Home Life on the Water Owning a boat vs. joining a boating club

Owning a boat vs. joining a boating club

by boat-admin

I get told all the time, we are trying to decide between buying a boat, or joining a club, can you help us decide. The answer is yes, I am the perfect person for that, because I own not one, but two boats, (well I am The Boatanista)! I also own The Freedom Boat Club, so I understand who fits both.

I hear it from friends and acquaintances all the time: We need some advice. We are trying to decide between buying a boat or joining a boat club. What should we do?

My answer: It depends.

As owner of one of the most successful Freedom Boat Club franchises in the nation, and a lifelong boater, who owns two boats, I certainly know all the pros and cons. Plus, I am the Boatanista! Who else you gonna call? The bottom line: I am a passionate advocate for boating who wants to see people make the best decision for them.

The good news is that there are now more options than ever to enjoy this wonderful outdoor recreation. Let me share a few insights.

Here are the best reasons to buy a boat:

  • If you enjoy tinkering with your boat on the dock, doing basic maintenance and cleaning chores;
  • If you get heavy use out of your boat and take it out almost every weekend and on the holidays, or for an entire weekend;
  • You live on the water and have a dock;
  • You live close to a marina or boat ramp and do not mind pulling a trailer or paying dock fees;
  • You like to be out on a boat all night, and you have no qualms about driving at night;
  • You know exactly what type of boat you want and are satisfied with one model;
  • You can do basic repairs and maintenance, such as oil changes and replacing filters;
  • You are a serious fisherman who wants 24-hour access to a boat;
  • You want a cabin cruiser, or a boat larger than 24-foot.


Best reasons to join Freedom Boat Club:

  • You do not enjoy spending time cleaning or maintain a boat;
  • You want access to a variety of different models, from fishing boats and deck boats to pontoon boats and wakeboard models;
  • You want to avoid unexpected expenses;
  • You enjoy travel and want access to a boat wherever you go;
  • You are not a long-time boater and appreciate access to expert instruction and support;
  • You feel safer knowing there is always dock staff on duty when you are out;
  • You prefer not to deal with trailers, boat ramps or storage issues;
  • You are a seasoned boater who no longer wants to deal with all physical demands and time demands involved with boat ownership;
  • You loathe the idea of owning a boat that sits idle for long periods of time, and you understand the mechanical risks and uncertainty;
  • You want to spend more time out on the water and less time on the dock;
  • You want to just weave boating into your already busy schedule.

In summary: The question is not whether boating is right for you. The question is what kind of boating fits your lifestyle: ownership or membership.

If you have other insights about this, please let me know.

Email me at: l.almeida@freedomboatclub.com

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