A Chat with Matt Ovenden, CEO and Founder at Boat Rental Company: Borrow a Boat Group

The Borrow A Boat Group is an international business in the boat rental and yacht charter sector, with multiple brands and a presence in more than 65 countries. We operate on a global scale, including in popular sailing destinations such as the UK, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, North America and southeast Asia.

A variety of boats are available for rental, including sailboats, motorboats, riverboats, RIBs, catamarans, gulets, superyachts and luxury yacht charters.
Yacht Charter & Boat Hire - Borrowaboat

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I launched Borrow A Boat back in 2016 when I wanted to introduce my young family to the joys of boating. As an avid boater since childhood, I was surprised to find how difficult it was to charter a catamaran in the UK – and found the boat rental and yacht charter market lacking in flexibility and options. I was also aware that buying a boat is not always a sensible option and knew a number of boat owners who complained about high costs and lack of time on the water.

I decided to set up a business to make boating more accessible and to help boat owners at the same time, thus Borrow A Boat was born.

Our unique peer-to-peer capability has enabled boat owners to offset steep overheads associated with boat ownership by lowering maintenance costs and marina fees. We are able to offer our clients a flexible, affordable, and inclusive experience on a global scale. We believe that boat hire should be as simple as booking a hotel, flight, or train.

Whether you are seeking a RIB on the South Coast of the UK for a few hours or a superyacht to cruise the Caribbean, Borrow A Boat Group offers a diverse and unique marketplace with choice.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

We have focused on new acquisitions and country launches in the last 24 months and following a series of successful crowdfunding rounds, the business has expanded into five new countries: France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US.

We have also recorded a surge in bookings throughout 2022- entering in from the US which has developed into one of our largest markets. Successful acquisitions have meant that we have also been able to diversify our offering, opening us up to an even larger global audience.

For example, the acquisition of Beds on Board has allowed us to break into the static charter market, which is ideal for those new to boating or wanting to stay in one place. Our acquisition of premium charter brokerage, HELM, has allowed us to provide a first-class service to those looking for tailored, bespoke luxury yacht charters.

What can we hope to see from Borrow A Boat Group in the future?

Following 24 months of targeted acquisitions, crowdfunding success and continued growth in revenue, the Borrow A Boat Group has experienced unparalleled success, subsequently changed the face of the industry and opened up the world of boating to an entirely new audience. We are now one of the largest yacht charter and boat marketplaces globally.

As a business, we are revolutionising the marketplace, using our tech experience to digitise the large and maturing global charter market, set to be worth $30bn annually by 2027. The next key objective is achieving a world first for a boat charter marketplace – taking the business to IPO.