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What Are the Benefits of Boat Club Membership?

Boating resets our brains. No, really. It's not just an excuse to get out on the water.

72% of people living in the United States feel healthier after spending time on the water. Their brains replace stress hormones like cortisol with feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

This sensation called the Blue Mind is more accessible than you may think. You don't have to be a billionaire to go boating. In fact, you don't have to be a billionaire to own a boat.

If you want the full boating experience, all you need is a boat club membership. And, no. You don't have to have a boat to join.

Keep reading to learn more.

How Boat Clubs Work

Boat clubs are a great membership program that few people know about. Instead of having to own and service your own boat, you can pay for access to a fleet of boats.

The boat club itself is the entity that owns the boats that you're able to use.

Depending on the club you're thinking about joining, there is going to be a variety of boats to choose from. To name a few, you may have access to fishing boats, sailboats, cruisers, and bowriders. You should ask what kind of boats you're going to have access to before joining a boat club.

All you have to do is pay the membership fee and monthly dues to join the boat club. From there, you'll have access to all the boats that the club owns.

As with anything, you should read the fine print when you're signing the agreement. There may be stipulations, exceptions, or other rules you need to keep in mind as you're boating.

Most boat clubs use an online reservation tool that allows you to book the boat you want ahead of time. You wouldn't want to head all the way to the dock to find that the boat you want is gone for the day.

Renting vs Boat Club Membership

Contrary to popular belief, renting a boat and joining a boat club membership are not as similar as you may think. Boat clubs are much different from rental organizations.

Often, rental organizations offer a limited number and type of boat. And, they're commonly found in areas that have a high population of tourists.

Rental boats tend to not be cared for as well as the boats offered in boat clubs. They may be wet, run-down, and old.

On the other hand, boat club memberships offer well-maintained, clean boats that are always ready to go on the water. And, instead of paying a rental fee every time you go out on the water, you can pay a monthly fee to go out as many times as you like.

Plus, with boating memberships, you'll get even more benefits to take advantage of.

Boat Club Membership Benefits

Boat clubs come with a lot of benefits for active members. Your monthly fees get you a lot, and it could be more rewarding than having to take care of your own boat.

1. Skip the Insurance Premiums

Just like any other vehicle you own, your boat would need insurance. Sometimes, homeowners insurance can cover a boat, too. However, this may only work for small boats like canoes and small engine boats.

If you were planning on owning a bigger boat, you'd need to invest in a separate insurance policy. So, you'd have to pay monthly insurance premiums on top of every other boating expense.

In order for these insurance premiums to be worth it, you'd have to use the boat frequently. And, if you live in an area that gets too cold to ride, you may have to compensate for the winter months.

If you have a boating membership, you don't have to pay monthly insurance premiums. Plus, you don't have to worry about policy rules, liability coverage, and other insurance woes.

You get access to a fleet of different boats by paying a simple, monthly fee.

2. Forget About Maintenance

Another big boat cost is the maintenance.

Just like your car, you're going to need regular maintenance on your boat. No matter how well you take care of it, something is bound to go wrong.

There is a multitude of maintenance and repair jobs that you may need doing for your boat:

  • Oil changes
  • Engine work
  • Fuel system cleaning
  • Fuel system repair
  • Electronic malfunction work
  • Vessel system repair

The list goes on and on.

Owning your own boat may seem like a great idea. But, the reality is that a lot of people don't have the patience nor the funds to handle all of these costs. 

Plus, even more people don't understand how much maintenance their boat needs. They may not even know the signs that their boat needs to get work done.

Luckily, with a boat club membership, maintenance fees are built into your monthly dues. So, you don't have to pay for any boat maintenance outright. You're helping pay for the boat club to take care of it themselves.

You also save time this way. You aren't the one who has to get the boat serviced. The club will handle everything for you.

All you have to do is pay your monthly fee. Then, all of the boats in the fleet are guaranteed to be ready for the water.

3. Learn How to Drive

Boats are like any other vehicle.  They require some training and experience to operate.  Luckily, Freedom Boat Club offers free, unlimited training, from certified captains.  Not every club includes training, so keep it in mind as you're shopping around. 

