Open For Business: Freedom Boat Club
Location: 8685 U.S. 1, Micco and 1221 Marina Village Circle, Vero Beach
Owners: Chris Kelly, Lisa Kelly and Ryan Kelly
Product/services: Members pay a lifetime membership fee and then monthly dues of $249, which entitles them to unlimited boating at their home port and four outings a year at each of the other 80 locations throughout the country. Members buy their own fuel.
The local outlets have nine boats total in both locations including pontoon boats, deck boats and a variety of fishing boats. Training for inshore and offshore, insurance and Seatow are all included in the membership.
What were you doing before this? I retired from a career in the car-rental industry in Orlando and Sarasota.
Why did you start this venture here? When we got to the point of where we wanted to do it with Freedom Boat Club, all of Florida was taken except for this general area. We were knowledgeable about the area, and we had property in Brevard County. I had thought about doing it on my own 10 years ago, and it’s a good thing I didn’t.
I recognized there was a need, but I didn’t know how to go about it. Without the foundation of the company and the website and corporate knowledge and experience, I would have been very fortunate to have been able to succeed.
Hours: First light to 5 p.m. weekdays, dawn to dusk on weekends.
Freedom Boat Club Overview
The monthly fee will entitle a member to unlimited boating at their home port location and four outings a year at any of the 80+ locations throughout the world. A member may have up to four active reservations at a time and can book as far out as six months in advance.
Freedom Boat Club boats range from 16 to 24 feet, including flats, skiffs, deck boats, pontoons, bow rides, sailboats, and kayaks, with almost all boats younger than three years old. All options will vary from location to location.
The club will clean, maintain, store and do all of the prep work on its fleet so you dont have to.
The membership will also include a two-hour training class to learn how to operate the various boats in the fleet.
According to members, a two million dollar insurance policy along with a $2,500 deductible is included as well, but this may vary from location to location.
Aside from the boats, clubs will hold a dock party at least once a month, offering a member the opportunity to meet other members of the club.
How Does A Boat Club Work For You
Boat clubs work by offering members access to a fleet of boats for a monthly fee. Members can reserve a boat to use without having to worry about the costs associated with maintenance, insurance, and boating education. Boat clubs allow members access to a wide variety of boats for a much lower cost than purchasing a boat.
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How Expensive Is Living On A Boat
In an average month, it costs them around $2,200 to live on the boat. By comparison, they would spend $2,500 to $3,000 to rent an apartment in a similar area of San Diego, and still be paying the boats mortgage on top of that. Keeping the boat at a marina is the largest expense besides the mortgage.
Boats Available For Freedom Boat Club Members
The FBC owns more than 2,000 boats of different kinds. One of the perks of becoming a Freedom Boat Club member is your opportunity to use and enjoy all kinds of boats available. That way, you also get to enjoy different types of boating activities.
Freedom Boat Club has tied up with several boat manufacturers. However, this does not mean that all clubs have similar types of boats. Franchisees, club owners, and operators are free to choose boat models that they think are ideal for their local market and waterways.
Most boat types available in Florida are fishing boats, bowriders, deck boats, and pontoons to give you an idea. Whereas kayaks, sailboats, and wakeboard boats are more popular in southern areas.
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Are Boat Club Memberships Worth It
If you do not have a boat, yet you want to enjoy the fun that comes with sailing, you can either rent a boat or join a boat club. When you rent a boat, the cost will depend on the hours you are out with the boat. When you join a boat club, you pay a month fee and then pick a boat whenever you are available.
If you do not want to rent or join a boat club, you can buy a boat which comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Is a boat club membership worth it?
How Much Does Freedom Boat Club Cost
How much does it cost to belong to Freedom Boat Club? Its typically the first question I get from someone who is considering joining.
There are various elements that determine the fees. There is not a cookie-cutter, standardized pricing that it applicable coast to coast. Membership fees vary from club to club, just as some fitness clubs charge $70 a month while others $15 a month. Location, amenities, and other factors all play a role in determining fees.
Every member of Freedom Boat Club, and there are 15,000 across the nation, pay a one-time fee to join, and then a monthly fee. It is to be expected that a Freedom Boat Club franchise operating from a five-star marina would have significantly higher expenses than one based in a more modest marina.
Please keep in mind that many of the franchises and corporate clubs occasionally offer promotions and incentives during the year, so be sure to ask if special offers are available.
