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Boat Clubs vs. Boat Ownership…

There’s nothing quite like being out on the open water off the beautiful coastline, enjoying the wind in your hair and good company while seated in a luxurious boat with all the bells and whistles you could possibly need for a full day of fun and relaxation. However, before you can head out on the open water, you’ll need to contend with some big decisions regarding how you’re going to obtain a boat for the day.

Typically, there are two options: joining a boat club in the area or purchasing a boat of your very own. Each of these methods has its own pros and cons you’ll need to consider before deciding which route is the best for you.

Owning a Boat

Having a boat of your own is often seen as an expensive luxury. However, having full ownership of your watercraft comes with a wide range of benefits that you simply can’t obtain by just joining a boating club.

Choosing a boat that’s right for your budget immediately removes the biggest perceived pitfall (the price) of purchasing a boat outright, leaving behind a wide range of benefits to enjoy, including:

  • Escaping everyday stresses whenever you want
  • The ability to customize your boat to fit your style and needs
  • Using any numbers of harbors or docks
  • A mental health boost
  • Easy spur-of-the-moment outings with family and friends.

For many people, buying a boat is the best way to ensure all of the bases are covered in terms of preferences and lifestyle needs because you can find the perfect base and then modify it as needed to achieve the desired end result. This and the unlimited availability of your boat are the two biggest benefits that give purchasing a boat a bit of a boost over joining a boat club.

However, there are a few downsides to consider when it comes to owning a boat. Chiefly, these issues involve cost, not just of the boat itself but of the general upkeep of the boat in the years to come. Even smaller boats can be quite expensive. Beyond the initial cost of your purchase, you’ll also need to consider insurance costs, storage and harbor fees, maintenance, and service fees. Finding a good harbor can also be a challenge in some of the more popular Gulf areas. Despite the financial challenges, many find the benefits of owning a boat too far outweigh the potential downsides. The trick is, of course, finding the right boat.

Joining a Boat Club

If you feel that owning a boat might not be the right option for you, your other leading option is to join a boat club in your chosen area. This is an excellent option for those who may not have room in their budget for a new boat but who still want to enjoy the benefits of spending time out on the waves. Considering owning a yacht is one of the most expensive asset purchases you can make, this is precisely the reason most people choose to join a club over buying. Joining a boat club also comes with a wide range of benefits on its own, including:

  • A wider selection of boats (some of which might be out of your budget)
  • Instructional training from experienced professionals
  • Predictable, stable costs
  • Less responsibility for insurance, service, and maintenance

Furthermore, when you choose to join a boat club, most clubs will allow you to use different boats for each outing, allowing you to switch boats for each special occasion you have planned. Just like owning a boat, though, joining a club isn’t without its drawbacks that must be considered before making the decision to join up.

First, just because you have access to the dozens of different boats the club owns, that doesn’t mean you’ll always get your first pick. You’ll need to reserve your boat upfront, and many clubs run on a first-come, first-serve basis. Secondly, clubs may not have all the bells and whistles you want on your boat, and you won’t have the option of customizing the craft since you don’t own it. Finally, you won’t be able to use a club boat anytime you get the urge to get out on the water. You’ll need to operate within the club’s specified hours at the risk of being charged with hefty fees.

Which is Better?

Upon assessing the pros and cons of both buying a boat and joining a boat club, it’s easy to see why both are popular options for those living on or visiting the coast. When all the details are considered, is one method really better than the other? Generally, owning a boat, or in any of the state’s other sunny destinations is the best solution. Owning a boat allows you to fully embrace the freedom of the open water by giving you the opportunity to head out at any moment, build the perfect boat and spend as much time on your adventure as you’d like. Boating is about experiencing the open water, and owning your own boat gives you the freedom to do so without limits.

While many consider this the ideal option, joining a boat club may still be a great option for many. Exploring your options and determining what your budget is should always be your top priority before making any big purchase, especially when it comes to boats and boating accessories.

Find Your Dream Boat

If you’re looking for the perfect boat that fits your lifestyle, budget, and personality perfectly, contact Nautical Ventures Marine Center. We carry a huge range of boats and boating accessories to ensure we always have exactly what you’re looking for. From luxurious boats to certified, experienced mechanics, we have your back not only throughout the selection process but also afterward, when your new boat needs repairs or maintenance. We’re dedicated to getting you the perfect boat, and


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