By Seth Daniel
As warm weather sets in, the ocean often beckons to folks on the shore and the lure of owning a boat and getting out on the water offers a strong siren from the deep waters.
However, then winter comes, and one has to figure out how to repair and store that same boat that seemed like such a great idea in May and June.
The Freedom Boat Club solves all those problems, and their newest franchise location in the Charlestown Marina puts worry-free boating even closer to those in the Town who want to get out on the water without the drawbacks.
Matt O’Connor, general manager of the Charlestown location, said the Club is getting a great response so far and he hopes they meet the same demand here as they have in their other locations.
Starting in Quincy nine years ago, Freedom was one of the first entrants into the “Sharing Economy” along with ZipCar –
The initial membership fee is currently $5,900 for the buy in, and folks must be 21. The current monthly fee to maintain membership is $349. While members have a home Club – such as the Charlestown location – O’Connor said there is reciprocity between Clubs all over the country. That means that even though one is a Charlestown member, they can take a boat out at participating Clubs anywhere from Hingham to San Diego.
That said, O’Connor indicated he couldn’t heap enough praise on the owners of the Charlestown Marina for creating such a gem on the Boston Harbor.
“This is one of the nicest, if not the nicest, marinas in the Commonwealth,” he said. “Chuck and Ann (Lagasse) run a Class A operation here. It’s been an unbelievable location for us.”
O’Connor said Freedom has been growing in many different directions, and they had been eyeing Charlestown for a long time as a great market for shared boating. However, until the Marina opened and development of the Navy Yard took off, there wasn’t a clear opening.
“Charlestown is our newest location and our second location on Boston Harbor,” he said. “Charlestown was a location we thought about years ago. Before you didn’t have this Marina and these condos weren’t as developed. Now you have all these people paying a premium to have a condo on the water. What better audience for us than that?”
Right now, there are five boats available for use in Charlestown and that number is based on demand and can be increased. There is also a training course required for boating safety, and captains are available onsite at most times to help out members with any boating questions or concerns.
For more information, go to www.freedomboatclub.com or call O’Connor at (978) 551-8203.