Boaters often fail to understand the differences between a yacht club vs boat club. Without question, the two are vastly different except for one specific thing, which is club. Clubs are groups of people who all share a common interest. So, both yacht club members and boat club members enjoy spending time aboard boats. It is important to understand the difference between the two if you intend to join one club or another. Here are the differences between a yacht club vs boat club. 

Boat Ownership Versus Not Owning A Boat

Look, technically, you do not need to own a boat in all situations to join a yacht club; however, the vast majority do. Instead, some non-boat owners use the amenities provided by a yacht club. 

Without question, you do not own a boat as a boat club member. In the United States, there are countless boat clubs. The most notable include Carefree Boat Club and Freedom Boat Club

Boat Clubs

Boat clubs were formed to eliminate the hassle of owning a boat. Rather than maintaining a vessel and paying for storage, boaters join clubs. The club collects a one time fee in addition to a monthly fee. The combination of the two allows boaters to select from vessels in the club’s fleet. 

Planning a day on the water requires club members to select and reserve a boat in a phone app. Importantly, club members have the opportunity to step on a boat ready to depart the dock. Therefore, you do not require any preparation, with the exception of your personal belongings. 

After a day of boating, a boat club associate greets you at the dock to assist with securing the vessel. Again, all hassles are eliminated. Simply grab your belongings and step off the boat. No need for cleaning or fueling. The fuel will be billed to your account within a day or so. 

Lastly, it should be noted that most clubs offer reciprocal benefits. Pick a location you would like to enjoy boating outside of your local club. I have used boat clubs across the country, and it beats trailering a vessel. 

Yacht Clubs

One of the best ways to compare a yacht club is to a country club. Country clubs offer golf, while yacht clubs offer slips for vessels. However, the amenities are similar but instead differ in the preferred form of entertainment, that being golf or boating. 

Again, not all but most yacht club members own a vessel. However, boat ownership requires maintenance. Expect to either fork out money for maintenance or block out time to keep your vessel in tip top shape.

In addition to a slip, yacht clubs most often include amenities such as restaurants, a pool, bars, and some even offer tennis courts. The amenities are highly dependent on the club and, therefore, vary. 

When comparing the yacht club vs boat club, yacht clubs offer a more encompassing package of entertainment. A boat club does nothing more than provide you the opportunity to use a vessel on a given day. Comparatively, you have ample entertainment at a yacht club beyond stepping on your boat and going on a cruise. 

Should You Join A Boat Club Or Yacht Club

The decision to join a boat club or yacht club is challenging. However, the primary deciding factor is if you want to personally own a vessel. 

I have owned boats through the years and have since joined a boat club. I prefer a boat club because it eliminates the need for maintenance and storage. Instead of wasting time working on the boat instead, I use a boat club boat. 

Conversely, the perks of a yacht club are appealing. Instead of only enjoying a boat, the additional amenities provide ample entertainment. 

Pros Of Joining A Yacht Club

Without question, most yacht clubs offer exclusive amenities. One of the notable amenities is valet parking each time you pull up to the yacht club. 

Again, you’re not just talking about paying a monthly fee for a slip. Instead, you’ll have the option to take a dip in the pool, dine at the restaurants, and socialize with fellow members. 

Cons Of Joining A Yacht Club

When it comes to the cones of joining a yacht club, two cons stand out in particular. First, yacht clubs are expensive. Expect to pay a significant one time initiation fee. In addition to the initiation fee is a monthly fee. Remember, you’re paying for food and drinks on top of all expenses when utilizing the club facilities.

Secondly, factor in the cost of purchasing and maintaining a boat. Maintenance fees, in conjunction with monthly membership dues, add up quickly. 

Pros Of Joining A Boat Club

Without a doubt, the most notable perk of joining a boat club is saving time and money. Boat ownership requires time because of cleaning and upkeep. Additionally, owning a vessel means forking out money for repairs and routine engine servicing. 

The second perk of joining a boat club is having the option to step on and off the boat. No need to show up early and open the covers and no need to stick around to clean and fuel the vessel. 

Cons Of Joining A Boat Club

As far as the cons of joining a boat club are concerned, the biggest is weekly closures. Once a week, boat clubs shut down operations. Unfortunately, this means you won’t have the option to get on the water whenever you wish. 

Secondly, you are unable to stow your most frequently used gear onboard. Each time you head on the water, plan to pack up everything from water skis to fishing gear. Boat owners have the opportunity to stow gear onboard at all times. 

Yacht Club Vs Boat Club: What’s Right For You

The decision to join either a yacht club or a boat club is challenging. Being informed allows you to make the best decision. When joining either a boat club or a yacht club, an initiation fee is required. Don’t make the mistake of joining the wrong club because it will come at a cost.