A healthy two out of every three American adults spend their free time in nature a few times a month. Some even chill in nature at least once a week.
But if you’re a very busy person, how do you find the time to do something outdoors that you can enjoy? Enter: the boat club. With an entire fleet of boats for you to choose from, relaxing on the open waters could be your next getaway.
So if boating in Fort Lauderdale is something you’re interested in, keep reading, and we’ll give you the four-one-one on the best boat clubs in Fort Lauderdale.
Why Should You be Boating in Fort Lauderdale?
Before we get into the “how,” let’s discuss the “why.” Out of all the cities available, why choose Fort Lauderdale? For one, it’s not called “The Yachting Capital of the World” for nothing.
Fort Lauderdale is a city based in South Florida, which sits along the East Coast of the USA. With over 100 marinas and more than 300 miles of waterways, it has become home to boats, yachts, and even superyachts, making Ft. Lauderdale a popular choice for mariners.
When boating in Fort Lauderdale, you benefit from perfect year-round weather for sailing. And, of course, when you choose to venture off the boat and onto dry land, you’re spoilt for choice with so many restaurants.
Additionally, for boat enthusiasts, one of the most popular boat shows, The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, has been taking place in the city for 73 years. This is one event you want to attend.
If you want to join the ranks of the Salty Seadog, you might be wondering if you have to own a boat. The short answer is no, not at all. Joining a boat club gives you access to sailing without worrying about managing or maintaining the seacraft or any admin.
Boating Club Benefits: Worth It?
If you love boating but can’t afford to purchase your own boat, or perhaps you don’t live close enough to the marina to justify owning one? There is no reason that you should miss out on everything boating in Fort Lauderdale has to offer you.
Joining a boat club allows you to pay a monthly membership fee dictated by your boating plan. The boating plans cater to several scenarios, from the single sailor who only wants to sail occasionally to the family and friends crew who want to make boating in Fort Lauderdale a regular holiday.
When you’re a boat club member, you’re not renting a boat but rather paying for access to a fleet of sea vessels – a timeshare, if you will. All the maintenance is taken care of, the insurance is covered for you, and you can get one-on-one training if required.
With fees at a fraction of the cost of owning a boat, you can live the yachting life in no time. Traveling? No problem. Boat clubs often offer more than one location so that you can pick up a day of sailing anywhere in the US.
What Fort Lauderdale Boat Clubs Are There?
As the Yachting Capital of the World, Fort Lauderdale has several boating club options. And with so many choices available, you have an excellent opportunity to try out a range of different watercraft each time you boat.
Each boat club will offer different boating plans, so take time to review the benefits of each one so you can find the one most suitable for you and your family.
Some of the top boat clubs in Ft. Lauderdale are (in no particular order):
Fort Lauderdale Miami South Florida Boat Club
The Fort Lauderdale Miami South Florida Boat Club is in the Riverfront Marina found on the New River. This club is conveniently 10 minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway and a further 10 minutes from Port Everglades.
Along with boating in Fort Lauderdale, the Fort Lauderdale Miami South Florida Boat Club also offers an area for grilling and relaxing and a recreational pool to cool off.
Best Boat Club & Rentals
Considered one of the largest and longest-running boat clubs within the Broward County area, Best Boat Club & Rentals offers two beautiful locations from which to choose.
First, you have the Bahia Mar Yachting Center Fort Lauderdale, located on Seabreeze Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale. Close to John Lloyd Park, which sports a waterside restaurant in which to dine.
Activities like snorkeling and water skiing are available for the whole family on the adjoining beach.
Pompano Beach is your other location choice, situated in the Sands Harbor Marina in Pompano Beach, Florida. Offering both a way to the ocean and a way to restaurants via the waterways, Pompano Beach has a lot to offer.
Coral Ridge Yacht Club
An elite boat club, the Coral Ridge Yacht Club, is not open to just anybody. To get an exclusive membership, you need to know someone who is already a member and willing to sponsor you.
This boat club has been around since 1947 and delivers exceptional cuisine and attentive service, all within a family-friendly atmosphere. In addition, this club offers a wide variety of amenities, activities, and events.
The Coral Ridge Yacht Club is home to 65 dock slips, which are overlooked by spectacular views of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and Sunrise Bay.
The Lauderdale Yacht Club
Another private boat club, Lauderdale Yacht Club, was founded in 1938 and still prides itself on providing a family-orientated environment. Nestled away in the heart of Ft. Lauderdale, this club sits within a residential neighborhood off the IWC.
With amenities like tennis, a fitness center, a Junior Olympic-sized pool with a diving board, and phenomenal catering, this club is ideal for all ages, from young children learning to sail to the retired and semi-retired looking for private relaxation.
