Ridetheducksofseattle is reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Carefree Boat Club vs Freedom Boat Club (Quick Comparison)

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

carefree boat club vs freedom boat club

When searching for a boat club, you’ll find Carefree Boat Club vs Freedom Boat Club as they’re the most popular. To choose between them, you have to know about the membership cost, services, location, and benefits.

They are not only the most well-known, but they’re also on the list of the long-time serving boat clubs in the US. You won’t be disappointed as they offer well-maintained boats you can reserve through their apps and websites.

Since they’re two different institutions, some things distinguish them from each other. So, dig for more information in this article to choose the right club.

What to Know About Carefree Boat Club and Freedom Boat Club


1. Carefree Boat Club

Carefree Boat Club was established in Virginia Beach and it has been serving members since 2002. Other boat clubs started earlier than this company but it has kept up with the old-timers when it comes to popularity.

Aside from the Carefree Boat Club DC and branches in other states, this club is also found in Canada, Southeast Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean. Hence, its locations are not only contained in one continent.

You can avail of the rental from this club any time, even during the peak season.

It’s due to the high ratio of the boat to membership. This club provides safety instructions on what to do when you’re on the waters.

2. Freedom Boat Club

The services of Freedom Boat Club were only contained in its Florida locations at first. Before becoming one of the popular boat clubs, it started its operation in a small marina in 1989.

It’s been in service for over 30 years as the business is booming.

As the company expanded outside the USA and started operating in Canada and France, it’s now found in 275 locations.

Each location of Freedom Boat Club has a high boat ratio to members. Thus, there’s always a variety of vessels to choose from. However, there are different vessels available in every marine but rest assured that they’re popular ones.

Besides the wonderful experience, the members of this club can take advantage of complementary safety courses.

People do not have to worry if they are not equipped with knowledge to deal with some situations that might happen in the water. The club offers one-on-one training with licensed captains.

Differences between Freedom Boat Club vs Carefree Boat Club


1. Locations

The number of Freedom Boat Club locations are three times that of Carefree Boat Club.

As of 2023, members can join over 350 locations of Freedom Boat Club in Canada, many countries in Europe, and 35 states. Meanwhile, Carefree Boat Club has more than 115 locations around the world.

Both of them have locations in North America. And while the latter has fewer, it lets you reach wonderful destinations in the Caribbean or West Indies and Southeast Asia, specifically in the Philippines.

2. Club members and services

  • Freedom Boat Club

It has more than 20,000 members. The club always provides the services expected by this large number of people. Bookings can be done 6 months before the appointment. You need to call a certain location as only some allow online bookings.

Members can access a wide range of options such as pontoons, bow riders, wake boats, deck boats, and inshore or onshore fishing boats any time they want.

Booking is unlimited in Freedom Boat Club but it depends on the type of vessel. You have to inquire whether you can use a boat overnight or not. You have to confirm it when having a party with friends but you have to pay for the fuel in some cases.

You’ll like the insurance that Freedom Boat Club has as the policy is similar when you own a boat. There’s a professional dock staff that can help you unload and carry your things. You may give a tip as an appreciation of their service.

  • Carefree Boat Club

Carefree Boat Club has over 6,500 members who can choose from 800 boats and 80,000 boat trips yearly.

Having fewer members has an advantage as services can be easily personalized. But I must say that the location in Deep Creek Lake is awesome due to the array of luxury boats. It’s convenient to make reservations as you can do it online in all locations.

Boat use is unlimited and there’s boat insurance in Carefree Boat Club. But you’ll like the idea of not paying for the fuel as the boat’s tank is full when you arrive in the marina. There’s a staff who can help you with your belongings as well.

Online booking can be in both boat clubs but some locations of Freedom Boat Club don’t have this system. Once you’re a member of Carefree Boat Club, you’ll have an account on Resnet which is the online booking system.

3. Membership

Once you become a member of any of these clubs, you’re entitled to avail of their services in any location.

