Market Disrupter: US start-up PierShare is bringing the Airbnb concept to boat docks.  An empty dock at the end of his parent’s new Floridian home got city worker Jonathan Timianko thinking there had to be a smart way of making the asset pay for dock owner and boater alike…

The marine industry’s business landscape is changing rapidly as its embraces peer to peer, fractional ownership, boat clubs and countless innovative ways to reach a new generation of consumers. Joining the roll call of ‘disrupters’ is new US start-up PierShare, that is bringing the Airbnb concept to boat docks, allowing waterfront homeowners to earn substantial monthly income renting out their dock spaces.

First Ever Docking

First Ever Docking

The docked Azimut that inspired PierShare

PierShare is the brainchild of Jonathan Timianko who hit upon the idea in 2018 when taking time out from his job in the city to visit his folks in their new home in South Florida. At the end of the garden was an empty dock. “One day I watched as our cousin’s friend docked his 70ft Azimut behind our house and parked it there for a month,” Timianko told IBI. It sparked an idea, and so the PierShare concept was born. A year later and Timianko says PierShare has 130 boats are docked in various locations throughout Florida with another 1,250 signups on its books. Funded initially by friends and family, Timianko is currently working on developing customer service and the web platform that he claims is currently processing tens of thousands of dollars in transactions monthly and is profitable. “We plan to raise additional money to fund further software development and digital marketing efforts.”

Needless to say, Timianko’s ambitions extend well beyond Florida’s waters. “We are currently working on a mobile app, like Uber/Airbnb, with GPS functionality that will give dock owners and boaters all of the tools they need to park their boats safely and efficiently. Launching on iOS and Android simultaneously, it will allow boaters to dock anywhere they like, for any length of time, all the while being able to rely consistently on our standardized policies, security features, and customer support team. As we grow, we think that our solution will open up the world’s waterways to boaters in a way that’s never been done before.”

Timiankosays there are hundreds of thousands of empty docks, boat lifts, and mooring buoys around America. “Our short-term goal is to have thousands of docks listed around Florida, and after that we will target the Caribbean and other US coastal regions, and then internationally after that. Most importantly, many of the dockings on our platform are long-term in nature, so we think that if we can grow the supply large enough and convince boaters to dock with us once, as long as we have the next dock available for them, they will hop from dock to dock and stay active on our platform for as long as they own their boats.”

According to Timianko around 25% of its customers so far are from Europe. “We have two Swiss customers who are keeping their catamarans moored in North Palm Beach. They travel from Switzerland to use their boats, and then when they fly back home the mooring owner keeps a watch on their vessels from his terrace overlooking the lagoon! We’ve also had a number of other western European customers who are looking for boat storage as they hop back and forth between the Bahamas/Virgin Islands and the state of Florida.”

Profile Photo

Jonathan Timianko

PierShare is the brainchild of Jonathan Timianko who hit upon the idea in 2018

PierShare’s Jonathan Timianko:

Making it easier to search for and discover great docks

”We are the first platform that allows boaters to view and filter individual dock spaces based on the space’s precise dimensions and other amenities offered such as electricity or 24 hour access.”

Giving boaters confidence their vessel will actually fit at a given space

”When dock owners list their spaces, we give them the tools to take into account all environmental factors that determine what type of boats can dock with them.This includes the total space available, canal width, and depth of water in low-tide, as well as any fixed bridges in the surrounding area. We go way beyond simply mentioning what the length of a dock is.”

Providing boaters full transparency on space availability

”Since we process all docking transactions, we can keep track of the availability of any dock on our platform in real-time. We track the total available space at each location and whether a dock is unoccupied, partially occupied, or fully occupied. In addition we curate listings to ensure that non-responsive or troublesome dock owners are guided off the platform.”

PierShare Home Page

PierShare’s Home Page

Timianko is currently working on a mobile app with GPS functionality that will give dock owners and boaters all of the tools they need to park their boats safely and efficiently

Offering boaters a compelling alternative to marina contracts

”We have a flexible payment solution that charges boaters by the day for dockings less than one month and on a month to month basis for multi-month rentals, We also allow boaters to prorate their rental by the day for up to 30 days if needed. We charge a 10% fee on top of the listed dock rate to the boater, but they get back a ton of value in having this flexibility when they need it.”

Verifying renters and ensuring trust and safety

”We require all boaters to submit a valid payment method and their vessel insurance before visiting any dock so that dock owners have the confidence that we are only sending them great renters. We are planning additional security features such as background checks of boat owners and verification of captains/crew members as we scale.”