SailTime Group, a leader in fractional boating with more than 50 bases around the world, says it has experienced significant growth for the first half of 2009, including the launch of three new bases in the United States and Europe and a record number of new members.
"In spite of the struggling economy, and perhaps even as a result of it, more people are looking to fractional boating as a way to maintain their lifestyle on the water, at a fraction of the cost of owning their own boat," SailTime founder and CEO George Boneli said in a statement.
In the U.S., SailTime announced the launch of a new base in Bristol, R.I, and in Europe, two new bases in La Spezia, Italy, and Golfe Juan, France. These new base openings come on the heels of new bases launched or set to launch in Australia and New Zealand.
During the first half of 2009, SailTime also added more than 300 new members, compared with about 200 during the same period last year.
That brings SailTime's total membership globally to almost 1,200.
Pioneered in 2001, the SailTime program enables shared use of a sailboat (and powerboats in select markets) owned by one individual with seven or more other non-equity members.
Each member pays a membership fee to the SailTime base for access to the boats and is guaranteed a number of sail times every month as well as "as-available" use on a 24-hour notice based on membership type.