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Everything You Need to Know About Boat Clubs in Tampa

Did you know that there are over 100,000 registered boats in the Tampa Bay area? That's a huge amount of boats, and that's not even counting all the vessels that aren't registered!

With so many boats out there, it'll come as no surprise when we say that tons of people in Tampa love boating. And, with four major rivers, 100 tributaries, and the enormous Tampa Bay itself to explore in the area, we can see why!

If you're interested in getting out on the water, why not do so by joining a boat club in Tampa? Here's everything you need to know about boat clubs in the Tampa Bay area.

Why Boating in Tampa Is Great

Boating in Tampa is a fantastic activity to participate in for tons of different reasons. Let's take a look at a few of the many reasons why so many people enjoy going boating in Tampa Bay. 

Boating Is Affordable

If you're looking for a cost-effective hobby to take up, why not try going boating? Boating is an affordable activity that doesn't require tons of fees. That's even more the case if you choose to join a boat club because you won't have to worry about hourly rental rates!

Tampa Is on the Water

In Tampa, we have the ocean in our backyard just beckoning us to go and explore it. When you go boating, you'll have easy access to waterways that let you see Tampa in a whole new light. 

Boating Reduces Stress

Did you know that boating may be linked to reduced stress? Studies have shown that boating is one of the most stress-relieving activities, and in a world where burnout abounds, getting out on Tampa's waterways is a great remedy.

Boating Is Good Exercise

Most of us could do with a little extra exercise, and what better way to get it than by cruising along Tampa's coastline? Boating works tons of different muscle groups, giving you a great workout that's so fun you won't even realize you're exercising!

Boating Is Easy to Learn

Many hobbies, such as learning a new language or learning to play an instrument, require tons of time and dedication to master. Boating, on the other hand, is easy to pick up. You can go boating in Tampa with no prior experience and learn how to navigate the water in no time at all!

Benefits of Joining Boat Clubs in Tampa

Are you itching to get out on the water and join the Tampa boat scene? If so, the best way to do so is by joining a boat club. 

While there are tons of reasons why you should consider joining a boat club, we've narrowed down the list to a few specific reasons that will really reel you in.

Save Money

There's nothing better than starting a new hobby and saving some money while you're at it! One of the biggest reasons why people choose to join boat clubs is that boat clubs provide big savings. 

Whether you're renting a boat or considering boat ownership, there are tons of ways that a boat club can save you some cash. Let's check out a few ways that that's the case. 

Renting vs. Boat Club

When you start renting boats, it won't take you long to figure out that you're spending a lot of money on hidden costs. Just getting out on the water for a single day can cost you hundreds of dollars, depending on what boat you're using. 

On top of that, some boat rentals in Tampa require you to take out additional insurance coverage. Or, they charge you for paddles, flotation devices, and other important gear. That amounts to extra costs that you weren't bargaining for!

When you join a boat club, you don't have to worry about any of those issues. Boat club memberships charge a monthly fee that gives you access to as many boats as you want as often as you want. The fees can often wind up being less than the cost of a rental for a day. 

On top of that, boat club memberships include all the boating gear and insurance you need. You won't have to fork over piles of additional cash just to get out on the water. 

Ownership vs. Boat Club

Renting a boat isn't the only type of boating that can wind up costing you more than a boat club membership. Boat ownership can also add up pretty quickly!

For starters, when you own a boat, you have to pay for boat repairs and maintenance just to keep getting out on the water. And, depending on what's wrong with your vessel, these repairs can add up!

What's more, you'll be responsible for boat storage costs. Boat storage can get extremely expensive, costing you tons of money over time. 

With a boat club membership, you don't have to worry about storing your vessel because the club stores the boats for you. And, the club takes care of all the repairs and maintenance so that you don't have to pay a penny.  


Variety is a big reason why people choose to join boat clubs. After all, when you own a vessel you only have access to the boat that you've purchased. And, when you rent a boat, you'll only be able to use the limited types of boats available at the business. 

