Great Boat Safety Tips For Anyone Looking To Take A Day Out At Sea

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, boating fatalities nationwide totaled to 658 in 2017. That’s a 6.1% decrease from the previous year.

Recreational boating injuries decreased by 9.4% as well.

Despite these improvements, new boaters still need to remain aware. Otherwise, someone might fall overboard or receive an injury.

Here are the top boat safety tips you should know before a day out at sea. In addition to learning these tips yourself, make sure your friends and family understand them as well.

Then, you and your crew can have a fun day on the water.

Make it a safe journey with these seven tips for proper boat safety.

1. Don’t Drink & Steer

The first step to a safe day on the water is to make sure you don’t drink and steer. Like drinking and driving a car, drinking and boating is dangerous for the driver and any passengers. In fact, drinking and boating can lead to serious legal consequences as well.

Many of the boating-related fatalities that occur are a result of drinking and boating.

Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. Known as a BUI, it’s also considered a federal crime. Most states consider a .08% blood alcohol level acceptable while operating a boat.

That’s the same blood alcohol level for driving under the influence (DUI).

Most women will reach this blood alcohol level after two drinks. Most men will reach it after five. However, you might reach this level sooner if:

  • You haven’t eaten much that day
  • You’re taking certain medications
  • Your metabolism doesn’t process alcohol quickly
  • You’re dehydrated

Instead of risking it, don’t get behind the wheel of any vehicle while under the influence.

Penalties for boating under the influence include:

  • A large fine
  • Loss of boating privileges
  • Jail time
  • Financial restitution for any damages of injuries
  • Felony conviction
  • Completion of an alcohol or boating safety course

Drinking while under the influence will impair your cognitive abilities and judgment. It’s just as dangerous on the water as it is on the road. If you’re steering the ship, set the beer aside.

2. Safety First

It’s estimated that life jackets have saved over 80% of boating fatality victims. One of the top boat safety tips to remain aware of is always wear a life jacket.

Some states only require you to keep a life jacket accessible. However, if an accident does occur, you likely won’t have time to put a life jacket on. Instead, purchase modern life jackets for your passengers and keep them on at all times.

Modern life jackets are compact, thin, and flexible, making them more comfortable.

If you have any children on board, make sure they’re wearing specially-sized jackets. These jackets are appropriate for their weight range. They’ll fit properly without allowing them to slip through.

An adult-sized life jacket won’t work for a child.

Before you go out to sea, make sure to test your child’s life jacket to ensure is works properly. This will also give your child the chance to adapt to wearing one.

3. Preparation is Key

The total cost of damages caused by boating accidents amounted to $46 million in 2017. You can avoid paying damages by preparing ahead of time.

Before you decide to own a boat, use these boat safety tips:

  • Understand the specific boating laws in your state
  • Have a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary perform a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) on your boat
  • Have a float plan, which includes where you’re going and when you intend to return
  • Perform a pre-boarding boat safety check

You should email your float plan to a friend or family member who isn’t going boating with you. That way, they can start a search and rescue in case something goes wrong.

During your pre-boarding boat safety check, make sure you have a full tank of gas. You’ll also want to check the:

  • Engine oil levels
  • Transmission fluid levels
  • Battery charge
  • Full fluid levels

After refueling, make sure you don’t smell fumes after running the blower.

Have your operator’s certificate, license, or any other registration for your boat on board, just in case. Now you’re prepared for anything.

4. Watching the Weather

Before you leave the dock, make sure to check the local weather and the weather for your destination. Remember, the weather can change rapidly. Bring a radio for you to keep track of weather changes while you’re on the water.

5. Practice Propeller Safety

Before you leave, practice proper propeller safety with your passengers.

First, make sure everyone is accounted for on the boat. Walk around the boat to ensure no one is in the water. You don’t want to start the engine if anyone went overboard.

Let your passengers know where the propellers are located, and that they’re dangerous.

Place any children onboard away from the propellers.

If someone does fall overboard, stop the boat immediately. Shut off the engine if you’re approaching anyone in the water as well.

6. Remain Mindful of Others

You’re not the only one out at sea. In order to maintain proper boat safety, it’s important to remain mindful of any boaters or swimmers on the water. Keep a safe distance when you can.

