Boat Ownership vs. Boat Club Membership – What’s Best for You?

Some boat retailers consider boat clubs competition to their business.

Not so at Emerald Coast Boating Center.

Our goal is to deliver the absolute BEST boating experience for our customers. Unlike most retailers, we are very pleased to offer both boat ownership and membership options!

For some customers, the best choice may be purchasing a beautiful new or premium pre-owned boat of your own. For others, the versatile boat club model may prove a better choice for your boating activity or budget.

Our motto at Emerald Coast Marine Center: We’re here to facilitate WHATEVER floats your particular boat and to fully support your boating lifestyle and preferences!


In case you’re not exactly sure of the differences and benefits associated with boat ownership vs. club membership, we wanted to help clarify the pros and cons.

We believe the more educated our customers, the better they can determine the boating option that is right for them. Ultimately, our goal is to assist our customers in making the best boating investment for their family.



It’s a fact: some people should definitely choose to buy a new or used boat because it better accommodates their lifestyle and preferences.

If your goal for boating includes customizing a rig and outfitting it with the latest bells and whistles, electronics and fishing gear, for example, you obviously need a specific type of boat to meet your needs.

Also, if you’re the type who want to go boating when the whim strikes and at your convenience, ownership is definitely the far better choice for you.  


Boat owners understand that having their own boat includes taking care of insurance, storage, maintenance and service costs that are part of the ownership experience. For those with the boating DNA and the desire to have a dream machine at their beck and call, these requirements are simply part of the ownership equation.



As a member of the Emerald Coast Boat Club, you enjoy free instructional training, plus have access to different types of boats that are in the dealership’s club fleet.

That means you can access boats for different activities … perhaps one day you might want to take your friends fishing, and another day, you’d like to enjoy watersports, or load the family up for a leisurely day swimming and picknicking at Crab Island.

As a club member, you can pick and choose from different boat types for your special occasion.

Club members invest in a 1x initiation and then a fixed monthly fee. For some, this affordable cost of entry coupled with the savings on service, maintenance and storage provides plenty of incentive to opt for the membership route.

For many former boat owners and newbies to boating, the real joy in club membership is the opportunity to enjoy the fun with zero of the hassles. Show up at the dock, load your boat, enjoy a day on the water and when you return, drop off the keys and you’re done!  


Club members must reserve their boats in advance to guarantee their outing. While we follow a prescribed member to boat ratio, you’re not 100 percent guaranteed to have the specific boat model you want unless you book in advance.

Club members enjoy our well maintained fleet of nationally branded boats. However, in order to keep the membership rates competitive, we choose not to outfit and customize these boats with all the latest widgets and gadgets. If you want a fully decked out fishing machine or watersports boat with all the tricks, the boat club scene likely won’t fit your requirements.

Finally, our club boats must be used within prescribed hours of operation. Unlike your own boat that you can take out and return as you please, club members must depart and return according to established club and marina mandates.


We hope this overview helps you to navigate through the process. However, if you’re still unsure and would like to weigh the options, our expert team is here to assist you in determining what’s most advantageous for you and your family.

The good news is that we’re not here to steer you in one way or another … we offer both options so YOU can choose what is best suited for you!

Whether you choose to purchase a boat or to enjoy the carefree boat club lifestyle, your friends at Emerald Coast Marine Center are on standby and ready to help you discover the best of boating.

We hope to see you soon!

To speak with a sales or club consultant, email your request to:


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