By Louise Bolger
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Carissa Ellis of Waves Boat & Social Club.
sun staff writer
The two happiest times in a boat owners life are the
day he buys his boat and the day he sells it. Most people
who own or have owned boats will agree with this old adage.
But now there is a way to have your boat and sail it too.
On March 1, the Waves Boat & Social Club opened its doors
to everyone who loves being on the water, but hates the expense
and maintenance of owning a boat. Carissa Ellis, the owner
and operator of the club, has merged boat club membership
with social activities in the tradition of yacht clubs. The
concept has certainly paid off with 26 memberships being sold
since she started her business.
Located next to the Seafood Shack restaurant, the Waves Boat
& Social Club is in the perfect location for access to
both the intracoastal waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Members
range in age from the 30s to the 80s with a cross section
of our local population represented by people still in the
work force, retirees and corporate clients.
Carissa offers memberships to both full-time and part-time
Florida residents, and says her members come mostly from Anna
Maria Island and Longboat Key, with some representation from
both Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota. In fact, she is expanding
and opening another club in the Sarasota area, as well as
donating captained rides to be raffled off at local community
Presently, she has four boats in her fleet ranging in size
from 21 to 24 feet, one of which is a pontoon boat. The boats
are fully insured and use is unlimited based on availability.
New members must take on and off water training classes, including
instructions on how to read local charts, all conducted by
her professional staff, including licensed captains.
The membership and annual fees cover all maintenance and repairs;
members are responsible for fuel and oil. If you come in and
speak with a sales representative on the weekend, you may
be eligible for a discount and complimentary lunch at the
Seafood Shack along with your membership.
Carissa Ellis brings years of experience in sales and customer
services as well as experience in managing boating clubs to
her new venture. That combined with her outgoing personality
and contagious energy are liable to convince the most confirmed
landlubber to join.
Waves Boat & Social Club
Sarabay Marina at the Seafood Shack
4110 127th St. W., Cortez
Open every day
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday