A new boat club aimed at non-boat owners looking to give boating a try without forking out for a new boat is being launched by Trafalgar Wharf
Boat Club Trafalgar is based at Portsmouth Harbour and hopes to attract would-be boaters from as far away as London.
Billed as the ultimate in convenience, it’s probably the easiest way to get on the water without the hassle of owning your own boat.
A monthly subscription will allow those who lack the resources or will to buy their own boat the chance to simply book, turn up on their chosen day, collect the keys and take off.
“There are lots of people who don’t want the hassle and upfront cost of owning their own boat – they simply wouldn’t get full use out of it,” said Boat Club Trafalgar MD, Jonny Boys. “We’re offering something that will appeal to boaters that want zero hassle and maximum flexibility.”
“Members get unlimited use of a fleet of brand new premium boats all powered by Yamaha engines. They can zoom over to Cowes in a Jeanneau Cap Camarat 7.5 or treat clients to a day out in a Ballistic 6.5 RIB. They can take their friends and family out for a birthday treat on a Jeanneau Merry Fisher and have a romantic overnighter the following week on our Finnmaster Pilot 7,” he said.
Boat clubs are big in the US where people describe them as a country club on water. “It’s easy to understand the appeal when you take into account the normal ownership routine.
“Our members know that our team do all the work – that includes storing, cleaning, fuelling, maintenance and taking care of insurance. Club membership is about having a great experience and making the most of your leisure time,” said Jonny.
“Using the 24hr smart phone app members can instantly check availability. You can book up to four boats at any one time so you can easily plan ahead. It’s zero hassle, maximum joy.”
Boat Club Trafalgar membership is not much more than the annual cost of storing your own boat and there are other significant benefits too.
“As well as the fleet, you’ll also get all of the tuition you need, including RYA Level II Powerboat training as part of the membership. Even if you have never been on a boat before, we’ll get you handling one with confidence and skill,” he said.
“We’ve got a great location at Trafalgar Wharf, which is ideal for the Solent. We’ve got great boats. We’ve also got a great team that look after members’ wishes.
Boat Club Trafalgar builds on the success of The Drystack and offers the ultimate turn-up and go service.
“It’s a simple concept and not a shared ownership scheme,” said Trafalgar Wharf’s Derek Adams. “On leaving they simply drop the keys off and we will do the rest.”
“Obviously, the above involves a considerable capital investment on our part, but we simply love boats and boaters,” he said.
Tom Sanderson, Sales Director at Ballistic is overseeing the running of the club.
“So many people nowadays don’t want to own high-value assets; most people hire their cars etc. but this is not a hire, it is a club.
“The whole thing is funded by Trafalgar Wharf. We own the site, we’ve got the boats. That, and our proximity to London, make the boat club a no-brainer,” said Tom.
“Boats are Portsmouth Harbour-inspected and you can operate them within the limits of The Solent for half a day or even a full weekend session, staying on the boat in Cowes or wherever,” he added.
Membership involves a joining fee of £4,400 and monthly fees between £250 and £495.
Trafalgar Wharf is about to extend its “all indoor” shoreside Drystack facility from its present capacity of 207 boat slots to 307 to meet demand.