The idea of fractionalizing ownership of expensive things is nothing new; timeshares have been around forever, and companies like Netjets and Flight Options let you own shares in a private jet. And while you can own a share of the 280 Alysia for about $11,000,000, that doesn't seem too practical for casual use. Enter Barton and Gray. They aim to take the hassle out of yacht ownership. Barton and Gray commodore Lyman Perry puts it best, "It has been said that the finest way to boat is to have friends with a yacht, Barton & Gray Mariners Club are your friends with yachts." More on my interview with Douglas Palmer Gray after the jump.
Though their market is somewhat limited, it would appear that the foundation has been laid for a pretty good idea. Their fleet is not huge megayachts - they have the Picnic Boat, T44 (picture below bottom), T55 from Hinckley and Wally's Power 47 and Power 70 (pictured above and below top). Ownership is available in the Northeast and (Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Greenwich, and Newport) and Florida (Palm Beach, Naples, and Stuart). But the interesting thing is that owners choose which season they'll be using their yacht - winter or summer. Obviously no one would use a 70' boat in Greenwich in the winter time, so the boat is moved to Florida where it would see more use. So there are five winter owners and five summer owners, and you get a boat for about month for 1/10th of a price.
Gray would like to see membership as enjoying the water and the experience itself:
"From and industry perspective, a yacht has always been treated as an asset, and an incredible asset for sure - but the whole point is getting out on the water. We strive to make yacht ownership an amenity and an experience, not just a asset." That's quite a goal, and one I would think some looking to get into the lifestyle should find to suit them well. Membership prices start at $125,000.
Check out the website for more info and to see the fleet.