By JOANN KLIMKIEWICZ, Courant Staff Writer
So there's no way in this lifetime you'd be able to drop $180,000 on a luxurious 35-foot yacht like the Catalina 350 on right. Or maybe you could, but you haven't the time or patience required to maintain such a sophisticated vessel.
Either way, a fledgling company based in Stamford is now making it easier to get, quite literally, a slice of the yachting life. WindPath Sailing, launched about a year ago, is joining several companies around the country that offer a so-called fractional sailing program, a sort of timeshare for the sailing set.
"One of my dreams ... has always been to sail off into the sunset or go around the world," said Ian Treibick, a 29-year-old Greenwhich native and president of WindPath. Between a boat's hefty price tag and the cost and time to take care of it, the scenario would remain in the realm of fantasy.
But what if a group of sailing buffs carved up their time and dollars to make it a reality?
$479 to $1,179 a month for sailing dates
Treibick saw the formula work for vacation homes, jet planes, even cars. "And I said, `There's no reason this couldn't be applied to sailboats'," he says.
And so he did. WindPath now has six boats, all Catalina Yachts, in five bases. Four sit on the East Coast, including Stamford and Cape Cod, and one just opened on the west coast in San Francisco. Each boat takes up to eight members, who pay $479 to $1,179 a month for at least seven guaranteed sailing opportunities in the same period. (The cost varies by yacht model and base location, and the only other fees are a $2,500 security deposit and $1,000 for training, if needed)
The Cape Cod location
Red Brook Harbor (on right) on in Catamet at Kingman Yacht Center offers easy access to the world-renowned sailing grounds and cruising destinations of Buzzards Bay, Block Island Sound, Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound, along with Cape Cod Bay, a short motor away through the scenic Cape Cod Canal.
Or just stay put and enjoy the picturesque sunsets from a safe anchorage, swimming and beach-combing at nearby Bassetts Island, authentic Cape Cod dining with the local characters at the Chart Room Restaurant and Piano Bar, shopping for provisions or gifts at unique shops and art galleries, all at Cape Cod’s largest full-service marina.
Members don't share ownership of the boats, just sailing time, which, unlike traditional timeshares, is scheduled online in real time. WindPath takes care of maintenance or refueling, with members responsible for washing down the boat after each use and tidying up for the next member...