Mumbai, Dec 3: Taking off to faraway destinations to de-stress is passe. City's rich and successful now prefer to go out to the sea, in yachts, over the weekend. Taking a cue from this growing trend, an exclusive club has been launched to provide luxury yachts on a time-sharing basis. This is the first club of its type in the country.
The club, Privada, will provide 50 and 35-ft luxury yachts to its members so they can sail out to the Arabian Sea in time-slots they are allotted; and the yachts can even be taken to holiday destinations like Goa and Lakshwadeep. Club Privada organisers say they have got memberships not only from successful businessman and professionals, but also from corporate houses that want to have closed-door office meetings on board the yacht.
"Corporates find it convenient to avail of this facility, especially if they are meeting delegates informally," Club Privada director (sales) Sheiilu Lehr said.
The members can register their cruise plans online throughout the year. Fees range from Rs 16-30 lakh according to the size of a yacht and amenities available. "The big yachts can travel up to Goa and even the smaller ones can go up to Ganapatiphule," Lehr said.
The club takes care of maintenance and provides a sailing crew. "But petrol and additional costs (like food and beverage) will have to be borne by members," Lehr added.
Membership is by invitation only and many of the members are from the fashion and entertainment world. Some of them spoke to TOI on conditions of anonymity. "Owning a boat is not difficult but maintaining it is always going to be a hassle. It can also be dangerous to sail out if you are not an expert sailor. The club takes care of these problems," a high-profile fashion designer said.
The 60-ft boats have facilities like a galley where one can barbecue, a modern kitchen, three-bedroom cabins with attached toilets, bunk-beds and a saloon area. "There is also a home-theatre system and the boat carries kayaks, skis, surf-boats as well as fishing rods. Members can participate in all kinds of sea-related activities when they anchor in the middle of the sea," Lehr added.
Sailing experts have welcomed this initiative. "Anchoring an expensive yacht at the harbour has its own risks as Mumbai does not have a marina. This club takes care of such worries," Malav Shroff, one of the organisers of last year’s Mumbai International Boat Show, said.