Following any directions or signs you see. Make sure to follow the rules that are listed by the local authorities as well.

When you’re near any boats, the shore, or swimmers, keep your wake low.

7. Overboard Emergencies

It’s important to know what to do if someone goes overboard. Here are our boat safety tips for such an emergency:

  • Turn off the motor and propellers
  • If everyone has gone overboard while the propellers are active, get everyone away from the boat
  • Remain calm
  • Use your life jacket to float without exerting too much energy
  • Make sure everyone is safe
  • If you don’t have a life jacket, look for another floatation device

Then, try to get everyone to float back to safety.

Preparing for a Day at Sea: The 7 Boat Safety Tips You Need

Ready for a day out at sea? With these seven boat safety tips, you’re nearly ready. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen while enjoying that Florida sun.

Need a place to dock? Contact us for a free quote!

Taking A Look At The Top Fishing Spots Around The World

A true fisherman is always looking for a bigger, better catch, but there’s only so much you can accomplish in your local lakes and streams. If the local lakes aren’t doing it for you anymore, try out some of the top fishing spots in the world. You won’t regret it when you come out with the biggest fish you’ve ever seen!

Nova Scotia, Canada

If you’re looking for a chance at some big hauls, Nova Scotia has plenty of fish for you. Nova Scotia is the home of some absolutely huge bluefin tuna, including the world-record bluefin, weighing in at 1,496-lbs! That’s no fluke either; there have been plenty more 1,000-lb bluefin caught here over the years.

You’re going to need a sturdy rod, and you’re going to need to put up a fight against a fish that big, but if you’re up for it and you get the chance it’s a hard trip for any fisherman to pass up.

Among other available fish in Nova Scotia are rainbow and lake trout, Atlantic salmon, and various types of perch.

Key West, Florida

Few are more obsessed with fishing than the people of Key West, Florida. The fishing is year-round here thanks to the climate, and the fish are plentiful, from mahi-mahi to tarpon and groupers. Among the species you’ll be able to catch are the Amberjack, Black Grouper, Bluefin Tuna, and Cobia, all of which can reach massive sizes and put up a good fight for the experienced fisherman.

There are plenty of seafood restaurants in Key West, too, serving up locally caught fish. This means you can enjoy not only the fishing but the eating as well. Sounds like a pretty great vacation!

Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia offers top-tier fishing and a chance at the giant black marlin, a fish that many who enjoy the sport only dream of catching on their hook. The giant black marlin swims at a top speed of 130 km/h and weighs up to 1,600 lbs making for a very impressive catch. Who can resist giving that a go?

Australia is full of diverse fish species and locations. Whether you’re looking to do some reef fishing, lake fishing, or fly fishing, it’s all available to you. Beyond the legendary giant black marlin, you’ll also have a chance to catch mangrove red snappers, coral trout, barracuda, and flatheads.

Head down to Australia between September and December for the best chances, when the water is nice and warm.

The Southern US (Georgia, Alabama, etc.)

The south may not be the first spot you think of when you think about fishing, but it should definitely be on your mind. Not only are there a lot of fish available in the south, but a lot of different ways to catch these fish, including the unforgettable experience of noodling!

Noodling, otherwise known as “hillbilly handfishing” is exactly what it sounds like. Get on your rubber boots, get in the water, and grab for those catfish. You’ll have a chance at some massive catfish going noodling in the south, and catfish tend to make for a very tasty meal.

Belize

If you want high chances of pulling a trophy fish, look no further than the gorgeous waters of Belize. The 200-mile long Belize Barrier reef makes the country a top spot for big, beautiful fish along with top-notch scenery. Not only will you see a lot of smaller fish and crustaceans, but some truly astounding trophy-size catches.

A few species are catch-and-release only, like Bonefish, but there are plenty more that you can keep and enjoy with some lemon and garlic. From blue and white marlin, to tuna, sailfish and King Mackerels, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to catch a trophy-size fish in Belize. Rent a nice boat and get out on those toasty Belize waters, you won’t regret it.

