Freedom Boat Club: A Neat Boat Club to Sail

John Giglio | President | Freedom Boat Club
John Giglio | President | Freedom Boat Club

Many people mistakenly confuse a boat club with other recreational boating enterprises and don’t understand the difference between a club, rental operator, a new or used boat dealership, fractional ownership, or even the newer peer-to-peer organizations. Each offers a great service to boaters, but it has its unique focus and distinctions, along with advantages and benefits. Boat clubs are designed for folks who want to access a versatile fleet of boats regularly at an affordable cost of entry. While clubs, in general, may differ in their membership structure. Freedom to the boat is at the very core of the Freedom Boat Club! FBC members have unlimited access to the club fleet, but do not own them and never incur any service or storage fees.

While most boat clubs are either regionally-based or smaller ‘mom and pop’ locations, Freedom Boat Club has 2,000+ late model boats from coast to coast, with 200+ franchise and corporate club locations throughout the United States and Canada. Members who join FBC on a year-round basis enjoy reciprocal access and can boat anywhere it is located. This is one of the most valued features of membership in the Freedom Boat Club. Today, the company welcomes and embraces a broad mix of members to its ranks, from first-time boaters and newbies to seasoned salts and former boat owners, from young families to active retired. Freedom Boat Club is also actively engaged in developing new and diverse markets. Anyone who loves the water and water-related activities is embraced as a member of the Freedom Boat Club!

Below is its story,

As the organization began its initial growth throughout the 2000s, Freedom Boat Club was sold to an investment group. Over time, it became evident that the best leadership for this type of business model would require active engagement at the helm. John Giglio and Robert Daly had both been working for the investment operator and negotiated to buy the company in 2011. Mr. Giglio bought Mr. Daly out in 2012 and became the sole President.

Under Mr. Giglio’s leadership, coupled with a committed group of entrepreneurial-driven franchise owners, Freedom Boat Club is thriving. Today, 20,000+ boaters call Freedom Boat Club “home,” with over 200+ locations in 31 states, Canada, and France with franchise operations situated coast-to-coast, and growing each month.

While the company celebrates 30 years of business in 2019, the last 3 years have defined our journey. In that time, we’ve doubled our location count (now at 200 Freedom Boat Club locations), grown our footprint overseas, and merged into the Brunswick Corporation. The journey forward will continue as it has – fast-paced and action-packed.

Freedom Boat Club simplifies the boating lifestyle by eliminating the inconveniences of boating and leaving the fun of the open waters for its members. The process is simple:

  • Freedom Boat Club buys and maintains (repair, clean, insure, store, etc.) a fleet of boats.
  • A member joins the club with a one-time entry fee and monthly dues.
  • Freedom Boat Club provides free, unlimited USCGapproved training to ensure a safe and fun experience while boating.
  • Members are free to reserve a boat (by calling, emailing, or online through the Freedom Boat Club website or app). Membership also includes reciprocal access to our 200+ locations!

Members are also welcomed to join member-only social events, participate in the company led charitable projects, and take advantage of special offers with partnering businesses within their local community.

Freedom Boat Club provides free a mix of both on-water and classroom boat training for every new member, taught on a 1:1 basis by Coast Guard licensed instructors. The instructors know the local waterways and are well trained to assist newcomers to boating as well as seasoned skippers alike.

Identifying and solving the unique needs of each franchise location. The boating landscape differs from market to market – what works in Boston may not work in San Diego. While the fundamentals of the business are universal, we need to be able to adapt to market needs. The franchise community will continue to be a large part of the growth of the Freedom Boat Club. The success achieved at the local level fuels our growth worldwide as we remain a leader in the boat club space.

Continue to identify strong franchise operators to expand the footprint of the Freedom Boat Club worldwide while continuing to grow existing locations (number of boats) to get more people on the water. While the original mission has fundamentally remained the same, the composition and scope of the company is continually expanding.


“Always have a wonderful experience! The entire crew is always top-notch. Ready with a helping hand, a warm smile, and helpful information about places to boat to. Joining the boat club was one of our better decisions…..” — Brian Henney, Cape Haze, FL

“My Initial concern with joining Freedom Boat Club was that I would not like the condition of the boats (not being kept up). I couldn’t be more wrong. Maintenance has never been an issue while boating with the club. I have never had a boat break down…..” — Captain Ron Danko, Chicago, IL