Are boat clubs worth it? Or is buying a boat better? These are some of the common queries of a newbie in the boating world.
Some experienced boaters claim there is nothing better than holding a boat club membership. While others think it is just a waste of money. So which group is right?
If you are a confused rookie, too, worry not. In this article, you will discover some details on boat clubs, along with the pros and cons of joining them. Read on!
How Do Boat Clubs Work?
Boat clubs are sports clubs that offer their members access to a wide variety of boats.
It’s much like how renting a car works, except that at boat clubs, you have to become a member by paying enrollment fees and then pay a monthly fee for continued participation.
They let you select any boat from their fleet to take into the water, every day or whenever you like, with no extra charges for bigger boats.
You can opt for a big boat one day for entertaining and row a smaller fishing boat the next day for solo fishing. Every boat club is different and offers various benefits to its members, which largely depends on where the boat club is located.
Boat Club Membership: Pros and Cons
Here are a few positives and negatives of becoming a boat club member, which will help you decide if boat clubs are worth it or not.
Advantages of Joining A Boat Club
Becoming a boat club member has its unique perks. Here are a few of them:
Do you despise the fact that you need to clean your vessel yourself after the party is over? Or does seasonal boat maintenance sound bothersome?
You need to also wash, wax, and oil your watercraft regularly to keep it in working order. Moreover, you also need to place it on a trailer and tow it every time you want to take it in the water. However, that’s not the case if you become a boat club member.
Boat clubs clean, maintain, store, and fuel their vessels properly for you, so your job is only to ride the boat and enjoy your time on the water. They even take care of insurance and liability, so you don’t have to worry about that part either.
Experiencing the waters from a diverse variety of vessels is the main advantage offered by boat clubs.
Therefore, with time, you will become a boat expert, who knows how to handle, and fish from almost any kind of watercraft that is out there.
Many boat clubs require their new members to take boat training lessons before they can access the boats. They also let you choose between individual or group training for this purpose.
So for people who are new to boating, they can learn everything about ships through these lessons. They train you in the areas of safety, captaining, repairing, and troubleshooting of different boats.
Also, you get to know a few fishing tips along with the know-how of boat mechanisms.
Boating is a healthy hobby, but joining a boat club lets you socialize healthily too. You will get to meet all the fishing enthusiasts, expert anglers, and boating fans at this club.
So, you will make a lot of new friends who think similar to you and learn a lot of new things about the water world.
Some boat clubs hold members-only get-togethers, cruises, and parties, which can be fun. There, you can meet a lot of like-minded people belonging to different age groups. And, also enjoy listening to stories from experienced boaters.
Disadvantages of Joining a Boat Club
Since nothing is perfect, boat clubs have some negative points too. Some of which are:
Did you want teak decks instead of rubber mats in the pontoon you are riding? Well, you can’t do anything about it because you don’t own the boat, it belongs to the boat club.
One of the most significant pitfalls of joining a boat club is that you become restricted to use what they give you. You can’t modify the boats according to your needs.
So forget about adding comfy seats and sound systems when you hold a boat club membership.
Lack of Availability
You know the feeling when you want to make a reservation at a restaurant, and they tell you they are all booked. Then be prepared to hear that when making a reservation at your boat club.
Sometimes, you don’t get the boat you wanted for that day because someone else already reserved it before you.
It can be a complete mood wrecker if you tried to book a bass boat for the weekend, and they tell you they can only give you a pontoon.
A few hundred dollars going away from your pocket every month, whether you use the boats or not, may prove to be a waste of money. Busy schedules might not allow you to take time out for hitting the water.
But you will still have to keep paying the boat club to retain your membership. You can always leave a boat club if you want to stop letting your money go down the drain.
However, if you have free time again in the future and want to go boating, you would have to pay a hefty registration fee (usually thousands of dollars) to become a member again.
Most of the time, busy clubs give you a time limit for using the boat, which isn’t attractive for serious fishing.
So, at your club, you can only use a ship with time limits for pleasure, but not for bringing home a good catch, which requires long hours on the water.
Are Boat Clubs Worth It: Conclusion
If you are new to boating, I highly recommend joining a boat club. Not only will you learn how to operate vessels, but you also save yourself from spending thousands of bucks on owning and maintaining a boat.
It’s worth it if you think you can make the best of the amenities they offer. That is, if you have the time and resources, it will definitely be worth your while.