women's history month

Amplifying the Voices of Women Owners: This Is Amal

Written by Boatsetter Team
March 8, 2024

In 2021 the US Census Bureau reported a spike in women-owned businesses from 6,861 to 1.1 million between 2017 and 2018. In an effort to continue this trend and, in celebration of Women’s History Month, we asked Boatsetter Owner Amal Salameh to share her experience in running her chartering company based in New York City.  Luckily, she said yes. We’ve enjoyed talking to her and hope her story inspires you.

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Q. What inspired you to get involved in the boat rental and charter industry?

Amal: The options were dirty old boats and you had to have real big bucks to get on a boat. This is NYC, the center of the universe by some measures, people deserve to have options.

Q. Can you share a memorable experience or story from your time in the industry?

Amal: One of my favorites is about a family. Brothers raised by grandma. One of the boys was wheelchair bound and although grandma lived only 20 miles away from the Statue of Liberty, she’d never visited. The other boy, the one planning the trip, shared with me that he wanted to give them an experience they never had before. 

Well, the day of the boat trip came and it was a rainy day. But, we were determined to make it happen. Asked the captain, they said it was safe to sail. We put the enclosures on the yacht and off we went. We, as in I went with them and I’m so glad I did because just as we got to Lady Liberty grandma shrieked with excitement. It was contagious. We danced, hugged, sang, and celebrated life. 

Q. How do you see the future of the boat rental and charter industry, especially in terms of female representation and leadership? 

Amal: I believe it will only grow and get better. The biggest challenge I see is getting people to know there are women-owned charters and this is one way to support women-lead businesses. I started  a consulting program I hope to bring to the industry soon.

It’s so hard to know where to begin from, what vessel to buy, hiring the right crew, marketing, partnering, accounting and more. It can be overwhelming and can take years to sort out so much. I would love to be able to help other women skip the nonsense I dealt with. 

There’s still resistance to this change. Two of the three brokers I purchased my vessels from were a disaster to deal with and there were a lot of problems from not addressing me as the sole purchaser. We still have a way to go, but with more women-owned charters, we will force an industry to not only say they want to treat us differently, but make it so they do.

Q. What advice would you give to other women looking to enter the boat rental and charter industry?

Amal: Do it! Seek advice from other women as they will have experiences and tips from a different perspective.  Start small but do everything right. DO NOT cut corners on anything.  Insurance, coast guard required safety, etc.  Above all else- remember that your customers are the ones that are important, and their experiences matter from start to end.

Q. What would you say is your secret recipe for success? 

Amal: Care. I take care of my yachts. I care for my crew. I care for the people chartering and make sure they get everything they want out of their day on my boats. I greet my guests when they arrive and depart. 

Q. So, what’s next for you? Any new projects? 

Amal: I have been working on a program for kids in the area. I grew up across the river in Jersey City looking at the water. Never had much and never knew there was any opportunity in the maritime industry, never even knew what that was.  I am partnering with a few people in the industry to have some fun educational programs. I am hoping to give kids from every background the opportunity to learn and dream.

Women-owned boat rentals & charters

women-owned businesses

Get to know more about Amal by reading another conversation we had in the summer of 2022. Or, by visiting her boat profile.  Amal will be running 10% off promo during the month of March.

Find women-owned charter companies and private boat owners on Boatsetter

women's history month

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Boatsetter is the go-to app for boat rentals and on-water experiences. Whatever the adventure, we’ve got a boat for that—Set sail, start the party, go yachting, make your trophy catch, and hone your watersports skills! Download the Boatsetter app (App Store | Google Play). Make sure to follow @boatsetter on Instagram, and tag us in all your boat day pictures for the chance to be featured.

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