If you want to try your hand at sailing or just spend more time out on the water, you might assume that you only have two options: buy a boat or hire a boat. But that’s not the case; there is the third choice which is to join a boat membership club. Of course, you might still want to buy a new boat because sole ownership can come with many advantages. However, joining a boat membership club (or boat share club) is actually a better idea for the vast majority of people who want to go sailing. Here’s why:
You get the boat you want, whenever you want it
One of the great advantages of a boat share club over hiring a boat from one individual is that you are able to choose from a whole fleet of potential boats to use. Rather than having to rely on that one boat being available when you want to hire it out, boat share clubs have a huge selection of vessels available to choose from whenever you need them.
Equally if you are thinking of purchasing one for yourself, a boat share might actually be a better option. Unless you’ve got the money to buy your own fleet, having a single boat limits what you can do and where you can go to the kind of boat you have bought. Being part of a membership club gives you access to a great variety for all of your boating needs.
It’s completely flexible
Aside from the aforementioned flexibility afforded by the number of boats on offer whenever you want them, boat share club memberships can also be tailored to your specific requirements. Clubs will typically have a range of membership options. Starting with a simple training membership which offers boating instruction with a view to getting a qualification, you can then progress onto full membership.
When you can skipper your own boat you can upgrade your membership to allow you to make use of boats either in one location or across the country. Alternatively if you’re already a proficient sailor you can sign up to a standard membership and get sailing straight away. It is usually also possible to take out a joint membership if there is someone who would benefit from being able to use boat share facilities.
It’s great value for money
Buying a boat is a massive personal expense especially if you’re more of a casual sailor, and that’s before you even begin to think about the costs of maintaining and repairing it. While hiring could look like a good option financially, it is actually exceptionally expensive for what you get and does not usually offer good value for money.
On the other hand, the monthly membership fee of a boat share club offers a highly attractive and affordable way to enjoy fantastic boating experiences. With access to a range of boats at all times of year, it’s like having your own personal fleet for a fraction of the cost.
It will save you time
A boat share allows you spend more time actually out on the water enjoying yourself rather than having to deal with any of the frustrations of ownership or chartering. You can simply book the boat you want and the time you need it and then just show up to find the boat in perfect sailing condition.
You can get training if you need it
Whether you are looking to gain a boating qualification or you just need a bit of a refresher, boat share clubs are more than happy to provide training. Generally you’ll need to have sailing qualifications to take a boat out, so if you don’t have yours yet you can start off on a training membership and then work towards getting qualified.
Even if it’s just some advice you need, one of the great advantages of being a part of a club is you can talk to fellow members who will be happy to point you in the right direction.