A business in Lake George bills itself as an affordable alternative to boat ownership. It’s called Freedom Boat Club. The owner says the concept of boat sharing is becoming more popular.
Freedom Boat Club is preparing to cast off for its third season on the water. Matt O’Hara left a career in sales in his wake to start the franchise with his wife Rebecca.
"Coming from the corporate world where you make a stockholder happy to this business where every day our job is to see families smiling and making memories and having fun out on the water,” Matt said.
Club members Angel Isaac and daughter Adalynn reserve a boat 2-4 times a week.
“It has been amazing. I can’t ever see us owning our own boat again,” said Angel.
Members pay a $5,500 initiation fee. Annual plans range from $3,100 to $3,800 for unlimited access to their fleet of boats. Members don’t need to worry about paying for fuel, maintenance or winter storage.
“Most people, for their annual cost of membership, it is less than you would pay to rent a dock space on Lake George,” said O’Hara.
Seven boats are available to on Lake George to the 42 member families. O’Hara says membership doubled from 2016 to 2017 and expects it to double again this year.
“Now that the word of mouth is really getting out and the members are sharing the experiences they’re having, the growth continues to accelerate,” said O’Hara.