Are Boat Clubs Worth It?

Boat clubs are an affordable way to enjoy life on the water and have the experience of captaining your own boat. Read more.

Boat clubs are an affordable way to enjoy life on the water and have the experience of captaining your own boat without the costs, responsibilities and fees associated with boat ownership.  

What are Boat Clubs? 

  • Boat clubs are a membership system or rental business where you pay a monthly fee to have access to different vessels of your choice, whenever you would like to get out on the water.
  • Boat clubs are an attractive proposition for those who wish to enjoy sailing but do not want the responsibilities of owning a boat.
  • Boat clubs are particularly popular in areas and regions near the water or the ocean, such as Florida.

If you are new to boating, it is also an opportunity to try out different vessels and several types of boats to see which one you like and enjoy the most.

Boat Clubs versus Boat Ownership  

Boat Clubs allow you to enjoy sailing without any of the burdens of owning a boat. The boat club will look after the vessel’s maintenance, insurance of the boat and any other associated fees. Many individuals choose a boat club membership if they are cautious about owning a boat or are unsure if they will use a boat very often.

A boat club can be an excellent way to still have a connection to the sea and sail without the associated costs. It is an affordable way to have access to a boat and – very much like renting a house – you do not have the costs and the ongoing maintenance expenses of owning a vessel. 

Many people believe that boat clubs are worth the money, as the monthly fee is much less than the upfront costs of purchasing a boat. Also, if you change your mind about owning a vessel, you are not burdened with the responsibility of selling the boat.  

Being part of a boat club is also a social activity and can be a way to meet new people with similar interests. You can gain experience by sailing in the waters around your home or your vacation destination. Furthermore, if you live close to the water or by the coast for only part of the year, many boat clubs offer seasonal memberships. This membership model is perfect for retirees or those who own homes in different areas. 

How Do Boat Clubs Work? 

  • A typical boat club model works by paying a monthly fee. Then, almost all the costs of using a boat will be covered by the boat club.
  • When you want to go out on a boat, you will contact your local club to reserve a vessel for a set day and/or period.
  • You will then spend this time sailing with friends and family before returning to the club headquarters at the end of your allotted time

How Much is Boat Club Membership? 

Boat club prices vary. It can depend on your location and what tier of membership you select. Boat clubs can offer ‘unlimited’ memberships where you can use the boat as often as you would like, while there are options for seasonal memberships or weekend use only.  

What are Boat Club Costs and Fees? 

In addition to the monthly membership cost, many boat clubs will have a one-time joining fee. When it comes to the boat’s use, members will have to pay for the fuel they use on each boat excursion.

What are the Best Boat Clubs in the USA? 

Boating enthusiasts have several quality boat clubs to choose from in the United States: 

Freedom Boat Club

The Freedom Boat Club is the oldest and largest boat club in the USA, Europe and Canada. It has over 50,000 members and a huge range of vessels to choose from across the world.

Freedom Boat Club on Facebook

Carefree Boat Club 

Carefree Boat Club is another popular organization in the US. It offers its members access to Cabin Cruisers, Fishing Boats, Wakeboards, Pontoon and Sailboats.

Carefree Boat Club on Facebook

Gulfstream Boat Club  

A boat club specifically based in Florida; Gulfstream Boat Club is an excellent choice for those looking to support a locally owned organization.

Gulfstream Boat Club on Facebook

Is a Boat Club Worth it? 

If you are unwilling to make the commitment to owning a boat or wish to experience life on the water without the expense, a boat club membership may be an excellent choice for you. For many they are a popular way to enjoy an expensive pastime at a fraction of the cost. 


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