Boat clubs on the other hand give you access to a whole fleet of vessels. You can learn new skills and try out boats you've never used before all as part of your boat club membership. 

That's all especially true if you're a member of the Freedom Boat Club in Tampa. The Freedom Boat Club has thousands of vessels around the United States with hundreds of spread across the entire Tampa Bay area. 

Test the Waters

If you're just getting started in the world of boating, you might not know exactly what it is that you enjoy. It can leave you feeling nervous about making an investment into your own boat because you don't know if you'll actually enjoy it. 

Boat clubs are a fantastic way to test the world of boating without committing to purchasing a vessel outright. And, they let you test out tons of different watercraft so that you can figure out which you like best. 

Less Hassle

No one wants to feel stressed out when they go out for a boating trip. After all, the whole point of going boating is to spend a relaxing day out on the water!

When you join a boat club, you can experience far less hassle. The club's staff takes care of all the heavy lifting so that you don't have to. 

As soon as you arrive at the boat club, the deckhand or dockmaster will assist you in loading and unloading your gear. They help you get everything you need into the boat with ease so that you can head out and hit the waves. 

At the end of the day, you'll be greeted once again by your handy boat club staff who will help you unload your vessel. Then, you just have to give the keys to the reception team and head home!

Boat clubs take care of all the cleaning and maintenance of the boat so that you don't need to worry about it. You can simply enjoy the boat for the day before returning it and relaxing at home.

Time With Friends and Family

In a world where we spend increasing amounts of time hunched over computers and on our phones, it can feel difficult to get outdoors and spend time with our loved ones. 

When you join a boat club, you'll have a great reason to ditch the electronics and get the whole family outdoors. The team-building activity will bring you and your family closer together as you navigate the vessel. 

Plus, as a boat club member, you can get involved in local activities. Join in at deck parties, head to local mixers, or explore waterways with your fellow boat club members.  

Ease of Access

When you want to go boating, you don't want to have to worry about loading and unloading your boat. This can take up hours of time and can eat into your fun day on the water. 

With a boat club, however, you have great ease of access to the water. To go boating, all you have to do is show up at your club and the staff will help you get your boat out onto the water. 

Boat clubs also grant ease of access because you can show up any time you like to get out on the water. You can go boating no matter what time of day it is because the boat club ensures that there are always vessels around for members to use. 

Better Boat Quality

Another reason why it's great to join a boat club is that you get access to higher-quality boats. When you purchase your own vessel, you're stuck with whatever boat you invest in. Sometimes, due to budgetary restraints, you're not able to get a boat with all the bells and whistles.

Boat clubs, on the other hand, have more money to invest in their fleets. They can add luxury vessels and superior upgrades that make your boating experience all the more exciting. 

On top of that, boat clubs take great care of their vessels. When you join a boat club you know that the watercraft you use will always be in good condition and well cared for. 

No Insurance Premiums

If you decide to buy your own boat, you'll need to take out an insurance policy. After all, you want to keep your valuable investment safe from damages, whether it's from your own hands or those of another boater!

What you'll quickly find, however, is that boat insurance premiums add up. That cost adds up even more if you've got to take out several different insurance policies or cover multiple watercraft. 

When you choose to join a boat club, on the other hand, your insurance premiums are included in your membership. You can get out on the water without taking out any additional memberships and know you're still covered. 

What Boat Clubs Are Available in Tampa

If you want to join a boat club in Tampa, you've got several different options available to you. Let's take a look at some of the different boat clubs you can become a member of in the Tampa area!

Freedom Boat Club

Freedom Boat Club is one of the oldest and largest boat clubs in the United States. The club has been around since 1989 and has a network of more than 250 clubs reaching from the US and Canada all the way to Europe. 

Because they're such a large club, you can enjoy boating no matter where in the world you are. You can take advantage of reciprocity so that you can set sail even when you're on vacation. 

What's more, since the club is so big, you'll have access to tons of different boats. When you're interested in trying a motorboat, getting access to great fishing boats, or even going sailing, the FBC Tampa has it all.  

