Boat ride service aims to start by summer at Lake of the Ozarks

Published: Feb. 16, 2017 at 5:17 PM CST
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You could call it Uber-on-the water. The founder of Anchor hopes to have it up and running by this summer at Lake of the Ozarks.

Zach Hatraf wants to provide safer alternatives for folks having fun at the lake.

"Ten years ago, my best friend actually died here at the Lake of the Ozarks in a drunken boating accident. And that inspired my first business, which is called Who's Your Captain, and it's still in operation today. This is sort of the next evolution of that business," said Hatraf.

He says Anchor will use an app that's still under development to connect operators with boats and customers. They're taking driver sign-ups now, and have 60 in just one week.

"I would encourage anybody who is an experienced boat operator to apply to be a driver, and anybody who has a boat that they would like to make money off of, to also sign up on the platform as well," said Hatraf.

The app will have a rating system for customers to rate their pilots or boat operators, and, although they won't have to be Coast Guard certified, he says they'll be working to make sure they're safe.

"We're going to be offering some extended training to those people to make sure that everybody's staying sharp," said Hatraf.

Hatraf says an Anchor ride will likely be more expensive than those on-land ride services because expenses like fuel are higher. He estimates it will be about $20 to $30 per person for a ride.

"A stat that I heard was 80 percent of people come to the Lake of the Ozarks and don't even get on the water at all. I know, during my vacation, I want to be on the water as much as possible. It's very fun, it's a great experience. As long as it's affordable and convenient, why not," said Hatraf.

Hatraf hopes to have the Anchor apps ready and available on smart phones by May. He hopes to soon take the platform to other lakes across the country.

The owner of Lake of the Ozarks Water Taxi says he welcomes the competition. His business has U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains and boats meet commercial regulations. He believes customers will appreciate their level of experience.

Hatraff says other businesses, like taxi or charter services, are also welcome to sign up and use the Anchor platform.

Learn more about Anchor at the link to the right.