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Skipperi makes boating available to more people: “A shared boat is a smart boat”

With Skipperi, you can either rent a boat conveniently from the owner or get to be a skipper whenever you want, with a monthly fee. Anna-Leena Raji, one of the founders of Skipperi, says the service makes sure that boats are not left sitting in the harbour and no one who wants to go boating needs to buy one.

Image: Petteri Tuukkanen, Berry Creative

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“We originally started this to solve a problem of our own. Because we had children and were also otherwise busy, we could no longer go boating very often. We wanted to make owning a boat more sensible for us. A boat costs and needs work on it even if you do not have time to use it more than once or twice during the season.

In 2016, we tried to rent out our boat in the traditional way for the first time. The following year, we launched an online platform for peer-to-peer boat rental.

When owners rent a boat out to others, they are able to cover the costs of the boat, take better care of it and thus extend its service life. Skipperi takes care of the marketing. We also provide advice and help with matters such as insurance.

We found out very soon that there was also a great demand for renting a boat for a day. For example, people wanted to enjoy the evening sun on the waves after work. For the boating season in 2019, we launched the service that is currently known as Skipperi Fleet: with a monthly fee, you can use up to hundreds of boats.

During the 2021 boating season, one or both of our services have been available in Finland, in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo and Copenhagen, and in Auckland in New Zealand.

I find the service very egalitarian as large one-time investments are no longer needed and there is no need to worry about the maintenance, storage or anything else related to owning a boat. At best, shared use of boats also reduces the need to keep on manufacturing more and more new boats. With our training, anyone can become a boater. An important part of our ethos is to get women behind the steering wheel.

Our services also serve as a sharing platform that improves the efficient use of resources in another way: there is no room for an endless number of boats by the sea and in the archipelago. It also makes no sense to have boats taking up berths if they are used only very rarely. Our service makes experiences available to many. This may be why our co-operation with cities has worked so well. The cities have understood that a shared boat is a smart boat.

The biggest challenges are with legislation. In some countries, the legislation governing the rental of boats is old and inflexible.

I am surprised about the community that has formed around Skipperi and how actively the users of Skipperi have been sharing their tips and experiences with one another.”

Lauri, who uses Skipperi to rent out his boats, is part of that community of boaters: “Before Skipperi, renting out a boat of your own would have been difficult. Now you can conveniently make your boat available for renting through this service. The service provides good visibility to those interested in renting. Of course, it feels strange to let people you do not know use your boat in the beginning, as it is quite valuable. Fortunately, the service has been built to safeguard the property of the person renting out the boat.”

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The most interesting companies in the circular economy in Finland 2.1

The most interesting companies in the circular economy is a list compiled by Sitra to showcase Finland’s most inspiring examples of the circular economy. Sitra is using the list as a way to challenge Finnish companies to meet the changing needs of the world.

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