Kola Peninsula, Russia

Springtime in Russia is fishing season and offers one of the most unique fishing experiences on earth. Fishermen from all around the world travel to Russia’s Umba River in the spring to witness and catch some of the biggest Atlantic salmon the waters have to offer. It’s not the easiest to navigate location, and you may run into a bear or two, but if you’re up for the challenge you’re in for an unforgettable fishing experience.

Amazon Basin, Brazil

Ever thought about fishing for piranha? Take a trip to Brazil and you can make that thought a reality. You can even eat them in some places in Brazil, a nice little piece of revenge for all the fingers bitten by the species over the years.

Piranha are very common in the Amazon River, and while they’re not the biggest fish, catching one is certainly a unique experience. You’ll need to use meat for bait and a strong lure and wire to avoid having the fish bite right through your equipment. These things have some seriously sharp teeth.

There is a lot of fish in the Amazon Basin, including Arapaima, Candiru, and armored catfish. You’re sure to see some interesting and new species fishing in Brazil.

Visit One of the Top Fishing Spots Today

Whether you’re a novice or experienced fisher, you’re going to thank yourself for broadening your horizons and fishing in one of the top fishing spots listed above. Not only will you have a shot at some truly unique fish to show off to your friends, but you’ll make an absolutely unforgettable memory in the process. Don’t sleep on these spots; make the trip today and don’t look back!

And if you need a boat for all that fishing you love, check out our products page for more information. Feel free to contact us with and questions, comments or concerns.

Does Boat Club Membership Include a Captain?

You don’t need to know how to drive a boat to be a boat club member, but if you do, we have many options for you to enjoy!
As a South Florida boat club, Gulfstream Boat Club offers access to both the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean. Navigating the waters of the Intracoastal requires being aware of its zones, inlets, depths, sandbars, and shoals (see our handy custom nautical chart). Cruising or fishing in the Atlantic near Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, or Hypoluxo also requires quite a bit of boating experience.

So, as a GBC member, do you have to know how to drive a boat? 

Do you want to take out your own boat? Gulfstream Boat Club members can take out any of our boats ranging from 21 to 32 feet on their own. We offer 20-plus top-of-the-line deck boats, pontoon boats, and center-console and dual console boats; it’s the newest fleet in South Florida! Our 35′ Contenders and 40′ Intrepid require a captain.

Can I learn to drive a boat? 

Absolutely! All new Gulfstream Boat Club memberships come with a complimentary one-hour orientation with one of our captains. All of our captains are U.S. Coast Guard certified. If you would like more instruction on how to drive a boat, we can also organize further lessons.
GBC captains are all US Coast Guard certified.

Why are GBC’s captains the best in South Florida? 

All of our captains are U.S. Coast Guard certified, and very familiar with the waters in and around Palm Beach County. If a fishing excursion, a trip to Peanut Island, or a family cruise down the Intracoastal is in your plans, our captains will design the perfect outing for you.

What if I just want to sit back and relax on my GBC boat rental? 

No problem! Most members do. Simply reserve a boat by calling us at 561.865.7797 and we’ll pair you with not only the perfect boat, but the perfect captain.
Boating is our passion; make it yours. Gulfstream Boat Club offers the best and newest fleet of boats in South Florida, and our experienced captains will ensure that you enjoy a great day on the water. Give us a call seven days a week at 561.865.7797 and we’ll get you started!

Fishing Boat Rentals: Summer Fishing Fever

How reliable are fishing boat rentals in Florida in the summer?

Late summer in Florida is still, quiet, and—yes—HOT. But keep it a secret that it’s one of the best times of year for a fishing boat rental in Florida. July and August are great months for drift fishing, a boat fishing technique in which you allow the boat to move with the wind and current over an area in which an abundance of fish is likely. It allows you to cover a lot of ground, but the sea conditions have to be good.

How do I reserve a fishing boat rental?

In a GBC fishing boat rental this time of year, off the Florida Southeastern coast you might catch bonito, wahoo, snapper, or mahi. Simply log onto the GBC app to reserve a fishing boat at our Delray Beach or Lantana locations. Or give us a call at 561.865.7797—we’re open seven days a week.

Group of friends on Fishing Trip
The GBC team enjoyed a fishing trip on the quiet waters of Florida and the Bahamas.

How many friends can I take on a fishing boat?

