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reply to request for info on DC area club

I was ready to pull the trigger on membership last year at this time --unfortunately a week before I was to ready to sign (and attend training ) I got transferred to NJ. I would have loved to join. Everyone I met seemed great including the owner of the club.

By the way, the terms you laid out are much less expensive than I was ready to sign for... sounds like you should do it!
 

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Carefree Boat Club a scam

I had a horrible experience with Carefree Boat Club. The details are too much to recount. Nothing was "care free about it". If you don't enjoy any of the below then stay away from them:

1. Getting boats with Generators that never work.
2. Getting boats (Rinkers...Stinkers) that have heads that noxiously emit sewage smells on every flush. Even after two seasons of my complaints and offers to fix it myself.
3. Owners that "literally" send their staff to spy on you while you are out on the water to see if you are breaking any of their one million rules.
4. Getting boats that are empty on gas and full in their heads.
5. Showing up to go out with multiple friends and family from out of town, loaded with food and drink for about 12 people, and being told that the club is closed for the day because of "obstacles in the water". Ughhh, the day we can boat without some sticks and stuff in any body of water around DC will be one to write about.
6. Paying massive fees up front and then being "let out of your contract" after two seasons with NO REFUND on any of the upfront costs.
7. Being treated like a child whenever you deal with the management.

It's too bad...
 

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I'm a new poster so I understand if you take my limited experience with Carefree of Texas with a grain of salt.

I've been a member now for two short months and I don't think a weekend has gone by without fishing off the boat. I'm not going to reveal what I pay, but suffice it to say, it is very similar to what has been proposed above.
IMO, the problem people run into isn't so much with the club, but with an understanding of the costs of boating in general. Many of the boaters are first time boaters and they're going to bump into things. I feel much more confident driving the boat now then when I first joined, but just expect to have to repair something on the boat during the life of your membership. You won't be paying for fuel pumps and injectors, but you may end up fixing some cosmetic stuff or replacing an anchor.
They offer "carefree" boating, but there needs to be a very explicit contract in force for the partnership to work. I think this is where people run into problems about late fees, cleaning fees and the like. I was told (and haven't been charged yet, but I don't leave the boat dirty) that as long as you don't bring the back and it looks like a murder has taken place(lot of tuna blood etc...) you won't be charged. I haven't cancelled a reservation yet(and thus haven't paid a cancellation fee) because I follow through on my plans and wouldn't want another boater to not have access because I was too selfish. I'm quite confident you can cancel your reservation at the last minute with no charge, as long as you don't do it all the time.

I believe it is imperative to double check everything before leaving the dock! I always refuel before leaving (i end up putting like $4 of gas in the tank before heading out- im sure the marina loves that) so we don't run into problems later on. Always check the number of buoys, rope, life jackets and if an anchor is present. Utilize the dock staff to get familiar with the controls so you don't have any unexpected problems on the water that might require a tow.

As for the quality of the boats: I can only attest to the below 27 foot membership, but I can say that everything that needs to work on the boat does, and some other things don't. Like the 12V DC might be out...or a washdown pump might be clogged, but all in all, nothing that has affected our boating. In fact, it's probably the kind of stuff we wouldn't replace right away on our own boat. Safety items are always present(like life jackets and radio working, flare guns, air horns).

With this kind of membership arrangement, it is important not to wreck your relationship with management over something small or avoidable. Therefore, don't leave it in their hands to refuel the boat or something like that. I know we're the customers and all, but you make more friends with honey.

Apparently every Carefree boats is a franchise, with only a sliver of your payment going to the parent company. Every club is different so understand which club a post is referring to before generalizing. I can only speak to the Houston/Galveston/Conroe club, but I've been pleased with the availability and all.

Downsides:
If I had my own boat, I would be able to launch it anywhere (like driving it down to Port Anansas or something)
You can't really leave at the crack of dawn because the marina opens at 8 and closes at 8(on weekends) (although I've heard of people making special requests for 6:30- which might require a generous tip to the poor lad waking up early just to give you a set of keys.)
On that note, I would like to take a boat out to watch the fireworks on Friday night, but there's no real way to do this because you have to drop the boat off before then. Maybe they could offer some sort of night time drop off, but that would probably cause all kinds of problems.

The positives are numerous and listed above.

Hope this helps...
 

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As the Owner of Carefree Boat Club in Texas this make no sence ??

We offer a 1 year, a 3 year and a 5 year Commitment
and yes if you would like to end your membership you can buy out the balance
of your membership for 20% of what is owed.

What Im dumbfounded by is why people want to harp on this issue ????

**** IN Boat Ownership its Called A REPO *********

and there is no Buy-out insurance, thats a line of BS

I am replying to this just to point out the ongoing doublespeak with your company.

I toured your company a while back, before I bought my own boat. I was suspicious, little did you know I also had my wife tour your company separately.

Regarding training fees or joining fees, we were both told that was "waived for this short time only"...but that wasn't in the contract given to us. Both fees were included.

My wife was told "you can cancel anytime, no problem"
I was told "you cancel after 1 year, no extra charge"

The contract we both were handed had a 5 year commitment (no other option was given), joining fees and training fees. When we pointed these discrepancies out (separately), both of us were told by Jerry and some other gentleman oh... that's no problem..we can "scribble it out later"... After we sign it of course.

Of course we never signed with your deceitful company. Somehow I don't believe you were completely honest with this previous gentlemen either with your "it's in the contract"... line.

Just be thankful you're in a country that will honor such things. I think your pushing your luck with this, word gets around.

Myself, being an Iraq and Afghan war vet, I can say your business practice is very commonly used by the Taliban in that they love using a lot of verbal upsell, but the contract amounts to indentured servitude.
 

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Sorry to dredge this thread back up, but I'm curious if anyone has any more recent experiences here. I'm contemplating joining on a five year commitment, but I'm having general reservations about it mainly for two reasons - I'm just not sure how much I'd use it (if it would be worth it), and I'm just also hesitant since I have no idea what availability will REALLY be like.

I understand many people's objections to this type of club from the cost basis, but to my situation, they don't apply. I live in a condo, so having a boat and/or trailer is not allowed (nor do I have a vehicle that can tow a boat). The prices I have been quoted for the 5 year plan have been between $2500-5000 up front and $350-400 per month (basically, the longer I hold out, the more it drops). Slip fees aalone would be almost as expensive as the membership (slip fees are typically around $10-12/ft in my area for an annual contract, so $250-300/mo in slip fees without winter storage for a 25 ft boat), without factoring in the cost of the boat itself, maintenance, or winter storage.

I'm basically at the decision of Carefree or nothing at all, and nothing at all is a completely valid option for me. It would be great to hear if anyone had more recent experiences than those from several years back.
 

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It seems theres no recent posts about this topic, however, I wanted to point some things that I have learned so far. I went to the treasure coast CFBC and when I spoke to the guy he said a lot of nice things, he said you can book boats in reciprocal clubs anywhere in the country for 3 times a year in each club. Then I talked to another guy on the phone he said you can book 3 times a year however on a max of half day. Also he said they have 60 boats on the treasure coast 3 clubs, then I talked to another guy and he said they have 45 boats. I don know if this is true or not but I just dont know which one to believe.
Has somebody a member of CFBC can shed some lights on how the membership is going.
Also, please dont be bias please give the good side and the bad side.
 

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You can buy a decent boat for what a 2 year membership would cost, if I remember correctly from when my fiancee looked into it.
 

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I'd like to hear from the recent members also, their experience with the club. Hopefully somebody will post one.
 
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