  • To join Freedom Boat Club, you have to be at least 21 years old with a boater license. You’ll be required to have one-on-one training which is a part of the membership package.
  • Carefree Boat Club will ask you the same thing but offer more training for wakeboarding, water surfing, and waterskiing. However, there are no certain rules about membership aside from training.

Both clubs give free tours so you can decide whether to join or not. I think it’s a big help to decide whether paying for a boat club membership is worth it or not.

Since Freedom Boat Club has flexible membership plans. Based on your boating needs and preference, you can choose from:

  • Seasonal ($200-$250)
  • Weekend-only ($250-$450)
  • Weekday-only ($225-$250)
  • Friends-n-family ($400).

These plans with a monthly fee are made due to consideration of the inclement weather conditions of some locations. There’s even a special membership for both active servants and retired army members.

It’s not cheap to join a boat club, but there’s split membership where you can let your family, friends, and colleagues enjoy the services.

In the case of Carefree Boat Club, you can share the membership with one person. It means you split all the fees in half.

Freedom Boat Club can allow it but in a different arrangement. You can take more than one person with you when going boating. It’s best to have fun in the waters with people close to you. In this way, you get the most out of your membership fee.

However, I want to emphasize that Freedom Boat Club is only about sole membership. More than one person can take advantage of its services, but you should be around. It doesn’t allow membership transfer, but you can invite some people when boating.

4. Price

  • In Carefree Boat Club cost of membership, you’re expected to pay a $7,500 initiation fee and $550 monthly dues that include a fee for its online booking system.
  • Generally, you’ll pay a $550 upfront fee to get a membership from Freedom Boat Club. Depending on location, the monthly rate ranges from $200 to $500. For example, Seattle’s costs can differ from other cities.

Pros and Cons

Carefree Boat Club


    • Personalized services – Since it has fewer members, it’s possible to personalize its services.
    • Convenient online booking system – It can’t be denied that processing online is convenient and it’s a good thing that you can do it in all locations of Carefree Boat Club.
    • Full boat tank – You don’t have to pay extra for the fuel of your boat. Upon your arrival at the dock, the boat that you’ve reserved is ready to go with the necessary fuel.
    • Split membership – This type of membership allows you to divide all the fees in half with a family member or friend. If you and your partner are fond of sailing, you can save money as you enjoy unlimited boat trips.


    • Fewer locations in Canada and the USA
    • Not conducive to group outings

Freedom Boat Club


    • Many locations – You’ll be in awe of the number of locations that you can choose from within Canada and the US. There are unique locations like the one on Hilton Head Island.
    • Flexible membership plan – Freedom Boat Club has flexible membership to suit your needs and make you save money.
    • Open for group activities and outings – Since you can invite other people to join in your water adventure, it simply means that your membership in this club permits group activities.


    • Extra payment for the fuel
    • Online booking can’t be processed in all locations

Frequently Asked Questions


Who owns Freedom Boat Club?

Brunswick Corp owns Freedom Boat Club after acquiring the club last May 2019.

Which boat club has the most locations?

Freedom Boat Club has the most locations since it’s been in the industry for more than 30 years.

How much does a Freedom Boat Club cost in Chicago?

The membership fee is usually higher in locations within California. So, the locations in Chicago generally have a one-time fee that ranges from $3,200 to $11,000. Depending on the location, there are different monthly rates from $200 to $450.

Are Boat Club Memberships worth it?

The answer is yes, as you can save money and effort during boat trips. There are different models to choose from rather than purchasing a boat and using it all the time. Also, you can travel to different places as boat clubs branch out.


You don’t need to scan through comments on Reddit, as everything you need to know is compiled here. Carefree Boat Club vs Freedom Boat Club have common services such as free tours, training, and dock staff who assists you with your belongings. Although the latter has more experience, the former can guarantee good service.

I must say that Carefree Boat Club allows you to save money by having two people share a membership plan. You better go for Freedom Boat Club if you’re into group outings. Anyway, their fees and rates don’t have a significant difference.

5/5 - (2 votes)