A club with the freedom to try out 'that' boat

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This past week or so we’ve groaned over the weather reports, shoveled, scraped windshields and stocked up on bread and milk. I’m told, in Rhode Island, the third emergency necessity is potato chips. How many days until spring? Too many.

This is the time of year landlubbers start thinking about getting a boat. Maybe you’ve been out on a friend’s boat and have envied his ability to jump aboard and set out for a perfect day. The kids are older now, and you are ready for a little adventure to look forward to. 

You wouldn’t choose an oversized SUV as a second car just for trips to the market. And you probably wouldn’t want a small sedan for family cross-country trips. It is the same for a boat. What are your priorities? Start thinking, and discussing with the family, what results you want. Do you envision taking fishing trips with buddies every weekend or do you plan to drop anchor to spend the night in a secluded cove with the family? Is the boat largely for entertaining or water sports? Will you be a bay boater or do you plan to venture out in the ocean and head for Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket? The design, amenities, and even the hull would be considerations here. If the boat is bigger, it will probably cost more to move, but will have the creature comforts that will encourage your family’s enthusiasm for boating. If you are looking for speed, a planning hull is fine for the bay, but does not handle as well as a displacement hull in rough water. So many things to consider.

There is an option.

Rather than making a decision on boat type right away, you have the opportunity to try out several different kinds of boats right here in Warwick. At Brewer’s Yacht Yard, 1 Masthead Drive, off Post Road, there is a Freedom Boat Club. You pay for a membership and then a monthly fee and you can take out any boat in their fleet just for the cost of the fuel. That way you can enjoy the summer, take the guys out fishing, picnic with the family, water-ski, and try out a variety of boats before you put out big bucks for boat ownership. No insurance, no dockage costs, no repairs, no maintenance. The Club even does the cleaning. You can choose a different boat each trip and try it out with family, guests, and even your dog. All boats have the required safety equipment- flares, fire extinguishers, even life jackets, and are fully fueled, waiting for you at the dock. You are not limited to the number of times you use the boats, and reciprocal membership allows you to use boats at any of the more than 100 Freedom Boat Clubs in the country. In RI alone there are clubs in Warwick, Portsmouth and Newport, and in Massachusetts you can hop on a boat in Newburyport, Boston, the Cape, etc. Going west, Connecticut has clubs in Mystic and Deep River among other towns, and the coast is dotted with clubs all the way down to Florida, as well as some on the Great Lakes.

Whatever option appeals to you, while you are walking behind that snow blower, picture walking down the dock to your boat, and put spring in your step.

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