Ten years ago, Tim Barton and Doug Gray, two experienced boaters and longtime friends, launched Barton & Gray Mariners Club out of two harbors on Nantucket.
The premise of the club was – and remains – a simple one: to provide all of the perks and pleasures of the boating lifestyle without the hassles or responsibilities that come with owning or operating a boat.
“We wanted to deliver the best part of boating,” says Barton, who grew up sailing Optimists on Long Island Sound. “Having a captain on board means our members don’t need to have any prior boating experience.”
The club currently operates out of 17 ports along the East Coast and northern Caribbean, moving its fleet of more than a dozen Hinckleys between 10 northeastern harbors (from Boston to New York City) in late spring and throughout the summer, and seven harbors in Florida and the Bahamas from mid-fall to early spring.
Three tiers of membership exist, ranging in price from $25,000 to $50,000 annually and requiring a $10,000 initiation fee. The higher the tier of membership, the more boating days a member can reserve at any given time.
Through the club’s strategic partnerships with Wheels Up, BMW and other leading luxury lifestyle companies, member experiences – which take place aboard 36-foot Hinckley picnic boats, a variety of 40- and 44-foot Hinckley Talarias and one 38-foot Hinckley Talaria Convertible – include special events, such as on-the-water spectator passes for America’s Cup trial races.
However, Barton says that most members join the club for the quintessential day-trips that it offers.
In the summer, those itineraries typically feature jaunts from Nantucket to Edgartown Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard, with a stop at Tuckernuck Island for a swim and sunbathing on a private beach.
“The boats offer all the things that are necessary to provide members with luxury hotel-level pampering, including hot-water showers,” Barton adds.
During the winter, day trips in the Bahamas typically include snorkeling, swimming or offshore fishing, although Barton says that sunset cocktail cruises and private beach getaways are also popular with members.
“Our boats can back right up onto the beach,” he says, “and they’re stocked the night before with any provisions that you would like, so you only have to bring yourself. Just step off the stern into 18 inches of warm Caribbean water and enjoy the day.”
For more information, visit www.bartonandgray.com
Image Credits: Photo courtesy of Barton & Gray Mariners Club.