Gulf Stream Boat Club
If you like the idea of having a full-service experience, then the Gulf Stream Boat Club is probably the right choice for you.
They can get you started the right way with a wide variety of activities, but first, you must choose from one of three convenient locations:
- Delray Beach
- Boynton Beach
This club provides sunset cruises, wakeboarding and waterskiing lessons, and fishing guides or equipment. You can even enjoy a catered lunch or dinner while you are out and about on one of their seaworthy vessels.
Many boat clubs provide their boats solely for member use, but Gulf Stream Boat Club also offers chartered boats as well. If you want to take your family out on the water without the hassle of manning the boat yourself, you can take advantage of their licensed captains for a charter. This is an excellent option if you are just learning how to navigate a boat on your own.
For those who need a little help, they also offer lessons on boat safety and operation.
Related Article: Boat Clubs In Tampa, Florida: 7 Clubs You Should Know
Is Freedom Boat Club A Good Deal Vs Buying A Boat
A boat club is always a good deal when you need to enjoy boating without the hassle of paying for insurance and maintaining your boat. It is estimated that up to 142 million Americans went boating in 2016, and you may have been one of them.
While boating is a great hobby, buying a boat and taking care of it doesnt come cheap. When you join a club membership, you enjoy the following benefits:
Details On The Carefree Boat Club Membership
Membership allows you to use all the boats, which can range from 23-29 feet long. Offerings include water sports boats, fishing boats, and pontoons with most being less than three years old but this will depend on where your location is so its best for you to go see what they have available before joining.
The Club claims there is no limit as to how many times one could go boating its truly limitless depending only on the availability. They also offer boats year-round, only depending on geographical location.
USCG-certified captains are available for free, unlimited training sessions. The average session lasts up to five hours and includes navigating, docking, anchoring, and safety strategies.
The company will cover all of the costs associated with boat ownership from insurance to winterization, and everything in between. This also includes boat purchase, slip fees, taxes, maintenance, or repairs.
It should only take you somewhere between five and 14 days to become an active member after applying, on average.
The entire process of reserving a boat is simple and straightforward, allowing you to make the reservation up six months in advance or on sight. You can only reserve four boats at any given time due to company policy however, there are no limits for spur-of-the-moment reservations when speaking with dock staff.
As a member, you may be able to keep a boat overnight, but usually, there are some restrictions around this.
Recommended Reading: Is Boat Insurance Required In Washington State
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.
How Many Boat Per Member
One of the many things that members want to look for in their boating club is exclusive usage. Some clubs do rent out their ships to non-members during slow seasons.
However, this can significantly impact how much boating you are able to do.
This is one area where you want to make sure you are getting what you pay for.
Fortunately, there arent too many differences between the two boat clubs in this regard. Neither of these companies rents their boats out to non-members. This allows you to rest easy knowing that the boat is more than likely available for you to use when you desire.
While both companies do maintain a private fleet, you should also know what the ratio is of members to boats. A higher ratio means that you may have to make reservations further in advance instead of making last-minute plans with friends and family.
Carefree Boat Club commits to limit its membership to ten members per boat in its fleet. While they do have fewer members and fewer boats, their boats are more accessible to members than those offered by Freedom Boat Club.
Freedom Boat Club has around 1,500 boats spread out across all of their locations. With more than 20,000 members, this makes the ratio of members per boat significantly higher.
It may require more advance planning to be able to use a boat through their service when compared to the ratios found at Carefree Boat Club.
Dont be afraid to ask questions of the staff at your local Freedom Boat Club location!
Don’t Miss: How To Register Boat In Missouri
What Is The Difference In Pricing
Both Carefree and Freedom Boat Clubs will have pricing that varies based on location.
They can agree that larger metropolitan areas will have more expensive one-time initial fees and monthly membership fees. This is because dock slips are at a premium in these busy marinas, and companies can command top dollar for this precious space.
Many cities are not forthcoming with the rates you can expect for membership.
This is in part due to the fact that both companies offer multiple types of membership.
