Joining the Freedom Boat Club is considered worth your time and money, especially when you don’t have enough money to buy your boat. It’s a convenient option that allows you to enjoy the sailing experience without owning a boat yourself.
Of course, numerous boat rental services and membership programs are available online, and not all of them are worth the price you have to pay. So, how is the Freedom Boat Club any different?
Let’s find out why you may want to join and what you need to know before joining.
What Is the Freedom Boat Club?
The Freedom Boat Club is a membership-based boating club that grants you access to boat after boat. In essence, it is your personal boating club. Whether you’re an avid angler or a beginning sailor, there’s a boat in the fleet calling your name.
The club was founded in 1989 by John Giglio, a St. Petersburg resident who wanted to make boating more accessible and affordable for people who would otherwise not be able to enjoy it.
He launched the first Freedom Boat Club at a single marina in Florida. The club has since expanded to over 150 locations nationwide, including California, Texas, and New York.
Becoming a member of the Freedom Boat Club gets you unlimited access to the entire fleet of boats. The best part of it is that they take care of all of the maintenance and cleaning so that all you have to do is show up and enjoy your time on the water.
Requirements for Joining the Freedom Boat Club
There are no specific requirements for joining the Freedom Boat Club. However, they have a general set of guidelines that they adhere to when considering potential new members and their applications.
While they take the time to review each prospective member’s qualifications, all Freedom Boat Club members must meet the following criteria:
- Ages 21-75
- Proof of boating experience
- Proof of boater safety course
- Valid driver’s license
- Good credit rating
Potential new members must fill out an application and submit it to the corporate office at least 30 days before attending the New Member Orientation. This allows the team time to review their application and make sure everything is in order before attending orientation.
They also require applicants to attach a copy of their driver’s license or state ID card along with the application for verification purposes. During orientation, the membership coordinator asks for a copy of each applicant’s boating safety certificate, if applicable.
How Much Does Freedom Boat Club Membership Cost?
The entry fee is $5,000, which is payable only once. The Freedom Boat Club also offers three different types of memberships at various price points.
A local membership option lets you use boats at locations near you. There’s also an elite membership option that gives you access to every site around the country.
Aside from that, there’s also a homeport option that lets you use boats at one location or another, depending on your home port.
All the membership plans mentioned above vary in costs but are between $300 and $700 every month.
Is It Cheaper to Buy a Boat or Join a Boat Club?
Well, it depends. If you are a casual boater, who wants to be on the water only a few times a year, there is no doubt that joining a boat club is the way to go.
If you’re someone who enjoys boating and want to spend a lot of time on the water, buying your own boat is better because your usage will justify the investment.
The cost of buying a new or used boat depends on its size and make, but most boats can range anywhere from $15,000 to over $100,000. Because of this hefty price range, it is essential to do your research before making such a significant purchase.
The cost doesn’t stop at the initial purchase price either there’s also maintenance, dock fees, and storage fees to consider. Not only do these additional costs add up quickly, but they’re also quite annoying to pay for in the first plan.
Therefore, if you want to sail many times in a year, it’s cheaper and simpler to buy your own boat.
Is Joining the Freedom Boat Club Worth It?
As you can see, the initial costs of joining the Freedom Boat Club can be high, and it’s crucial to factor in the cost of fuel and additional fees when calculating your total investment.
If you love boating but don’t want the hassle of owning and maintaining a boat, joining the Freedom Boat Club might be worth considering. It promises easy access to boats without the stress or expense of ownership.
The fact that it offers one of the most affordable memberships compared to other boats clubs makes joining Freedom Boat Club even better.
The Bottom Line
Overall, whether or not to join a boat club ultimately comes down to your personal situation and preferences.
If you’re looking for an easy way to enjoy boating without worrying about the hassle of buying a boat outright, then Freedom Boat Club might be just what you need