Nature + Recreation / Like A Local

Naples’ Exclusive Yachts Makes the Most of Seaworthy Adventures

The membership-based club makes it easy to tick off the one must-do in the area: hit the water.

BY September 1, 2023
Exclusive Yachts boat rentals
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Ask any local the one thing you need to do while you’re in Southwest Florida, and they’ll all come back with the same answer: Hit the water. And, it’s not quite the same to set off on a chartered sunset cruise as it is to have your own yacht, of any plush style or size, at your disposal.

Enter Naples-based, newly launched membership club Exclusive Yachts, whose fleet ranges from 35-foot sport and cruising yachts to 115-foot superyachts. Five membership tiers—which start at $70,000 with a $40,000 initiation fee—offer different levels of access, from local day trips and long weekends in the Caribbean to a week in the Mediterranean.

Different membership levels get you annual YachtPoints, which you can redeem for specific boats and experiences. For something like a sunset sail, you can book this quickly online. For a more extensive trip, like the Maldives, a dedicated concierge is on hand to help curate the itinerary (and is available 24/7 while you’re on the boat). From Naples, you could go over to Tarpon Point, anchor in the Gulf and play with all the (provided) watersports toys, or cruise off to the Florida Keys for three days on a 76-foot Sunseeker yacht, with a crew of three, catering, insurance, taxes and tips all included.

Members clubs already exist for everything from wine to private jets, but yachting has largely been divided into two categories: ownership or charter. Both options come with white-glove service—but there are plenty of tacked-on fees and little flexibility. The yacht you’d charter for a sunset cruise isn’t the same as the one you’d cruise on the Maldives or down to the Dry Tortugas. But what if you could select the size and style of the boat as easily as ordering a car on Uber? 

This was the driving factor for co-founders Josh Linkner and Bill Charbonneau when launching Exclusive Yachts. While you can take advantage of the service to get on the water around Southwest Florida (cruise down for lunch to Marco or have dinner on a 44-foot Aquila catamaran, for instance), your membership also gets you access to everything from overwater villas in the Maldives to private air travel. Locally, the group invites guests to mingle at private events. “We want to make it entirely customizable, so members know what they’re getting,” explains CEO Scott Stuckmann, adding that this personalized service is why they’re limiting Exclusive Yachts to only 50 family and corporate memberships for the first year.

Members with businesses can use the yachts for entertaining, and former yacht owners can take advantage of the perks of accessing a fleet of more than 20 types of vessels without having to think about the operational costs. And for those new to yachting, the intimidation of the industry is stripped away. “We want members to step on and feel like this is their yacht without worrying about any unknowns, like fuel or tipping,” he says. Think of it as having an all-inclusive vacation, but you’re the one who gets to pick the dreamy destination—whether it be Keewaydin Island for shelling or a lunch trip to the Isles of Capri. 

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