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Distinguished Travel Hacker

The Best Accessory for a Boat Is a Karaoke Machine

Boatsetter founder Jaclyn Baumgarten has advice for first-timers out on the water.

Jaclyn Baumgarten co-founded Boatsetter.

Jaclyn Baumgarten co-founded Boatsetter.

Source: Boatsetter

At Bloomberg Pursuits, we love to travel. And we always want to make sure we’re doing it right. So we’re talking to globe-trotters in all of our luxury fields—food, wine, sports, cars, real estate—to learn about their high-end hacks, tips, and off-the-wall experiences. These are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.

Jaclyn Baumgarten’s happiest memories involve being out on the water. As a child, she spent summers boating in Fox Lake, Illinois, with her dad and brothers. As an adult, she’s turned boat access into a business—from little pontoons to luxury mega-yachts. The company she founded, Boatsetter, has been described as the AirBnb of boats. At the top end, customers can spend $300,000 to charter a 164-foot Mondomarine super yacht for a 10-day sail among such Greek isles as Mykonos, Paros, Santorini and Sifnos. (The ship comes with a chef and masseuse.) $1,300 will get you four hours out on the water from Miami Beach in a 45-foot crewed yacht. At the more affordable end, you can spend $150 an hour for a cruise around Chicago’s Lake Michigan in summertime. “It’s one of the best cities in the US,” Baumgarten says. “But only for a few months a year.”

She says boating can be for everyone, not just for those who own boats—a group that skews toward older men. Among her fastest-growing types of Boatsetter users are millennial women.

Baumgarten, 44, is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, now, having lived in Argentina, Córdoba and Madrid in Spain, and Berlin. She thinks more Americans need to get out of their comfort zones and spend time abroad if they can. She’s frequently on the move between South Florida and Boatsetter’s offices in Seattle and Ibiza, Spain, as well as jetting around to meet investors in her company—one of which is Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Baumgarten is a million miler on American Airlines.

“This year, they’ve even met me at the gate to help guide me when there’s been a delay. American keep leveling up their support for their top customers, and I appreciate that,” she says. “Even when I’m going to Portugal, I’ll take an American Airlines flight with a transfer in Spain and backtrack back to Portugal because I’m so loyal.”