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Better value- Owning a boat or joining a boat club?

JerseyBlue732JerseyBlue732 Posts: 29 Deckhand

I'm moving to SW Florida within the next year (hopefully) and intend to do a lot of fishing on the weekends and maybe weeknights after work, depending on my schedule and location. 

 

I am torn between the idea of owning a boat myself, or joining a boat club like Freedom or Carefree, where I pay a $5K initiation fee and a $350 or so monthly. 

I would be living in a condo, so trailer storage and a place to clean, maintain a boat, etc., would also be a concern.

What would be a better value, both re: money and time in relation to maintenance, storage, etc.?


Replies

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 14,899 AG
    Those boat clubs have different memberships.   the cheapest ones are weekdays.   you pay extra for weekends, and most of the good weekends you'll find that the boat you want is already reserved.   What I would do is try a boat club first, maybe they have like a 90 day trial period or something.  Then decide.   It's more convenient to have the boat club membership than trailering and loading and unloading, storing etc.    
    Yesterday's memories are not today's reality
  • MelbourneMarkMelbourneMark Posts: 2,636 Captain
    My opinion is that a boat club can be great for some folks in certain situations.  I have a family member who is a member in one, and it is great for them.  They know zero about boating and basically go out every 2 weeks or so and take their kids and grandkids out.  They do not have a tow vehicle or room to park a larger boat at their house.  They also dont have to maintain it. 

    My fear for you is that you will have a hard time finding a boat club that will let you take it out at nights?  Are their docks open 24/7?  I would be surprised if so.  I would also be curious if the boats available have trolling motors or livewells.  That will determine the type of fishing you will be doing.

    It is nice to be able to just show up and use the boat, and then drop it off without worrying about the prep/clean up. 

    If you can buy a condo with a dock or lift, then you might be in a good situation and you can start out with a smaller/cheaper boat.  Possibly could rent your dock space out as well to recoup budget if you do not own a boat at that time. 

    SW FL, or all of FL is booming right now and land wont be around much longer.  Another option is to buy a house or condo and keep your boat at a dry storage marina.  Again this would be pricey and the operating hours may not be ideal for night fishing. 

    Are you moving permanently to SW Florida, or is this temporary?  Do you have plans to purchase a house in the future, or are you content with a condo?   There are some apartments and condos with garages that might be an option.  Almost all apartments have a car wash area. 
    You could measure the garage and get a boat/trailer with a swing tongue to fit in the garage.  But, you will still be in the 16-18ft range of the boat likely.
  • MelbourneMarkMelbourneMark Posts: 2,636 Captain
    I might add that you could do a kayak at first to learn your way around.  I enjoy wadefishing mostly, and plenty of guys use their kayak to fish and get out and wade. 

    This way storage will be easier
  • RStyleRStyle Posts: 1,544 Captain
    I guess it may depend where you are going to be.
    I have a nephew that joined a well known club in Miami. I would estimate that 90% or more of the time he could not get the boat he wanted or needed because they were always reserved way ahead of the weekends. Holiday weekends...............forget it. (He was working during weekdays). Ended up buying his own boat.

    There may be places that are not as busy.........but in Florida............not sure where that may be 
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 775 Officer
      One factor favoring owning your own boat is the repairing,adding
    features,polishing,boat and motor maintenance.Many people do not
    like to do this but many do.
  • rudyengrudyeng Posts: 359 Deckhand
    edited March 24 #7
    Ownership cost &  things to consider
    1. Insurance
    2. Storage
    3. Tow Vehicle
    4. Maintenance
    5. Resale value
    6. You never disconnect from the boat i.e. fix this,clean that,flush motor, tires, lights etc etc
  • jt904jt904 Central FloridaPosts: 67 Deckhand
    Yeah if you own a boat maintenance can be a **** if you don't know what you're doing,  its not all fun and games... like rudyeng said, its the little things that add up, trailer lights, live well pumps, power pole hydraulics, trolling motor issues, the list is endless. But I myself enjoy fixing those things on my own, its part of the experience. You're either about that life or not lol. 
  • 1FSM1FSM Posts: 147 Deckhand
    I have a friend who has been a member of boat club for past 10+ years.  He owned 2 boats in past but sold both due to lack of time to spend on the boat.  In most years he would only go out 3 or 4 times...even less in some years.  He just didn't have time to spend getting ready to take it our and then wash when he returned...turns into all day thing.  With the boat club he just go there and take it out and then come back to dock and done so he goes out about 8 or 10 times a year.  He's been very happy with the arrangement and it makes sense for him financially. 
    I've gone out with him few times and boats are nice, clean and well maintained but they are not geared for fishing.  There are not enough rod holders, no circulating live bait well, etc. but then we didn't fish very much (not seriously) as it was just opportunity for kids to catch come grunts and snappers.        
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 14,899 AG
    10kman said:
      One factor favoring owning your own boat is the repairing,adding
    features,polishing,boat and motor maintenance.Many people do not
    like to do this but many do.
    I hate all of that stuff.   But that's just part of owning one.  Glad I upgraded to a 4 stroke at least.   The rest of the stuff is just replacing things that get worn out over time.  That's not a big deal.  And greasing things, trailer maint, etc.   
    Yesterday's memories are not today's reality
  • pottydocpottydoc Port Saint JoePosts: 4,583 Captain
    Personally, no way I’m joining a boat club. I fish way too much to be trying to share a boat(s) with a bunch of other people. I know a few folks in clubs, some are happy, most of them are sand baring or cruising around. The guys who want to fish ate members for a year, and then drop out. If I only went out 3-5 times a year, I would just charter instead of a boat club. 
  • Nautical wheelerNautical wheeler Posts: 72 Deckhand
    I like to trailer my boat all over Florida, weeks in the Keys, scalloping Crystal River, snapper in Destin, etc,etc, can’t do that in the boat club.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 14,899 AG
    I like to trailer my boat all over Florida, weeks in the Keys, scalloping Crystal River, snapper in Destin, etc,etc, can’t do that in the boat club.
    all that and we like to do lake days in the winter and spring when it's nice and sunny.   Or go to Silver Glen springs.   There's a lot to do with a boat if you own one.  
    Yesterday's memories are not today's reality
  • 1FSM1FSM Posts: 147 Deckhand
    Again, it's not for everyone but it works for some people.
    My friend's club has 15 or 16 different location with 12 of those in Florida.  When we were over in Naples last year he rented a boat for all of us on 3 different days as they have a location there.   
  • Nautical wheelerNautical wheeler Posts: 72 Deckhand
    IMHO, the best thing about it , A.new boaters interested in buying but don’t know what to get. B. New boaters that don’t know how to drive or boat around, you can find oyster beds on someone else’s boat. C. You’re  loaded and don’t care, just want to drive it like you stole it and let someone else clean it and fix it. I have personally known all 3 of those guys, they all now own.
  • JerseyBlue732JerseyBlue732 Posts: 29 Deckhand
    IMHO, the best thing about it , A.new boaters interested in buying but don’t know what to get. B. New boaters that don’t know how to drive or boat around, you can find oyster beds on someone else’s boat. C. You’re  loaded and don’t care, just want to drive it like you stole it and let someone else clean it and fix it. I have personally known all 3 of those guys, they all now own.
    LOL!!!  I fall more in guy A.
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