‘Sweet Spot’ With Mike Sugerman: Sharing Economy Sets Sail

“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The sharing economy has come to yachting.

Not that anyone is actually “sharing” anything. You still pay.

But sailing is now on sale.

We’re on a Beneteau Oceanis 35 yacht sailing out of Barnaget Bay at Tom’s River on the Jersey Shore for what the yachting world considers a relatively cheap price.

“It’s a membership program for boats,” says Captain Cherie Starner, of SailTime Jersey Shore. “It’s a replacement for boat ownership.”

In other words, instead of buying a $200,000 vessel, you join the program and use it when you want. No anchor of mortgage.

“It’s similar to a country club membership,” she explains. “You just come down and use it. And you don’t do any of the work, because we professionally maintain the boat.”

Think Airbnb for boats. Owners let others use their yacht through SailTime. Though you have to commit to a year’s membership and use it at least a couple times a week.

Isn’t that kind of a first world problem?

Not necessarily. Membership starts at $450 per month. That’s a car payment for a nice car.

“I’ve had members who have had blue collar jobs who put the money aside, because they loved it so much and wanted to be a part of it,” Starner says.

For serious sailors, it could be a bargain. And with the economy picking up, so is business. A rising tide seems to raise all boats, including yachts. Even those you time share.

Sail on, sailor.

Find more from the “Sweet Spot” here.

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