Membership VS. Ownership

As busy schedules tax individuals and families with less and less recreation time, everyone is looking for an easier way to get the most out of their free time. For boaters, it’s all about “getting out on the water,” yet they find more time is spent on the dock, on the trailer, or in the shop. New boat owners find that the initial investment and monthly budget quickly increases, especially if they purchased a used boat.

A known acronym is B.O.A.T (Break Out Another Thousand.) A boat club is the answer to enjoyable, cost saving boating. It also passes the BOREDOM Test! Fish, Ski, Cruise or just relax, with an exciting variety of boat styles, members of a boat club can reserve a different style boat each time they go out. A variety of boating choices such as center consoles, Deck Boats, Cabin cruisers, Pontoons, and the like are the answer to boater boredom.

The basic concept of a boat club is to make your daily boating experience simple and convenient. Simply make a reservation for the boat of your choice and the boat is in the water, clean, fueled up and ready to go. Whether you want an early out to wake up some fish or enjoy a sunset cruise, it’s a simple phone call to arrange. Load and Go – 100% on the water, none of the other stuff! No trailer, no storage fee, no cleaning, and no worries. The boat will start. Furthermore, insurance, towing, and training is usually included with boat club membership. When you return, simply tie the boat at the dock where you found it, unload and go. It doesn’t get any easier. It’s the most hassle free boating experience possible.

Not familiar with boating or the area? Commitment to safe boating begins with member orientation of the local waterways including key boating destinations, safe anchoring and docking procedures. Orientations can be geared to the members experience level and confidence. Owning a boat can be the most pleasurable recreational investment a family can make. But is it the right financial investment? Let’s look at the facts.

Cost Factor Based on a Purchase Price of $50,000.00 with 20% down, 8% interest rate=$40,000.00 Loan

The first year cost of ownership is $26,010.00. The average first year cost of Boat Club membership is $4,995.00. That’s a first year savings of $21,015!! Most new boat owners underestimate the total cost of owning a boat, not to mention the time investment for upkeep. Furthermore, boat owners keep their boat 3-5 years, before they decide to sell it due to lack of use or to upgrade before the boat depreciation hits hard and warranties run out. Typical value depreciation on a $50,000.00 boat will run approximately 15% or $7,500.00 per year.

Boat Club membership can be the right alternative for the boating enthusiasts who want to get on the water without the ownership hassle and cost. Time and dollar savings can be realized quickly. Before investing in a boat of their own, members can take advantage of using a variety of boat styles to help decide which boat suits their interests and needs best. The knowledge they gain as a boat club member will surely pay dividends before taking a chance on owning their own boat. Conversely, veteran boat owners appreciate the boat club concept because they already know what it takes to maintain a boat and the time they need to invest using it in order to make the financial outlay worthwhile. For them, it’s a no brainer! B.O.A.T!

Ed Westervelt is the Owner/Club President of Premier Boat Club located in Stuart, FL. Phone: (772) 220-1010 email: