Life happens, and we can’t plan for the unexpected. As much as you and your family enjoy the benefits of a Freedom Boat Club membership, you may realize that it is no longer right for you. Naturally, you’ll need to know your options.
While Freedom Boat Club doesn’t allow the independent sale of memberships, there is good news for anyone who no longer needs or wants their membership. You can easily cancel or, depending on your specific club’s rules, even transfer your Freedom Boat Club membership.
What is a Freedom Boat Club Membership?
Now owned by the Brunswick Corporation, Freedom Boat Club is one of the largest and also one of the oldest membership boat clubs in the world. Though headquartered in Florida, Freedom Boat Club operates in over 300 locations out of the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Created for boat owners and their friends, Freedom Boat Club provides its members with access to boats and boating activities like tubing and fishing without the hassle of boat ownership. While members may choose to own and store boats, the club takes care of all maintenance and cleaning.
Joining Freedom Boat Club requires an entry fee and application. After joining, members pay monthly dues and the cost of any fuel they use. Members can reserve specific boats and bring friends and family along. A membership includes access to training and licensing, too.
Set up to accommodate easy, spur-of-the-moment and scheduled boat rentals based on specific demands of memberships and excursions, Freedom Boat Club locations are run independently with arrangements that facilitate travel between locations.
Freedom Boat Club also provides members access to equipment for various recreational boating activities, including wakeboarding, kayaking, tubing, and paddleboarding. Unlimited free training is available to anyone interested in deepening their boating and fishing knowledge and skills, too.
Members may join Freedom Boat Club for a number of reasons. The ease of use of rental boats, without the stress and hassle of cleaning, maintenance, and storage concerns is one of the primary features that appeals to new members. Membership benefits include:
- Full boat care, cleaning, and maintenance services
- Boat insurance and storage included
- Access to refuelling through your account
- Local boating resources
- Extended travel resources
- Optional one-on-one training from USCG-certified boat captains
- Ability to reserve rental boats and equipment online and by phone in advance
- Extensive fleet to choose from (including cruisers, bowriders, fishing boats, deck boats, pontoon boats, and sailboats)
- Towing services included
- Assistance with licensing (for boating and recreational activities like fishing)
The most significant advantage of a Freedom Boat Club membership, and the one most often cited by members, is the freedom to both take spontaneous weekend day and overnight boating excursions and to plan trips well in advance without additional hassle.
Former boat owners, in particular, appreciate not needing to worry about any of the cleaning, maintenance, and storage logistics and expenses. Still, despite these membership benefits, it’s understandable that some members find themselves unable or uninterested in continuing to pay monthly dues for these services.
Individuals who are unable, for whatever reason, to take full advantage of Freedom Boat Club services and accommodations may choose to end their membership. Drawbacks of membership, depending on your situation, may include:
- Monthly membership dues
- Fuel costs
- Change in personal, professional, or financial situation
- Distance from or inability to access club resources
- Inability for member to be present when family wants boat access
Weighing the pros of a Freedom Boat Club membership against the cons may help you determine whether canceling your membership is the right choice for you right now. Since new members are responsible for an entry fee, however, it’s smart to be certain before choosing to end your membership.
Reasons to Sell Your Freedom Boat Club Membership
Freedom Boat Club members come from a range of backgrounds. For example, a retiree might use the club regularly, while others might use it primarily for extended family vacation boating trips or weekend getaways.
While financial stress is one of the first reasons that might come to mind when considering why someone might give up a membership, various life situations may mean that a Freedom Boat Club membership is no longer a practical choice. These reasons include:
- Retirees with increasing health concerns
- Job relocation or other change of situation that limits access to docks and resources
- More interest in a different hobby
- Death in the family
- Financial considerations
- Deciding to purchase a private boat and dock
Fortunately, whatever your reason for discontinuing your Freedom Boat Club membership, monthly club dues mean that you are not responsible for an entire year of payments when you cancel your membership.
Freedom Boat Club Membership Rules
The specific rules of local Freedom Boat Clubs vary. Generally, the most significant variation is in the total amount of monthly dues, since storage costs vary dramatically by location. All clubs, however, restrict the transfer or independent sale of memberships.
Selling Your Membership
Freedom Boat Club memberships are designed to allow members to bring an unlimited number of family and friends along when they use rentals and club facilities. For this reason, membership cannot be sold. Though there is an entry fee for new members, no penalty fee is associated with ending a membership.
Cancelling Your Membership
Though run independently and with slight variations in membership rules, your club membership agreement always includes a cancelation policy. Generally, this policy requires a 60-day notice of cancelation.
Since rates vary depending on location, the amount you are responsible for to cover these final two months will depend on your club’s location. Depending on your situation, your club may also have a hardship accommodation in place, but you should inquire about the specific policy for your local club.
Transferring Your Membership
Instead of canceling your membership, you may also choose to transfer your membership to another club location if you move. Though this option won’t appeal to everyone, you should consider whether your new location will provide you better access to club resources that will make your membership more useful.
If your primary reason for ending your membership is because of a relocation, consider contacting Freedom Boat Club to determine whether a transfer makes more sense.
Should You Cancel Your Freedom Boat Club Membership?
Ultimately, the decision of whether to cancel your Freedom Boat Club membership or not is entirely up to you. Before deciding to cancel, carefully consider how much use you get out of your membership and weigh your access to services and other resources against the cost of monthly fees and fuel.
While boat memberships have associated monthly fees, keep in mind that independent boat ownership comes with numerous associated costs, from depreciation to cleaning, maintenance, storage, repairs, and, in some places, fees for fuel access.
If you do decide to cancel your membership, you can be confident that you won’t need to pay a penalty or find yourself pressured by Freedom Boat Club. Situations change, and it’s important to make the most responsible choice for you.
A representative of your local club will be able to walk you through the simple process of canceling your membership. Just be sure to weigh your options before raising anchor!