Carefree Boat Club

Carefree Boat Club is focused on member education, which can make it a great choice for anyone who's just learning the ropes. They also offer after-hours boating for more experienced boaters. 

However, the Tampa location only has 7 boats in their fleet. That's not a lot of diversity if you're wanting to explore different types of vessels.

SunTime Boat Club

Sun Time boat club is located just outside of Tampa in St. Petersburg. This boat club offers flexible membership plans, which is why so many people enjoy it.

However, the fleet isn't as varied as you might find in other boat clubs, such as Freedom Boat Club. If you want to explore many different types of vessels, this isn't the best choice.

The Benefits of Freedom Boat Club vs Other Clubs

There are several different reasons why people opt to join the Freedom Boat Club instead of one of the other Tampa boat clubs out there. If you're interested in learning more about what sets this boat club apart, keep reading. Here's what to know about the perks of FBC!

The Freedom Boat Club App

One reason why so many people enjoy being a part of the Freedom Boat Club in Tampa is that the club has an easy-to-use app. That makes it simple for you to manage your membership, reserve boats, and so much more! Here are some of the features of this app. 


One of the most significant things you can do in the FBC app is to make boat reservations. All you need to do in order to set up a reservation is to select your local boat club. 

After choosing your club, you'll be prompted to add your reservation date. Then, once you've selected your date, you'll be able to pick which boat you'd like to use as well as choose a time slot. 

Finally, you'll simply plug in the captain's details and leave a note for the dockmaster about your arrival time. Then you'll be ready to show up for your reservation and get out on the water. 


If you're trying to make a reservation but someone beat you to it, you can always join the waitlist using the app. The waitlist can be used either for a specific vessel or for a certain calendar day. 

Regardless of which type of waitlist you're joining, you'll be able to add your name to the list. Then, when your chosen date or vessel is available, you'll be moved up on the waitlist until you have the reservation!


Who doesn't love snapping photos while they're out on the water enjoying family boating activities? Photos are a great way to remember you're adventure and look back on fond memories in the future!

With the FBC app, you can make photographing your day even easier. Just connect the app to your camera so that you can automatically upload photos to your profile. 

Not only is this a great way to store your memories, but it's also a way to get your photos featured in FBC promotional materials.  


If you ever need to communicate with your dockmaster, you can easily do so from the FBC app. The app has a messaging system that lets you connect directly with the dockmaster.

This makes it easy for you to let them know about any last-minute changes. Or, you can clarify any questions you have about the specific vessel that you've rented. 

Customer Reviews

You'll notice that the Freedom Boat Club stands out from the rest of the Tampa Bay boat clubs because of its amazing reviews. Pretty much any review platform you check out will give the Freedom Boat Club in Tampa at least a 4.5-star rating!

The team is renowned for exceptional customer service, and members often mention this in their reviews. They talk about how the staff is always willing to jump in and help, no matter what it is that you need. 

Members also applaud the Freedom Boat Club fleet. They love the fact that Tampa Bay offers many different types of boats, making it easy for them to explore different types of watercraft. 

In fact, Tampa Bay's FBC chapter is constantly upgrading its fleet. They recently added stand-up paddleboards and glass bottom kayaks to their list of amazing boats you can rent!

Fantastic Leadership

Another reason why so many people choose to join the Freedom Boat Club in Tampa is because of the fantastic leadership team. The leadership of the club cares about its members and about the success of the club, which is how its managed to become an international organization. 

For one thing, the FBC is listed as a Top 500 Company thanks to the incredible guidance of its leaders. Their fast growth has led to them being one of the best up-and-coming teams in Tampa. It's also the reason why they've won their place in the Top 500 list several years in a row. 

What's more, the club has received several prestigious awards. One of these awards is the National Boating Industry Safety Award, which was given to the team thanks to their ability to make boating safe

Customer Service

One of the biggest reasons why people choose to join the Freedom Boat Club of Tampa Bay is because of the outstanding customer service offered. The FBC team goes above and beyond in every way imaginable when it comes to customer service. 

