The Freedom Boat Club has a lot of great advantages for Freedom Boat Club members, including choice of boats, unlimited training, and more. However, there are some specific rules to follow when you want to know if you can share the boat club membership.
What is the Freedom Boat Club?
The Freedom Boat Club puts a new spin on boat rentals and clubs everywhere. Founded in Sarasota, Florida, the club now has locations all over the United States and has even expanded to Canada and Europe.
There are a lot of perks to this club, as it offers full care and maintenance for a variety of boats, including fueling and towing. Plus, the entire fleet is at your disposal.
If you prefer pontoon boats, runabouts, or something with an angler center console, all you have to do is book ahead of time before you arrive and get on the water. Booking is easy with a mobile app or a phone call.
Though other boat clubs might have more amenities or social events—like the Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, the “Venice of America”—they don’t offer the same options for boating as the Freedom Boat Club.
The Freedom Boat Club gives you a ton of free rein when it comes to its boat club membership. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of traditional boat ownership but remains enamored with the boating lifestyle.
So, can you share a Freedom Boat Club membership?
Unlike other boat clubs who have rules or extra fees for guests, the Freedom Boat Club allows any number of people to accompany you on an outing. Non-members could include friends, family members, and coworkers. As long as they arrive as guests of a present Freedom Boat Club member, they can sail on one of the many available vessels.
However, just because you can bring along anyone you like to the boat club, they can’t show up without you and use your membership card.
For instance, if a family member wants to use your membership for an evening cruise, you must show up with them and be on the boat too. If they show up with your membership card alone, they will not be able to take out any of the boats.
Similarly, you cannot sell or transfer your membership to a friend. For example, let’s assume you used to live in a city that hosted a Freedom Boat Club, but you recently moved inland. You no longer require your membership because you are nowhere near the coast.
However, let’s assume you know someone in your old city who expresses interest in becoming a Freedom Boat Club member. They might ask to use yours so they don’t have to pay the initial membership fee.
Unfortunately, even if you agree to give your membership over, it will not allow your friend access to the boat club. This is because the membership will only directly work for the owner: AKA you.
Even if you no longer use your membership, you cannot give it in any capacity to your friend. The membership you buy can only serve you and your guests. If you no longer need your membership, you may cancel it. Any of your acquaintances looking to get their membership will simply have to buy their own.
If you want to purchase a boat club membership with someone else, like your spouse, other boat clubs allow you to do this. For the Freedom Boat Club, your spouse doesn’t necessarily need a membership, as they can accompany you at any time without a fee. However, if they want to have a sail without you, they would need their own membership.
This lack of joint memberships is one of the disadvantages to the Freedom Boat Club. If joint membership is important to you, you can check out your local Carefree Boat Club, as they offer this option upfront.
Though there are rules against giving away your membership independently, the Freedom Boat Club allows you to transfer your membership from one city to another.
Say, for instance, that you move cities, but remain on the coast. Your new city has a Freedom Boat Club just like your old city.
Now, some locations do allow for a transferable membership, meaning you can use the club in your old city and any city hosting another Freedom Boat Club without trouble. Simply show up and sail, no matter where you are.
This kind of membership is known as reciprocal, and for some locations, you might have to apply for reciprocal memberships to travel back and forth between boat clubs.
If you’re not looking for reciprocal membership and simply need to transfer from one club to the next, some locations will need you to undergo this process before you can get out on the water. Fortunately, this transfer is easy to do.
However, it will remove your membership from your previous location, so you can’t use it there even if you go back to visit.
Using Your Membership for Guests
Though you can’t give your Freedom Boat Club membership away, you can still have a wonderful day out with your guests. You can pick any boat from your club’s fleet, including fishing boats, deck boats, sailboats, and more.
As long as your chosen vessel has enough safe seating for everyone you bring along, you can choose any type of boat you like.
The biggest concern for taking guests out on the waterways is safety. As long as everyone follows all safety precautions, there are no limits to how many people you can bring along. Your purpose, as the Freedom Boat Club member, is to ensure your boat is safe.
Learning to ensure safety is easy, as new members and old members alike have access to water training lessons taught by club staff with years of experience.
These lessons include classroom and hands-on training, with topics such as safe anchoring or how to choose the right boat for you.
Once you feel more confident and can take care of multiple guests at once, the possibilities are endless.
As long as you reserve a boat in advance, your outings can be a spur of the moment or carefully planned. If you want to get out in a kayak, try a hurricane deck boat or even an overnight trip, your membership can help get you to where you want to go.
You can also take a boat out on any day of the week, be it Monday or Wednesday. If you want to take it up to another port, such as boating from Sarasota to Bradenton, you may do so, but you will likely have to sail the correct boat back to the correct port.
Membership fees include monthly dues as well as an initial fee for signing up. Depending on the location of your club, you might be able to get a special discount if you buy on a weekday or a specific Saturday or Sunday.
You can also get a limited-time membership, such as a 30-day or 60-day trial.
Have Fun on the Water
Many members consider the Freedom Boat Club the best boat club available, as you have more options. If you wish your boat’s center console was something a little fancier, like a hydra-sports dual console, this club can make it happen.
With the largest fleet of any premier boat club, you can spend all your day out on the water with a cruiser, bowrider, and more. Plan for wakeboarding, paddleboards, and more activities from your destination boat club.