Boys With Boats: Local Facebook group takes off

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Get your sea legs and meet some guys while you’re at it.

Boys With Boats, a Facebook group that started with 15 members and now boasts 568, is a boating club that caters to those who are first-time boaters interested in the lifestyle to owners of mega-yachts, and everyone else in between.

“We have members with kayaks and members with a 120-foot yacht,” Jeremy Pettus, the club’s founder told SFGN. “It doesn’t matter the size of your boat, we just want people to come and see who we are.”

Boys with Boats is predominantly a gay club, although Pettus said there are a handful of straight and lesbian couples as well.

“Even though it’s Boys with Boats, we are open to all,” he said.

Pettus bought a boat in November 2015 and started restoring it, sharing his progress on a dedicated Facebook group. That group became an outlet for people to share updates and info about their own boats, and eventually its members began meeting for events both on and off the water.

The club has become an outlet for people to talk about a common interest that distances itself from the overflow of political jargon found on Facebook.

“There are no political or religious posts in the group, period,” Pettus said.

The club also serves as a constructive alternative to meeting guys at bars and clubs.

“We want to take the younger guys out of bars and show them there is more to life than liquor and smoking,” Pettus said. “We want to mentor people interested in boating, to give them something meaningful.”

“We boat, drink, and know things,” reads the club’s website.

On the third Saturday of every month, Boys with Boats host a raft-up event where a member chooses a location for the club’s boats to anchor up to each other overnight. The club also hosts meet and greets as well as larger scale events.

Pettus is currently working on an event in February that will be held at Lake Sylvia. From Saturday into Sunday, members will race dinghies and paper boats at their raft-up location, eat a potluck dinner and brunch the next morning, and return to land Sunday night where they will host a masquerade ball at a nearby seaside restaurant.

Pettus is working to expand the club, establishing their website boyswithboats.club as well as working on an online store, which he hopes to open in the next two months.

“People have approached me saying that this club is filling a void,” Pettus said. “I told them that the club was all about ‘you,’ I want to hear ‘your’ story.”

For anyone interested in boating, or just wanting to get involved and meet some guys, Boys with Boats is always open to new faces.

“It’s a great way to meet people outside of bars and sports leagues,” Pettus said. “I am very proud of our club, I am very proud of our members.”

To find out more about Boys with Boats, check their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/941083335987328/.


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