Joining a Mallorca boat club is the perfect way for people who live on the island or spend a fair amount of time here to enjoy the ocean lifestyle without breaking the bank.
I spoke to Catany Boat Club and RIB CLUB, two of the Mallorca boat clubs that are reinventing boating on the island.
Catany Boat Club is a half English, half Mallorcan boat club founded by Nicólas Catany and Kerry Flannagan. This Mallorca boat club is on a mission to enable its members to enjoy sailing without any worries or having to invest huge amounts of money. It has a fleet of six motor boats at Club Nautico Santa Ponsa. Membership of Catany Boat Club starts at €2388 a year.
The company started in 2017 with one boat and has reinvested everything it’s made to buy new boats.
Today, it offers boats from 5.99 to 9 metres. To accommodate all requirements, the boats are all different. Some have cabins, some have toilets, and so on. A new BMA 266 will be added to the fleet in 2020.
Co-founder Nicó Catany spotted the opportunity for a boat sharing club when he was running a coworking company. ‘I was trying to get a mooring for a boat and saw how expensive it was. Many nautico clubs on the island didn’t even have any moorings available. I knew that the sharing economy was becoming more popular so I thought why can’t I adapt that principle so I can use a boat without having to buy one?’
For a fixed fee, members of Catany Boat Club have access to a certain number of opportunities to use a boat every month all year round and pay no mooring or insurance fees. Training on how to use the boat is also included.
The booking system is integrated into the company’s website and is simple to use.
Kerry explains, ‘When a new member joins, they’re given a certain number of slots on a particular boat. They log into the system, look at availability and choose the slots they want. The system sends an email confirming they’ve booked a particular boat on a certain day. They’re then free to use the boat how they wish but they have to leave it how they found it – clean and filled up with fuel.’
Catany Boat Club offers annual contracts. It’s important to remember that if you don’t use a slot in a particular month, you can’t roll it over onto the following month. But, even if you don’t use your slots in a given month, it still works out exponentially cheaper to join Catany Boat Club than to invest in your own boat.
The company has also recently launched a yacht share service. This works on the fractional ownership principle, where individuals contribute a capital share towards buying a yacht. They then become a beneficial owner, listed on the title of the boat. Use of the yacht and expenses are shared according to how much an owner has invested.
With yacht share, Catany is simply a service provider facilitating the daily turnaround and maintenance of the boat for a fee.
As far as Catany is concerned, the future for boat sharing in Mallorca looks bright.
‘It’s inevitable that it will take off,’ Kerry says. ‘Part of the attraction is being able to use an asset more frugally and economically and now the technology exists to enable people to do this. Another phenomenon is the growing number of people who are simply looking for convenience. They don’t want to come down to the marina and tinker around with their boat. It’s about getting onto the water a couple of times a month with their partner or family and enjoying themselves. And then there’s the fact that, even if you had the ridiculous amount of money in the bank you need to buy a boat with, you wouldn’t be able to find a mooring in the marina. Boat sharing makes economic, environmental and practical sense.’
I was trying to get a mooring for a boat and saw how expensive it was. Many nautico clubs on the island didn’t even have any moorings available. I knew that the sharing economy was becoming more popular so I thought why can’t I adapt that principle so I can use a boat without having to buy one?
Founded by James Patterson, Mallorca boat club RIB CLUB began in Menorca in 2010 and moved its head office to Mallorca two years ago.
Apart from Menorca and Mallorca, the company has locations in Ibiza, Costa Brava and the South of France. Because it’s become so popular, with growing waiting lists at certain locations, RIB CLUB plans to expand in 2020.
James came up with the idea for RIB CLUB when he was living in Menorca and saw the gap in the market for being out at sea with less stress. Today, RIB CLUB has around 150 members in total and 80 in Mallorca but, James says, ‘We never go over 10 members per boat, which allows maximum availability for members – one of our main priorities.’
Members enjoy unlimited boating days and access to boats in all of RIB CLUB’s five locations in Mallorca – Puerto Portals, Pollenca, Santa Ponca, Port Andratx and Palma de Mallorca – and across the Mediterranean. Joining RIB Club also means members get to enhance their RIB Club experience further with members events offering an instant new social circle and a concierge service to help them enjoy the Mallorcan good life.
I asked James what essential things potential clients should know before they sign up for RIB CLUB.
‘You must be over 25 to have a membership and have a RYA PBL2 licence. which we can help you acquire thanks to fantastic rates offered by our partnered sea school. Our annual membership which includes all your boating, special events and concierge service starts from €6500. Memberships are limited, so if we have a full boat in certain locations people go onto a waiting list. The most important thing to have is a sense of fun and love of adventure!’
Alongside annual membership – there’s also Diamond Club Membership which includes two full days jet skiing and on full day on a motor yacht – you have the option to take out a winter membership for five months for €2000.
All memberships include unlimited use of RIBS in main locations and the opportunity to use them in all other locations, subject to fair usage.
RIB CLUB also offers a full concierge service, including booking restaurants and beach bars, and benefits with partner companies such as the five-star boutique hotel Gran Hotel Son Net in Mallorca.
The most important thing to have is a sense of fun and love of adventure!
If you’d like a taste of what RIB CLUB offers, they have their own YouTube channel.
Catany Boat Club has kindly offered a 10% discount on its annual membership fee for readers of this blog. When you get in touch with Catany, tell them Charles sent you.
Written by David Holzer, a Mallorca-based author, journalist and blogger.