New Seattle Service Connects Boaters With Slips

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A frustration of cruising beyond one’s backyard is finding a place to park for a night or two or, perhaps, for a couple of months.

Seattle-area boaters have created a new web business called Moorage Market they believe will solve that problem for many boaters.

Simply, Moorage Market works as a broker that brings boat and slip owners together, provides reservations for a single night or long-term moorage and assures secure payment. After some trial runs, the business went to work in earnest last August.

Moorage Market accepts moorage listings and posts them on its website as written by the owners and without charge. Interested boaters may seek more information from the moorage owner and Moorage Market. In effect, boater and dock owner may “size up” each other before making a commitment.

Moorage fees are paid through Moorage Market by credit card. A transaction fee of 6 to 9 percent is charged on the rental of privately owned moorages – which can range from traditional floating docks to mooring buoys or space on land.

John Martin, a veteran sailor who has circumnavigated and worked as a captain on large charter yachts, developed the business plan. He acknowledges that plenty or spaces are advertised for lease, but no one put a package together that provides promotion, completion of reservations and payment.

“The market is fragmented,” he said. “We have created one central marketplace that brings it all together.”

Currently, the firm’s site has about 100 listings, many in the southeast where boating is a year-around event.

Sarah Holmberg, also a boater who handles marketing and communications, said Moorage Market – despite its short time in business – has been a successful match maker.