Freedom Boat Club adds San Diego location

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Freedom Boat Club said it will become a coast-to-coast network when it opens July 26 in San Diego.

The newest club franchise, at Dana Landing Marina, will be the 80th location across the nation and the first one west of Texas.

“This is a huge milestone for us,” club president and CEO John Giglio said in a statement. “Up until now our members have had access to waterways all across the Eastern Seaboard, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. But this adds a whole new dimension to our club and opportunities for the future.”

The club is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

“We have proven that there is significant demand for a well-run boating club,” Giglio said in a separate statement. “We are helping to support the marine industry in a big way. As we continue to expand into new locations we are buying numerous boats, leasing additional dock space and turning more people into avid boaters.”

The club said it has experienced steady growth in franchises and membership based on its model of offering affordable, hassle-free boating for a simple monthly fee. Members not only have a choice of multiple boats at each location, but also avoid the typical frustrations associated with boat ownership, such as maintenance, repair, storage, cleaning and towing trailers.

Giglio said that since he became president and CEO in 2011 he has emphasized improving customer service, the importance of maintaining company-wide standards and being strong partners and supporters of others in the marine industry.

And although recreational boating, and particularly boat sales, has been hard-hit by the recent economic downturn, the club has been a rare exception.

“We have grown faster and have been more profitable in the past five years than any time in our history,” Giglio said.

Dan Hasbrouck and his wife, Jennifer, own and operate the San Diego franchise.

“The more people learn about Freedom Boat Club, the more enthusiastic they become about the concept,” Hasbrouck said. “I am originally from Sarasota (Fla.) and have been boating most of my life. After owning boats for many years, I joined Freedom Boat Club and became an enthusiastic believer.”

Hasbrouck said his biggest challenge has been explaining how the club works to people in southern California who are not familiar with the advantages of belonging to it.

“Some people confuse it with a time share or yacht club,” Hasbrouck said. “I tell them Freedom Boat Club operates more like a health club. You pay monthly dues and get unlimited use. They are pleasantly surprised.”

Members of the club’s San Diego location will have access to a 23-foot 2014 Pro Line cuddy cabin; a 21-foot 2014 Hurricane deck boat; and a 23-foot 2014 Pro Line center console.

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