Virgin Radio’s Sam Pinkham discovers all the advantages of hassle free boating on his trip to Boat Club Trafalgar, Portsmouth Harbour’s boat share club.
Boat Club members are provided with a fleet of premium powerboats and RIBs (rigid inflatable boats), ready to choose, book and use whenever you want. It’s a bit like having daily access to a fleet of self-drive prestige limousines with a daily valet parking service included.
The Club fleet includes top quality RIBs, sports boats and cabin cruisers. All the mundane side of boat owning is handled by the club. The boats are all carefully maintained, regularly serviced, washed and stored away indoors between trips.
When you arrive to pick up your boat, it will be pre-launched, ready on the dockside, cleaned, sanitised and fuelled up.
Ready to simply step aboard, turn the keys and go!
This form of ‘valet boating’ is a surprisingly cost effective way to have fun on the water.
Compared with the costs typically associated with owning your own boat, subscribing to our boat share club offers great value for considerably less money.
The boats are owned and managed by the Club and effectively shared with every member. All the capital costs and the running costs, such as insurance, storage and maintenance are taken care of by the Club. See this cost comparison of buying a new or used powerboat, compared to membership.
As a simple monthly subscription Boat Club membership is very affordable and can work out as little as just over £10 per day. Which means you can go boating every single day of the year. All you have to pay for is your fuel.
Whether you are completely new to boating, have only ever paddled a kayak or sailed a boat, it really doesn’t matter. All powerboat training and our thorough induction process is included as part of your membership package.
Don’t worry. Of course, we are not going to send you out in £000s of premium condition powerboats and leave you to it! Our training includes a couple of days getting your RYA powerboat level 2 licence – which is the marine equivalent of the DVLC driving licence. Once you have this, you can rent a boat pretty much anywhere in the world.
Our friendly instructors will only sign you off once you and he are comfortable. Our expert team are on hand to give advice whenever needed and we offer top-up coaching and refresher sessions.
Your membership covers the length and breadth of The Solent. To find out the best places to go all Members can sign onto our regular Solent Discovery Guided Trips. Each month we run a couple of trips to the best bays, harbours and beaches around the Solent.
With a qualified instructor in the lead boat, you’ll discover how to navigate to the best spots, where to anchor up or stop for lunch and get all the hot tips along the way. Popular with new members, these trips are a terrific way to meet other members.
The Boat Club team are always happy to help you plan your trips and also run occasional social events combined with navigation ‘refresher’ evenings.
There are plenty of pubs and restaurants you can easily reach by boat. However, we make this bit easy too. Pick up a picnic!
Boat Club Trafalgar really has got hassle free boating nailed. As well as your boat being ready prepared for your arrival, you don’t even need to bring food with you. Instead you can order up a scrumptious picnic hamper from The Beach Hut Café, our very own café on site. Drop anchor in a beautiful bay, relax and tuck in.
So, our members really can ‘Simply book your boat, turn up and go’.
But don’t forget to swing by the Café to pick up your picnic!