How Much Does a Freedom Boat Club Membership Cost?
“Joining Freedom Boat Club really is one of the best investments I ever made! I’m a five-time former boat-owner. Ownership was right for our family at the time, but, at this stage in our lives, club membership is an easy, cost-effective way to enjoy the boating lifestyle. There’s nothing like spending a day on the water, returning to the dock, and then just turning in the keys.”
—Kenneth Smith, Venice, FL (see more testimonials here)
What does it cost to join?
The cost of membership is a very important consideration as you begin your research on boat clubs. We’re consumers too, so we know that you want to be as thorough as possible when analyzing all the options.
It is important to understand that boat club pricing is not a standardized “one-stop shop” from coast to coast. In this article, we explain why, and look at the variables involved.
Two Pricing Components
All Freedom Boat Club membership plans feature two distinct pricing components:
- A one-time entry fee to join the club
- An affordable membership plan that best suits each member’s needs
The one-time fee and the cost of the monthly membership plan vary depending on where you join, and the type of plan you select.
Why Does the Cost of the One-Time Entry Fee Vary?
The cost of the one-time membership fee is based upon local market conditions, and those can vary widely.
Just as a 2000-square foot house in Seattle, WA or San Francisco, CA would cost significantly more than the same house in Sarasota, FL or Clemson, SC, marina costs can differ vastly from market to market.
If an FBC franchise is operating in a popular boating destination, the marina operator can command top dollar. The franchise owner is competing for limited slip space space against other entities, including boat owners or other commercial interests. The more a marina charges for slip fees, dock and office space, etc., the more costly it is for the FBC franchise owner to operate the business. This means that the one-time entry fee is generally higher in larger metropolitan markets.
Many Freedom Boat Clubs offer occasional promotions and incentives throughout the year, so always ask about discounts or special offers!
Monthly Membership Plans
For the same reasons, monthly membership options and plan pricing also vary by location.
Some clubs located in warm climates offer year-round, unlimited boating. This entails year-round staffing, operations, and ongoing service and maintenance on the fleet, all of which make boating more expensive.
Other clubs operate in seasonal markets due to inclement weather conditions. Off-season, however, business and operational costs are still incurred, as the club’s fleet must be properly winterized, serviced, and put into storage.
Many clubs in year-round locations offer three- and six-month seasonal membership options, allowing members to choose and pre-select the months they want to use their club. These seasonal memberships cost less by month, due to the more limited boating usage, but the fees are still paid on a year-round basis, as the club still incurs running costs off-season.
Some clubs also offer special weekday-only or weekend-only membership plans. In some markets, there are special membership provisions for retired or active-duty military and first responders. Some also offer “friends’n’family” programs. Franchise owners and operators choose the plans that best fit the members in their respective marketplace.
There are more than 165 Freedom Boat Clubs throughout North America, and many different types of membership plans available — so, when someone asks what it costs to join Freedom Boat Club, the answer will vary, depending on location. This is why we cannot list all the one-time fee or monthly plan options for every club online, nor publish a standardized membership rate card.
Speak to A Membership Executive for Local Market Information
The membership executive in each local market knows all the available membership plans and associated costs, and will happily answer all your questions.
We understand that people are often reluctant to speak with a “sales professional”, but Freedom Boat Club’s membership executives are here to help you decide if a boat club is right for you or not. They can guide you through all the options, and explain the costs and benefits of each.
If the pricing or the membership plan doesn’t suit your lifestyle, needs or budget, that’s OK! The membership executive is just there to answer all of your questions, so you can make the best decision for you.
How Many Times Can I Use A Boat?
Your usage is unlimited.
You can make four reservations in advance using our proprietary online reservation system. Those reservations “roll”: as soon as you use one, you can book another.
You can also call your dock(s) of choice at any time to check on availability. If there’s a boat in the dock that has either returned for the day, or is unreserved, it’s yours!
What Does the One-time Fee and Monthly Membership Plan Include?
Your local membership executive can review this in detail, but, in a nutshell, when you join Freedom Boat Club, you receive the following benefits:
- Unlimited access to the boats in our fleet
All members get unlimited access to the boats in their local club. Depending on the type of plan you choose, you can also access boats nationwide.
- Free, unlimited 1:1 training, taught by U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains
Freedom Boat Club is 100 percent committed to boating safety for our members. Before you take a boat on the water, you will participate in a training session with a captain who teaches the state’s boating regulations and guidelines in a classroom setting, and then provides hands-on, 1:1 instruction on a boat, on the water. The on-water training covers docking maneuvers and close-quarter and open-water navigation techniques. This is not a rushed, five-minute review, but a thorough and comprehensive training session designed to ensure your safety while inspiring confidence at the helm. Training is unlimited, so you can always take a refresher session, or sign up for an advanced course as available. Our captains are also pleased to assist with local orientations.
- Insurance coverage
We provide you with the same coverage you would obtain if you had purchased a boat instead of joining the club. You are a Permissive Operator under the physical damage policy protecting our boats, and an Additional Insured in our $1,000,000 Watercraft Liability policy that protects you from claims from third-parties while the Freedom boat is in your care/custody/control.
- Special events and social gatherings
Freedom Boat Club is a social club, and the regular FBC Socials provide a great opportunity to have fun and meet new friends who share your passion for boating! Some locations host monthly events, while others have events seasonally during their prime boating months.
In addition, Freedom Boat Club has a national partnership with West Marine, so many clubs host fishing seminars or other specialty programs for their members in local West Marine stores.
What Isn’t Covered In the Monthly Membership Fee?
The answer to this question is the same for every Freedom Boat Club location: fuel.
Many of our clubs use fuel flow meters that are initiated at check-out from the dock, and then reviewed in full upon return. In all cases, you are only charged for the fuel that you use during your outing.
Some Freedom Boat Clubs offer optional programs that include special insurance coverage and towing provisions. Your local membership executive can provide full details.
Finally, every Freedom Boat Club has a professional dock staff, whose total focus is to assist members with boarding, check-in, dock departure and returns. They are happy to help load and unload your gear. Many of our satisfied members choose to tip for outstanding service, and the dock staff appreciates the consideration, this is fully at the member’s discretion.
Our Members Bill of Rights
We operate according to an established Members Bill of Rights, which is given to all new members, and clearly communicates what you should expect as a member of Freedom Boat Club.
We highly encourage you to read it for yourself. Click Here for more information.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Freedom Boat Club. We hope you found this article helpful! Our goal is to be as transparent as possible, and to treat our members in the same manner as we would want to be treated.
Freedom Boat Club has been in business since 1989, and is the oldest and largest boat club in the world. With more than 15,000 members and a 93% annual retention rate, we strive to provide superior boating experiences for our members, helping to create memories to last a lifetime!