Living, Travel

The Airbnb of Boats makes Yachting a shared Experience

Would you indulge in boat life if you didn’t have to take care or pay for one?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Nov 15, 2022

For 5 years now, I’ve fantasized about having my own boat. I go back and forth between storing it in New York City where I live, or Los Angeles, where I’m from. But I dream about hosting lavish black tie parties, sailing out to foreign beaches, and doing my own version of a semester at sea with my family. During the first 2 years of the pandemic, I began researching what it takes to own a boat, how to maintain good health of a boat, and ultimately, how much it costs to purchase a boat.


A friend of mine responded to my Instagram Story about my desire for a boat and simply wrote “Don’t do it. It takes so much work.” And she wasn’t the only person to say this. Comments started flooding in from friends that own boats or have parents that sail and essentially said it isn’t worth it.


Shocked by all the negative comments, I decided to stop posting my boat dreams on Instagram and continued my research independently. That is when I stumbled upon Barton & Gray Mariners Club. Developed by Tim Barton and Doug Gray, it is a company that looks to bring luxury yachting to the masses — the Airbnb of boats, if you will.


What’s Barton & Gray Mariners Club?

Similar to Airbnb, the company seeks to provide exclusive membership-based services to tailor unique experiences. Launched in 2006, the company now has 70 captained yachts in over 30 harbors and islands. For over 16 years, the club has grown to 1,000 people who stay as members for years as they continue to enjoy life on a boat. “You can be going to the Miami River for a beautiful meal dressed to the nines with your buddies, or be spending the day just on a sandbar, half naked with the kids, and finding seashells,” Gray tells Barrons.


The biggest draw to the company is that all comforts are taken care of by staff and a private captain; something you would typically have to worry about as a boat owner. “We definitely built this company on the shoulders of the Hinckley brand, the Nantucket Brand, the Palm Beach brand, this whole romance of luxury day boating has always existed in society. It has this very Mediterranean and very New England vernacular aesthetic to it,” Gray continues.


As for the costs, members are required to shell out $20,000 when they first join and can purchase a membership package anywhere from $39,500 to $114,500 a year. The boats see more than 13,000 trips per year, with sustainable options that weigh a lot less than the average yacht — significantly cutting down diesel fuel, and slicing through water with greater purposes, decreasing the boat construction.


So maybe it’s not feasible to have my very own boat, but renting one from time to time? That’s a different story. Is boat ownership in your future, or are you alright with the other means of travel, like the subway? Speaking of, Grand Central Terminal is getting remodeled again, and part of it will look completely different.


Also here are 6 great gift ideas that are experiences for you to stand out from the crowd this holiday season.