Water Sports - 12 min read

How Much is Carefree Boat Club? (State By State Cost Guide!)

Kaylee Giacomini

Kaylee Giacomini, Updated October 23, 2022

Boat clubs are an excellent way to get out on the water in your own boat without the cost and hassle of owning a watercraft. Carefree is one of the best in the nation, with over 110 locations throughout the United States. This boating club allows for the joy of boating with no docking, cleaning, or maintenance fees.

The cost of membership at Carefree Boat Club varies by location. Expenses include a one-time initiation fee as well as a monthly cost of membership. The benefits of being a member far outweigh the cost, labor, and upkeep that come with boat ownership. 

Expenses for most members tend to be as little as ⅓ of the cost of boat ownership and come with unlimited usage, excellent availability, and an outstanding range of locations. Boat options at Carefree Boat Club are extensive. They include watercrafts such as 18’-27’ cruisers, pontoons, sailboats, and even bowriders. 

If you are new to boating, Carefree offers members free, on-the-water classes. These sessions are the perfect way for new boaters to get comfortable operating a wide range of boats, from sail to motor-powered crafts. 

Carefree covers you in various locations beyond the United States if you are traveling internationally. They offer boat cubs in the British Virgin Islands, Panama, and the Philippines. 

How Much is the Membership of Carefree Boat Club?

Carefree Boat Club Seattle / YouTube

Carefree Boat Club has a one-time initiation fee ranging from $3,500 to $7,500 and a monthly fee that can put members out $250 to $550. The price tag varies by state and country if you start your membership internationally. Once you have your membership, you have unlimited access to boats in any club across Carefree’s range of locations.

Boat ownership is expensive. Carefree aims to bypass these expenses and provide ease in boating. Standard fees with boat ownership include the initial cost of purchasing a boat, slip rentals that can reach well over $10,000 per year, docking fees, insurance, a boating license and lessons, upkeep, and motor costs.

Carefree Boat Club eliminates the expenses of boat ownership and the hassle of boat upkeep. For both avid boaters and those seeking casual quality time on the water, Carefree is an affordable and convenient option. 

Carefree Boat Club Cost: State-By-State Breakdown

LocationOne-Time FeeMonthly Fee
California$5,000 – $8,500$400 – $550
Connecticut$4,000 – $6,000$250 – $300
Delaware$5,500 – $7,500$350 – $550
Florida$3,500 – $7,500$275 – $490
Georgia$3,500 – $6,000$250 – $350
Idaho$3,800$275
Illinois$3,600 – $7,000$245 – $550
Maine$5,000$300
Maryland$5,550 – $7,500$250 – $340
Massachusetts$6,000 – $7,500$400 – $550
MIchigan$3,500 – $6,700$250 – $350
New Jersey$4,000 – $7,400$275 – $345
New York$6,000 – $8,000$300 – $550
North Carolina$3,600 – $6,575$240 – $390
South Carolina$4,700 – $6,000$250 – $400
Tennessee$3,500 – $6,075$250 – $430
Texas$3,700 – $5,000$265 – $500
Virginia$4,000 – $7,500$300 – $540
Washington (State)$5,000 – $7,500$250 – $550
Wisconsin$3,500 – $4,500$250 – $350
District of Columbia (DC)$6,500$450
Canada$5,000 – $7,500$300 – $550
British Virgin Islands$4,000$375
Panama$5,500$400
Philippines$4,775$290

The cost of being a Carefree Boat Club Member ranges state to state. However, once you are a member of your most convenient club, you may utilize boats across the world due to Carefree’s reciprocity rule. Members may use Carefree boats anytime, anywhere. 

The pricing range at Carefree tends to fall in line with a state’s median income. For example, membership fees in California tend to be higher than those in Idaho. Membership should not break the bank, no matter where your most convenient location is. 

The actual cost of membership may vary when you purchase your plan. They often change based on market value and how in demand a certain club is. This chart should provide a rough estimate for your area. Contact your local Carefree Boat Club representative for exact pricing and plan details. 

