The joys of boat ownership, without all the hassle and upkeep, are now accessible to just about anyone. Well, anyone willing to pay a monthly membership to a boat club.
My brother is one of those people who was willing to join the boat club and I have twice benefited from this and enjoyed two glorious days on Lake Norman. Boat Club members pay somewhere between $250-275 per month in the first year and have a set number of rentals per month. My brother has eight 4-hour long rentals in a given month and has his selection of boats. We’ve taken out a pontoon and also a speedboat.
What if you want to spend the whole day out on the boat? You can. You just double up on reservations for that day. We’ve only done 4-hour increments, once from 11-3, another time from 2-6. The best part is finding a cove or a beach and hanging out; although, my nephew thinks flying a kite off of a moving boat is pretty fun.
Most of the boat club websites break down for you the difference in club membership versus owning your own boat, and it’s roughly a $2-3k difference per year. So if you’re not set on having your OWN boat, but want to spend some time on the lake and feel like you have a boat, a boat club might be just the thing for you. Plus, this way, you get to try out lots of different boats and don’t have to worry about any of the maintenance. Life jackets and coolers are provided. Just bring your sunglasses, sunscreen and towels. Gas is charged back to the renter, either after the session or can be on a monthly basis. It was interesting to see how much more gas we spent on the speed boat ($20) verus the pontoon ($5). You should definitely factor gas costs in when thinking about joining.
If you’re looking for a way to have some fun this summer, check out these boat clubs and see if lake life is the life you want to have. It should be noted that Lake Norman is not in Charlotte, but in Cornelius, Mooresville, Huntersville and Denver, it’s actually quite a hike from Charlotte proper. However, there are over 500 miles of shoreline, plenty of island beaches, tons of coves to explore or hang out in, so it might just be worth it.
Here are some LKN Boat clubs that you can join:
If you’re not sure you want to join, you can always just rent a boat for a day. Many of these clubs also have daily rentals! So, what do you say? Will you be joining a boat club this summer?