We have fishing boats from 21 to 35 feet. For example, our 2019 26-foot Billistic seats 10 people, has twin Yamaha engines, a T-top with outriggers, and Bluetooth Polk audio, Garmin, and electronics. It’s got a great layout for comfort cruising, and it’s the perfect fishing boat for young families.

Do GBC fishing boat rentals have captains?

GBC has a crew of licensed boat captains who know the Intracoastal and Atlantic better than anyone. They can also design a great day of fishing, and give you all the tips on local fishing spots. Our fishing boats are fully rigged. GBC boat rentals include bait and ice, and our boats have coolers to bring home your catch!

What’s for dinner?

Close up of cobia fish dish
This cobia recipe from the Foodie Patootie blog is the perfect way to prepare your fresh catch!

Cobia is a popular summertime catch, and a GBC favorite. It’s a flaky white fish similar to tilapia. Here’s a recipe from the Foodie Patootie blog for Sauteed Cobia with Tomatoes and Capers; it’s a quick, simple recipe to try on the just-caught fish you are going to be bringing home from your GBC fishing boat rental!

Boating is our passion; make it yours. A Gulfstream Boat Club is more than Fishing Boat Rentals. Our membership pays for itself in fun, fish, and memories, and you’re free of the hassles of boat ownership. Give us a call at 561.865.7797 to get out on the water!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas in 2019

Gulfstream Boat Club has got great Father’s Day gift ideas!

Sunday, June 16, is Father’s Day, and out on the waters of South Florida is the best place to enjoy it. Gulfstream Boat Club has a variety of Father’s Day gift ideas for you. Make Father’s Day 2019 your best one ever.

It’s not too late to plan a memorable Father’s Day! Did you know that our boat club can plan special events? Let GBC help you design an unforgettable day that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you are planning a sunset cruise, ocean fishing, or a group outing on the Intracoastal, GBC can make it incredibly simple and easy.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas in 2019: Family with kids on a boat in South Florida
GBC owner Alex Warner and his family, ready for Father’s Day!

 

Here are four great Father’s Day gift ideas from GBC:

1. Boat Club Membership.

Father’s Day brings new members to Gulfstream Boat Club every year. We have a variety of memberships to suit every need and budget. Why own a boat when GBC gives you access to an entire fleet? Here are more details on our many levels of membership. It’s so much better than owning a boat. We’ve got the newest fleet around, and new boats are being added regularly. Definetely one of the best Father’s Day gift ideas we can recommend.

2. Brunch at a Dockside Restaurant.

We can organize a cruise to a dockside restaurant for Father’s Day brunch. Many of the restaurants along the Intracoastal have special menus or events planned that day. Deck 84 and Key Lime House are just two. And arriving by boat makes it an extra special day.

3. GBC Gift Certificate.

A gift certificate is a welcome and easy Father’s Day gift. Cover a captain, fuel, a half-day rental, or more; gift certificates can be provided in any amount. We can wrap the gift certificate, or send it anywhere for you. Call us at 561.865.7797 for details!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas in 2019: Boat on shallow water of South Florida.
A cruise to Peanut Island is a great Father’s Day excursion.

4. GBC Fishing Charter or Boat Cruise.

Do you want more Father’s Day gift ideas? Catch your own Father’s Day dinner! Check out our blog post on our favorite spring catch recipes for fish that are biting right here, right now. One of our licensed captains can plan a memorable excursion for you, Dad, and family and friends. Book early, as this weekend fills up quickly.

Any questions about Father’s Day 2019 gifts or Gulfstream Boat Club membership? We’re open seven days a week; call us at 561.865.7797 anytime. And Happy Father’s Day from GBC!

Center Console Boats Explained

Center console boats are a very popular choice for members and renters at Gulfstream Boat Club. We have center console boats in a variety of lengths. Interested in a fishing charter, sunset cruise, or other excursion on the Intracoastal? A center console boat is a perfect choice for all of the above. Let’s learn more about this versatile crossover boat, with plenty of room for friends and power for whatever outing you have in mind.

Center Console Boat in the water
Check out this center console beauty; this model is coming to GBC in 2019!

And GBC will feature ALL NEW center console boats from Key West Boats in 2019!

What are Center Console Boats?

