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cougar91

Boat club - better idea than owning a boat?

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Hey anyone here member of a boat club? I am thinking that if you are only going to be boating once or twice a month or something like that, it doesn't make any sense to buy your own boat and a boat club makes more sense.

 

Anyone has experience with a boat club?

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I was concidering it for a while.

And read alot of testimonials.. All negative, unless you have money to burn..

And if you have money to burn buy one.

 

Things i heard was, they usually have only a handfull of boats, and never the one you want on a certain day. You get the boat full, like a rental car, but you pay "Their" fuel prices to replenish what you used. So 5 bucks a gallon could be the charge.

you pay weather you go or not, your locked into a year lease..

 

those were the biggest bothers for me.

So after 4 months of looking on the craigslist, i found my boat.. and i got it for less then half the N.A.D.A value.. with a new engine biggrin.gif

 

Just my 2 cents

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Hey eaglesfanguy, thanks for that. But now you have your own boat, would you say maintenance and storage fees vs the club membership dues is still a better deal?

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Boating is always going to be an expense. I would tend to guess that eagle is right, that they have a select number of boats, and most-likely very cheap ones. You will probably run into the boat being dirty once in a while form the previous club member. You can't leave your stuff on the boat, can't "personalize".

 

Honestly, between work, weather, etc(having worked in a few marinas) i would say that maybe, MAYBE 6 trips a season is a good season for most boat owners. Especially the pleasure-craft crew.

 

I'd hate to be at the mercy of an orginization's(club) beck and call with paying THEIR gas, THEIR storage fees, THEIR membership fees. I think it would be horrible.

 

I guess if it's not THAT expensive(better not be more than $1,000 a year) give it a shot, and see what it turns out to be like. I also believe that there are probably good clubs and bad clubs in this genre.

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It depends on the kind of boater you are.

 

I inquired about freedom boat clubs last year and was shocked how expensive it was first to join and then maintain a membership! With that said there are positives and negatives....I went out on one of their boats recently as my friends dad got a membership.

 

Positives:

-You don't have to do any of the maintenance or cleanup.

-There are a variety of boats to choose from.

-no cost for actually renting the boat (except gas)

-They are found nationally, and in addition to your 'home marina' you can rent boats at different locations across the US. My friend's dad home base is in florida and he rents a bunch down there, but he has rented them up in mass as well for no additional cost. Nice feature.

 

Negatives:

-boats come as is....I did not like the boat we had. The boat had undergone modifications that were really odd. The gas gauge was also acting up and we couldn't tell if we were almost out of fuel or not at one point.

-use it or loose it

-If its a popular area you might have trouble renting one during peak times.

 

Overall a good experience BUT I got really pissed because they told us they had no gas at the marina (it is a small one)! And that we had to fill it up before we brought it in mad.gif So we had to take time out of our day to go into another harbor and have it filled up.

 

If you dont mind workin on boats and are going to be in one place long term I would buy.

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View PostIt depends on the kind of boater you are.

 

I inquired about freedom boat clubs last year and was shocked how expensive it was first to join and then maintain a membership! With that said there are positives and negatives....I went out on one of their boats recently as my friends dad got a membership.

 

Positives:

-You don't have to do any of the maintenance or cleanup.

-There are a variety of boats to choose from.

-no cost for actually renting the boat (except gas)

-They are found nationally, and in addition to your 'home marina' you can rent boats at different locations across the US. My friend's dad home base is in florida and he rents a bunch down there, but he has rented them up in mass as well for no additional cost. Nice feature.

 

Negatives:

-boats come as is....I did not like the boat we had. The boat had undergone modifications that were really odd. The gas gauge was also acting up and we couldn't tell if we were almost out of fuel or not at one point.

-use it or loose it

-If its a popular area you might have trouble renting one during peak times.

 

Overall a good experience BUT I got really pissed because they told us they had no gas at the marina (it is a small one)! And that we had to fill it up before we brought it in mad.gif So we had to take time out of our day to go into another harbor and have it filled up.

 

If you dont mind workin on boats and are going to be in one place long term I would buy.

 

Thanks! Freedom boat clubs is the one I was looking at. They said on their website plan start at $199 per month ($2400 per year) but I do not know what that gets you and it doesn't say anything about an initiation fee. What was the prices they quoted you last year?

 

I live in NJ, but I love to fish in FL so the multi-location thing is a big plus.

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View PostBoating is always going to be an expense. I would tend to guess that eagle is right, that they have a select number of boats, and most-likely very cheap ones. You will probably run into the boat being dirty once in a while form the previous club member. You can't leave your stuff on the boat, can't "personalize".