Monthly Membership Plans
These fees also vary across the country for the reasons cited above.
Many of our clubs are located in warm climates and operate year round with unlimited boating. This requires year-round staffing and maintenance of the fleet.
Thats why when someone asks, What does it cost to join Freedom Boat Club, the answer is: It depends.
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How Long Beforehand Should I Make A Reservation
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about boat membership clubs. Will there be any boats available during the peak season? How far in advance should I book my reservation?
Both Carefree Boat Club and Freedom Boat Club try to stick to set ratios that ensure they have enough boats for all members to comfortably enjoy and experience being on the water. For every ten members, there should be one boat.
This ensures that every member has an opportunity to access their premier selection of boats.
There is a good possibility that you may be able to call your local marina and reserve a boat for the day of your trip. This is particularly true during the off-season when sailing is not quite as popular.
However, you may want to be safe rather than sorry if you know there are specific dates that you would like to use a boat.
At Freedom Boat Club, you can make up to four reservations through their online app up to six months in advance. You can also make reservations up to six months in advance at Carefree Boat Club.
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What Does The One
Your local membership executive can review this in detail, but, in a nutshell, when you join Freedom Boat Club, you receive the following benefits:
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How Does Carefree Boat Club Differ From Freedom Boat Club
Much like the Freedom Boat Club, Carefree Boat Club offers a variety of locations throughout the United States. You can enjoy unlimited access to their fleet of boats when you enroll in their program that covers more than eighty destinations. When traveling to more popular areas, you can expect to pay more for membership costs.
Dana Landing Marina On Mission Bay
Mission Bay provides anglers an extremely diverse year-round fishery. The bay is generally shallow, with the max depth in most areas of the bay being only 12 feet with slow sloping sand bottoms. Some areas, including the Mission Bay Channel, Mariners Basin and Quivera Basin have a max-depth of 20 feet. The majority of the shoreline is sand, but there are several areas that are lined with rocks. There is roughly 27 miles of shoreline along Mission Bay, with 19 miles of that being comprised of sand.
We Take Care of It All…Including the Boats
Pay a 1x Entry Fee and Monthly Dues
Get Unlimited Training from Licensed Captains
Your safety is our No. 1 concern. So we give all our members unlimited training with certified captains. And if you wish to boat in a new location, theyll show you the waterways.
Take Any Boat Out as Often as You Wish
- Worlds oldest and largest membership boat club with over 30 years of experience
- Reciprocal access to 300+ Locations in the US, Canada and Europe
- We take care of the maintenance, cleaning, repair, insurance and storage
- Fleet includes bowriders, pontoons, offshore/inshore fishing boats , deck boats and wake boats
- Insurance coverage of liability, hull and machinery
- 1-on-1 training by licensed captains
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A Sound Future Investment
Youll never hear anyone say this about a buying a boat, but investing in Carefree Boat Club is truly a sound investment. As the club grows, the more its value increases. When you join at your local lake, you will also enjoy membership privileges at any of the clubs 50+ other locations. So theres a big benefit in choosing a club that has branches at locations to which youd like to visit. One trend we are seeing more and more of is club members planning their vacations around other boat club locations. Simply click on one of the pricing guide download links, and we will send you our detailed guide to Carefree Boat Club Cost.
Are you a member of carefree boat club? Let us know what your experience has been like in the comments.
Owning A Boat Vs Joining A Boat Club
It is understandable that some people have mixed feelings about boating.
They love to boat. They just have no interest in owning one. But just because someone cringes at the thought of taking care of boat, and all the expenses that go along with it, doesnt mean they have to miss out on all the fun and benefits of boating.
For some people, who dont mind the cleaning or maintenance, owning a boat might be the best choice. But for others, joining a boat club might make the best sense, both financially and in terms of time commitment.
Lets compare the bottom line:
Becoming a member of a boat club involves paying an initiation fee, typically in the $5,000 to $6,500 range. Then there is a monthly payment of $350.
After that, members only pay for gas, regardless of how often they take out a boat. Club members have the benefit of knowing their fixed expenses and the elimination of costly surprises that are so common with boat ownership. Plus, they can choose from various types of boats.
So, in terms of annual expense, a boat club member can expect to pay between $9,000 and $11,000, the first year.
In general terms, a person who buys a boat, in the $20,000 $30,000 range will have a monthly payment of $1,000. But that is only the beginning of the costs associated with boat ownership.
