With new management at the helm, boat-club leader refreshes its name, brand & website in preparation for a fleet of new franchisees
AUSTIN, Texas – Nautical Boat Clubs, formerly Nautical Toys International, has completed a year-long corporate makeover – from company leadership to website – designed to attract more visionary entrepreneurs to its nationwide network and exponentially expand its presence across America.
Launched more than two decades ago, Nautical Boat Clubs was a pioneer in its industry, and today, is one of only two U.S. boat-club franchises. The company’s Boating Country Clubs® are a simple alternative to buying a boat: for about one-third of the cost of purchasing a single boat, members get unlimited use of a wide variety of boats and the convenience of valet boating service. Monthly dues cover all expenses except for gas, as well as complimentary boating privileges at other Nautical Boat Clubs around the country.
Tom Gardiner, a nine-year franchisee who took ownership of the company in July 2012, intends to extend those boating privileges to the extreme by spurring growth of the company’s franchises throughout the U.S.
“In terms of both a business investment and a lifestyle opportunity, our franchising concept is unparalleled,” Gardiner attests. “I run three Boating Country Clubs® here in the Austin area, so I’ve got not only a complete commitment to the concept, but also almost a decade of first-hand experience as a franchisee. Our business model has proven recession-resistant; our operations plan is watertight. We’ve got a superior selection of major markets available for new franchise owners, along with ample opportunity for multiple-location growth, so we’re seeking visionaries and doers ready to dream big and follow through.”
New Leadership with a Lifetime of Experience
Tom Gardiner grew up around water, always living near the ocean or a lake, with swimming and fishing part of his daily life.
“Some of my fondest memories are of being out on the water,” recalls Gardiner. “I distinctly remember the first time I sailed a sunfish with my dad – it was glorious. Family vacations at Cape Cod, getting up on water-skis, learning how to surf … there is something just so powerful, almost spiritual about the water. It’s really healing.”
Gardiner was also a natural entrepreneur, having a strong sense at an early age that he wanted to be his own boss. To reach this dream as an adult, Gardiner learned all he could as an executive with Dell, Inc. and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
“My experience at Enterprise was invaluable,” Gardiner says. “When I began shopping boat-club franchises, I was amazed by how similar the Nautical Boat Clubs’ operational plan was to Enterprise’s system – and it’s America’s most successful car-rental company.”
Beyond the realization that [then] Nautical Toys International had the right system in place for success, Gardiner also knew he had found his professional passion – a company with which he could do what he loved while loving what he was doing.
“As a husband and father myself, I love being able to spend healthy, high-quality time together as a family,” affirms Gardiner. “My favorite thing is when one of our member families pulls up to the dock following a long day on the water, and the kids are asleep and the parents are so relaxed. They’re all just so happy. There aren’t many businesses where you can have that sort of impact – you can’t help but love it.”
Club Franchisee & Member Voices Speak Volumes
Gardiner launched his first Boating Country Club®, Austin’s Volente Boat Club, at Lake Travis in 2004; he subsequently opened Westwood Boat Club  and ACC Boat Club  – both at Lake Austin – before buying the company last year. Since then, Gardiner has been preparing to take Nautical Boats Clubs’ successful business blueprint to the next level via a refreshed company name, logo and brand, as well as an enhanced marketing campaign complete with a website content and design reboot.
“Our operations model remains unchanged, because it works beautifully as it is,” Gardiner notes. “Our superior support and training, along with the expansive opportunity we offer franchise owners – the things that set us apart from and ahead of our competition – are already the best they can be. Truly, if you follow our club-management system, you will succeed. We simply want to widen our net, and make sure that success story is being told – and heard.”
Gardiner insists no one tells Nautical Boat Clubs’ story better than its franchise owners and their customers, so actual testimonials play a key role in the company’s new branding and marketing.
“When I began researching the boat-club concept last year, I checked into the main franchise players,” explains Jonathan Hargrove, Nautical Boat Clubs’ newest franchisee. “One’s negative customer reviews scared me off immediately. Another’s business model didn’t seem quite right to me – older boats, buying boats from members, etc. Nautical Boat Clubs impressed me from day one with its Boating Country Clubs®. Their insistence on buying only new boats, on having at least 80% of the fleet less than three years old, and on impressive customer care made Nautical Boat Clubs exactly the kind of club I want to own, and the kind of reputation for excellence I want within the community.”
“Joining [Nautical Boat Clubs] is a much better deal financially [than buying a boat], but what I really appreciate is how much easier it makes it to spend time on the water,” a review from member Benton M. reads. “The club really removes all the chores of boat ownership. I studied all the clubs in my area, and this one is definitely the best. They have been around the longest, while others have come and gone. They have newer, nicer boats than the other clubs, a wide variety within their fleet, and boats have been available whenever I’ve called.”
Gardiner says it’s this sort of feedback that lets him know his company is the best at its business – now he’s ready to spread the word and the benefits of Nautical Boat Clubs membership and franchising
“People who love the water need to know who we are and what we do so well,” Gardiner concludes. “Bringing our members the fun and adventure of the boating lifestyle without the expense and hassle of boat ownership – and bringing our owners opportunity and success as entrepreneurs living the waterside dream!”
More information can be found at Nautical Boat Clubs’ new website: http://www.NauticalBoatClubs.com.