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Easy, Breezy Boating

The Freedom Boat Club offers a full-service boat club membership to new and seasoned boaters alike, taking the stress out of your time on the water.

As with any coastal settlements, boating is a central aspect of the culture along the Massachusetts and Cape Cod shoreline. Parading along the ocean and breathing in the salt air with loved ones is the essence of lighthearted summer joy, as beachgoers observe from the sand with envy. It’s no secret that owning a boat is a pretty penny, from fuel cost, to storage, maintenance and insurance. Freedom Boat Club, established in Sarasota, Florida, pioneered a solution: a full-service boating club membership. For members, it’s as simple as strolling up to a pristine boat completely prepped for a day at sea. The hassle of everything accompanying boat ownership vanishes, and you’re left simply with the joy of boating in its purest form. 

Photo courtesy of Freedom Boat Club

When the company began in 1989, the revolutionary business model focused on a vision to make recreational boating more accessible. It is now the largest boat club in the nation, with locations throughout the United States as well as Canada, France and soon England. A membership grants boaters access to any port across their 275 locations. Whether you’re at your local marina or across the country, the luxury is the always the same.

In 2008, Matt Carrick, a Dennis native, opened the Mid-Cape’s first Freedom Boat Club at Bass River Marina in West Dennis. With four boats, he immediately sold 30 memberships and was off and running. That first summer, members mentioned how convenient it would be to have a location on the bay side as well. For the 2009 season, Carrick was able to secure slips at the Northside Marina in East Dennis. From there, it took off, as Carrick was offering a highly valuable opportunity to boat on both sides of the Cape. Previously, this was only possible for boaters who transported their boat on a trailer. For five years, they successfully operated in East and West Dennis, prompting Carrick to acquire the Falmouth location, as well as six more including Beverly, downtown Boston, Quincy, Hingham, and Scituate. From there, they slowly added ports in Chatham at Outermost Harbor, at Skippy’s in Yarmouth, Kingman Marina in Cataumet, and in Marshfield. Their newest club on the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts is set to open this year. 

In 2019, the Freedom Boat Club of Greater Boston and Cape Cod won Franchise of the Year, evidence of their level of commitment and growth through the years. With 200 boats and 1,600 members across their current 14 locations, it is between an eight to nine member to boat ratio. “We’re always looking at usage and availability. We want to make sure that boats are available. We also strive to have new or one to two-year-old boats at most in the fleet at all times,” Carrick says. 

Photo courtesy of Freedom Boat Club

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