Restrictions mean little exposure for .boat and .yachts.
Publishing company Dominion Enterprises launched the .boats and .yachts top level domain names last week.
Odds are you didn’t hear about the launch. The reason is simple: these are restricted domain names.
You must have a tie to the marine world in order to register a .boats or .yachts domain name. Registrations are held until this connection can be verified.
Domain name registrars hate this kind of verification. As a result, only four domain name registrars currently offer these two domain names, according to the domains.boats site.
Is this a bad business decision for Dominion? Maybe, but you need to consider its business to understand why it took this approach.
The company owns a number of marine publications, including Boats.com. Locking up .Boats may have been somewhat defensive.
This also allows the company to sell domains as an add-on service to the people who list boats and yachts for sale on its sites, including YachtWorld.com and BoatTrader.com.
It could still do this if the domains weren’t restricted, but I suspect it’s trying to control the domain’s usage as much as possible.
If the goal is to treat the domains as a profit center, then the company should have gone with a more open model, perhaps with a high starting price and premium pricing for the better domains. If it’s merely to protect and improve its brands in the marine space, then its closed approach might be justified.