Boating is fun. But picking the right boat to purchase is a huge responsibility. There are so many factors to consider like the layout, the materials and the manufacturer, and once you make a choice, you’re committed. But there’s another way to do things if you live near the Nashville, Tenn., area.
Try It First
Started by Tim Kiser in 2007, the Nashville Boat Club is a great way to ease into the boating lifestyle and try out a number of different models personally before you make a decision on what boat will be best for you to purchase. It’s billed as the country club of the water.
“Most of our members are families and they are being pulled in tons of different directions,” says Kiser. “Once they join the club, we take away the hassle of having to get everything ready because when you get here, your boat is cleaned, fueled and ready to go. They can be at a soccer game in the morning and walk right onto a boat in the afternoon.”
How it works is fairly simple. You pay a one-time registration fee and then a monthly due and you can reserve a boat to use at anytime. The only other cost is to refuel the boat after you use it. Becoming a member means you have unlimited access to their fleet at three different locations: Percy Priest Lake, Old Hickory Lake and their newest addition, Center Hill Lake.
The Nashville Boat Club has a huge selection of pontoons and deck boats to pick from. When it’s convenient for you and the family to hit the lake for the day, simply reserve yourself the boat you want to use and it will be ready and waiting when you arrive. The central reservation system allows you to make one phone call and pick from any available boat at any of their three locations. You can reserve your boat up to 30 days in advance or show up on the same day and take one that’s available. There is no waiting in line at the boat ramp or spending hours getting your boat ready.
“We stay as flexible as possible so families can spend their time out on the lake,” says Kiser. “Our guaranteed reservation system lets families plan their summer and get the boat they want.”
Pontoons To Pick From
As of now, the club has 36 boats to choose from and over half of them are pontoons. With their pontoons, they have a wide variety of models with everything from fishing to performance.
“We keep a boat for a couple of years and then sell it off to buy a new one,” says Kiser. “We pick our next boat based off what people have been reserving and using the most.” This explains why they have so many pontoons in the fleet.
“Pontoons are so versatile that everyone wants to take one out,” says Kiser. “They are perfect for any activity that you want to do on the water.”
The pontoons the club currently offers are all upscale models and include Bennington, Harris FloteBote, Manitou, Sanpan and Parti Kraft, just to name a few. As far as deck boats go, brand-new Ebbtide and Chaparral boats are available as well. All of these boats are paired with engines ranging from 115 to 250hp. Some models are the traditional two pontoon configuration while others have triple logs. The huge variety makes it easy to test out a lot of different brands at your own leisure, without anyone breathing down your neck or pressuring you.
Nashville Boat Club is ideal for beginning boaters who want to learn how to properly and safely operate a boat before they buy their own. Membership within the club includes a quick course in boating safety, plus personalized boating instruction on the water. The staff stays with you on the water until you’re comfortable operating the boat by yourself. The Club owns the boats and pays all of the slip rent, maintenance, cleaning, licensing and boat insurance expenses.
Kiser started the business after a friend moved to Austin, Texas, and experienced the club there. When he told Kiser about the benefits, he decided to check it out himself and see if he could adapt the business model to meet a need in Nashville.
“I’ve always been a boater,” says Kiser. “After talking with my friend, I traveled to Austin and spent some time with the owner down there. I wanted to bring this concept to Nashville because it’s such a big boating area.”
Now Kiser’s company is affiliated through the same company that the boat club in Austin is, Nautical Toys International. Members boat for free at any of the Nautical Toys locations.
Besides the boat, a membership also includes unlimited access to towables, skis, wakeboards and other water accessories. These complimentary toys are included in the monthly dues and are also constantly being updated based on the needs of the members. When you make your reservation, you can pick what water toys you want to have loaded on your boat when you arrive. It’s really that easy. Members don’t even have to worry about life jackets either, as those too are provided.
“Besides the regular water toys, we have also added standup paddleboards, kayaks and an Aqua Lily Pad,” says Kiser. “Our members enjoy these things at no additional cost.”
The real point behind the club is to let someone else take over the hassle of the logistics of boating while you enjoy being on the water. This allows you to spend the time at the lake while you test out a ton of different models. It makes finding the perfect boat for you and your family so much easier.
Nashville Boat Club
Find them on Facebook by searching Nashville Boat Club
Nautical Toys International