How Much Does a Monthly Membership for Carefree Boat Club Cost?

The monthly membership fee for Carefree Boat Club ranges from $250 to $550, depending on your location.  The minimum commitment for Carefree Boat Club is one year. By signing up for membership, you are committed to paying $3,000-$6,600 in your first year from monthly fees. 

Members of Carefree boat club have the option of paying their membership dues monthly or annually. This provides billing flexibility. If you want to pay in a lump sum, you may. However, the option of paying in monthly installments tends to be favorable. 

The membership fee covers unlimited boating in all of Carefree’s 110+ locations. Whether you take a boat out for one day or spend every moment on the water, the membership price will not change. 

Members are also permitted to take boats on overnight trips. Restrictions and additional training may apply in some circumstances, but this is at no cost to members. 

Members may not take months off. After one year, boaters may terminate their membership or continue enjoying the benefits of Carefree. One exception to this rule is for active military personnel. Should a member be ordered out due to military commitments for over 60 days, Carefree places the service member’s membership on hold until their return. 

Carefree Boat Club is an ever-growing franchise. There are over 110 locations in the United States, Canada, the Philippines, the British Virgin Islands, and Panama. However, new locations spring up each year. Should a franchise open during your membership, you have full access to their fleet of boats on top of all clubs previously available. Carefree is an excellent choice for boaters who love to travel. 

What is the Cost of the One-Time Initiation Fee for Carefree Boat Club?

The one-time initiation fee for Carefree Boat Club ranges from $3,500-$8,000+. Although this may sound steep, it is a single payment that guests will not have to worry about yearly. Once they have a membership, this payment can last a lifetime. 

The fee varies so much based on the club for the same reason that a home in San Francisco costs far more than one in Ocean City, for example. The market value across the country changes immensely based on location and median income. 

The one-time payment also varies based on desirability. A club with a low boat-to-member ratio will cost less than one with a large volume of members already. Carefree is committed to not overcrowding its clubs. 

A low boat-to-member ratio is one of the draws of Carefree’s facility. Guests can book a boat well in advance or on the “spur of the moment.” 

Although reservations are certainly encouraged, members may spontaneously take out boats. Either way, the initiation fee is an excellent way to keep member volume reasonable so that guests have the option of boating whenever they want. 

What Does a Carefree Boat Club Membership Include

Membership with Carefree Boat Club is almost all-inclusive. It covers everything from unlimited boat usage to insurance if you encounter issues with your vessel. The primary draws include convenience, boat access, training and assistance, and facility usage.

Convenience

One of the primary perks of membership with Carefree Boat Club is its convenience. Whether you are an avid boater or new to the water, there is no doubt that the low stress of Carefree membership is incredibly desirable. 

Carefree Boat Club takes care of everything for you, so all you need to worry about is when to take your next boat trip and where to go. They cover everything for you, from upkeep to help docking the watercraft. 

Members don’t need to worry about typical boat ownership expenses or maintenance. Carefree meticulously keeps their boats updated and ready for the water. The cost of membership helps go towards all boat maintenance, cleaning, upkeep, some fueling, and plenty more. 

Beyond boats, Carefree aims to have convenient facilities located in boat-friendly locations. Boating communities are everywhere, from the Gulf states to Panama.

Convenience stems from the boat club’s friendly staff. Carefree’s team of deckhands and trainers is ready to help even the most seasoned boaters. Boating lessons also come included in the price of membership, so if you are new to the water, Carefree can help. 

Carefree got its name for a reason – using its services should alleviate your worries and give you ample time to enjoy the water in a stress-free environment. 

Boat Access

Carefree Boat Club allows members unlimited usage of their fleet of boats across the United States and beyond. Once you are a local club member, you may take a boat out anywhere, at any time. 

There is also a large variety of boats to choose from at Carefree. Different locations have different types and fleet sizes. Still, each one will have standard watercrafts to choose from. Members may select both boats and activities. Whether they want to get out on waterskis or lounge around on a pontoon with a cold beverage in hand, Carefree has what you’re looking for. 

