With the gorgeous but hot-hot-hot weather we’ve been having of late, plus the need to social-distance, being out in the bay on a boat seems like the ideal outdoor activity. Boat dealers are reputedly extremely busy for those very reasons.
But what if you don’t have a place to dock a boat, a vehicle to tow it — or, for that matter, a boat?
Freedom Boat Club is the answer. It’s a wonderful alternative to owning a boat, and provides its members the flexibility of taking out different watercraft in different locations around the Tampa Bay area, based on whether they want to go fishing, cruising or joy-riding.
Captain Jason Coniglio, Freedom Boat’s membership executive and regional manager, told me the Club has been busier than ever, with a ton of new members signing on board. The club has 28 locations in the Tampa Bay area, with one about to be added. They’re also adding 64 new boats, which will bring the total number of vessels in the fleet to 500.
Freedom is always upgrading its watercraft so that it can offer the newest models available (the oldest boats the clubs keep on hand are 2 years old). Because you don’t own the boat, you don’t have to worry about maintenance or cleaning. As a member, these issues are taken care of. All you pay for, besides the monthly fee, which includes insurance, is the gas you use on your outing.
Captain Jason also explained that many members do own larger boats, but they like having a Freedom Boat Club membership as an option so that they can take out boats from Freedom’s fleet instead of dealing with the fuel costs, maintenance issues and added cleaning time they’d incur on their own watercraft for just a joyride with a few people.
Freedom Boat Club has 80 locations in Florida and 204 locations total. So if you go out of town on vacation, you can find a club (and a boat) when you arrive instead of towing your own. Locations include such popular spots as Savannah, Charleston and St. Augustine.
Right now the club is running a special on its entrance fee and also offering discounts to veterans. If you want to get out on the water this summer and enjoy hassle-free boating, it’s ideal.
Call and speak to Captain Jason to find out what specials they are currently offering.
601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa, 813-966-5223, freedomboatclub.com.
by Tracey Serebin