Thought you knew all there was to shared boat ownership? Here's a new model which is hitting the right nerve for one marina in Texas. The newly formed 'Nautical Boat Club' offers members the boat ownership experience without having the ownership worries, and without even sharing a single boat.
Since opening at Little Elm's Cottonwood Creek Marina on the Northeast shores of Lake Lewisville three weeks ago, the Nautical Boat Club is getting a lot of attention from those looking to get into sailing.
'Came across the country club of boats and I thought this is awesome,' Eric Ransom, who traveled from Southlake to become a member, told 5NBC, 'I can call and reserve a boat anytime I want.'
The concept is that members pay a one-time joiner's fee plus a monthly membership to have open access to the club's eight boats and equipment. Club franchisee Jonathan Hargrove said that ranges across a wide range of boats, plus whatever water toys or equipment users will need or request on the lake.
'The boat is all loaded up, gassed up, ready to go,' said Hargrove.
The club also provides safety equipment and free instruction from their dock master on how to operate everything, navigate the waters, and even tie a proper knot. Hargrove says the concept has been explored in other areas but Nautical is the first to offer all of the different options included in the price along with brand-new boats that the club replaces every few years.
He said the biggest draw for many members has been the feel of boat ownership without having to actually maintain the boat or deal with storage - and there are not the limitations of having to negotiate times with other share owners.
'Get to enjoy the boating, have all the fun, get together with family and friends, but you don't have the hassle; you don't have the expense that you do with owning a boat,' said Hargrove.
The Nautical Boat Clubs franchise operates out of Austin and has locations in several other states Hargrove says the business model isn't one that will hit everyone and if you only take a few trips each year the cost of a membership probably won't pay off, but he says those who will use it regularly will find the cost about 1/3 of actually buying a new boat.
The club offers various packages including joint memberships for multiple people to share the cost. The packages start at $195 per month with a $995 joiner's fee.