Boaters today have plenty of options to get their fix. Many choose the route of traditional boat ownership and prefer the ability to outfit and customize according to their own desires. Others may charter or rent on occasion, whenever the mood strikes.
For newcomers to boating along with a healthy percentage of former boat owners, the boat club is today’s affordable and simple alternative.
The founder and pioneer of the boat club movement is Freedom Boat Club, the oldest and largest in the nation with 10,000 members in 19 states coast-to-coast. Freedom Boat Club began in Sarasota in 1989 and currently operates nearly 90 corporate and franchise-owned clubs from coast to coast.
“Our club appeals to folks who love boating, but who prefer the many conveniences that club membership offers,” said Freedom Boat Club President and CEO John Giglio. “
If the idea of making advance reservations, showing up at the dock and having your boat ready to go sounds great, then returning after a full day of fun and turning in the keys with no further responsibility probably sounds even better.”
Giglio points to the club’s massive fleet of 850 boats nationwide, 320 of which are right here in Southwest Florida at the corporate-owned club facilities, from Bradenton to Marco Island. Boats range in size from 17’ to 27’ and include both late model power and sailboats from leading national brands.
“Our members can access a variety of boats, from inshore and offshore fishing boats, to pontoons, dual consoles, daysailers and deck boats,” he said. “One of the major benefits of Freedom Boat Club membership is reciprocal access to club boats throughout Southwest Florida, as well as nationwide.”
“One of the major benefits of Freedom Boat Club membership is reciprocal access to club boats throughout Southwest Florida, as well as nationwide.” CEO John Giglio
Another advantage, especially for new boaters, is the free 1:1 on-water training is provided by licensed Coast Guard instructors to ensure that club members are both comfortable and confident at the helm.
Finally, for many members, the club’s robust social program offers the winning ticket. Each club regularly sponsors fun monthly gatherings and special events, along with fishing seminars held in partnership with West Marine. Open houses are also held monthly, featuring free boat rides and a chance to meet with area membership executives.
Freedom Boat Club
14 Southwest Florida Locations
Bradenton – Marco Island