Island Boat Club up and running
The Island Boat Club is making waves with two new boats in the water, and the opening of membership for those who want to enjoy a boating lifestyle without the expense and hassle of owning and maintaining their own vessel.
As an added incentive, the club is waiving its annual fee for the remainder of this year.
Its first two boats, Axopar T-Tops, are now in the water and ready to go. The membership programme has received approval to begin operations, and is accepting applications.
Jack Bridges, founder of the Island Boat Club, said: “We are thrilled to finally be able to get our first members out on the water. Our initial launch announcement received an overwhelming response and many have waited patiently for us to begin operations.”
He added: “A huge thank you must be said to the BEDC for their great support. In particular Chris Maybury has been instrumental in ensuring our success as a new venture.”
Mr Bridges said that due to the late start, the club is waiving annual membership dues for the remainder of the year. Anyone that joins will only need to pay the lifetime initiation fee for use of the boats during the remainder of 2020.
He told The Royal Gazette: “Because we are starting late and we want to reward everybody’s patience. And coming into the winter season we have great boating weather, we want to start on a good foot and in good faith, and will take away the dues for the rest of the year. It’s over $4,000 in savings.”
Membership is limited in order to control boat demand. Anyone interested in joining the club is encouraged to send an e-mail to secure a spot.
Members are not limited to how much use of the boats they can have, although there will be restrictions on how many open reservations a member is allowed at any one time.
Mr Bridges said: “We are keeping the ratio down to 8:1 to ensure equitable value for everybody.”
He said the club had hit on that ratio after researching other membership clubs around the world and finding that they averaged about 12 members per boat.
He said: “We wanted to offer something just a little bit more exclusive.”
Members will have unlimited access to the boats, designed for Bermuda’s waters, without the hassle of maintenance, upkeep, insurance, mooring fees, cleaning and repairs — or the initial large outlay for purchasing a boat; the Island Boat Club team handles all that.
Club members will receive complimentary comprehensive training to ensure they are confident on the water.
There is a central pick-up location for the boats, and concierge services for catering, ice and water sports gear can be arranged in advance.
Mr Bridges said: “We want to make the process of owning a boat seamless and stress-free for our members. With many still hesitant about travelling, the boat club provides the freedom to make the most of our island home from the water.
“There is still lots of summer sun to be had, and we anticipate that members will continue to take the boats out after work for happy hour and dinner cruises into the fall and winter months, leading into whale-watching season in the spring. It truly is a year-round activity.”
He said the club will replace its boats every four years.
Potential members can go for a sea trial to test the boats and get a feel for the membership programme.
Weekday members pay an initiation fee of $9,500 and annual dues of $8,000, while premium members pay an initiation fee of $15,000 and annual dues of $12,500. The annual dues have been waived for the remainder of this year.