September 2016 Business of the Month
Fleet Boat Club
Fleet Boat Club is a “boat share” club. Members join for the season and get access to all of the club boats. The only additional cost is the fuel they use. Their mission is to provide its members with a boating value that cannot be duplicated. The main tenets of this value are low cost, no hassles, and a variety of boats and locations. Their members continued satisfaction will lead them to remain members for many years and to refer many new members to the club.
Ken Dens started the business because he wanted to have a variety of boats: a sport boat for skiing and tubing, a cruiser for a week in the Islands and a sailboat for peaceful summer evenings. He decided there was no single “right boat” for him…he needed a fleet of boats! And that became the name of the business.
He started the business back in 2006 with just 2 boats on Irondequoit Bay. He grew slowly at first, adding a third boat when he opened up a Canandaigua Lake location in 2009. He now has 17 boats between the two locations. The business gives people an alternative to the expense and hassle of owning and maintaining a boat of their own.
Ken says it’s been fun building the business with the help of his family, but still challenging while also working a full time job. One of the things Ken likes most about his job is being able to claim that he’s “working” while test driving a boat or teaching someone how to drive a boat.
Now in their 11th season the Fleet Boat Club has two employees and they have very close working relationships with several other businesses including I Need A Handyman, M&M Lakeside Marine, Captain JJ LLC, Southpoint Marina and Seager Marine. They also provide financial support for various charities and organizations including: Allendale Columbia School, Harley School, Robynpalooza, American Heart Association, United Way, HUGS Foundation, Campaign For Justice, Strong Museum of Play. Ken is a member or participant in other local organizations such as Iroquois Sail: a former board member Rochester Rapids Swim Team: former board member and meet coordinator and, of course, the Webster Chamber of Commerce!