They are usually reserved for the super-rich.

But yachting holidays could become the middle class's new normal after one British entrepreneur launched a boat-sharing business inspired by Airbnb.

The platform, aptly titled Borrow A Boat, launched at the Southampton Boat Show last weekend and currently offers 4,000 yachts to prospective sailors.

The Princess V 50: Built in 2017, it would normally cost £950,000 to buy this vessel, but - fortunately - those in Ibiza  can rent it for a mere £14,446 per week (or £2,064 per day). It boasts three cabins and sleeps six

The Princess V 50: Built in 2017, it would normally cost £950,000 to buy this vessel, but - fortunately - those in Ibiza  can rent it for a mere £14,446 per week (or £2,064 per day). It boasts three cabins and sleeps six

The Princess V 50: Built in 2017, it would normally cost £950,000 to buy this vessel, but – fortunately – those in Ibiza  can rent it for a mere £14,446 per week (or £2,064 per day). It boasts three cabins and sleeps six

The businessman and father-of-three, from Reading, launched the project, which offers one-off rentals to suit an individual’s budget and location, as the UK’s first 'pier to pier' boat platform.

For Matt, 37, the systems works in the same way as Airbnb, which has revolutionised the travel industry.

'The boating industry is facing challenges of an ageing population and trying to think of innovative ways for new blood to come through,' he says. 

'Boat ownership can be an expensive exercise and today’s Facebook and Airbnb generation tend to seek convenience and access to experiences in favour of asset ownership.'

The Bavaria Easy 9.7 Maja: Built in 2015, this is the most affordable among the collection - costing just  £70,000 to purchase, but it can be rented in Croatia for £650 per week (£93 per day). It has two cabins and sleeps six people

The Bavaria Easy 9.7 Maja: Built in 2015, this is the most affordable among the collection - costing just  £70,000 to purchase, but it can be rented in Croatia for £650 per week (£93 per day). It has two cabins and sleeps six people

The Bavaria Easy 9.7 Maja: Built in 2015, this is the most affordable among the collection – costing just £70,000 to purchase, but it can be rented in Croatia for £650 per week (£93 per day). It has two cabins and sleeps six people

Oceanis 50 Family Mississippi: Built in 2012, this boat would set you back  £235,000, but those holidaying in Croatia can hire it for just £1,656 per week (£237 per day). Has six cabins and sleeps twelve

Oceanis 50 Family Mississippi: Built in 2012, this boat would set you back  £235,000, but those holidaying in Croatia can hire it for just £1,656 per week (£237 per day). Has six cabins and sleeps twelve

Oceanis 50 Family Mississippi: Built in 2012, this boat would set you back £235,000, but those holidaying in Croatia can hire it for just £1,656 per week (£237 per day). Has six cabins and sleeps twelve

To reverse the trend Ovenden – who's previously founded three businesses, including an eco-island start-up which saw him working with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island – wanted to make the market more egalitarian.

'I’ve been boating since I was two and had always dreamed of owning a boat – but was slightly put off by the costs of buying and maintaining a boat,' he adds. 'From talking to the industry and marinas I then realised that 95 per cent of boats are only used for a couple of weeks a year by their owners.

'It occurred to me if you could bring boat owners and enthusiasts together through a peer-to-peer sharing economy platform then you could make boating accessible to more people and offset the mooring costs of keeping a boat in a marina – helping two groups of people at the same time.' 

Athena 38: Built in 2005, this boat has a price tag of  £140,000, but can be rented in Greece for £976 per-week (£139 per-day). It boasts four cabins and sleeps eight people

Athena 38: Built in 2005, this boat has a price tag of  £140,000, but can be rented in Greece for £976 per-week (£139 per-day). It boasts four cabins and sleeps eight people

Athena 38: Built in 2005, this boat has a price tag of £140,000, but can be rented in Greece for £976 per-week (£139 per-day). It boasts four cabins and sleeps eight people

Casablanca: Built in 2016, this water baby isn't actually up for sale - but you can still set sail in Croatia for £36,000 per-week (or £5,143 per-day). It has a whopping 19 cabins and sleeps 38 people

Casablanca: Built in 2016, this water baby isn't actually up for sale - but you can still set sail in Croatia for £36,000 per-week (or £5,143 per-day). It has a whopping 19 cabins and sleeps 38 people

Casablanca: Built in 2016, this water baby isn't actually up for sale – but you can still set sail in Croatia for £36,000 per-week (or £5,143 per-day). It has a whopping 19 cabins and sleeps 38 people

Lagoon 620 Marlena: Built in 2015, this impressive vessel retails for £1,600,000, but can be set adrift over French waters for £18,252 per-week (or £2,607 per-day). It has eight bedrooms and sleeps 12

Lagoon 620 Marlena: Built in 2015, this impressive vessel retails for £1,600,000, but can be set adrift over French waters for £18,252 per-week (or £2,607 per-day). It has eight bedrooms and sleeps 12

Lagoon 620 Marlena: Built in 2015, this impressive vessel retails for £1,600,000, but can be set adrift over French waters for £18,252 per-week (or £2,607 per-day). It has eight bedrooms and sleeps 12

Since conceiving the idea at the start of the year and trialling it, Borrow A Boat has grown and now offers 4,000 boating choices for enthusiasts – from small motorboats to luxury £1million-plus yachts, many of which can be seen and explored by boat lovers at this year’s TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show, which opened on Friday 15 September. 

By the end of 2017 Ovenden aims to have over 20,000 boats on the site making Borrow A Boat Britain’s leading boat charter website and the only one offering boat owners the chance to offset ownership costs through peer-to-peer charter. 

Ovenden says: 'Our aim is to keep Britain boating and show people you can get on the water for less, pretty much anywhere. We want to see more families and kids getting out on the water and enjoying boating – not just around the Med, but around the UK too. 

'It’s important if we want to continue our fantastic boating heritage as a nation to be innovative and creative and find new ways for families to get their children into the pastime.' 

Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 Chris Eden: Built 2008, this boat would cost £209,000 to buy, but can be rented in the Seychelles for £1,530 per-week ( or £219 per-day). It has four bedrooms and sleeps eight

Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 Chris Eden: Built 2008, this boat would cost £209,000 to buy, but can be rented in the Seychelles for £1,530 per-week ( or £219 per-day). It has four bedrooms and sleeps eight

Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 Chris Eden: Built 2008, this boat would cost £209,000 to buy, but can be rented in the Seychelles for £1,530 per-week ( or £219 per-day). It has four bedrooms and sleeps eight

Dufour 34 Bibi: Built in 2005, you'll need £150,000 to make it your own, but why bother when you can sail it around Croatia for just £693 per-week (or £99 per-day). It has three bedrooms and sleeps six people

Dufour 34 Bibi: Built in 2005, you'll need £150,000 to make it your own, but why bother when you can sail it around Croatia for just £693 per-week (or £99 per-day). It has three bedrooms and sleeps six people

Dufour 34 Bibi: Built in 2005, you'll need £150,000 to make it your own, but why bother when you can sail it around Croatia for just £693 per-week (or £99 per-day). It has three bedrooms and sleeps six people

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