Are boat clubs worth the cost

The 5 Secrets Boat Clubs Don’t Want You to Know About

Written by Boatsetter Team
June 18, 2021

On the surface, boat clubs seem like a great idea. Instead of buying a boat, you pay a monthly fee and have access to a range of different vessels. The problem is that, in reality, things don’t work out quite that smoothly. Here are the top five secrets that boat clubs don’t want you to know about.

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1) Limited Selection of Boats

When we join a boat club, there is this idea that one weekend we can take out a fast speedboat and the next, a family-sized catamaran. The problem is that most clubs really only offer a pretty narrow selection of boats. Not only that, with most people having the same free time as in being off on the weekends, holidays, and certain summer months, then you may find yourself standing empty-handed.

2) Too Much Pressure

The problem is that once you join a club, you feel pressure to get the most out of it. The average annual boat club is 275 dollars per month. If you don’t boat that often or have a hectic month, it feels like money just is thrown down the drain and just another wasted expense.

3) Limited Places

While some clubs have locations worldwide, you’re still limited to whatever places they’re in. For the most part, this basically keeps you stuck around the most touristy places. And those are only the biggest clubs with typically the highest prices.

Freedom Boat Club has one of the largest numbers of places, but most of their stuff is in the US, so you are on your own if you are heading international. On the other hand, the more affordable places may only have one or two locations that make getting the most out of the boat club quite difficult.

4) The Clubs Might Be Full

That’s what they really don’t want to tell you. Instead, they will put you on a waiting list, have you probably pay an upfront fee, and then you wait. Even if you do get it, getting on the water might be really difficult because there are too many other people trying to do the same thing as you.

5) Cost

It all comes back to cost. At the end of the day, the price of joining and maintaining a boat club membership is simply unreasonable. Typically you pay several thousand dollar initiation fees and several hundred dollar monthly fees, so often it’s cheaper to own your boat or just rent one!

The Boatsetter vs. Boat Clubs

Instead of dealing with all this, why not just go with Boatsetter instead. You have a huge range of options and can choose to either be your own captain or have one of our many five-star captains. So reserve one and make the most out of your time off.

Boatsetter vs. Carefree Boat Club

Like most boat clubs, Carefree Boat Club has an initial membership fee and an annual fee. These fees vary depending on the location and may even be monthly. According to, the initial membership cost ranges from $4,000 to $6,000, and a monthly cost ranging from $140 to $300. As you can see, the price of renting a boat can add up quickly. If you have the time to use a boat every month, you might get the full value out of Carefree Boat Club, but it won’t be easy. By renting a boat with Boatsetter, you can avoid all initiation and monthly/annual fees! Just pay each time you would like to take out a boat, and you are all set for a fun day out on the water. With over 4500 active boats on our platform across the country, you can find the perfect boat for your needs.

Boatsetter vs. Nautical Boat Club

Like many other boat clubs on this list, Nautical Boat Club has an initial one-time membership cost and an ongoing monthly cost. The monthly membership cost may vary depending on the boat and the location. The total for your first year with Nautical Boat Club can range from $4535 to $14,355. Our goal at Boatsetter is to make boating accessible to everyone by not tying our customers to recurring fees. All 4500 of our boats across the country are available for rent, no catches.

Boatsetter vs. 321 Boat Club

321 Boat Club is a Florida-based boat club with initiation costs ranging from $975 to $3,450 and monthly costs ranging from $149 to $249. 321 Boat Club membership levels largely depend on what day and time you would like to take out a boat. With 321 Boat Club’s fleet being limited to specific parts of Florida, this may not be the best option for everyone. With Boatsetter, you can rent boats across the country on any day of the week!

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