Carefree Boat Club – Ft. Lauderdale
Carefree Boat Club is one of the ideal boat clubs for travelers, with over 50 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Some current areas include the Great Lakes, the Eastern Seaboard, and the Gulf of Mexico.
This might be a club to consider with so many locations, especially if you want to try a range of boats. They have cruisers, bowriders, and fishing boats on offer to name a few.
The Benefits of Freedom Boat Club Over Other Boat Clubs
Any wise person will always weigh the costs and benefits between the available options. So what makes Freedom Boat Club a step above other boating clubs?
While we won’t directly compare benefits between clubs (we’ll leave some homework for you), we will tell you a little more about why Freedom Boat Club is one of the best boat clubs in Fort Lauderdale.
Along with your Freedom Boat Club membership comes the peace of mind that the number of club members is limited. Two primary benefits of this are more one-on-one training time for sailing lessons and that several boats are always available to choose from.
Our membership is limited to a 10:1 member-to-boat ratio. Once the limit is reached per location, the remaining applicants go onto a waitlist. Once a membership becomes available, prospective members are invited to join.
This membership limit affords us at Freedom Boat Club to offer you unlimited access to the boats in our fleet at your home location. And, if you select one of our more premium packages, you can also enjoy accessing our fleet nationwide.
For anyone new to boating, we offer free, unlimited one-on-one training. We take safety very seriously, employing U.S Coast Guard licensed captains to teach our classes. This course is mandatory if you want to take one of our sea vessels out on the water.
Unlike owning a boat, with Freedom Boat Club, you don’t have to worry about handling any insurance. It’s all already taken care of for you. In addition, you’re provided with the same coverage you would opt for if you owned your own boat, which also comes with protection against third-party claims.
Freedom Boat Club can offer you excellent opportunities to meet new people if you’re a social butterfly. We host events regularly, some locations monthly and others seasonally.
At Freedom Boat Club, we also have developed an app for your mobile device, making your whole reservation experience with the club “smooth sailing.” Top this off with our professional and friendly dock staff, available to assist you with all aspects of boating in Fort Lauderdale with Freedom Boat Club.
How to Use the Fort Lauderdale Freedom Boat Club
If you want to take up boating in Fort Lauderdale and are interested in how you would use the club, we’ll review everything you need to know about using the Ft. Lauderdale Freedom Boat Club.
Freedom Boat Club Locations
With over 250 locations all over the United States, you should always be able to find one close enough for you to enjoy. Our current areas include:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Freedom Boat Club Costs
When considering a membership with Freedom Boat Club, you’re spoilt for choice when finding a plan that works for you. There are weekday, year-round, and seasonal memberships at different price points, so there is something for everyone’s budget.
Memberships are not transferable, and all prices include sales tax. However, Freedom Boat Club has only three fees: a one-time entry fee, a monthly premium fee, and your personal gas usage.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the boating plans we have on offer and the fees involved:
One-Time Entry Fee:
Almost all the Freedom Boating Plans require a one-time entry fee. However, this is waivered for the Friends and Family plan, which has a higher entry fee.
This one-time entry fee will vary depending on your destination, and this price is dictated by local market conditions specific to that area. Think of it as the cost difference between buying a house in California vs. South Carolina.
The marinas in which Freedom Boat Clubs operate can change what they charge for slip fees, dock- and office space, etc. The marina operator can decide to raise the costs, which requires everyone utilizing the marina to increase prices accordingly.
However, if you’re boating in Fort Lauderdale with Freedom Boat Club, you’re considering a one-time entry fee of around $7,000.
- One-Time Entry Fee: $7,000
Monthly Membership Boating Plans
We pride ourselves on offering a wide range of boating plans to suit everyone’s pocket. Furthermore, our packages are flexible so that you can get maximum enjoyment from your membership.
Freedom Boating Plan
This boating plan is for the boating enthusiast. With this plan, you can sail up to 7 days a week, all year. So no matter the season, you always have access to our fantastic fleet.
When you’re ready to get sailing, you have the option to reserve a boat at each of our beautiful destinations. You can do this up to 4 times a year at each location.
- Monthly Fee: $399
Seasonal Boating Plan
Maybe you don’t spend all your time in one location for the whole year. It’s common for people to reside in one city or state and holiday in another. With the Seasonal Boating Plan, you can select any six months within 12 months to sail.
These months do not have to be consecutive. This plan also allows for flexibility, allowing you to change your chosen month as your schedule dictates throughout the year.
- Monthly Fee: $299 x 12 mos
3-Month Boating Plan
Just like the Seasonal Boating Plan, this plan allows you to select any three months within 12 months. These months do not have to be consecutive.
