A newly formed chartering company has an interesting proposition for the security-minded executive: a lease on your own personal getaway boat, berthed in downtown Manhattan just in case the island should "cease to be a tenable place of residence or business operation."
It's common enough to rent a boat for a pleasant day’s escape on the water, and there are at least a dozen companies offering hourly charters on the Hudson or on Long Island Sound. But Plan B's contract is different – a reservation for a one-way, one-time escape from New York.
"There are a handful of bridges and tunnels," says CFO Chris Dowhie. "If mass transit is at a standstill, maritime evacuation is the only real alternative."
The firm notes that a boatlift was a major part of the response to the 9/11 attacks, when everything afloat – from tugs to yachts to ferries – helped carry survivors away from the disaster. The Coast Guard-led mission took 500,000 people off the island, more than the Dunkirk sealift, and it may well have been the biggest waterborne evacuation in history.
In the event of another disaster, Plan B charterers (or "subscribers") will have their own sealift option. Each one gets his or her own dedicated military-grade RIB, including available closed-cabin models with room for up to 18 team members. Berths downtown or on the West Side mean ready access from Wall Street or Midtown; among other locations, the firm has slips at IGY North Cove Marina, just blocks from the World Trade Center.
Plan B's staff provides user training and maintains the boats in a ready-to-go condition, and all an executive has to do for a rapid departure is enter a key code and motor across the Hudson. Plan B will track the boat and recover it later for reuse.
The price of a reservation runs at $3,000 to $9,000 annually, depending on vessel type.