Imagine all the fun of boat ownership without all the headaches of maintenance and miscellaneous expenses. Freedom Boat Club says they can make that dream a reality. Paul Cannon, Freedom Boat Club local franchise president says that’s exactly what all our members want; a lot of them were boat owners and they are done with it; they don’t want to own it or deal with it anymore; They want someone else to take care of it so that’s what they do.
Freedom Boat Club started in 1989 in Sarasota, Florida. It has a long history and has been in the business the longest and they opened in Buffalo in January of 2016. After four years in business, Paul says the franchise exploded in popularity. He says the pandemic helped the business last year because people were so anxious to get out of the house and they weren’t traveling, they weren’t going to concerts, they weren’t doing other things so they gravitated to golf courses and marina’s. Paul fully expects the boat club will easily surpass last year’s membership numbers this season. He says he thinks people have sort of rediscovered the boating life and are really enjoying it.
To join there is a one-time entry fee as well as monthly fees. This gives you access, not just to the dozen or so vessels here in Buffalo but also to the boats at more than 270 Freedom Boat Club locations across North America and Europe. Paul says our members have access to all those locations. You just go on their web-based reservation system. They click pick a new reciprocal reservation and they pick the club they want, type of boat and then they go in and make their own reservation for wherever they want to go.
No boating experience? Not a problem. Training is included. Paul says across the board, everywhere you go, if you sign up for Freedom Boat Club, one of their licensed coast guard captains will take you out for a personal one-on-one training session. The first one runs about four hours. They offer unlimited free training so if a member goes out and says they are not quite comfortable with this aspect or that aspect they will set up another training session. Safety is the most important thing. They want you to be comfortable on the water and to enjoy it. Depending on your age you may need a boater’s safety certificate to drive the boat. Once you are done out on the water you are responsible for refueling costs but all the other work of owning a boat you leave at the dock. Paul says cleaning the boat after all your guests leave, they take care of for you. He says it’s really a concierge service. It’s for people who want to spend quality time on the water and not mess around with everything else.
You can also stop down at the marina or call them at 716-259-1189.