Boat clubs (Freedom Boat club)?

ZXMustang

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I know they are scarce up in the midwest, but I know freedom has boats in chicago you can take out.

But since we moved to Tampa, its boat city out here and we are feeling the itch. We were out on a friend's 34" SeaRay in the gulf a few weekends ago and it was a blast. We are thinking about not buying a money pit, but joining one of those boat clubs. They have several sites with tons of inventory of all shapes and sizes you can use 7 days a week. Only have to pay for gas. Here's how it works.

$3500 one time buy in, then $250ish a month for unlimited usage of any boat at any boat club location in the USA. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to use any type of boat no? They are available only from sun up to sun down though.

Or we can buy a decent boat for $15k and just own it and pay a marina to keep it at.

Opinions?
 

wolfe

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How often are you gonna go out? If you would use it enough then it sounds like a decent deal. What about just renting one when you want to go out?
 

1quick

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How big are these boats you get to use? You could buy something for 250 bucks a month but to maintain something used in salt water would get expensive if you can’t do it all your self, I would only buy something with closed cooling in Florida
 
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ZXMustang

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To answer a few questions.

We would literally use it every weekend. The closest marina is about 35 minutes away, and they can have you in the water in like 15 minutes.

The boats are 20' and up. Deck boats, center consoles, bow riders and cuddy cabins. They are all 3 years old or newer.

Yeah as for the closed cooling, you are right. That 34' searay we were out on just recently had one of its engine cooling systems all clogged with seaweed. We had to stop and swim while the dude cleaned it out.

But yeah I can see us going just about every weekend and some days during the week when the kids are off. Renting a boat for the day is about $300 for 8 hours plus gas. Thats one outing. This pays for itself on the second trip lol. But Im leaning more toward buying one vs the boat club. That way you can stay out after dark, but then you have to maintain it and pay the slip fees.
 

1quick

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If you buy the right boat you can break even after a couple years of ownership if you decide to sell, if you can’t maintain it your self it will get expensive fast and storage can be expensive or a slip even more expensive, but I love boats just consult myself or kJ on perspective purchases if you go that route
 

BlaqSnake

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Sounds like a “timeshare” for boats, lol

Can you get out of it down the road if you choose?
 

crooks

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Do you need to have 100 grand in available credit to opt in on this?
 

PANDA

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You can finance a boat for 15/30 years.

Go buy one credit card.
 

OffshoreDrilling

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I think the boat clubs are a good option. $250/mo is nothing.

Both boats I owned I ended up with expenses in the neighborhood of $10-14k/yr when counting the cost of the boat payment, insurance, fuel, storage, boat slip, maintenance(doing it myself), upgrades. God knows how much more in food and booze I spent too.

It’s tough to beat that $250/mo. REALLY tough.

First, rent a boat a couple times. If you think you’ll use it more than a couple times a month after that, buy into the club. If your needs change and you want to own a boat or get out of it all together, that’s an easy transition to make.
 

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