In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, there are many lakes and coastal shorelines to get out boating. There are thousands of boater owners between these three states but purchasing a boat is not always the best option because of the commitment. Boat rentals and boat clubs are a good option. What is a boat rental versus a boat club?

What Is a Boat Club

A boat club is a business that owns and maintains a large number of boats for its members. The members pay an initiation fee and a monthly fee to utilize the available vessels.

 Not all clubs have the same number of vessels in the fleet. As a boat club grows or reduces its membership size, so does the number of boats. Typically a club is required to have one boat for every ten members. 

What Are The Largest Boat Clubs

The two largest boat clubs are the Carefree Boat Club and the Freedom Boat Club. There are nearly 400 locations between both clubs to choose from or taken advantage of the reciprocal program. Keep in mind these two companies are independent of each other. 

What Is a Boat Rental 

A boat rental is a vessel that is paid to be used on a one-time basis. Boat rental operations are most often run from marinas by the marina staff. 

Rather than buying into a club, boaters have the option to rent a boat from a local marina without upfront costs. Keep in mind that the daily rate exceeds the monthly cost of a boat club membership.

Boat Rental Vs. Boat Club Which Has Better Availability

The obvious benefit to owning a boat is the ability to use it whenever and wherever you want. Boat rentals and clubs limit the number of hours and the range in which the vessel can travel.

When it comes to availability between rentals and clubs, it is an even wash. Holidays and weekends book up quickly, while weekday slots remain primarily open.

Whether you’re utilizing either of the two, plan ahead of time to ensure that you will get the boat you want on the date you want to spend time offshore. 

Boat Club Vs. Boat Rental What Is The Best Choice

Determining whether to join a club or rent a boat from a marina is challenging. However, creating a list of the pros and cons will lead you to an informed decision.

Take into account the following considerations. 

Are you financially stable enough to pay the initiation fee of a boat club in addition to the monthly membership and fuel cost?

How frequently can you spend time on the water?

What is the number of family members who are interested in boating?

Is a boat club nearby?

The answers to these questions will lead you to the correct decision. When the fees are stretching the budget, avoid putting yourself in a jam. Instead, rent a boat as frequently or infrequently as preferred. 

We all want more time to spend on the water, but free time is in short supply between housework, careers, and other hobbies. Taking into account the cost of a boat club, don’t join if you cant use it.

Make boating a family event. Bring the kids, wife, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. However, if the immediate family isn’t on board, so to speak, steer clear of the club and rent occasionally.

Despite clubs being scattered across the United States, one may not be in your backyard. Check out the list of locations to see if one is located nearby.

So It’s Time To Make A Decision

No matter which option is chosen, spending time on the water is hard to beat. For boaters who are passionate and dedicated to the hobby, spend the money on club membership. Anyone who is floundering must decide to rent. After a few rentals, you may be permanently converted to a boat club member because you have relaized it’s a passion.