 

Honestly, between work, weather, etc(having worked in a few marinas) i would say that maybe, MAYBE 6 trips a season is a good season for most boat owners. Especially the pleasure-craft crew.

 

I'd hate to be at the mercy of an orginization's(club) beck and call with paying THEIR gas, THEIR storage fees, THEIR membership fees. I think it would be horrible.

 

I guess if it's not THAT expensive(better not be more than $1,000 a year) give it a shot, and see what it turns out to be like. I also believe that there are probably good clubs and bad clubs in this genre.

 

The one I was looking at is like $2400 per year. But if you only go out 6 times per year, that's not a whole lot to justify spending $40-50K on a 27FT center console I would think.

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Cougar, you are right about the initial set-up being expensive with owning your boat. But a newer boat, well-kept, well-maintained, stored at a marina should cost you fairly the same amount of $ to maintain every year as you would be paying in dues.

 

Plus, should you go a few years old, especially in this market, you could probably get a great deal.

 

If you do a lot of Florida stuff, that is definitely a bonus versus trying to trailer it around, or renting there anyway.

 

There are pro's and con's. Being able to do what I want, when I want, modify the boat as I see fit, knowing that I am the only operator is a BIG deal to me. I don't want to seem arrogant, but I do not trust many "boaters" driving boats. I have just seen way too many "yahoo's" doing real stupid things on/in boats. Something(a boat) that I am going to use, I would not trust in ANYONE elses hands.

 

Last thing about it, although once again, do not know for sure. I would assume if a member takes the boat out for the day, returns, but in the process, gat a bag, or weeds, stuck on the water-intake and overheated. Motor cooled, got it running again, un-clogged the obstruction, drove back into port. Do you think this boater would tell the orginization of what occured? Of course not, as it may entail costly repairs to him. Well let's say the next week, you take it out. It goes fine for about an hour, then the engine just quits. Motor siezed, or whatever else may have happened, now your day on the water is ruined, and how long before the club repairs/replaces this problem.

 

I am obvioulsy playing devil's advocate, just something that might trigger questions for you to ask when going there.

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Ya know what... for $2400, I would say give it a shot for a year.

 

Routine annual boat owner expenses, at least for me, run in the vicinity of $5000 (marina, insurance, replacing broke stuff)... not including gas. So, by doing it for a year, it's not like you are losing money that you'd put towards a purchase; you're just spending money you'd have to spend anyway.

 

I would look into what kind of electronics they have since you want to fish on the boat. At a minimum, you need a decent fishfinder and VHF... you can buy your own portable GPS/chartplotter.

 

Also, look into when you can access/use the boat. If you can only use it between 8AM and 5PM, you will not be a happy fisherman.

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Not sure what I was quoted exactly (sticker shocked immediately turned me off) I know it was like ~$2k for initiation + $2k/yr for membership. If you spend alot of time in NJ & FL it might work to be in your favor then. I would ask about the damage & liability stuff like chief2 said, but it seems like they treat you pretty well overall.

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What negatives, positives.........boat ownership is just that, we maintain our boat and fish it 6 times a month average...I love being on the water fishing, day or night......you gotta love it.

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Boat Clubs may be a good way to find out if you like boating and get some practical on water experience. Its pricey based on what I've heard but does have advantages such as being able to have a boat in NJ and one in FL when you want it. I have a boat in each location so its double expense, BUT believe it or not in 10 years I would break even versus the boat club, and I still have the boats. Its just like renting a house.

 

The only negative I see is availablility of the boat you want or need on 4th of July weekend! Some of these clubs only give you a half day on weekends and holidays. Read the contract carefully. For one year, I'd give it a shot.

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I would do it if I was in an area where there was a club like this. This is after keeping close track of my boat expenses for a few years and calculating the per-trip cost for me, and thinking about all the time I spent working on it. And then there's the truck you need to haul it around if you're not always keeping it docked. If you're really into boats for their own sake, or simply into owning things, period, buy one, you'd enjoy it more. If your main interest is in using one every once in a while, say 6-12 times a year, maybe even a few more, I'd look into joining a club. And if you're into traveling around and using a boat in different places, I would put that option even higher.

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Taking into consideration the cost of a boat, insurance, maintenance and the marina cost to dock your boat, $199/mo for a newish 23-27' boat doesn't sound all that bad to me.

 

I'm sure it fits some people just fine where others might hate it. Also, if you are not sure what kind of boat you like, this would be a great opportunity to try different style boats.

 

You may end up loving it or you may find that it's not worth the cost. It's certainly situational. If you think it might work for you, give it a try. But don't forget to ask lots of questions and make sure you know exactly what you are getting into

 

Good luck!

Tom

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