Nautical Boat Club: Live Your Best Boat Life Without Limits


PICTURE THIS: You see blue skies on a hot summer day and the only place you want to be is on the water — but the kids are restless, the boat needs maintenance and you never have enough vacation time. What if you could have a team of industry experts handle all the hard work while you relax and play on the water in your own boating community? Known as the first and only boating country clubTM, Nautical Boat Club provides just that.

Nautical Boat Club Pleasant | Courtesy of Nautical Boat Club

Whether you’re a new boater or an experienced seafarer, the benefits of a members-only boat club reduce the hassle and expense of boat ownership and cultivate convenience into a cruising community.

Nautical Boat Club has provided luxury, fun and boat-life ease for more than 30 years. Membership includes access to a consistently rotating carefully selected first-class fleet, watersport equipment, best-in-class technology, family-friendly excursions and more — all complemented with hands-on customer service. The fleet features the latest models from top companies such as Regal, Cobalt and Pursuit Boats.

Founder Don Spong created the business concept and opened the first club on Canyon Lake in Texas in the early 1990s. Current CEO Tom Gardiner purchased his first club as a business license opportunity in 2004, since expanding to six locations. He eventually purchased the club from Spong in 2012 and converted the business to franchise opportunities.

“What I’ve learned is, if you focus on your employees and your customers, everything will take care of itself,” says Gardiner. “We want to take a very measured approach.”

Gardiner’s first location on Lake Travis in Austin, TX, kicked off Nautical’s unique boat club culture, building a close-knit community from day one. His first employee and dockmaster, Alex McLaughlin, has since grown into the club’s co-owner and is now majority owner of the Austin clubs.

“We started with eight boats, adding a couple more each year, and I’m really proud of our growth and what we’ve put together in our clubs,” says McLaughlin. “They are run by people who are passionate about the water and small business, and really love what they do.”

Austin’s lake boating provides the community with a summer sanctuary to escape the Texas heat. McLaughlin, a long-time Austin resident, says access to the city’s lakes has been historically difficult, and they needed to streamline safe and convenient boating opportunities. The club solves that problem for recreational boaters. “A good day on the lake can be busy as heck but it’s all smiles, all day,” adds McLaughlin.

Nautical has expanded clubs throughout the south from Tennessee and South Carolina down to Florida, now operating in 26 locations. One of the best benefits includes the professional coaching resources from boat club staff. Whether it’s assisting members with concierge-style dockside service or coaching them on how to be the best captain, professional knowledge and a hands-on experience is always guaranteed.

“I hear from members all the time how this is the best thing they’ve ever done for their family,” says Gardiner. “You see a family come back to the dock — the kids are passed out cold from playing in the sun all day, and the mom and dad are relaxed — and that’s just so enjoyable.”

To learn more, visit or explore building your own country club boating community by visiting

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