The need to save money, alongside the increased popularity of a collaborative economy, the desire to meet new people, and a growing awareness of environmentally sustainable consumption habits, are some of the factors that led a Murcian entrepreneur, supported by UCAM's Institute of Technology (ITM), to launch "Barcoamigo.com", the first website platform in Europe to share boats at low cost.
Through Barcoamigo.com and its online reservation system, it is now possible to contact private boat owners, people interested in practicing leisure or sporting activity, a boat ride or simply a displacement to another Spanish coast, the Balearic or Canary Islands, or elsewhere in the peninsula. In this way, users accept to share fuel costs incurred by the journey, as is already being done by other collaborative platforms such as Airbnb, Blablacar or Comparko, among others.
As a service based on transparency and trust between users, the brand uses different sources to complete navigators’ profiles, combining opinions and ratings from other users and information about their activity on the platform.
The founder, Pedro Sánchez, begun the initiative a year and a half ago because “I couldn’t afford the fuel costs of my boat anymore”. After receiving the support, mentoring and relevant training in collaborative business models, he started the adventure of creating this platform of intermediation through UCAM’s ITM. Today, he combines this business with his job as a Physical Education teacher at UCAM, together with a group of students and graduates from the institution.
During its first weeks of “life”, up to 100 users signed up to benefit from the platform and different “Barcoamigos” (the name given to these types of agreements), went out for a sail.
Next Saturday 4th of July at 8 p.m., an inaugural event will take place at the Terraza del Club Náutico of Lo Pagán (San Pedro del Pinatar). This event will be attended by different personalities from the world of entrepreneurship and navigation as well as representatives from the professional sector and authorities of the local area.