Here’s an appealing alternative to boat ownership, particularly if you like to enjoy the better things in life and you like to go boating in a lot of different places: The Barton & Gray Mariners Club, which offers members the use of crewed Hinckley Yachts in 25 spots on the East Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Great Lakes.
The major appeal of the club is that you can have all the advantages of owning a Hinckley without the disadvantages, primarily the costs of buying one, insurance, dockage and maintenance. And that’s before you add in the services of a professional captain, and moving your boat from one spot to the next.
Barton & Gray also is symbolic of the expanding experiential economy. Many people now want to spend their money, and their time, on new experiences, not necessarily on new things. The club provides the experience of using an iconic Hinckley yacht, but without any of the hassles and headaches of actually owning one.
The club has a fleet of some 30 Hinckleys – Picnic Boat Classics, Picnic Boat EPs, Talaria 40s (pictured above), and Talaria 44s – in 25 cities. Club members pay a $15,000 initiation fee and then sign up for one of four levels with rising levels of annual dues:
Ensign, $29,500 a year, with access to Picnic Boats in every harbor and an unlimited number of reservations (made two at a time).
Lieutenant, $39,500 a year, with access to every yacht in every harbor, an unlimited number of reservations (four at a time), and complimentary yacht upgrades.
Admiral, $59,000 a year, with access to every yacht in every harbor, an unlimited number of reservations (eight at a time), complimentary yacht upgrades, and out-of-season scheduling.
There’s also a Fleet Admiral level, but only two are issued each year.
The 25 ports include many of the most desirable cruising destinations in the United States. On the East Coast and Gulf Coast they include Boston, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Newport, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Greenwich, New York City, Annapolis, Washington, D.C., Charleston, Vero Beach, Palm Beach, Miami, Key Largo, Naples, Boca Grande and Sarasota. On the Great Lakes, Chicago and Harbor Springs (Michigan).
Barton & Gray has solid ties to Hinckley Yachts. Indeed, Sandy Spaulding, the chairman of Barton & Gray, was the president of Hinckley for eight years, during a period of rapid expansion. He is a firm believer in the appeal of non-traditional yacht ownership platforms. Read more: