The Nautical Boat Club now has five locations that allow members to have a boat-ownership experience without the cost of maintaining their own vessels.
The Nautical Boat Club, a franchising venture based in Austin, Texas with locations in Austin, Nashville, Tenn., Columbia, S.C. and Prescott, Wis., recently opened its newest “boat country club” operation at the Cottonwood Creek Marina in Little Elm, Texas, reported NBC 5 of Dallas-Fort Worth.
The concept offers members a boat ownership experience without the cost of maintaining their own crafts, NBC 5 reported. Membership packages start at $195 per month with a $995 joiner’s fee, and joint memberships are offered to allow multiple people to share the cost. Members then get open access to the club’s boats and equipment.
Since opening in Little Elm, NBC 5 reported, the Nautical Boat Club concept has been getting a lot of attention from people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area who were look for a more economical way to get into boating.
“I thought this is awesome,” Eric Ransom, a new member from Southlake, Texas. “I can call and reserve a boat anytime I want.”
At Little Elm, franchise owner Jonathan Hargrove told NBC 5, a fleet of eight boats are available to members, ranging from a large party pontoon with a waterslide to smaller wake-boarding 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 a dock master on how to operate everything, navigate the waters, and even tie a proper knot.
The concept has been explored on a smaller scale at some rental companies in the area, Hargrove told NBC 5. But Nautical Boat Club 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, Hargrove said. ”You 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,” he said.
Hargrove says the business model isn’t one that will hit everyone and If a member takes only take a few trips to the lake each year the cost of a membership probably won’t pay off, Hargrove noted. But people who make regular use of their membership will find the cost to be about one-third of what they’d incur by buying a new boat, he said.