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Boating Club Redux

A new ownership group is taking over Freedom Boat Club in the Charleston area, “officially relaunching” two destinations next Saturday.

The June 3 transfer involves what Venice, Florida-based Freedom calls the “world’s oldest and largest boat club” with 15,000 members and 130 locations.

Meanwhile, the club “sports a brand new fleet of boats,” it said.

Charleston is viewed as a top notch growth market with ample potential to expand the membership, said John Giglio, president and chief executive of Freedom Boat Club.

The company, which has been in the region since 2005, counts more than 165 members in Mount Pleasant and Seabrook Island locations.  Still, the club’s performance was perceived to be far beneath its potential, according to the boating outfit.

“Our corporate team met with the original franchise owners as well as another successful franchise owner operating three clubs in South Carolina and decided to work together to further develop this very promising boating market,” Giglio said.

“Our combined management horsepower and experience in operating successful boat clubs, coupled with a dedicated focus on the Charleston market and the major investment in a fleet of top boating brands, is expected to positively impact our business while providing outstanding opportunities for local boaters seeking affordable boating options,” Giglio said.

To mark the occasion, the new owners will host a special grand opening relaunch party and ceremony 1–4 p.m. June 3 at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, 20 Patriots Point Road, in Mount Pleasant. The event at Lookout Pavilion will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with local dignitaries at 1:30 p.m., complimentary appetizers and live entertainment by guitarist Chris Dorsel.

According to Freedom Boat Club, executives from Summerville-based Scout Boats will join the new Charleston management team for the festivities and showcase new boat models.

“We’d like to welcome the public to come learn about Freedom Boat Club and our multiple membership options,” said Chris Speckman, one of the Charleston franchise owners and joint principal of Freedom Boat Club of the Grand Strand. “There has never been a better time or opportunity for Charlestonians to get on the water and to experience the best of our maintenance-free boating lifestyle than now.”

Freedom Boat Club’s two Charleston locations include more than a dozen new Scout fishing boats, Hurricane deckboats and Sweetwater pontoons. The club offers several membership plans, now with special promotions and incentives. All plans include unlimited boating, free training and regular social activities for members.

In addition, Freedom Boat Club members enjoy reciprocal access to boating anywhere a Freedom Boat Club is located.

Visit www.freedomboatclub.com.