The boating lifestyle took on new meaning in 2020. With 2021 expected to be a banner year for the industry, many more are considering the boating lifestyle.

There are several ways to get into boating without needing a second mortgage. The 2 main ways to enjoy boating are through purchases or boat club memberships. And with purchases, there is the new vs used decision.

The big difference is boat ownership gives you ultimate freedom (and responsibility). Whereas club membership provides a hassle-free experience, with some constraints on availability. Let us review the PROS and CONS in more depth + a 3rd option.



If you enjoy the lifestyle of being on a boat, staying overnight or staying out without a schedule, boat ownership could be for you.

Other ownership benefits include

- customizations and outfitting your boat with the latest gadgetry and trappings, designs and layouts, electronics, or fishing gear.

- convenience to go boating when the whim strikes


Boat owners understand having their own boat means

- Insurance: it usually covers a full year with trailer and storage and environmental accidents

- Storage costs: slips and a winter home

- Maintenance and service costs: winterization, spring tune-ups, battery and fluid checks, stain the teak, cleaning after each use, acid wash the hulls, etc, etc, etc

For those with boating in their blood and the desire to own a boat when they want, these are simply part of the ownership equation.



Most clubs offer free instructional training and access to different types of boats in their club’s fleet.

Club members understand their membership includes:

- access to different boats for varied activities (fishing, watersports, entertaining).

- a selection of perfectly maintained boats from different manufacturers or design types.

- a monthly fee – generally less than the payment on a new boat with no maintenance headaches.

For those looking for a truly hassle free experience, with scheduling based on availability, club membership is for you. Just get in and go (and bring it back with a full tank of gas).