A Bored Ape Ethereum NFT Owner is Launching a Real-World Yacht Club
The Bored Ape Yacht Club offers plenty of disinterested-looking Apes—10,000 of them, to be exact, in NFT form—but a suspicious lack of boating opportunities. Now, one Bored Ape NFT holder (and yacht owner) plans to change that with the launch of a decentralized yachting club.
The Bored Yachts Club hopes to create a decentralized, NFT-gated yachting platform that lets members rent real vessels all over the world, with proceeds going to charity. The initiative will begin with "Lady Amanda," the single yacht of club creator Jad Comair, but the goal is to bring in more yacht owners over time while letting them direct funds to causes of their choice.
Comair is the founder and CEO of Melanion Capital, a French investment firm that launched a Bitcoin-themed ETF focused on crypto industry companies in 2021. He told Decrypt that he personally began investing in the leading cryptocurrency much earlier, in 2014.
“Thanks to Bitcoin, I was able to buy my first yacht,” he said.
An NFT is a blockchain token used to represent ownership in an item, and digital goods like Bored Ape-style profile pictures, digital artwork, and collectibles have proliferated over the last couple of years. The market yielded $25 billion in trading volume in 2021 alone, and the Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the industry’s biggest successes to date.
As an art collector, Comair gravitated towards NFTs and said he found affinity with the celebrity-packed Bored Ape Yacht Club as a form of digital identity—along with the potential business opportunities.
Yuga Labs gives Bored Ape NFT holders broad license to use their owned artwork to create derivative works and projects of all sorts. Others have used their Apes to create things like apparel, toys, food and marijuana packaging, and even themed fast food restaurants. Comair opted to fashion his Ape into the fictional captain and mascot of a real yacht.
He hopes that the Ape (#634), which he refers to as John Blackeye, will help entice NFT fans to buy into his Bored Yachts Club, which will hold an NFT drop later this year (most likely on Ethereum). Each of the 8,200 NFT passes—which will span three different levels of benefits—will offer access to a platform that serves up rentable yachts.
There’s no official tie between the Bored Yachts Club and Yuga Labs, and participants won’t need to own a real Bored Ape NFT to buy and use one of these NFT membership passes. The ideal of a decentralized platform for yacht rentals predates his Ape ownership, Comair told Decrypt, but the vibe fits and the thematic pairing proved serendipitous.
“The community’s name is Bored Ape Yacht Club,” he said. “In my opinion, there were some yachts missing.”
"Lady Amanda," Comair’s 30-meter-long vessel, is packed with water toys and sails the Mediterranean. Members of the upcoming NFT club will be able to bid on rental windows, with all proceeds going to a charity of the yacht owner’s choice—or they can have the community choose how to direct the funds to causes.
Comair’s hope is that the platform will attract additional yacht owners from all around the world, which he said can help fulfill the dual purpose of letting them fill up empty charter windows (when the boat is not being rented) while also supporting charities in the process.
“It's amazing how much emptiness you have in this whole industry,” he said of the yacht rental business. “The idea is to fill this gap—you have empty boats and people who do not have access to these boats.”
He says he has grander ambitions around the Bored Yachts Club. He hopes that it can raise the profile of yachting, for example, and possibly bring “disruptive technologies” into the industry. “We don’t have the Tesla of yachting,” he added.
Furthermore, given that boats can operate in international waters outside of land-based jurisdictions, Comair sees the Bored Yachts Club as a potential stepping stone to a “crypto city” of sorts tied to a marina. We’ve seen such crypto city plans play out elsewhere to varying degrees, but Comair’s vision has a nautical twist to it.
In the short term, at least, the idea is to launch a real Bored Ape-themed, NFT-gated yacht club. A YachtCoin token is planned to follow, and between potential token price increases and NFT pass royalties, he believes that there’s possible profit for yacht owners and brokers alike—in addition to the charitable element.
“Instead of a metaverse at the end,” Comair explained, “you have a ‘yachtverse,’ where basically you enjoy yachting instead of video games.”