Again, you can switch up your months throughout the year if your schedule changes. This package is excellent for anyone who wants to start boating in Fort Lauderdale but doesn’t want to commit to an entire year or half a year.
- Monthly Fee: $229 x 12 mos
Weekday Boating Plan
Not everyone is hard-core into boating. However, you can do some of the best boating in Fort Lauderdale, so perhaps the Weekday Boating Plan might be ideal once you get into it. This flexible plan allows you to boat throughout the year, Monday to Friday.
You can use any of our exceptional boating locations up to four times annually. However, it’s essential to know this boating plan is limited to only during the week and is not functional over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
- Monthly Fee: $349
Friends and Family Plan
Want to have a great family getaway or a fun holiday with friends? This package is tailor-made for you. This plan allows two couples to converge together on one membership.
It’s essential to note that this boating plan is subject to its own entry fee; however, this fee and the monthly premiums are split between yourself and the other couple co-signing with you.
Boat reservations are available at all Freedom Boat Club destinations and can be done up to 4 times within 12 months.
- One-Time Shared Entry Fee: $9,000
- Shared Monthly Fee: $550
With any of the Freedom Boating Club plans listed above, you may cancel your membership anytime. However, some terms and conditions apply, and cancellation requires a 60-day notice in writing.
How to Get Started With Freedom Boat Club in Fort Lauderdale
Now that you know all that Freedom Boat Club has to offer, hopefully, you’re chomping at the bit to sign up. So how do you begin?
You want to begin on the Freedom Boat Club homepage. To find a location near you, input the destination where you wish to boat. This will be done via simple drop-down menus. You can search via country, state/province, or City/Zip Code. This will bring a list of Freedom Boat Clubs available in that area.
You can select any of our 33 destinations, but we recommend choosing Florida and finding Fort Lauderdale on the map. After all, boating in Fort Lauderdale is something you don’t want to skip out on.
Visit the Freedom Boat Club’s page for prospective members if you need more information. You can input the information you want here through drop-downs and text boxes. For example, you will be asked for your desired state and preferred local club.
Next, input your contact details, check the permission boxes, and click “Get More Info,” and an informative brochure will be in your inbox in no time.
You can make reservations directly through the Freedom Boat Club’s online reservation system, and all boating plans are limited to 4 simultaneous reservations at any time. If your package includes weekend access, these reservations must be split and limited to two for the week (Mon-Fri) and two for the weekend (Sat-Sun).
Once you’ve used up a reservation, you can make a new one to replace it. As a bonus, there is a “Spur of the Moment” boat usage condition to which you have unlimited access. Once you’re a member, you can contact your local dockmaster on the day you wish to go boating in Fort Lauderdale.
You may be permitted to have it for the entire day if a boat is available at the time of inquiry.
Hours of Service
Freedom Boat Club’s hours of operation are seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. On weekends, however, you choose between two separate time slots. The first reservation period is from sunrise to 1 pm, and the second is 2 pm to sunset.
You need to book both slots to reserve a full day on the water on a weekend. Overnight usage of the boats is allowed, but prior authorization will be required, and terms and conditions are attached.
Smooth, Luxury Boating Service
Having a membership to a boat club affords you the luxury of not having to do any of the grunt work yourself. Instead, simply arrive on the day of your reservation and report to the dockmaster. They will assist with getting your belongings onboard and hand you the keys.
All that’s left is for you to take the boat onto the water and enjoy your day. Then, however you choose to spend it, whether fishing or relaxing, simply head back to the dock when you’re done to unload, thank your dockmaster, return the key, and pay for the fuel used.
Fuel is measured and tracked by fuel flow meters installed on each vessel. This allows for accurate readings, so you never pay for more than you used. In addition, expert and friendly dock staff will handle the cleaning and maintenance of the boat, so you don’t have to.
Other Freedom Boat Club Options in Fort Lauderdale
When you sign up with Freedom Boat Club, you have unlimited access to some of the best training you can get. Regardless of what boating plan you select, we provide you with personalized one-on-one instruction. You’ll spend two hours in the classroom and two “hands-on instruction” hours on the water with an instructor.
If you want further training, enquire about our offshore boat training and unlimited local orientations.
Your Sea Vessel Is Waiting
While owning a boat comes with its own benefits, we can say a lot about the efforts around sailing and maintaining them. Not to mention how deep your pockets need to be. While there may be some point in your life where owning your own boat is an adventure, you may want to enjoy the activity of sailing without all the hassle and fuss.
Freedom Boat Club makes boating in Fort Lauderdale a getaway that anyone and everyone can enjoy. With an entire fleet to choose from, you can have a different adventure every month of the year.
To get started on your next holiday on the water, visit our membership page for more information.