Love To Boat, But Don't Want To Own One?

Bartlett Lake Boat Club Offers The Perfect Solution

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Benington_2075FS1.jpgPhoto Credit: Bennington

by Carol Allen

Editor s Note: In a recent stay in one of Bartlett Lake s relaxing Aqua lodges, Jim and I had a chance to talk with Bryan and Eric Church about the growing interest in their Boat Club. The concept is simple and very appealing to those who want to go boating but have no desire to actually own their own boats — or cannot make that commitment at present. The Bartlett Lake Boat Club was thoroughly explained to us while we were there, and we wanted to pass on the possibilities to our readers.

Crest_II.jpgPhoto Credit: Crest Boats

During the downturn in economy, many who love to boat on Arizona s beautiful lakes, to fish the plentiful waters, and to recreate with their families feel thwarted by the costs of owning their own boats. They are discouraged that the joys of, for example, introducing their children to water recreation seem beyond their means at the present time.

Or, as discussed in a recent article in Mad Mariner (, there are those who have owned boats and loved the boating, but hated everything else. And, there are others who have not had boats but have heard the downsides of boat ownership and have shied away from the idea because of those negatives.

They Love Boating, But

It is a given that a love of boating does not always translate into a love of boats. Some water enthusiasts love to be out on the lake but do not want to spend their time painting hulls, repairing engines, worrying about rust, rot, and the like. They are averse to fiddling with the boat or trailering the boat. In other words, at the end of a pleasurable day on the water, they want to walk away unencumbered by the chores of a boat owner. And, we have said nothing about the frustration of waiting in lines to launch your own boat and again, at the end of the day, facing another line before retrieving it from the water.

Evolution_Power_Boats_Tribal_26.jpgPhoto Credit: Evolution Boats

Enter Bartlett s Boat Club
However, that does not have to be the case. Enter Bartlett Lake s Boat Club. In rapidly growing numbers, Arizonans are embracing the concept of boat clubs. It s a simple idea, really — club members buy in with a membership fee and then pay dues monthly. Their return is huge: unlimited access to their club s local fleet.

They come to their local marina, and the boat of their choice is ready for them to enjoy. Aside from their dues, the only other coast to members is their fuel (and, for a reduced cost at Bartlett Lake Marina). There are no slip fees, and the boat club handles maintenance, insurance, repairs, and all the little details that are part of boat ownership.

In other words, a carefully thought-out program has made it possible for all of us to enjoy boating without the hassles and expense of ownership.

An addendum to all of this is the fact that, according to some NMMA research, boat owners on average use their craft only 15 times a year. Other ways have been thought out to reduce the cost of actual boat ownership for example, timeshares or fractional ownership but with either, an ownership interest still exists, and that includes the attendant pressures and responsibilities.

Lund_17_Fishing_Boat.jpgPhoto Credit: Lund Boats

May Purchase Later
Importantly, the idea of boat clubs hurting boat sales is dismissed by company executives and franchise owners who say that those want to own their own boats will still do so. And, having had the experience of the boat clubs and developing a passion for boats may move some to purchase their own later.

Talking with Bryan and Eric Church at Bartlett Lake, we were very impressed with the details of the Boat Club as well as the fleet of craft available for me

Membership in the Boat Club is filling fast! At this time, applications are being received in person only — reserve your space today by calling to speak with a club representative.

In any case, if you are interested in learning more about the Bartlett Lake Boat Club, e-mail Bryan Church at He, his brother Eric, or another staff member can set up an appointment for you to tour the marina facilities and inspect their fleet of brand new boats.

Malibu_vRide.jpgPhoto Credit: Malibu Boats

To Summarize, The Boat Club Offers
The boat of your choice when you want it
Skis, vests, tubes, water skis, boards, and toys for members and guests all included
Personalized, on-board instruction in boat handling and safety, including for beginners
Unlimited use for you and your guests
Slip rental and boat cleaning
Boat licensing
Insurance, maintenance and repairs

Playbouy_Tahoe_Pontoon.jpgPhoto Credit: Playbouy Tahoe Pontoon Boats

And, You Can Say Goodbye To
Launch ramp hassles and long wait lines
Towing and transport nightmares
Constant repairs, maintenance and cleaning
Licensing and insurance expenses

A Bargain At Any Price
Bartlett Lake Boat Club members save an average of $5,000 per year:
Gold Membership:
one-time fee, $995:
monthly dues $265 and
Platinum Membership: one time fee, $1,395:
monthly dues $315.

Searay_200_Sport.jpgPhoto Credit: Searay

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up?
Registration forms are available at the Bartlett Lake Marina. Call (480) 221-5737 for more information or to schedule an appointment for a club tour.

How do I reserve a boat? Simply call the reservation line at (480) 221-5737, and we will schedule the craft for you! Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance.

Is there a charge for canceling a reservation? No. The boats are here to be used at YOUR convenience.

How much does club membership cost? Less than the average cost of owning a boat!

Who cleans and maintains the boats? Club boats are maintained and repaired by certified marine mechanics. Additionally, each vessel is thoroughly cleaned prior to your reservation.

Is equipment included? Yes! Skis, vests, tubes, wakeboards, and kneeboards are available for your use.

How do I reserve equipment? Equipment can be requested at the time of the boat reservation or anytime up to 24 hours prior to the reserved date.

Is insurance covered by the Club?
Insurance covers hull damage.

Can I bring guests?
Yes! You can bring as many guests as the boat is rated for. Please understand that safety precautions disallow us from releasing overloaded boats.

Can my guests use the club without me being there? The club is set up for the typical husband and wife. One of the two members must be present.

What other amenities are offered at the Marina? The Bartlett Lake Marina is one of the most fully featured, state-of-the-art recreation facilities in the Southwest. Visit for more details.

What supplies are available at the Marina? The Bartlett Lake Marina Dock Store is fully stocked with fuel (car and boat), beer, sodas and drinks, ice, food and snacks and a variety of supplies and equipment.

Searay_185_Sport.jpgPhoto Credit: Searay

And Now, To The Fleet
Whether it's fishing, skiing or pure leisure you're after, the BLM Boat Club has the boat for you stored, maintained, insured, and equipped. We were impressed by the variety and quality of the boats just waiting for you. Some of them are inserted into this article.

Come to Bartlett. Experience the beauty, do some fishing (the crappie are waiting!), and while you re there check out the Boat Club!


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