The next time that you go out with family and friends, you can show off your skills.

The best part is that your club may offer these lessons as a part of your membership. You may not have to pay any extra fees for your lessons.

Alternatively, they may offer lessons at lower prices than you could get as a non-member. So, either way, you're going to be paying less than you would normally.

And, it's better to learn how to drive a boat through lessons than trying to figure it out for yourself. It's much safer to have an expert showing you the ropes.

4. Pick Your Boat

If you were to own a boat, it's likely that you would only buy one. There are few families that go out of their way to buy more than one boat.

While you may like the boat at first, you could get tired of seeing the same old scenery on the same old boat.

With a boat membership, you'll have access to a bunch of different boats. So, you can pick whatever boat you want to use that day.

This is especially useful when you may have more or fewer people than normal. You can take a smaller or bigger boat out without having to buy a completely new boat.

Different boats also serve different purposes. You may want to fish one day and sunbathe the next. You could host a party on a huge boat tomorrow and sit back with your partner on a small motorboat the day after that.

The options are endless, and you only have to pay one monthly fee to make it happen.

6. Move Around When You Want

Most boat clubs have multiple locations around the county. You may not be planning a trip now, but this could come in handy in the future.

If you want to boat on a new body of water or take a trip somewhere, you should go to another one of your boat club's locations. You'll get the same benefits at this second location as you do at your primary location. Plus, you may be able to take advantage of new types and sizes of boats.

As you're searching for the right boat club for you, you should ask whether each club has other locations. This is a great way to see whether some of your favorite destinations could offer 'free' boating as a part of your membership.

Boat Club Membership Advantages vs Disadvantages

Boat clubs come with an array of benefits and advantages for each member to use:

  • They offer a wide range of different boat types and sizes
  • They offer fair prices that are much lower than the price of your own boat
  • They may offer different payment tiers depending on how often you use their services
  • They allow you to make reservations for popular models or pick up a boat that's available last minute
  • They offer a number of perks, including insurance coverage, boating education, and more
  • They take care of the boat maintenance and repairs for you
  • They store and protect all of the boats for you
  • They may offer a country-wide membership that you can use at different locations

While all of these advantages, there are only a few disadvantages. Although, many boaters (especially new boaters) won't see these as tradeoffs:

  • You can't claim ownership of the boats
  • You can't customize the boats as you please
  • You can't claim a boat last minute that has previously been reserved for that day and time
  • You may be restricted from using certain boats at certain times (including overnight)
  • You will have to remember to pay a monthly fee for the club or you won't get access
  • You may have a limited number of reservations you can make per month

Unless you're thinking about taking a spur-of-the-moment boat ride at midnight, it's not likely that these disadvantages matter to you. Although, these are considerations that you should make as you're deciding between joining a club or owning a boat.

Boat Club Near Me

Boat clubs are most common along the East and Gulf coasts. However, some local lakes may host boat clubs on their own.

The easiest way to find a boat club for you is by searching online.

Better yet, you can use our map to find boat clubs across the United States.

Boat Club Membership Prices

Boat club prices vary based on the location of the boat club and the benefits that that specific boat club offers. Some clubs also offer different tiers of membership and seasonal memberships. 

Because of this variability, you'll need to contact specific boat clubs to find out the prices that they can offer you. Each boat club should be willing to give you at least an estimation of what your monthly dues would cost.

However, no matter where you go, your boat club fees are going to cost a fraction of the price that you would buy your own boat for.

As you're searching for the right kind of membership for you, you should compare monthly dues with the offers that each club gives you. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each membership option and make sure to get the best deal for you and your family.

Best Boat Club Membership

If you haven't invested in a boat club membership yet, what are you waiting for? Each and every boat club offers unbelievable benefits to each member. No matter what tier you're in, you're going to have access to boating when you want.

To join the best boat club across the United States, check out Freedom Boat Club. Fill out this form to get more information about our club and check out everything we have to offer.

Get started today so you can be ready in time for your next trip on the water.

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