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Other ways to get on the water
Boat clubs are a great way to get your feet wet and decide which type of boat is best for you. Boat clubs own a fleet of boats which members can reserve and use. Members sign-on for a term of use and, during that time, get unlimited access to a variety of boats. Reservations are typically made online but some clubs also have reservationists who handle requests as well. The boat club maintains, cleans, insures and stores the boats and also provides classroom and on-water training. Most boat clubs mainly have powerboats and a few sailboats (members are typically responsible for their own fuel).
Boat clubs are similar to fractional ownership programs with a few subtle differences. Boat clubs offer their members a choice of what boat they would like to rent, whereas fractional ownership programs assign members to one boat (like a timeshare). Also, members of boat clubs pay monthly dues, however, fractional ownership programs are usually an annual fee.
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Fractional Ownership and Partnering
Fractional ownership programs give you flexibility while still allowing you consistent time on the water. Members of these programs usually pay an annual membership fee and have to schedule time on their boats when they want to get out on the water. Once a time is scheduled, the member heads to the marina to enjoy time aboard their vessel. When the scheduled time on the boat is complete, the boat is returned to the dock and prepared by employees of the ownership program for the next member. All the benefits of owning a boat without most of the responsibilities. No slip fees, insurance or maintenance costs.
The fractional company typically provides new boats and handles most of the upkeep (such as fueling, pump-out, insurance, etc.), allowing members to focus on learning the ropes and enjoying the boating lifestyle. Members often get the added benefit of lessons, flotillas and additional crew, if needed.
Fractional ownership programs are similar to boat clubs with a few subtle differences. Boat clubs offer their members a choice of what boat they would like to rent, whereas fractional ownership programs assign members to one boat (like a timeshare). Also, members of boat clubs pay monthly dues, however, fractional ownership programs are usually an annual fee.
Renting is a great way to get your feet wet and compare boat types and models before deciding to buy. Most boat rentals are by the hour, half-day or full day. Available boat models will vary by operation and rental fleets tend toward basic models. Boat rental operators will give you a tutorial on how to operate the boat, safety instructions and an overview on the waterway you’ll be boating. Be sure to check your local laws to ensure that you have the proper education or license before renting.
Paddlesports include canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Extremely popular with easy on-water access combined with added fitness benefits, there’s ample opportunity to climb aboard a kayak or SUP through rentals, classes and more.
Take the helm with confidence! Whether you're new to boating or an experienced skipper, one of the best ways to make boating even more fun is to sharpen your boat handling skills. There are a wide variety of class options are available - from online courses to practical on-the-water workshops.
Want to explore new waters in Canada and abroad? Chartering a boat provides that opportunity and offers options for level of service, size of the boat and duration. Want to do it yourself? A bareboat charter includes the boat and rest is up to you for a day, week or more. Want to have a captain and crew? A crewed charter includes the boat, professional captain or crew, supplies and provisions typically for multiple days. Looking for a guided tour? A full-service charter includes the boat, crew and supplies, for a half-day, full-day or more, for a fishing, diving or touring excursion.
You don’t need to own a boat to join a boat club. Members have access to the boat club’s fleet of boats and can reserve them online. The boat club maintains, cleans, insures and stores the boats and many also provide on-water training. Members are typically responsible for their own fuel. The boat club takes care of docking, maintenance and everything else, plus most offer extensive boater education programs.
Experienced boater? Rent someone else’s boat for a convenient way of getting on the water. New-to-boating? Rent someone else’s boat with a captain. Boat owner? Rent your boat and earn income. Companies are popping up across Canada offering boats from kayaks to yachts for rent and including safeguards like insurance and the ability to decide who rents your boat.
Looking to go in on a boat with friends, family or even strangers? It’s a great way to get on the water and share the cost. The first rule of thumb for this type of co-op is to have a conversation about, and put in writing, partnership details and operating rules. It’s also important to consider how to effectively and efficiently manage the usage and maintenance schedule to keep things balanced.