An Uber for boat rides launches in Charleston

Courtesy: Marquel Coaxum

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) — Captain David Yates wants to change the way people travel around Charleston.

Similar to how platforms like Lyft and Uber updated the way people get around town by car, Yates created “Hop on a Boat Anywhere,” which is a new online platform to help both tourists and locals.

“It’s not just a taxi service,” said Yates, a business owner from the Lowcountry. “There’s a number of different things people can do on the water — anything from taking a fishing charter or they can find a sunset cruise – waterfront dining experiences are also available.”

Boating season picks up in April, which Yates said was a prime-time to launch the app to encourage those in South Carolina to get out on the water and provide a way to boost tourism.

“As a captain, our busy charter season lasts from now until November. I wanted to fill that void in our schedule while also giving locals and tourists a new way to explore the area,” said Yates.

Yates is trying to find a successful way for guests to connect with captains in a matter of minutes. Potential customers have the ability to book tours and other activities like dolphin sighting excursions and dinner cruises.

The price range of each ride varies and is dependent on the type of boat users select, and exactly where they request pick-up and drop-off points. Booking, payment, and captain communication is all handled securely within the app.

“Instead of having to get in your car and deal with parking, they’ll drop you off downtown and you’ll have some fun wherever you end up,” said Nicole Ferroni, a first-time user of the app.

Although the company is headquartered in Charleston, it’s already opened up ports in Florida and New York.

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