Venice has an array of superior boat clubs awaiting you. The options are both tempting and limitless.
Even better, they all come with different perks for many kinds of boat lovers like you!
It all just depends on which boat club suits you and your personal sailing goals the best.
Without further ado, here are the 5 premier boat clubs in Venice, Florida, for you to take note of:
1. Freedom Boat Club
If what you’re looking for is a true, laid-back boating club experience that doesn’t come with any commitments, this club is sure to fit the bill for you.
Freedom Boat Club is one of the most widely known and accessible boating clubs in the nation today, with over 165 locations based all over the U.S. as well as Canada.
The club was established back in 1989 and has been around for quite some time now.
You can gain complete access to the club’s boats – as well as all clubbing activities for a set period of time each year (per your membership plan) – after paying a one-time membership fee of $7,000.
The club offers a set of flexible membership plans for 12, 6, and 3 months each. The monthly fees vary, ranging from $369-$199, depending upon your plan.
Your months of choice for the 6 and 3-month plans are completely customizable and can be changed any time of the year.
There’s also a plan which gives you access to the fleet only on weekdays, at a lower monthly fee.
Friends & Family Plan:
If you’ve got a friend who’s just as invested in boating as you are, the club offers a Friends And Family Plan. This allows two couples to share the monthly fee of $520 and gives you full access to the fleet.
This plan, however, comes at a hefty one-time membership fee of $9000.
They also have promotions going around from time to time, so you should keep an eye out for them to discover discounts or additional perks.
Reservations can be made online or via telephone.
You can also show up to the club anytime as per your plans without reservations and take your pick from the available boats.
Perks & Benefits:
As a member, you have full access to the nationwide fleet, which comprises over 2,000 boats, this allows you to get sailing wherever you are – this is especially handy while you’re moving or traveling.
These boats include well respected national brands and feature inshore and offshore center consoles, deck boats, pontoons, bowriders, plus a smaller selection of sailboats and kayaks, and each boat is only three years old or newer.
Along with sporting such a vast catalog, the club also hosts social activities such as monthly dock parties and has a Buddy Program, which allows you to team up with other sailors for watersports, fishing, and boating trips.
Possibly best of all, becoming a member of the Freedom Boat Club also enables you to receive free and unlimited one-on-one training from their team of in-house United States Coast Guard licensed captains.
2. Waves Boat and Social Club
Waves Boat and Social club has been around for over 25 years and has four other branches spread across Florida.
Unlike the Freedom Boat Club, Waves is highly focused on the joy of sailing and sharing experiences with other sailors in order to create a close-knit community.
Waves has a fleet of 50 boats spread across its five branches, to which the members get unlimited access.
Of course, the downside here is the small fleet selection available, unlike the vast selection available with Freedom Boat Club.
If you have a love for trying new boats out, this one might not be for you.
Due to the private, intimate nature of the club, Waves does not have a set membership plan.
Their membership plans, as well as one-time membership fees, are totally customizable as per your boating needs so that you only pay for what you truly want.
Monthly prices range from $209-$309.
Activities & Perks:
The true joy of joining Waves comes from the wide range of social activities that the club has to offer.
Waves organize a range of social activities such as fishing charters, fishing clubs, beach parties, sight-seeing tours, sunset cruises, dolphin sight-seeing, and much more.
If you enjoy sharing your love of sailing with a group of people who are just as invested in the hobby as you are, Waves is your destination!
3. Venice Yacht Club
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the Venice Yacht Club is its elite clubhouse and amenities.
The clubhouse boasts several spacious and incredibly beautiful dining and recreational rooms. The building also offers beautiful views of Roberts Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
The exquisite Sunset Room and Bar also features a unique, lovely dusk vista you have to stop and admire.
The clubhouse hosts several brunches, feasts and balls for the members on a weekly or monthly basis.
Yearly events such as Christmas, New Year’s celebrations, Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day are lavishly celebrated as well.
There are also high-quality rooms available for hosting private parties, meetings, and the building can also be booked out for large-scale events such as weddings.
There are also over 15 individual community clubs for discussing activities such as sailing, reading, and kayaking.
Membership Fees & Joining:
Venice Yacht club requires that you contact them to inquire about membership fees and the overall set up to joining their club.
With that in mind, it is most likely that Venice pricing is closer to Freedom Boat Club in expenditures.
With all their amenities, though, you might consider the pricing to be worth it!
Fleet & Sailing:
The main drawback is that the club owns just 4 kayaks, available on a rental basis.
The incredibly small fleet selection can be a turn-off for many, and while the entertainment milieu is immaculate, the club is surprisingly lacking in marine activities.
What it lacks in quantity it excels in quality. The VYC strongly encourages and promotes sailing amongst youth and small children.
The Venice Yacht Club is teamed up with the Venice Youth Boating Association – a non-profit organization run by U.S. Sailing certified coaches and instructors to provide the club members, as well as their children, with quality sailing lessons.
This club is centered towards in-house club activities and forming a family within the club rather than cruising outdoors, and the adventurous kind might not feel at home here.
Memberships, much like Waves, are quite customizable here as per your boating needs.
The VYC is all about its lovely community rather than boats, and if regular social events are your cup of tea, there couldn’t be a better place for you!
4. Venice Sail & Power Squadron
The Venice Sail And Power Squadron are located exactly on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the Venice Yacht Club.
This club is heavily centered towards the hobby of sailing and to the exclusion of activities such as parties and other social events.
The club offers extensive boating education to people from all walks of life, and also allows you to make friends who share that passion along the way.
One could define this club as a “relaxed boating school for adults”.
Membership & Perks:
Although Venice Sail and Power Squadron do not list publicly their pricing, they are most likely on par or above the average pricing of sailing and boating clubs.
Because they mostly offer lessons, and therefore they don’t host parties or offer many amenities, you can probably bet their pricing is going to be one of the lowest on this list.
However, this would require personal inquiry and contacting them to find out.
The VSPS is a subunit of the United States Power Squadron and has the standardized introductory “America’s Boating Course,” which enables the members to learn the “ABC” s of sailing.
On the completion of a course, members are awarded a Boat Safety Certification Card.
The focus on boating education is unnegotiable with the VSPS. Membership packages are discussed in terms of courses, with the pricing of each course varying in terms of complexity.
The club holds 8-hour sessions on weekdays or weekends, depending upon the course picked by you. The fleet that you will be given access to also depends upon which course you choose.
Monthly club meetings and luncheons are held for the members to gather and discuss clubbing activities, and sailing in general.
This is the serious sailor’s club.
If your interests lie in perfecting your sailing craft while sharing the experience with a supportive community of fellow sailors and learners, this one’s the club for you!
Venice’s boating clubs have something to offer to sailors with all kinds of aspirations.
All you really need to do is decide your approach towards the hobby.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.