For example, Freedom Boat Club offers five different membership levels:
- Three-month seasonal membership
- Weekend-only membership
- Friends and family programs
At Freedom Boat Clubs West Palm Beach location in Florida, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,750 to $5,500 for a one-time fee. Their monthly rates are a little more affordable with prices ranging from $149 to $299.
Carefree Boat Club also has an initial fee that can vary.
However, they do offer an affordable solution for members who want to enjoy boating without the commitment of owning their own ship. You can join for as low as $300 per month at their Clinton, Connecticut location.
One of the benefits of the Carefree Boat Club is that you arent locked into lengthy contracts.
You can sign up for as little as a single year instead of being stuck long-term contracts.
The same policy applies to the Freedom Boat Club.
Carefree Boat Club Membership Overview
A membership offers unlimited usage of all boats, which, depending on the location, range from 23 to 29 feet long. Most fleets include water sport boats, fishing boats, pontoons and sailboats, with most being less than three years old, but again, fleet choices will greatly depend on the location you sign up at. According to the club, there is no limit to how many times you can boat its truly unlimited, and again, depending on the exact geographical location, boats will be available year round.
All members receive free, unlimited training with a USCG certified captain, which includes navigating, docking, anchoring and safety strategies. The average training session can last up to five hours.
The company covers the insurance, boat purchase, slip fees, maintenance, repairs, taxes, towing, coverage, and winterization.
Also Check: What Size Boat Battery Do I Need
Also Check: What Is My Pontoon Boat Worth
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.
Boat Club Vs Boat Ownership: Which Is Better
If youre like most boat owners, then this time of year youre thinking about getting your boat ready for the season. And as much as you look forward to getting out on the water again, you arent looking forward to the process.
Youll have a good bit of cleaning to do and youre hoping the critters havent made a mess. Youll have to check the battery and check for mechanical issues, which are often found when youre de-winterizing.
And timing can be an issue. Do you de-winterize early, and risk not being past the last freeze? Or do you play it safe and wait until mid-April at which point you can get in line everyone else has the same idea, and youll be lucky to get your boat in the water by Memorial Day.
Of course, theres also another option for people who like to get out and enjoy the lake: boat clubs. A boat club operates in a similar fashion to a country club: for a monthly fee, members have reserved access to a fleet of boats on local lakes and some other destinations as well.
So what are the differences between boat ownership and boat club membership, and how do you decide which option is better for you?
Pros and ConsThe biggest pro for boat clubs by far is convenience. When you want to go boating, you simply go to the marina at your reserved time and head out on the water. Another benefit is that the boats youre using will likely be new and nice.
You May Like: Is Banana Boat Sunscreen Gluten Free
Who Can You Bring With You On Boat Trips
Most people find that they do not want to enjoy open water all by themselves. Boating is a hobby that is best done in the company of others. The good news is that you can bring many different people with you on your boating excursions.
Boat clubs typically allow you to bring anyone you want, even if they have no sailing experience. Feel free to bring friends, family members, children, and possibly even your favorite furry friend. Some boat clubs have ships that are pet-friendly.
Boating is also an excellent opportunity for you to impress a client from work. You can take them out for an afternoon of boating that will allow them to see you and your company in a whole new light.
The only limiting factor in who you can bring onto the boat with you is the capacity.
Each boat is designed to carry a limited number of passengers, so be sure to inquire about the passenger capacity when making your reservations.
If you have too many people to comfortably and safely fit on the boat, not everyone will be able to join you.
Do I Need To Carry Insurance
Do you have to pay additional fees for insurance with a membership through Carefree Boat Club or Freedom Boat Club? You may be worried about the potential cost of adding insurance to an already pricey membership fee.
Fortunately, you do not have to worry about adding this security policy to your monthly fee.
Carefree Boat Club maintains insurance that will cover all of the boats in their fleet, as well as third-party liability. However, you will be responsible for covering the deductible on this insurance policy if you cause damage to the boat.
Freedom Boat Club also boasts an impressive insurance policy that would be equal to the coverage you would have if you had purchased a boat.
You are listed as a permissive operator under the physical damage policy and protected by a $1,000,000 watercraft liability policy.