Well, the name says it all! A center console boat is a type of single-decked, open-hull boat in which the console is in the center of the boat. (The console of a boat is where all the controls are located, including steering, ignition, depth finder and other electronic devices, stereo, etc.) Our larger center console boats feature a cabin underneath. The boat deck surrounds the console and allows you to walk all around the boat—or work a catch all around the boat, if you’re fishing! Center console boats are powered by outboard motors.

Center Console Boats Dash
The center console creates a very versatile boat.

What Activities are Center Console Boats Good For?

These versatile boats are great for fishing. Depending on their size, GBC’s  console boats offer comfortable seating for eight people or more and an open layout, so they’re perfect for sightseeing or a cruise to Peanut Island. Our larger center console boats have large cabins and a porta-potty for longer cruises and family days on the water.

Center Console Boats cruising
Whether you’re fishing or cruising, you and your family and friends will enjoy the ride.

How Do I Rent a Center Console Boat?

Gulfstream Boat Club has three convenient locations in Palm Beach County. We’re open seven days a week, and offer annual memberships, hourly memberships, corporate memberships, and rentals. Ready to plan an outing on one of GBC’s all-new center console boats? It’s a busy season, so book now. Give us a call at 561.865.7797 and we’ll get you started!

3 Key West Boats to look for in 2019!

Key West boats “Built by fishermen, for fishermen.”

For more than 30 years, Key West has built high-quality, high-value boats. Their boats offer uncompromised attention to safety, including positive flotation, in every model. Key West Boats feature no-wood construction, combined with lightweight coring materials and directional high strength glass. It’s a perfect partnership for Gulfstream Boat Club.

Yes, we are proud to announce that Gulfstream Boat Club will be turning all our boats over in 2019 for an entirely new fleet!

We’re giving all of our Gulfstream Boat Club members our holiday gift early this year: GBC will feature an all-new fleet of boats in 2019! We have partnered with Key West Boats to provide new dual-console and center-console boats in different sizes; they’re great crossover boats for fishing, cruising, sightseeing, or whatever excursion you have in mind.

Here’s a preview of our new boats:

Family Sportsman 239 Center Console:

The Key West 239FS offers the largest cockpit in its class, and is loaded with features for both family comfort and serious fishing. Enjoy the comfort of the full width bench seat in the rear and the optional front facing seating in the bow for relaxing day on the water with family and friends, or hit the blue water safe and secure in a very capable long range offshore fishing platform. Fishing features include a live well, rod storage racks, trolling rod holders, and even an insulated, macerated under floor fish box up front. The 239FS is ready for whatever water sports your family enjoys.

 Key West Boat FS239 console detail
The Key West FS239 is just one of the all-new boats we’ll have available for rental at GBC in 2019.
 Key West Boat FS239 aerial schematic
This center console boat is great for fishing or cruising.

Family Sportsman 239 Dual Console:

The latest addition to Key West’s Family Sportsman lineup, and the biggest dual console, bow rider to date, the 239DFS is loaded with amenities, comfort, style, and performance. Like the rest of the fleet this big runabout is self-bailing and foam-filled to provide level and upright flotation, giving your family one of the safest platforms on the water today.

Key West Boat FS 239 cruising in calm waters
Our members are going to love this sturdy, speedy Key West FS 239!
Aerial view of Key West Boat FS 239
We’re getting two of these dual-console boats in early 2019.

Billistic 281 Center Console:

The dual-engine 281 Billistic is the most popular of Key West’s Billistic line, with enough fuel capacity to make it a serious offshore fishing machine, but also a family-friendly recreational platform. Like all Billistics, the 281 is built with a no-compromise approach, featuring the best of everything from hull construction to wiring, with special attention to access for service to keep it all running and dependable.

Key West Boat 28-foot Billistic docked in Marina
Meet the Key West 28-foot Billistic.
This center-console boat is perfect for your next outing with family and friends.

Call us at 561.865.7797 for information on how to be the first to try our new models! New pontoons on deck for 2019 as well.

Boating is our passion; make it yours. New boats for the new year: it’s Gulfstream Boat’s holiday gift to you!

Bahamas Boat Charter: 3 Important Questions and Answers

Visit Sapona Shipwreck on your next Bahamas Boat Charter
We don’t skimp on Staff Appreciation Day at GBC.