So, surprising as it might seem, joining a boat club not only saves members from all the hassles associated with boat ownership, in most instances, it can also result in greater savings.
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Is Joining A Boat Club Worth It
Pros and ConsJoining a boat club will mean no more maintenance or seasonal headaches with your boat, no more slip fees, and no more driving a trailer around. Also, you will likely be able to use boats at different locations, like when youre traveling out of town to visit relatives.
Members Gain Access To A Fleet Of Boats
Freedom Boat Clubs concept allows members to gain access to a fleet of boats such as fishing boats, deck boats, cruisers, and bowriders. Members have the opportunity to choose any boat every time they go on the water.
The club also conducts on-the-water boat safety classes for its members. This way, everyone will feel comfortable and safe, especially the new and young ones. The notable young FBC members include Elene Pilpani, Esther Ng, and Prisha Khatwani.
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Whats Not Included With The Freedom Membership
Clearly, there are a lot of benefits associated with purchasing a Freedom Boat Club membership. The monthly membership includes plenty of perks and covers most of what you need to enjoy boat outings throughout the year.
With that being said, there is one key element of boating that isnt covered by the Freedom membership, and thats fuel.
Youll be charged a fee for the amount of fuel you use after each boat outing. This fee will be in addition to your monthly membership fee.
Fuel flow meters are installed in some boats owned by the Freedom Boat Club, and these meters are checked immediately before and after a boat goes out on the water. This means that youll only ever be charged for the amount of fuel that you use per outing.
The reason why Freedom Boat Club charges for fuel on top of the membership fee is simply because members will use different amounts of fuel depending on their individual boat usage.
Another potential cost that isnt covered by the Freedom membership fee is the cost of tips. While providing tips isnt mandatory, its a good way to show appreciation for the dock workers who deal with departures, returns, loading, and unloading all free of charge.
Does Freedom Boat Club Have Sailboats And How Much Can You Use The Boats
Freedom Boat Club started in 1989, making it one of the oldest operating boat clubs in the U.S. It started in Sarasota, Florida, and then grew all over the U.S. and later in Canada and France. Today, you can access FBC in more than 210 locations.
The club has at least 2,400 boats and more than 20,000 members. Although they do not have sailboats, they offer bow riders, cruisers, fishing boats, and . Most boats are between 12 and 25 feet. You do not have to limit yourself to the same boat as you can pick any boat you like as long as you are a member.
The boat fuel is not part of the fee you pay. Before you reserve a boat, you need to consider how much fuel it will consume in the duration you will have it out in the waters.
Some clubs offers special plans that may limit when you access the boats. Some of these plans include:
Friends and family usage plan
You will have unlimited access to the boats during the time that the boats are accessible to you. For instance, if you pick a weekend-only plan, the boat will be available to you on weekends for unlimited usage.
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What Exactly Is A Boat Club
Boat clubs work by offering members access to a fleet of boats for a monthly fee. Members can reserve a boat to use without having to worry about the costs associated with maintenance, insurance, and boating education.
Boat clubs allow members access to a wide variety of boats for a much lower cost than purchasing a boat. This can make joining a boat club a good way to see if boating is the right hobby for you without having to commit to a large purchase.
In addition to providing members with boat training and well-maintained boats, boat clubs offer members many perks. Many boat clubs offer complimentary access to water toys such as skis and slides. Other clubs offer training for each specific vessel in their fleet to ensure your comfort and safety.
Boat clubs also act as social clubs that bring together people with similar interests. Many clubs offer member-only social gatherings, parties, and cruises.
These gatherings can be a great place to make new friends and connections in the boating scene.
What Are The Advantages
If you missed it in the paragraph above, the most important advantage of the boat club is that the club maintains the fleet of boats. Yes, you heard that right! As a club member, all you have to do is reserve your boat, show up, and have fun. Members can enjoy the boating life completely worry free. Maintenance, cleaning, storage, insurance, slip fees, etc these responsibilities and more fall on the club owners. The members dont have to worry about any of that. Hows that for carefree?
Another huge advantage of the boat club is that insurance and liability are handled by the club. Training is provided by the club, both group training and on-the-water training. For an individual or family that may be new to boating, this is invaluable.
With all the advantages, though, the most important thing about boat club membership is that you can enjoy EVERYTHING that boating has to offer, with NO WORRIES about any of the expensive, boring things that come with owning a boat.
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