This additional protection offers you some security from third-party claims made while you are operating one of the boats from the fleet. Participating in watersports like tubing or wakeboarding may increase your chances of third-party claims, so this can help to put your mind at ease.
You can rest easy knowing that you have some protection from major damages and accidents when you sign up under either of these major boat clubs.
You May Like: Is Banana Boat Sunscreen Gluten Free
What Is Freedom Boat Club
Freedom Boat Club is the largest membership boat club with over 30 years of experience. With over 250+ locations, members will enjoy reciprocal access in the U.S Canada and France. One of the perks to joining a boat club like Freedom vs. ownership is the club takes care of the maintenance, cleaning, insurance and storage.
Freedom Boat Clubs fleets vary by location but generally include bowriders pontoons, offshore/inshore fishing boats deck boats and wake boats.
Finally, besides having your pick of boats that fit your needs for the day Freedom offers 1-on-1 training by licensed captains and includes insurance coverage of liability for hull and machinery.
Split Your Membership And Save
Contributor: Carefree Boat Club of Southern Connecticut
Do you have a close friend or family member who shares your love of boating? Do you like saving money? We are willing to bet that you do! That is why we have created and are offering prospective members the ability to split their membership with a friend or family member. Two people sharing a membership allows you to save a substantial percentage of the cost of membership.
If you join with a friend or family member we allow you to split the costs of the membership any way that you would like. This is applied to every fee related to membership, including the initiation fee, monthly membership fee, and the ResNet fee. We do, however, ask that if members split the ResNet fee they pay it on an annual basis, as opposed to monthly.
All co-members in a shared membership have equal access to ResNet, our online reservation system. Each co-member has their own login credentials that give them access to their four rotating shared reservations. Reservations can be managed by either of the co-members. And management is key! We stress that keeping an eye on your reservations, and booking in advance, will give you the best boating experience, and good communication between co-members will facilitate proper management.
Dont Miss: Finding The Right Prop For My Boat
Read Also: Who Makes The Best Jon Boat
Lets Run A Quick Cost Analysis Looking At Our Flagship
Loan terms: 20% down with a 5% loan over 10 years.
Downpayment for Port & Starboard Plan = $3,900.
Monthly = $199
When you add in maintenance, repairs, storage and insurance
Youll save $30k+ over 3 years & $85k+ over 10 years with no repair surprises. More than that, well keep you in new boats all 10 years as each year we renew 1/3 of the fleet!
Youll find, as thousands of others have found in the Tampa area, Freedom Boat Club of Tampa Bay is the best value for the dollar.
Read Also: How Do I Register My Boat In Colorado
Freedom Boat Club Membership Cost
Membership cost of Freedom Boat Club is an essential issue to consider when you want to join them. But, dont forget one thing that the boat club membership cost may vary from one coast to another.
Despite having the variations, well try to give the bestpossible and the most accurate information about the pricing. We already haveknown about the pricing of the club membership which is in total $ 5,349.
In this amount, there is the inclusion of a one-time joiningfee along with a monthly fee. That means, when youll pay the amount, you justneed to pay a $349 for every other month.
You might be thinking that this is a large amount to becomea member of the club. But, this is indeed 60 to 70% cheaper than being an ownerof an individual boat. Its because youd need nothing to deal with a boatregarding wrapping, storing, or towing it.
Most of their members are have enough money to theirpersonal boat, but they dont do it. The reasons are that we have mentionedearlier and they simply like to avoid the mess.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Register My Boat In Colorado
See The Differences For Yourself
Many people still find themselves torn between the two boat clubs. Each has its own advantages that might appeal to some people more than others.
If you find that you are still conflicted about which boat club is right for you, it might help you to see the differences for yourself.
Look up the location that is closest to your home and take a trip to see the fleet itself and talk with employees. This can also help you to get the most accurate pricing on a membership that suits your schedule and sailing needs.
Both companies have been well-established for quite some time.
While you can hardly go wrong with either one, this comparison might help you to make a better decision for your vacation, summer sailing plans, and even your wallet.
Donât Miss: Do I Need Boat Insurance In Florida