Despite being a 200-ton captain, I made the decision to join a boat club after owning my own boat. I never thought I would make the jump from boat ownership to being a member, but I did. One of the biggest reasons that people join boat clubs is because of the social aspect. Club owners put together social gatherings for members on a routine basis. Here is what you need to know about club parties. 

What Type Of Events To Boat Club Owners Host For Members

Recently, I attended a party that the club owner hosted. Aside from club-run boat trips, the owners will host parties to include food and drinks for members. 

Without question, the social gatherings for all members are not associated with the boats. It would not be possible for all members to be on board the fleet vessel at one time. 

In most cases, the club owners rent a space that is suitable for serving food and drinks. Additionally, ample room is needed to move about and mingle with other members. 

In some cases, the owner will give a speech about exciting news. Recently, at a club party I attended, the owner discussed new vessels that were on order and which boats in the fleet would be replaced.

Lastly, don’t be surprised if during the event there is an awards ceremony. Often, the owner will recognize members for the unique skills they possess in a comical fashion. At the last Carefree event, I won a smooth operator award because of my ability to drive boats. 

Where Are Club Events Hosted

Despite living in coastal Georgia, the winter temperatures fall. With that said, club events shift from outside to inside during the coldest months. 

In the winter, The Carefree club owner held a party inside of The Landings Community at the Delegal Creek Marina at the Sunset Pavilion. The pavilion is constructed as a banquet complex to accommodate food preparation. Additionally, the pavilion offers indoor and outdoor seating, a bar, bathrooms, and more. 

Conversely, in the summer months, the parties shift from indoors to outdoors. Here, locally, we gather at an open-air tiki bar within the neighborhood. The tiki bar sits along the shore of the Wilmington River adjacent to the Landings Harbor Marina on Skidaway Island. 

Without question, it is an excellent setting during the warm summer. Likely, your club would shift locations based on seasons. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Boat Club Events

Here are the most often asked questions by members or those who are considering joining a club. 

Do Owners Charge For Club Parties

As a member of a club, you will be required to pay a one-time initiation fee. Beyond the one-time fee, you are assessed a monthly fee. With that being said, you won’t be required to pay additional fees for club events. Instead, the owner will have it covered. 

What Kind Of Food And Drinks Are Provided

The type of food that is served is highly dependent on the season. During the summer, the owners either elect to grill food themself or cater to companies who specialize in grilled food, including chicken, burgers, and hot dogs. 

Alternatively, in the winter, club owners utilize catering services. However, the type of food varies from the summer. Expect the catering food to include smoked BBQ, Italian, prime rib, and, of course, paired with potatoes, mac and cheese, and more. 

Are You Required To Tip

During a club party, you will not be required to bring along cash. For the most part, the people working the bar are dock attendants, while the food is catered from an outside source. 

I have been to plenty of boat club parties and never watched anyone offer a tip. 

Why You Should Join A Boat Club

Aside from one of the obvious reasons, which is avoiding buying, maintaining, and cleaning a vessel, it’s about socializing. 

The combination of group boat outings to restaurants, islands, and other destinations is a way to make new friends. Aside from boat trips, land-based social events make you immersed in the opportunity to meet a wider range of members. Remember, boat trips are limited in capacity compared to club-hosted social gatherings. 

Boat Club Memberships Go Beyond Just Boating

If you’re looking for a way to make new friends and explore local waterways, consider joining a club. The membership goes beyond cruising around in the sun. The social events are a great way to keep up to speed on changes to the fleet and meet new members, all while eating and drinking.