As much as Brett and Danielle Renzenbrink enjoyed life on the water, the cost and maintenance involved with owning a boat put them off from purchasing one of their own.
They came close to doing so last year, however, and visited the Cincinnati Boat and RV show to look at a few models. Shortly after they arrived, they saw an information booth for the Freedom Boat Club.
“We first saw Freedom when we walked in and I thought it was interesting,” recalls Brett Renzenbrink, a Cincinnati attorney. “Then after walking through the show and having boat salespeople trying to sell us on buying a boat for two hours, we saw Freedom again and my whole perspective changed. What once looked interesting now seemed like a steal! To not have to buy a boat and deal with insurance, maintenance or taxes suddenly seemed like a steal for a ‘non-boat guy.’”
That’s a significant part of the appeal of the Freedom Boat Club, which offers a unique model that gives boat lovers regular access to a fleet for a one-time club entry fee and monthly dues. Freedom Boat Club members have unlimited access to all boats without the costs of ownership, service or storage fees.
“It’s super easy to join,” Renzenbrink says. “It’s just like a country club on the water. You get all the benefits without any of the hassle. The real value is what you don’t have to do — cleaning, maintenance, insurance, taxes — the list goes on.”
The Cincinnati chapter of this national organization launched in January 2018 and has its fleet docked at The Marina at Manhattan Harbor in Dayton, Kentucky, just two miles from downtown Cincinnati. To access a boat, members can simply make a reservation online, and then hit the water.
While convenience is a major selling point for Freedom Boat Club, sales operations manager Gunnar Graves also notes the therapeutic benefits of the boating lifestyle. He cites research from author and marine biologist Wallace Nichols, the New York Times bestselling author of Blue Mind, who researches the benefits of “blue space” and the “blue mind.” Unlike the “red mind,” which Nichols describes as one affected by stress, anxiety and fear, the “blue mind” is associated with calm, peace and happiness.
“Boating triggers a restful, ‘Blue Mind’ state of mind,” Nichols wrote. “It provides the means to get outside of daily routines, allowing our brains to reset. Being on a boat promotes physiological and psychological changes spanning health and wellness, awe and wonder, creativity and play, happiness and relaxation.”
And you can’t get much closer to experiencing “blue mind” than being on the water.
“Research has shown getting out on the water in a boat promotes a restful state, with various physiological and psychological benefits,” Nichols wrote. “With an increased number of Americans taking less vacation, boating is the perfect way to unwind and relax.”
With the 2020 season beginning soon, Graves wants potential clients to consider the health benefits of boating and time on the water when considering a membership with the Freedom Boat Club, and hopes past members return for another year.
In addition to time on the water, Freedom Boat Club also offers social events, such as dock parties, dinners, party boat cruises and parades.
“Danielle and I are on the water as often as we can,” Renzenbrink said. “We typically take a boat out at least once a weekend during the season, and we try to get out at least one additional day or night. We also try to get out a couple times over the winter at different locations south of Cincinnati. The weekdays where we can simply contact our dockmaster after work and grab a boat for dinner on the water are the best.”
Renzenbrink said membership is a great way to get involved with the boating scene, and he’s eager to return.
“I’m just looking forward to the Cincinnati boat season to come back – we’re ready.”