Colman M Herman | CommonWealth

State officials are trying to put their property management practices in order, preparing to charge 31 yacht and boat clubs more for the public lands they are leasing and possibly taking one deadbeat yacht club to court for failing to pay its long-overdue back rent.

The new rental system, being phased in over the next 12 to 18 months, will replace one-year permit rentals with 30-year leases and steadily increase the rents. It would also require the clubs to provide in-kind contributions as part of their lease agreements, with possibilities including picnic tables, public restrooms, bike racks, boating instruction, and local scholarships. The clubs will also be required to make repairs and improvements to their facilities, the cost of which won’t be deducted from the rent.

For educational institutions such as Harvard and Boston University that are renting land for their boat clubs and sailing pavilions along the Charles River and elsewhere, the increases will be the most dramatic. The schools are currently paying $5,000 a year in rent (Harvard was only paying $1 a year for its sailing pavilion until last year), but payments will initially jump to $18,000 the first year under the new plan and increase every year thereafter. The rents will double by the fifth year and max out at $100,000 a year in 30 years. Read more