From the Everglades-adjacent Southwest Ranches to the culture coursing through Fort Lauderdale’s canals, Broward County’s terrain is as nuanced as its residents.
The county’s proximity to crystal-clear waters make it a perfect hub for sailing, and Broward’s boat clubs are just as diverse!
The good news is that Broward County has boat clubs for sailors of many persuasions. Naturally, access to any of these clubs relieves you of the hassle of owning your boat.
The challenge here is finding the right club for you –that’s where this roundup comes in handy.
Whether your priority is value, fleet size, or club culture it’s important that the membership you’re paying for best suits your specific nautical needs.
Let’s dive right into these six notable Broward boat clubs!
1. Grand Yacht Club
It’s impossible to fashion a list of Broward clubs and not include this Fort Lauderdale favorite.
Its membership model is unique because you can rent a yacht for a multi-day cruise experience.
Your captain can help you curate personalized hourly, daily, or weekly cruises and trips!
Grand Yacht Club Trip Packages Include:
- The Sportsman’s Special: a four-day trip comprised of PGA course golfing, fishing, and kayaking.
- The Dream: a seven-day boat vacation that takes you to the Bahamas or the Florida Keys, great for honeymoons and family vacations!
- Islands in the Stream: a five-day trip that takes you to Bimini, writer Ernest Hemingway’s “gateway to the Bahamas.”
- Flashier packages include Millionaire’s Weekend and South Beach Party for a louder, bottle-popping experience.
The ability to go far beyond the club docks make this club stand out.
Like other clubs on this list, Grand Yacht also offers water sports (included in the membership price) and social activities such as seminars and competitions.
The sport yachts, sport sails, and mega cruisers at Grand Yacht Club average at 75’, so only those interested in big boats need to consider these.
The four membership levels range from “First Mate” at $7,500 to “Admiral” at $25,000.
2. Gulfstream Boat Club
Gulfstream Boat Club is a local hidden gem in Hollywood, Florida, that offers a grassroots experience run by members who volunteer their time.
This business format makes Gulfstream Boat Club a unique and non-traditional boat club experience that costs only $140 for new members with a $100 annual renewal.
Lacking an economic barrier, the club is more like a local community, complete with a governing board, club bylaws and committees (for example, the Ocean Race Committee and the Cruise Committee).
The club’s ethos focuses not only on preserving affordability in yachting but safety and fun as well.
Sailing and Family:
As far as sailing goes, Sailor’s Point on North Lake is accessible to anyone. Year-round classes are affordable, and you can rent a Sunfish for your children for a whole day at just $5.
There is also a summer camp for young newcomers, where many locals first learned to sail.
Before you find yourself on a member’s ocean-going boat, however, new members must earn their stripes. This means more than simply attending a meeting once or twice.
While this may take time, it isn’t a negative if your priorities align with the club’s community-oriented intentions.
With the club’s busy social calendar, which includes races, an annual beach celebration, and their annual regatta, anyone willing to be truly involved will certainly find themselves on the ocean eventually.
Gulfstream may not pop up at the top of a Google search, but it was founded in 1957, making it one of the oldest in the area and a contributor to priceless memories!
3. Lauderdale Yacht Club
While there are many high-end boat clubs with the lore of exclusivity, Lauderdale Yacht Club is highlighted specifically because it is reputed not just for promoting a culture of elegant leisure, but for its premier sailing program as well.
It’s like the Ivy League of Broward Boat Clubs, equal parts style and substance.
The sailing program is comprised of multiple levels:
- The Gold Fleet: the highest level focused on refining advanced skills, mental and physical stamina, and boat tuning for international competitions. There are also classroom lectures on theory, strategy, and even science.
- The Silver Fleet: prepares sailors for the Gold Fleet by focusing on independence. Like professional athletes, video sessions are used to analyze the sailor’s techniques –now that’s intense!
- The Bronze Fleet: just below the Silver Fleet, focuses on fast-tracked skills learning.
- The Green Fleet and the Mercury Mentors: for junior high aged children and elementary school children, respectively.
Anyone seriously looking to challenge their boating skills can do so at the Lauderdale Yacht club.
And of course, equally as important is the focus on lifestyle: The club is a quiet community with tennis courts, fitness centers, high-end dining, and social events, on and off the water.
The club is nestled in a beautiful residential area.
One downside to Lauderdale Yacht Club, if you can call it that, is that they simply do not accept open applications.
Like many exclusive yacht clubs, you must be invited to join, but this is only a downside until you’re in, so get networking!
4. Family Boat Club
Not all Broward County boat clubs need an outlet in Fort Lauderdale proper.
Family Boat Club makes a list simply due to that they boast three full-service boat clubs located in otherwise Broward locales.
More than any other multi-location boat club, Family Boat Club is for the locals.
Unlike other entries on this list, all three of their locations are, in fact, within Broward County including:
- Dania Beach
- Deerfield Beach
- Lighthouse Point (narrowly missing Fort Lauderdale!)
Family Boat Club has the same focus on community as Gulfstream Boat Club, but with the immediate basic offerings of any standard boat club and rental service.
Family Boat Club maintains one boat for every ten members and supplies a variety of boats with sizes ranging from 20’ to 24’ so if you seek bells and whistles or bigger boats, do consider other entries on this list.
5. Best Boat Club
Best Boat Club is a Broward County staple, and if you’re a local, then you already know about it!
They have several locations, including Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Best Boat Club is popular for its comprehensive fleet from deck boats to ski boats.
Their adaptable, no-hassle membership plans include specifications such as “unlimited use on weekdays” and “unlimited use on weekend mornings.”
They also place a huge emphasis on training and boating classes!
In fact, Best Boat became the only authorized power-boating training center in the Fort Lauderdale area in 2011 and soon grew to be the largest of these in the US.
Overall, due to their flexibility, training programs, and large fleet, Best Boat Club is especially recommended for beginner sailors or those who have not sailed in a while.
6. South Florida Boat Club
Rounding off the list is the most moderate club, with great value.
The South Florida Boat Club combines the best of many boat club styles and is located right in the midmost segment of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
South Florida is a premier boat club with great amenities and a large fleet of diverse boats, with a cultural openness not unlike the more barebones options on the list.
This club is suited for both novices and experts, and for any person regardless of where they fall on the casual-fancy spectrum.
Membership & Community:
While membership does require an interview, an invitation isn’t necessary, unlike with the higher-end boat clubs such as Lauderdale Yacht Club or Coral Ridge.
This practice likely results in a slightly more diverse community as well. After all, South Florida Boat Club is the largest members-only boat club in South Florida.
As mentioned, the fleet is one of the broadest in the county, comprising of cruisers, deck boats, bowriders, and center console boats up to 23’.
They also offer bike, paddleboard, and kayak rentals. Moreover, the club boasts a beautiful pool and grill.
Membership starts at $199 per month, with an initial fee of $1,200.
The Right Club for You
Are you a price-sensitive beginner looking to take it slow? Gulfstream may be more your speed.
Perhaps you are gunning to be the best professional sailor in the US. If you have the connections (and like filet mignon!), Lauderdale Yacht Club may be your choice.
Not all of the clubs listed may be considered the most important in the industry, but each represents a facet of Broward County.
As versatile as the county is, so are its boat clubs.
If you are truly interested in sailing without the stress of owning, I’m sure you’ll find the right one for you in Broward. Happy sailing!