Here at GBC, Staff Appreciation Day isn’t just celebrated at a restaurant or sports bar. We just got back from a Bahamas boat charter on our 40-foot Intrepid! Two days of fishing, swimming with stingrays, eating fresh fish, and some golf cart hijinks…

Before you get too jealous, remember that we can organize the same for you and your family, friends, or staff:

Find out how to make a charter to the Bahamas from Florida an easy and enjoyable trip.

Boat Charter to Bimini
You can cruise to Bimini on our 40-foot Intrepid in just a few hours.

What’s the best time of year for a Bahamas boat charter?

Really, anytime works. It depends on what you want to fish for. We went in September: mahi season. After leaving GBC’s location at the Palm Beach Yacht Center around 7am on a Tuesday, we arrived in Bimini at the Hilton at Resorts World Bimini around 10am, a luxurious 750-acre marina, hotel, and casino.

Bimini is only 50 miles from Miami, but it’s a world away: this westernmost island of the Bahamas features unspoiled blue waters and white sand beaches, marine life, even a shipwreck. Bimini is also known as the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World.”

Where to stay in Bimini?

After unloading our supplies at our Resorts World villa (the perfect landing for a family or group Bahamas boat charter), we went out and fished for mahi and wahoo. Later Alex took us on a quick cruise out to the Sapona Shipwreck, a concrete-hulled cargo steamer that ran aground near Bimini during a hurricane in 1926. It’s a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and jumping off the wreck.

We cooled off in the pool, showered, and headed to the Resorts World casino for some burgers and gambling. (A Bahamas fishing charter doesn’t have to be all boating, all the time!) After dinner, we fished off the dock, and took the villa’s golf carts for a spin ‘til the wee hours.

Catch some dolphin in your next Bahamas Boat Charter
Mahi were caught—and cooked, back at our villa!

How’s the fishing in the Bahamas?

The alarms went off at 6:30am; early, yes, but no one wanted to miss out on another full Bimini day. We trolled and caught some more dolphin until the late morning, then went snorkeling. After stopping at the restaurant at Cat Cay Yacht Club for lunch, we headed to another one of Bimini’s landmarks: Honeymoon Harbor. We swam with nurse sharks and stingrays—dozens of them. Once we turned off the Intrepid’s motors, they swarmed the boat, making it an unforgettable stop.

On your Bahamas Boat Charter, do not forget to swim with rays
Swimming with nurse sharks and stingrays at Honeymoon Harbor.

Back at the villa, we barbequed our fresh fish and steaks for dinner, and celebrated Staff Appreciation Day GBC-style. After some night-time fishing and swimming off the docks, we turned in early.

Family weekend to Bahamas with a Bahamas Boat Charter
Treat your family, friends, or even your staff to a Bahamas boating weekend!

On Thursday morning, we were out the door and back on the Intrepid by 7:30am. We arrived back in Delray before noon, feeling fully “appreciated.”

Ready to plan your own Bahamas boat charter? Among other things, our close proximity to the Bahamas and our spectacular 40-foot Intrepid make Gulfstream Boat Club a truly unique boat club. Bimini is a colorful, warm, exceptionally fun vacation spot. Call us at 561.865.7797 and we’ll get you there!

Cost of Owning a Boat?

How much does it cost to own a boat?

It’s important to remember that the purchase price of a boat is just the beginning of the cost commitment! Here are some annual costs to consider when thinking a buying a boat:

Boat Trailer Cost:

You’ll need a trailer to transport and store the boat (and be prepared for hurricanes!). A trailer can range in price from $1,500 to more than $5,000. A trailer will need basic upkeep as well; tires, brakes, and general maintenance, plus monthly storage fees if you can’t keep it on your property when your boat’s in the water.

Boat Insurance Average Cost:

You’ll need at least liability coverage, and likely damage coverage, especially for a new boat, in case of accident or theft. Boat insurance can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per year.

Florida Boating License:

Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1988, to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the Florida Wildlife Commission. Boating safety courses are not especially expensive, but anyone who might drive your boat will have to make the commitment of time for the class.

