Executives from Brunswick Corp.’s Boating Services Network presented an overview of its On Board boat club and boat rental business last week at the International Marina and Boatyard Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Brunswick company has been working with Suntex Marinas to develop a viable model during the last two years.
“Suntex has 23 locations, which gives the program a good reach,” said Craig Friedrich, manager of strategy and business development. “We have about 450 boats with Suntex in 20 locations.”
The presentation at IMBC was to explain to marina owners how On Board differs from other club programs. The primary Brunswick brands being used at the Suntex locations are Bayliner and Princecraft, but Friedrich said marina owners or boat dealers could order any of Brunswick’s 10 brands. He said boats would be changed every two to three years to keep the fleet fresh.
On Board was also designed to be “functional and easy to use,” Friedrich said, employing intuitive software for both club members and operators. “The end user can make online bookings and payments while also receiving an auto-confirm,” he said. “For the operator, there is an intuitive interface for an easier operator experience.”
Marina owners will also have access to Brunswick Acceptance Corp.’s financing, said Bijoy Jha, vice president of business development and finance. “We believe that the financing is better than anything out there and that our pricing is better, too,” Jha said. “We’re also different from other business clubs that are franchise models. We are a licensee program that works through revenue sharing. That is a great way for a smaller operator to get in and see if you like the program.”
On Board is also expected to attract first-time boaters, as trial costs are minimal compared with ownership, and the model addresses other barriers to ownership, such as free time and seamanship skills. “We think this will drive new boaters to your business,” Jha said. “Having a boat club or rental business will also increase the overall value of your marina.”