For one thing, if you contact the FBC Tampa team you know that you'll get a response quickly. That's the case regardless of whether you're getting in touch via the app, giving the club a call, sending an email, or coming into the facility itself. 

In addition, the team at FBC Tampa is super friendly. As soon as you walk in the door of your club you'll be greeted with a smile and a wave. The team is ready and waiting to help you with whatever it is you need. 

How to Use Freedom Boat Club in Tampa

So, are you ready to sign up for FBC Tampa? Great choice! You're on your way to becoming a member of the best boat club in Tampa FL.

Before you get started, there are a few additional things you'll need to know about using the Freedom Boat Club in the area. 

Freedom Boat Club Locations

Freedom Boat Club in Tampa has several different locations that you can pick from. When you join the club, you'll have access to all of these amazing Tampa locations!

The Freedom Boat Club in Boston has several amazing locations for you to choose from. When you're a member, you'll be able to enjoy access to all of them!

The FBC boat club FL locations include: 

  • Alafia River 
  • Clearwater
  • Crystal River 
  • Dunedin
  • Hernando Beach
  • Homosassa Springs
  • John's Pass
  • Lake Dora
  • Lake Eustis
  • Lake Harris
  • Lake Tarpon
  • Little Lake Harris
  • Madeira Beach
  • New Port Richey
  • Port Hudson
  • Port Richey
  • Ruskin
  • St. Petersburg 
  • Tampa
  • Tampa Springs
  • Tierra Verde
  • Treasure Island
  • Yankeetown

As you can see, there are tons of boat club locations around Tampa for you to choose from. And, each one gives you unique waterways to explore!

Better yet, you'll also have reciprocal access to any other FBC club around Florida and the rest of the United States. You can pick and choose which clubs you want to visit so that you can see all of Florida's waterways. 

Freedom Boat Club Hours of Operation

If you're wanting to borrow a boat from the Tampa Bay FBC, you'll need to know a bit more about the hours of operation. That way, you'll know exactly how to take out boats from one of the best boat clubs in the Tampa Bay area!

The FBC Tampa is open seven days a week, with service from sunrise to sunset. That means that you can get outdoors and enjoy some cool breezes, sun, and fun no matter what time you want to explore!

To make sure that you get the most out of your boating membership, the FBC Tampa uses a split reservation system. You can book boats from sunrise until 1 pm and then from 2 pm to sunset. To rent a boat for the whole day you'll need to make two reservations. 

This system helps make sure that everyone on Tampa Bay has a chance to get outdoors and use their Freedom Boat Club membership. And, since you can make up to 4 reservations at a time, you'll be able to book boats all weekend long if you like!

How to Sign Up for Freedom Boat Club in Tampa

Signing up for the Freedom Boat Club in Tampa is easy. If you're ready to take the plunge and join the club, good for you! All you'll need to do is follow a few simple steps.

First, you'll need to find the Freedom Boat Club location that's closest to you. Tampa is home to several different FBC locations, so you'll be able to pick the one that's closest to your home.

After you've selected a club, you can request local pricing from our website.  You'll also have the opportunity for a dock tour. From there, you'll be able to pick which membership package makes the most sense for you and to fill out any required paperwork. 

Before sealing the deal and joining the boat club, make sure that you thoroughly read your membership agreement. Each club is different and has different responsibilities that you'll need to be aware of. Make sure that you're prepared to follow through with these as part of your membership.

Once you're satisfied that you understand the agreement and you feel comfortable, it's time to sign the paperwork. Then, you'll hand over your membership fees and be ready to take out whatever boat you please! 

Should You Join a Boat Club in Tampa? The Answer Is Yes

Joining a boat club in Tampa is an incredible choice. It's a way to spend more time with the family, get out on the water, and be more active. And, it's a decision that will provide you with tons of amazing benefits for life. 

So, are you ready to spend your days sailing on Tampa's water with a Freedom Boat Club membership? Reach out to the Freedom Boat Club in Tampa and become a member of our boating family!

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