Boats at Carefree include 18’-27’ cruisers, decks, fishing, pontoon, bowriders, sailboats, ski boats, and more. Always check with your local club to see what their fleet has in stock and the different kinds of activities available. 

Boat access may also depend on the time of year. For example, some clubs may winterize their boats in colder climates, while warmer areas tend to keep their fleets open year-round. This also weighs into the cost of membership. Clubs will offer boat availability when it makes sense for local climates and weather patterns. 

Sometimes, members may run into problems like a boat breaking down or damage to the boat. Carefree members are covered by insurance in this instance. You may be responsible for a small deductible if significant damage occurs. Still, Carefree has you and your vessel covered in most instances. They even provide towing services if you break down on the water. 

Training and Assistance

Whether you are a seasoned boater or new to the water, classes and training are significant aspects of any boat club. Carefree offers free training for members across their range of locations. Classes are taught by licensed captains and are expertly tailored to fit your skill level. 

Lessons include everything from boat safety to watercraft handling skills. This allows members to safely and comfortably enjoy taking control of their boat and participating in boating activities like tubing and waterskiing. 

With such a wide variety of bodies of water, lessons also include the best and safest areas to take a boat. Dock staff will alert members if there are any areas they should avoid or severe conditions to be concerned about. 

Dockside assistance is another significant aspect of Carefree Boating Club. Whether you need help getting your boat into a slip or sailing off into the harbor, dock staff are there to assist. They also have an emergency number for any issues on the water. 

Staff also make sure that boats are ready for you before you arrive. They give the vessel a full tank of gas, ensure it does not need any maintenance, and clean and care for the boat. 

Facilities

Carefree Boat Club is far more than their watercrafts. Location amenities vary. However, typical boat cubs come with facilities and services beyond boating. 

Guests may find amenities at Carefree Boat Clubs like dockside restaurants, bars, pools, event and banquet spaces, and more. All facilities are also expertly maintained by dock staff. 

Membership at Carefree Boat Club is private. They never rent boats out for the day or charter. Paying members and their guests are the only people with access to boats in the fleet, which leads to less wear and tear and crowding. 

The boats at Carefree are incredibly well-maintained. All watercrafts undergo weekly inspections to ensure they are in great shape for boaters. This inspection includes a 50-point checklist of hull condition, safety equipment, general mechanics, electronics, and more. 

Most Carefree Boat Clubs provide amenities for their members including a front office, restrooms, vending machines, and small shops selling items like fishing bait and ice. They also provide life vests on each boat for optimal safety and to comply with boating laws. 

What Is Not Included in the Membership Fee for Carefree Boat Club?

Membership for Carefree Boat Club is nearly all-inclusive. The only thing that members need to pay for is fuel on extended boat trips. 

Members are welcome to take boats any distance they want for an extended period. However, fuel expenses are on them for these trips. Dock staff fuel up vessels before they are taken out. Any additional fuel needed is at the expense of the boater. 

Fuel aside, there are absolutely no usage charges. All fees are covered in the entry fee and monthly membership cost. All marinas and most docking stations have fuel pumps for members to access.

Is Membership to the Carefree Boat Club Worth It?

Membership with Carefree Boat Club is undeniably worth it. It is a convenient and money-saving option.

Not only is the cost of membership significantly less than the fees associated with owning a boat of your own, but it is also a social experience. Membership with Carefree means being a part of an international community of like-minded individuals who love boating. 

It is also the perfect option for travel-savvy boaters. Members have exclusive access to clubs all over the United States, Canada, and other nations. Take a boat out anytime, anywhere. 

The pure convenience of Carefree Boat Club is another major perk of membership. Members can forget about all of the typical stressors with boat ownership and take to the waters, carefree. There is no maintenance, cleaning, winterization, or other hassles. The skilled staff takes care of all of that. 

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