A new mobile app is making waves for transportation in Charleston. HOBA – which stands for “Hop on a Boat Anywhere”– is an on-demand, location-based boating app that makes private charters easily available to anyone and aims to revolutionize the way locals, tourists, and captains ride around town. The startup calls itself the “Uber of Boating” and is now accepting early users for pre-registration.
HOBA Founder David Yates, who has 15 years of captain experience and over 40 years of fishing experience on the Charleston waters, saw the opportunity for both maximizing captains’ time out on the water and changing the way visitors and locals get around town.
“I’ve had this idea for a while now,” says Yates. “As a captain, our busy charter season lasts from April to November. I wanted to fill that void in our schedule while also giving locals and tourists a new way to explore the area.”
Unlike traditional ride-sharing apps, the HOBA experience can be customized and scheduled according to the users’ needs. Users can easily book a charter or a specific pickup and drop-off round-trip without any obligations. Booking, payment, and captain communication is all handled securely within the app.
“I want to show locals and out-of-towners alike the Charleston that I know and love. I want to take them out of the hustle and bustle of traffic and show them around the city in a different way that’s unique to Charleston,” says Yates.
Here’s how HOBA works in three easy steps to start your trip on the water:
1. Find your captain – Search for the best boat captains near you. You can filter captains based on several fields such as distance, price and reviews.
2. Confirm Trip and Pay – Add your itinerary details such as trip duration times and number of passengers, then pay with your credit card.
3. Wait for Pickup – Your captain is on his way to your pick up location. Hop on and enjoy the trip.
Traditional charters typically require boaters to commit to a 4-hour cruise with strangers and other tourists, leaving little time for other activities. With HOBA, riders can be with their friends and family on a charter for as long as they want, whether that’s getting from Point A to Point B, or spending a whole day on the water. It’s a personalized experience not readily found through other services.
The HOBA app is available on both iOS and Android. To become an early user, sign up at: hobarides.com.
Want to become a HOBA captain? It’s free and easy. You just need to have the following: Boat Registration, Captain’s License, Insurance Information and Stripe Account. New captains can sign up: HERE.