forth…
Many people are still under the impression that the internet couldn’t possibly host a proper business, much less support an actual livelihood. That may have been the case back in the 90s. Things have changed. There are more than 130,000 employees working for Google, and more than 50,000 for Facebook. The internet means jobs, and many of them.
A user-friendly and efficient website requires requires a lot of work from web developers, highly qualified and experienced IT engineers. And thenof course, there’s maintenance. This is a lot of work, and this is work that deserves to be paid fairly.
At CoBoaters.com, the number of Club members is not yet large enough to support the cost of a full-time developer team. We currently outsource this task to a development agency. Every year, we update the site to keep things running as smoothly as possible, so that it is always more efficient as you search for your boating opportunities and crewmates.
Advertising can’t make enough money to support CoBoaters.com
Facebook and Google do make money from online ads. But what these two sites have in common is that they’re used by billions of users every year, and they exploit their users’ data to target what to advertise to each and every one of them. That is how these massive online companies guarantee income. Since we couldn’t fund our co-boating online service through advertising, we opted for having the user pay for the service directly. After devising our pricing strategy for club membership, we have reached a rate that allows us to remain more affordable by far than most of our competition, and still cover our expenses.
And after all, users are probably sick of seeing advertisements everywhere they turn. We sure are! This is why we’ve opted for a paid membership to our Coboaters website rather than having advertisements everywhere.
So what are we paying for?
Our job is to help you find the right crew or boating opportunity so you can live your boating life to the fullest.
If you do not own a boat, we will introduce you to boat owners and skippers. it will be easy to find a crew. If you do have one, we will connect you with friendly, available and motivated teammates to sail. It will be easy to find a boat. And that’s just the beginning. (Want to find out more about membership benefits? Check out this post!)
So what is our actual job? To keep the website working efficiently and guarantee a simple and pleasant user experience. It is to do everything we can for you to be successful on CoBoaters and find everything you need to embark on your next adventure.
On a daily basis, we therefore work on:
Designing and testing new features
Optimizing Notices posted by members to increase their visibility
Updating members through newsletters and blog posts about the latest news
Advertising our business in the media and attending nautical events. We want to stay close to our community and strive to always stay in touch!
Members support: we regularly post written and video tutorials for both new and seasoned co-boaters. We also respond to each individual request by phone or email as soon as we can.
Why a subscription/membership rather than just paying per feature or per event?
Being part of an online community and renting a boat for a single event just isn’t the same thing, and so it goes for membership and payment for our service. We chose this business model while other businesses such as AirBnB opted for a commission model. There are several reasons for this.
The first is that we don't have as many customers as older, larger companies such as AirBnB, whose offers also reach a much broader audience. There are fewer boaters than people looking to rent a place to stay. Additionally, it’s important to note that boat owners don’t make crew members pay for climbing aboard their boat. We can’t get a commission on zero dollars!
And most importantly, our philosophy is also very much the opposite of this kind of company – we want to help people connect and build a community through the love for a shared hobby, not provide some users with income and others with a service. It is rare for AirBnB homeowners to have repeat customers. The whole point of CoBoaters is to share boating experiences, to help boaters make new friends, help crews team up and have fun together.
Will I really find crewmates or boating opportunities on Coboaters.com?
Coboaters aims to offer a variety of boating opportunities – from fishing trips to transatlantic and racing, whether you prefer the ocean or lakes, you are sure to find the find a boating opportunity that is right for you.
With members from all across North America and our ever-growing community, you’re also bound to find other boaters whose personalities, skills and boating goals match yours!
If not – which we highly doubt – you can always take a break or suspend your membership.
But we sure are excited to welcome you in our online sailing network – so why not give us a chance, connect and climb aboard?
See you very soon on Coboaters.com!