SEA lovers who fancy cruising the Solent on top-of-the-range boats but don’t fancy blowing £100,000 on one can take their pick from a super fleet thanks to a new club.
A boat club, one of the only ones of its kind to feature powerboats on the Solent, has been set up by marine businessman Jonny Boys.
For a monthly fee, members of Boat Club Trafalgar, which runs from Trafalgar Wharf, get access to six boats, ranging from a 6m Ballistic rigid inflatable boat (Rib) to a Finnmaster T7. The scheme comes with training.
Jonny, from Portsmouth, said the idea was to make boating easy for people.
He said: ‘We suspected there was a gap in the market for people who want to go boating but who do not want to spend the capital on purchasing a boat and also do not want the hassle of ownership.
‘There are hassles of ownership as you have to buy a boat, have it maintained, cleaned and insured.
‘With this boat club, it’s a simple concept; it’s unlimited boating from our fleet of Ribs and powerboats for a simple monthly fee.’
He added: ‘It’s proving very popular both with people thinking about coming into boating who are not ready to make that step of buying a boat but also with people who know about boating but who want a simpler way of boating.’
Jonny has a wealth of marine industry experience.
He set up JBT Marine, which specialises in Ribs, in 1999.
He also took over Thornham Marina in Emsworth in 2004. He set up Trafalgar Wharf with an investment company in September 2008 after Vosper Thornycroft vacated the area.
Tom Sanderson, who is running the boat club from the Port Solent base, said: ‘People have busy lives. Some people just want to go out boating and want the experience, not necessarily own the product.
‘It’s also a great stepping stone for someone who does not know much about the world of boating.’
The scheme, which was launched at Southampton Boat Show, officially goes live on March 1.
There is a one-off joining fee of £4,400 and a monthly fee of between £295 and £595. For more go to boatclubtrafalgar.com or call (023) 9270 6599.