It’s all smooth sailing as this startup offers affordable solutions for those looking to experience NC’s many lakes.
If you chose the boat life but the boat life didn’t choose you (read: Owning a boat is a little out of your price range), there’s a local solution that can ensure some quality time on the water before summer’s over. Like an Uber for the lake, startup boating peer-to-peer rideshare marketplace Lake Hop makes boating both affordable and accessible.
Founded by boat enthusiast DJ Boggs in 2021, Lake Hop connects consumers wanting to get out on the water to local private boat owners, eliminating traditional liabilities associated with renting or operating boats since boat owners act only as designated drivers. Knot a bad deal, right?
“Lake Hop is about making memories,” says Boggs. “Some of my favorite childhood memories were going up to the lake. So I think the camaraderie of friends and family and the memories made—those lake memories are memories that are never forgotten.” And you know what they say, a bad day at the lake is better than a good day at the office (!).
While the cost of maintaining a boat ranges from around $5,000 to $8,000 a year—NTM the average gas price of $4 in NC this summer—renting a boat through Lake Hop costs about $20 to $900 an hour. Lake Hop boat owners (the service has recruited more than 300 on lakes in NC to date!) also offer fun experiences like watersports lessons or exclusive fishing excursions on lakes throughout the state—think Lake Norman, Lake Hickory, Falls Lake, Lake Wylie and more.
“Growing up, my parents didn’t have the financial wealth to be able to go and buy an expensive wake boat,” says Boggs. “I’d say there’s a financial barrier for middle- to lower-income people to really ‘lake like a local’ because they don’t have the financial means to buy a boat. Our goal was really to break that financial entry barrier, so now folks can experience the lakes in all different ways.” Sounds like an experience worth seas-ing.