Vanity Fair - Ship Ahoy

Vanity Fair – Ship Ahoy

Vanity Fair Feature

In the past, anyone who hadn’t already chartered a yacht for the remainder of the summer by this stage in the season wouldn’t have stood a chance of finding their dream vessel. But the arrival of a range of smartphone apps is making it easier not only to charter at the last minute, but also to find the ideal boat in the ideal place at the ideal price, right down to the length, make, passenger capacity, range-and even your preferred onboard toys.

One of the latest is Ahoy Club, which was recently set-up by Australian entrepreneur Ian Malouf, founder of the Dial a Dump rubbish clearance service (but don’t let that put you off). Ahoy Club claims to make it possible to secure  a booking (including Malouf’s own yacht Mischief; below) in less than three minutes, after which it produces an  instant, digital contract between owner and client and takes a 25 per cent  deposit by credit card, with owners  paying seven per cent for the service.

A similar site has also been launched by Yotha.com, while the Borrow a Boat app lists thousands of sail and motor boats for rent at popular worldwide sailing hubs from Antigua to Lithuania costing from as little as £77 per day to around £50,000. Anything for a tenner if we bring our own bailer?