Looking for input on a buisness venture I am considering

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Handsome Transom, Dec 1, 2019.

Would you rent an e bike at a port you are visiting

  1. Would not use

    4 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. People who want that option prefer to own it

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  3. Would use it for a day

    16 vote(s)
    66.7%
  4. Would rent one for an extended time 3 days to a week

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    554
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    Being in a premier boating destination I am considering an idea to purchase a small fleet of e bikes as rentals . I can serve at least 6 local marinas within 10 miles. Two of those are municipal. I can make delivery of the bikes on a prearranged date to any of them which would keep my fleet size smaller and avoid having bikes sitting at any one of them not making money. I will likely only stock the folding models so that folks can bring them on board for the duration of their time cruising I the area and have ready transport when they are at a port.
    Would anyone rent them?
    Would enough people rent them to make it viable?
    What price point would be acceptable and make it an attractive option for people.
    Looking for honest responses from the community to guage interest and viability
    Thanks in advance
    Dave
     
  2. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    I might rent it once to determine if it was a viable solution. If I found it useful, I would then likely go out and buy one for myself. In that sense you would effectively be renting out a test drive. Obviously I don't speak for others, but I'm betting there are others who would be a one-hit pony as well.
     
    stephens013 and Handsome Transom like this.
  3. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Knowing where you are I would say not viable. Not enough transient boaters to make it worthwhile. Short season.
     
    Handsome Transom likes this.
  4. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I would rent them for 15 bucks a day or maybe 50 bucks a week. I think it’s a cool idea
     
  5. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    554
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    At that price it would not be viable , i was thinking 150 per week or 45 a day so pretty far apart there, they cost similar to a kevlar canoe and you wont find one of those for 15 bucks a day anywhere
     
  6. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    I've thought a good bit about transportation when making trips. My wife has a disability that significantly limits her ability to walk distances. But, she can ride a bike. A regular bike is hard now but we got her an ebike that lets her keep up with the rest of us.

    Taking a couple or 4 bikes on our boat would be difficult. Especially the full size ebike because it's heavy. If we could go somewhere and have a set of bikes ready that would enable her to get around I'd be in, and it would encourage me to go to that place.

    Price - I don't know. But there's a use case for you.
     
    Handsome Transom likes this.
  7. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    CT
    2019 Maritimo M64
    Volvo D13-1000
    The e-bike and e-scooter market seems to be dominated by Lime, Tier, Uber, etc. their model is to offer dockless, one way rentals for pennies per minute. They have huge fleets in cities that allow it, and users rely on there being a bike available wherever, whenever they want one.

    Your model might work, but I can’t see entering this market unless you can saturate it enough to get economies of scale that make it work. Or, if you already own a shop that sells and services these bikes, you could buy at wholesale and service at cost.

    Not a business I would start, but I have rented e-scooters a handful of times in cities in the US and Europe. I’m a fan of the current rent (almost) anywhere and drop off (almost) anywhere model.
     
    techmitch likes this.
  8. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    I'd probably rent one but for our use we are only in a port for a day or maybe two. It would be a nice option instead of walking to the stores to get provisions.

    I don't know about the economies of the deal. $45 per day sounds a bit on the high side but perhaps you could offer a deal of some sort on renting two for a day.

    The problem when the daily charges get too high you'd be running up against Uber or Lyft.

    If you undertake this venture, my best to you. I like to see entrepreneurs succeed when they stick their neck out.
     
  9. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    I'd probably rent one but for our use we are only in a port for a day or maybe two. It would be a nice option instead of walking to the stores to get provisions.

    I don't know about the economies of the deal. $45 per day sounds a bit on the high side but perhaps you could offer a deal of some sort on renting two for a day.

    The problem when the daily charges get too high you'd be running up against Uber or Lyft.

    If you undertake this venture, my best to you. I like to see entrepreneurs succeed when they stick their neck out.
     
  10. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    720
    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    Take a look at Divvy bikes. https://www.divvybikes.com/

    You could keep a few racks around town. Don't limit to just transients. Open up as big of a market you can.
     
    Handsome Transom likes this.
  11. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    737
    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    My wife and I are boating now while we still have all of our faculties. I wouldn't want to lose them whilst riding an electric scooter. No hate, just self preservation.

    Jaybeaux
     
  12. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    2018 Back Cove 34
    Cummins QSB 6.7 480
    Scooters, no. Bikes, yes.
     
  13. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    554
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    There are mo such rentals here now , uber et al because there us not the population to support it , the cities and towns here around southern Georgian bay are population 20000 and less . So no worries about the big guys any time soon
     
  14. ziekman@cox.net

    ziekman@cox.net Active Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Old Saybrook, CT
    2012 45 Yacht
    D6 Volvo Penta IPS
    I think it’s a great idea, and I’d rent 2 for multiple days. You also might want to consider non-e bikes, too. That way you’ve got an option for the renter. We have a couple of businesses we use when in Greenport and Watch Hill. They drop off at the marina we’re visiting and then pickup when we’re done using the bikes. In other ports, we have goto bike/rental shops we use.
     
    Handsome Transom likes this.
  15. ENstig8or

    ENstig8or Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    125
    Jun 4, 2013
    New Jersey
    2003 Sea Ray 450 Express Bridge.....

    2016 Sea Ray 21 SPX BR
    Cummins 480CE (450)
    Mercruiser 4.3L (21 SPX)
    One of the problems being, at that price point, one could go to Walmart and buy a cruiser bike cheaper than 150 and throw it away at the end of the week if they were so inclined and still save money. Not trying to rain on your parade, but the price point won't work. IMHO
     
  16. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Different part of the world - but just a comparison of pricing.

    Was at a marina the other day.

    2 options:
    Free bikes (they were kind of older, single speeds)
    Upgrade to a newish nicer bike, $15 a day
     
  17. Henry Boyd

    Henry Boyd Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 24, 2007
    Newburyport, on the peaceful and serene Merrimack
    ‘09 Sabre 38 Hardtop Express “Serenity”
    Volvo D6 w/IPS450 Pods
    Don't be worried, you are right. When I was waiting for my transplant my doctors referred to motorcycles as organ generators. Since the crush velocity of the human noggin is something like 15 mph, helmetless bike riders are in the same category.

    And that's the segue to HT. How are you going to ensure users are using helmets? I'm not sure about the tort climate in Canada, but would recommend you make sure you have mountains of both liability insurance, as well as litigation coverage (for costs of defending baseless legal action) since you can't prevent stupid.

    H
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    Jaybeaux likes this.
  18. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    554
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    It is not as bad here for baseless claims a d I would definetly make helmet use a requisite as part if the contract. It is the law here for e bikes , there will also be a waiver to exclude all claims arising because of injury and a legal insurance policy for my protection,
     
  19. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    554
    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    It us not a Walmart bike I will be renting but a fat tire electric assist so I don't see that as comparable.
     
  20. Boat Guy

    Boat Guy Well-Known Member

    My thoughts...

    Marinas should provide a low-cost / free solution for transportation. Most of the ones I've traveled to have a loaner car or bikes.

    From a business perspective, it seems like a lot of potential headaches with little upside....Repairs / flat tires / rust / theft / I would think most things would have to go very right to make money. How many do you think you could rent a day? 10? 5? 40?
     

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