Before you sign up for a membership with Freedom Boat Club, you probably want to know what types of boats you can reserve.
Figuring out what types of boats they offer and when to use them can be a little confusing, particularly for those who are new to sailing.
Here’s what you need to know!
Specific Freedom Boat Club Offerings
Knowing what types of boats are available for you to choose from is important.
However, each location will offer its own fleet of boats.
The ships they have available are based on their geographic location and the interest of the members in this area.
To give you a better idea of what boats might be offered in your area, here are the makes and models at three Freedom Boat Club Locations.
Please note that these lists are not applicable to other locations.
Freedom Boat Club Fleet – Buffalo, New York
- 2019 Rinker Q3 Bowrider
- 2018 Key West 239 Bowrider
- 2019 Sunchaser Geneva LR PSB Pontoon
- 2016 Cobia 220 Center Console
- 2018 Scout Dorado 210 Bowrider
- 2016 Key West 239 DFS Bowrider
Freedom Boat Club Fleet – Los Angeles, California
- 2017 Hurricane SunDeck Bowrider
- 2017 Key West 239 FS Center Console
- 2017 Parker 2320 Pilot House Cuddy Cabin
- 2018 Cobia 220CC Center Console
Freedom Boat Club Fleet – Miami Beach, Florida
- 2019 Hurricane SD217 Bowrider
- 2019 Cobia 237CC Center Console
- 2019 Cobia 237CC Center Console
- 2019 Tri-Ton Barletta Coastal Edition Pontoon
- 2019 Cobia 220 Center Console
- 2018 Scout 210 Dorado Bowrider
Again, keep in mind that each location is going to have its own fleet with an assortment of makes and models.
These are the general categories that cover most of the fleets found within Freedom Boat Club’s locations.
Flatboats are great for areas that have shallow waters because of their unique construction. Instead of pushing water aside to move ahead, the flat bottom on these boats allows it to simply sit on top of the water.
Even if the shallowest part of the water is just inches deep, these flat boats are great for maneuvering around.
This can be particularly helpful in certain geographic regions, including those areas around the Florida Keys.
They are great for enjoying a day on the water or for getting in some saltwater fishing.
If you don’t want to spend a small fortune in fuel, you might also want to consider reserving one of Freedom Boat Club’s flat boats. Because they are more lightweight and do not need an oversized engine to propel them through the water, flat boats have the potential to boast some impressive fuel savings.
They may not be the fastest boats in the water, but they could be one of the cheapest.
As the name implies, deck boats are those models that have more room on the deck to accommodate your friends and family. The hull is shaped to a point, allowing them to move faster through the water.
This V-shaped hull is what truly sets deck boats apart from their closely-related cousin, the pontoon.
You may not have as much room to lounge as a pontoon boat, but you can still seat several people comfortably on a deck boat. Guests should have plenty of room to sit and lounge near the front of the ship. However, the stern may have some additional space on models that have added padded seating over the motor box.
Many of these deck boats will have the helm station and control console on the starboard side of the ship.
However, Freedom Boat Club offers several models with a center console as well. This allows you to have seating all around the boat.
While many people choose pontoons for their convenience and square footage, the deck boat is a sportier look. This may be important to you if you plan to take pictures of your boating trip. However, this may not be a deciding factor for you at all.
Bowriders are so similar to deck boats that many people have a hard time telling them apart.
They have the same V-shaped hull that allows them to move easily through the water, but a bowrider has one subtle difference. This type of boat will typically have a sharper point at the front of the hull than what you would find on a deck boat.
You typically find a good selection of bowriders at the many Freedom boat clubs.
The other major difference between these two categories is the number of people it can comfortably seat. Bowriders are often smaller models that seat fewer people.
However, a long bowrider may be able to seat just as many people as a deck boat depending on the model.
At the end of the day, both deck boats and bowriders are used for the same purpose. They are ideal for a day out on the water with friends and family who want to enjoy padded seating and a ship that is relatively easy to handle.
Bowriders are a great option for those who are new to sailing and could use some practice with navigating on the open water.
Pontoons are an extremely popular boat type for people who want to invite as many people as possible onto the open water.
They are supported by two or more metal tubes known as pontoons.
These tubes are completely airtight and hollow, allowing them to easily float on top of the water.
Because these pontoons are so incredibly easy to float, it means that boat owners can add heavy equipment (or more passengers) without fear of sinking the ship.
Just like bowriders, pontoon boats are really popular among members of the many Freedom boat club locations. They are easy to handle and maneuver.
They are typically among the fleet of your local Freedom boat club but you need to call and ask to make sure before you join a local Freedom club.
They are known for having a wide and flat upper deck that is perfect for hosting family and friends. However, people use them for a variety of things including fishing and various types of water sports.
People with small children may prefer to use pontoon boats because they have fewer areas where children can get into trouble.
Pontoons also tend to feature high rails that keep kids from falling into the water if they climb too high on the couches.
They also operate at a very slow pace through the water, especially compared to deck boats and bowriders.
Some Freedom Boat Club locations will have tritoons instead of pontoons. These boats are essentially the same as pontoons, but they will have three metal tubes supporting them instead of the traditional two.
Because of the extra tube and weight distribution, this type of pontoon can have a motor with greater horsepower.
It can make up for some of the slow and steady progress that the average pontoon tends to make.
However, you should keep in mind that tritoons will be a bit more difficult to steer.
If you are a new sailor and must navigate in close quarters near the dock, you may want to consider a different type of boat for your first few ventures out on the water.
Sailboats are the traditional image that often comes to mind when you consider getting out on the open water. These boats feature one to three hulls and a mast that helps you to navigate the waters using wind power.
The sails of the ship are the primary means of moving the shift from one point to another.
They can range in size from relatively small dinghies to powerful boats that are capable of navigating around the globe.
For most people, these sailboats are used for either cruising around the open water and enjoying the sunshine or for racing.
While you likely won’t get into competitive racing with your membership through Freedom Boat Club, reserving a sailboat could be a great way to get your feet wet with this fun and exciting sport.
Not all of the Freedom Boat Club locations will have cabin cruisers, but they do offer them in some locations.
If you plan to sail from one location to another, a cabin cruiser ship may be your best option.
They may have a motor or they may be operated via the sails.
Many people find that this type of boat is extremely comfortable and spacious. Because they are designed to travel great distances, many cruisers are designed with your long-term comfort in mind.
Even if you only take a cruiser out for an afternoon, you will likely find that it is a highly enjoyable experience.
Reserving the Right Boat
Knowing what kind of boat you need for an enjoyable day on the water is the most important part of making your reservation.
Freedom Boat Club has a wide variety of boats to choose from, so be sure to read through this guide before you call up your local marina.
With the right boat on reserve, you are sure to show your family and friends a good time on the water.
Remember that every location will have a different fleet.
The ships listed here do not apply to other locations, though you may find similar boats at your local Freedom Boat Club.
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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.