Boat Storage options:

You will need a cover, a top, or maybe inside storage if you can’t keep the boat at your home or on your property. For outside storage, boats are typically shrinkwrapped at a cost of roughly $10-15 per foot, so a 21-foot boat might cost $200-300 to cover. Inside rack storage costs more, as the boat is better protected from the elements. Figure on roughly $25-$30/foot for inside storage, so that 21-footer would cost about $600 per month.

Boat Safety Equipment and accessories:

You’ll not only need safety gear (life vests, horn, signal flares, etc.), but you’ll most likely want a stereo, lighting, watersports towing equipment, etc., to fully enjoy your boat. The South Florida sun is as strong as it gets and its effects are magnified when out on the water. You should thinking about wearing not only sunscreen but hats, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing.

Boat Maintenance Costs:

Much like a car, a boat requires a lot of regular maintenance. Like a car, you have cleaning, oil changes, and engine maintenance costs—but then add hull maintenance, storage, and haul-out (if not keeping in the water year-round). Costs for these services can vary widely, based on the boat size, fresh water or salt water, if the boat is new or used, etc.

Boat Marina:

If you keep the boat at a marina, you will incur monthly costs, and they’re high in South Florida. In-water dock space can range from $1,000 to more than $5,000 per season.

Saltwater wear and tear:

If you’re planning on taking your boat out for some deep-sea fishing, not just cruising the Intracoastal, keep in mind that salt water is definitely harsher on a boat and engine than freshwater.

How much does it cost to own a boat?

Do you really need to own a boat?

Have you researched the cost of owning a boat yourself? When we explain the benefits of of Gulfstream Boat Club to a potential new member, they very often ask, “Why would anyone own a boat?” We at Gulfstream Boat Club agree! Many of our members are former powerboat or yacht owners who don’t want the expense and hassle of owning their own boat anymore. On the other hand, many of our members are interested in eventually owning a boat, or learning more about the boating lifestyle, and a boat club is a great way to try it out.

cost of owning a boat for the family
This could be you! Fishing on the weekends—free of the hassle of boat ownership.

Image: Trees Full of Money

Why commit to one kind of boating experience when you can enjoy several?

When you purchase a boat, you have to decide on one kind of experience on the water. You might want a great fishing boat. Or maybe a cruiser for trips down the Intracoastal. Perhaps you are in the market for a pontoon boat for larger family parties and outings. But what if you want to experience all of these outings? The question is, Why choose just one kind of boat? At Gulfstream Boat Club, we have a wide variety of boats, which allows you as a member to go deep-sea fishing one weekend and take your kids tubing the next. Then, on Mother’s Day, you can take everyone on a cruise to a dockside lunch. You can’t beat the flexibility of having access to several kinds of boats!

Why settle for one boat when you can have a whole fleet?

As a Gulfstream Boat Club member, you’ll have access to more than twenty boats, in many sizes and models, seven days a week. That means that with one purchase you can have a variety of experiences. One of our experienced captains can take you and your friends on a fishing excursion. We supply the fishing gear if you need it. Or a captain can take you out on the Intracoastal for a cruise to brunch at a dockside restaurant—perfect for Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, or other holidays which require keeping lots of family members happy and busy! Ask yourself: What is the cost of owning a boat—plus another five or six?

Or, if you are comfortable at the helm, take out one of our center console, dual console, deck, or pontoon boats yourself. Gulfstream Boat Club can recommend outings both south and north of our Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Hypoluxo locations. How about a trip to Peanut Island, where you can dock, tour the island, or just take a swim? Or motor south to Lake Boca, where there’s plenty to do and see. Each member of GBC receives their own custom-designed map of the area, which highlights boating and fishing sites you won’t want to miss.

Cost of owning a boat = commitment of time and money

Owning a boat is a huge commitment of time and money, especially for a busy family. Kids’ activities might make it difficult to use your own boat every weekend. Gulfstream Boat Club makes it easy to enjoy a boat when it’s convenient for you. All of our boats are expertly maintained, and have life jackets, stereos, depth finders, and up-to-date electronics. No need to stop for fuel—we’ll fill ‘er up. And we have an online reservation system that allows you to book boats anytime.

cost of owning a boat: huge time investment
A GBC membership allows you to teach your kids a love of boating!

Share the decision to not own a boat—and share the fun!

