The best boat on the water is no longer your friendÂ’s boat, thanks to Barton & Gray Mariners Club where membership means never having to worry about overhead. Just sign and sail.

Sailing with Barton and Gray.

For generations, yachting enthusiasts have bonded over their love of the pastime, the technological marvels of their toys, and their tales of adventure on the seas but not the hefty cost of ownership and the hassle of mere upkeep. Enter Tim Barton and Douglas Gray, who, upon founding Barton & Gray Mariners Club in 2006, set out to provide that same fulfilling experience for non-owners.

While deciding on a concept for their members-only day-boating club, the pair sought to answer a common question: Can people spend time on the water without the headaches and fiduciary overhead of ownership? “To us,” says Gray, “the best type of boating is spending three to five hours on a beautiful yacht in extraordinary waters with friends and family.”

The concept was met with resounding success. Gray notes that, in addition to the clear-cut advantages over ownership, there are less tangible benefits, too. “We are different from ownership in the good ways—it’s cheaper, there are no worries, there’s less time managing, no cleaning,” he says. “But we’re not different in the on-the-water experience. Our members have just as much fun as boat owners.”

Barton & Gray’s fleet of classic Hinckley Picnic Boats can be sailed off of Nantucket, Newport, Greenwich, Naples, Palm Beach, and Jupiter. Gray takes particular pride in his boats, all of which are custom and hand-made in Southwest Harbor, Maine. “All other Hinckley Picnic Boats in the world are privately owned. It is very special to be aboard one,” Gray says. “Imagine a jet fighter, retooled for leisure, decorated by Nate Berkus, and filled with shrimp and Bloody Marys.” Get the picture?

Gray notes that more than 80 percent of the club’s members have never owned or operated a boat of any size. “We are opening the waters to people who were not fortunate enough to be born into a family of boaters, or took the time to dedicate themselves to boat handling,” Gray says. “Members can swim, eat, sleep, converse or do nothing at all, rather than clean, write checks, sand, varnish, or navigate. After all, that’s the dream of yachting, is it not?”

Sounds like a perfectly sweet dream to us. —Lindsay Lambert

For more information and to browse Barton & GrayÂ’s Outing Portfolio, call 617-728-3555 or visit