Archive for » March 2nd, 2017«

Freedom Boat Club Franchise Network Continues Major Growth Trends

VENICE, FL–(Marketwired – March 02, 2017) – Over the past year, Freedom Boat Club has experienced exponential growth, a fact President and CEO John Giglio attributes to greater brand awareness of the boat sharing concept, coupled with the opening of new clubs and the resulting consumer demand for the unique maintenance-free boating lifestyle.

Freedom Boat Club, ranked in the Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500®, is the oldest and largest boat club in North America, now with 125 locations in 22 states and Canada. The club has 15,000 memberships and operates a fleet of 1500 boats.

In the past six months, Freedom Boat Club has opened brand new markets and opened multiple clubs in Seattle, WA; Stockton, CA; Seneca, SC; and Fort Pierce, FL.

Recent existing franchise owner/operators have also announced major regional expansions, adding clubs in their respective territories.

For example, Freedom Boat Club of Greater Boston and Cape Cod has 11 locations in Massachusetts, opening three new clubs in just under two years. Partners Matt Carrick and Captain Matt O’Connor this week jointly announced their eleventh location at Kingman Yacht Center in Cataumet, Cape Cod’s largest full-service marina.

“We’re looking forward to working with Freedom Boat Club and its members.” said Scott Zeien, Kingman Yacht Center Owner and President. “Our job is to help people get out on and enjoy the water, and Freedom Boat Club offers an exciting, alternative way for people to do just that. This has all the makings of an excellent partnership.”

Other recent franchise market expansions and/or upcoming 2017 season openings include Baltimore and Washington DC; Boynton Beach, Palm Coast and a second location in Jacksonville, FL; Pittsburg, CA; Stratford and Branford, CT; and a second location in Babylon, Long Island, NY.

“Freedom Boat Club offers a proven revenue model and the success is clearly reflected in the numbers of new franchise owners opening new clubs, the growth of new members and the continued investment of the club in new boats and marine-related goods,” said Giglio. “We expect this robust trend to continue, with several new locations currently under review throughout the U.S. and Canada. We also anticipate launching the club abroad where exciting new opportunities abound.”

As to the driver behind this rapid boat club trend, Giglio points to key indicators.

“As we’ve opened clubs in new markets and introduced the concept, we’ve had a very enthusiastic reception from newcomers and lapsed boaters alike,” said Giglio. “People love the free hands-on training provided by our licensed Coast Guard captains, and they appreciate the affordable cost of entry and maintenance-free lifestyle. We’re especially pleased to see an impressive bump in millennial memberships in major markets where the sharing economy has become a way of life.”

Giglio, whose company and franchises buy on average 550 new boats a year for club usage, says that while collaborative consumption is certainly propelling new membership, Freedom Boat Club also creates a healthy funnel that leads directly to new boat sales.

“We’ve worked very hard to educate the marine industry about the boat club model and how it brings new people into boating, keeps former boat owners engaged and ultimately serves as a springboard to boat sales, with 20 percent of our members eventually investing in a boat of their own,” said Giglio. “The fact that we introduce thousands of people to this lifestyle, train them how to safely operate our vessels and then introduce them to multiple brands is simply good for boating. Our recent partnerships with boat and engine manufacturers, major wholesalers, marina owners/operators and the slow warming of more savvy retailers is certainly a win-win for all involved.”

For more information, visit or the franchise website at For franchise information, contact David Aldrich — or call 843-368-1103.

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Ahoy! Boat Show Opens In Atlantic City

By Mike Dougherty, Cleve Bryan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More than a billion pounds of fiberglass fill the Atlantic City Convention Center. That can mean only one thing –it’s boat show time.

That new boat smell fills the air. It’s just like new car smell, just pricier.

From wave runners, to pontoon cruisers, sport fishing boats, to luxury yachts – the Atlantic City Boat Show has more to see than ever. And reason is simple: people are willing to spend.

“Boating tracks very closely with consumer confidence, so as we see that rise, we see boating sales go up” said Atlantic City Boat Show spokeswoman Carrie Weibel.

Weibel says there’s something here to fit just about any budget or boating need.

“If you’re very serious about fishing, for instance, you’re gonna find serious center console sport fishers here,” Weibel said. “Watersports boats if you’re into wakeboarding or wakesurfing or waterskiing, there’s all sorts of watersports boats to dive into.”

The size of the boat show has fluctuated pretty closely with the economy. In 2010, there were only about 150 boats here as the leisure industry plummeted. This year there are more than 500 boats on display.

“So that’s just more product flooding the market place as there’s more demand,” Weibel said.

Experts say boat manufacturers have adjusted their products to attract people looking for value. Center console boats once aimed at hardcore fishermen, are now outfitted with extensive cushioning for cruising.

Pontoon boats have become the bread and butter for Schooner Island Marina in Wildwood, which is seeing better sales.

“It rebounded starting last year,” said Anthony Sandora of Schooner Island Marina. “We’ve seen a huge uptick in the past two months, not only with boat sales, but with the marina in general.”

A perfect example of people feeling for confident to spend, the Topoleski family from Bargenat, New Jersey.

“I originally bought a 19-foot center console,” said Tom Topoleski. “Last year we upgraded to a 24-foot walk around, more comfort for the kids.”

Now they’re out to accessorize.

And with more than 440 vendors at the show what better place to dream, and have a little fun.

Mike from Sea Isle says his wife won’t let him near the credit card.

“I just turned 72 yesterday, so if I buy a boat right now I wont make it to my 73rd birthday” he joked.

And new this year is Super Thursday, with reduced admission fee and the best sales of the week.

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