And why not consider combining business with pleasure? GBC offers a corporate membership perfect for business partners to share. If you’re a real estate agent, take clients new to the area for a nice cruise on the Intracoastal, and get ready to sell that house. GBC’s larger boats could host a work event of up to ten or twelve people. Forget that boring business dinner and let us help you plan a memorable evening out on the water!

cost of owning a boat: Corporate Boat Memberships
Rev up that bachelorette party or other event by taking it out on the water!

When you learn the cost of owning a boat, the idea becomes daunting and can be a deal-breaker for many people who would like to enjoy boating or fishing in South Florida. That’s why Gulfstream Boat Club is such a great concept. Being a boat club member is flexible, affordable, safe, and enjoyable. Leave the maintenance and other hassles of boating to us, and focus on the good parts!

Call GBC at 561.865.7797. Then you’re one step closer to having not just one boat to use on the weekend, but an entire fleet!

What Powerboat Rental are you?

As a South Florida boat club, with easy access to both the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean, Gulfstream Boat Club is all about the powerboats and it’s the place to go for your perfect powerboat rental match-up. And why own a boat, when you can have your pick of several boats, seven days a week?

GBC has the fastest-growing fleet of cruising and fishing boats in South Florida. Our boat club has a reputation for excellent service and safety that is second to none. Whether you are planning a sunset cruise, ocean fishing, or a family outing on the Intracoastal, GBC makes it simple and easy providing the perfect powerboat rental for your trip.

Here’s a little introduction to powerboats taken from Wikipedia. In essence, all powerboats have a bow (front) and a stern (back). All have hulls (the bottom of the boat) and all have a topsides (everything from the hull up). There are many types of powerboat rentals, but GBC has four types in its fleet:

Powerboat Rental: Center Console Boat
The open hull of a center console boat allows fishermen to walk from bow to stern without having to navigate around the console.

Center Console Boat

Center console boats range from 13 to 45 feet. The name says it all: the helm is on a console in the center of the boat. As a South Florida boat club, of course fishing is a priority for our members, and the open hull of a center console boat allows fishermen to walk from bow to stern without having to navigate around the console. The larger-size center console boats are suited for offshore fishing.

GBC’s center console boats range from 22 to 35 feet, and feature T-top for shade and comfortable seating. They’re a very popular and versatile choice!

Powerboat Rental: Center Deck Boat
Deck boats feature an open deck with plenty of seating for family and friends.

Deck Boat

Deck boats have a wide beam and feature a V-shaped hull, which offers more performance than a pontoon boat. South Florida boat clubs need a good selection of party boats, and deck boats feature an open deck with plenty of seating for family and friends. You can swim off the side of a deck boat and easily get back on. They are outboard or stern drive powered and can be aluminum or fiberglass. These boat are about 25–35 feet long.

GBC’s deck boats range from 21 to 27 feet, and feature stereos, depth finder and electronics. They offer Bimini tops with ample shade, and a great seating layout for comfort cruising. Perfect for a leisurely family cruise!

Powerboat Rental: Dual Console Boat
GBC’s dual console boats offer a great seating layout for comfort cruising.

Dual Console Boat

Dual console boats have two dashboards and windshields that are separated by a walk-through which allows access to a forward cockpit or seating area. Lengths can run from 16 to 30 feet.

GBC’s dual console boats are 25 feet, and feature a large custom top for shade with rod holders, Bluetooth stereo, GPS/fish finder combo, and a great seating layout for comfort cruising.

Pontoon Boat

GBC’s pontoon boats are the newest in our fleet, and these “party platforms” are perfect for a South Florida boat club cruise. Pontoon boats have two or three aluminum tubes that support a broad platform. They have shallow drafts and are very stable. Lengths can range from 15–30 feet.

GBC’s two pontoon boats are 24 feet, and can host up to 12 comfortably. No captain necessary. Now in huge demand for Lake Boca Weekend plans, take out the family and friends on one of these mobile party venues!

Your South Florida boat club adventure awaits. GBC’s got the best selection of powerboats around, and they’re  expertly maintained and available seven days a week. Our captains know these waters better than anyone. Labor Day is this weekend. Give us a call at 561.865.7797 to plan a holiday cruise or fishing trip today!