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2020 September October Marina World

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BOATSHARE CONCEPTS and many of our French franchise owners are Jeanneau dealers.” Although Freedom Boat Club currently has no relationships in place in Europe aside from with Beneteau, there has been “quite a bit of interest” from individual boat dealers, marina owners and groups, and entrepreneurs. In the USA, work with marina groups is well established. The customer base is broad. “We attract a lot of people new to boating, from the younger end of the spectrum. We also pick up a lot of members who have aged out of boat ownership but join the club to continue the boating lifestyle without the burden of ownership,” Giglio notes. Freedom Boat Club offers at least 20 different boat brands and has nearly 3,000 boats across its 234 locations. “We are much focused on power boats and our members choose the type of boat based on their daily plan. We don’t have large vessels in the fleet – almost all are 8-10m [26-33ft] boats,” he confirms. Freedom has also helped Beneteau to diversify. “Beneteau Yacht Club now has ten bases and the first, in Les Sables-d’Olonne was swiftly successful. Jeanneau was given the chance to develop Freedom Boat Club in Europe in 2018 and now has five bases,” explains Beneteau managing director Luca Brancaleon. “New technologies have greatly influenced the development of the sector and are Gathering (pre-COVID) for the Beneteau Boat Club Cup. Photo: Julien Gazeau fundamental for maintaining it. Our Boat Club would not be possible without a mobile app, which gives us enormous flexibility, booking reservations, check in and out,” he adds. Beneteau works with the same size range of boats and also has a larger boat niche sector. “For us, this is an asset in which we intend to invest. There will be other Jeanneau Freedom or Beneteau Clubs. It is ideal for overseas customers who want vacations and for those who want to avoid the hassle of boat ownership.” Renting in Italy Italy is one of the top boating destinations. Renting out boats has increased as it gives the economic means to keep and maintain them, especially in the times of COVID. Nautical tourism is in crisis due to retroactive increases in state fees at marinas and the doubling of VAT on rentals. It’s a case of making money where money can be made. The Italian market is dominated by Click & Boat, but Someboat, Boatsetter, Borrow a Boat and Med Boat Sharing also thrive, and Beneteau Boat Club is expanding with two bases. Italy is Click & Boat’s second largest market (17.7%) after France (41.7%) and ahead of Spain (16.7%) and Greece (9.4%). “The home market is the preferred destination for Italians,” confirms Click & Boat marketing manager Valeria Galli. “They choose Sardinia, Liguria, Sicily, Campania and Tuscany. In Italy, we have over 3,200 owners – private and corporate – and over 5,500 boats on lakes and at the coast. From February to May/ June reservations tend to be for one week or longer, and for catamarans or sailboats. In July and August, bookings are for shorter times, more last minute and motor boats are favoured. But since the end of the COVID-19 lockdown, bookings for July and August have been for one to two weeks and mainly for catamarans and sailboats.” COVID-19 has had other effects. “Over the past months, it has slowed down our activity,” Galli admits, “but we used the time to improve the services and functionality of our digital platform so as to be ready for when business reopened. Luckily, boats are a safe way to escape everyday life and the stress of quarantine, and sailing is isolated. We’ve also followed the communications of government and nautical associations in terms of protective measures,” she adds. 50 – September/October 2020

Discreet, small diameter pipework Ease of installation No odour The Smart Green Future of Sewage Collection Vacuum sewerage systems are ideal for use in marinas and ports of any size. The Flovac system can capture sewage and bilge water from boats and all facilities around the marina complex. No electrical power required at dockside Validates MARPOL certification No risk of water contamination Suitable for boats and docks of any size

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