For most people, summer (especially here in Maine) is their favorite season, and with endless beach & pool days, hot summer sun, boat rides, vacations, backyard BBQs and more, it's easy to understand why.
But for me, hands down, no comparison can be made to the fall.
Cool, crisp mornings - sunny afternoons and an evening breeze that just can't be beat.
And what better way to enjoy a fall (or summer for that matter) day than out on the water?!
Don't have a boat, and think owning a boat is out of the question for you? What if I told you that you could have a boat membership, much like many of these clothing and handbag rental companies, that would allow you to enjoy all the benefits and fun of having a boat without all the work and headache of maintaining it.
What if I also told you it was pretty darn affordable?
Well...it's true, and it's called Freedom Boat Club.
I was invited to experience it myself and immediately fell in love with Freedom Boat Club, which is a membership based company that allows people like you and me, to enjoy maintenance-free boating at a fraction of the cost (and workload) of owning a boat yourself. In fact, Freedom Boat Club is the nation’s largest boat club providing you with unlimited use of their fleet of center and dual consoles, pontoon boats, and deck boats at their two Maine locations PLUS access to boats at 160+ clubs across the U.S., Canada and locations soon to come in Europe.
( each location offering amazing boats like this one above...which was our chariot for the day)
And speaking of days out on the water...what better look for a fall boat ride than this stunning shirt dress from Portland Trading Co.
I can't even begin to describe how flattering the cut of this dress is or how well it is made. In fact, on the day that I went into Portland Trading Co. to pick this dress up the seamstress was dropping it off. Talk about locally designed & made!
With a full button front it's ideal for the fall transition season because it can be opened up a bit for warmer days and then move into cooler evenings with a few quick buttons.
The material is also on the thicker side, and I can see myself wearing this all the way through the fall with booties and even into winter with some knit tights and block heels.
But back to the Freedom Boat experience, which was on point. Upon arrivaI I was greeted just like a regular fancy boat owner would be and brought down to the docks where the fleet of boats (which by they way are brand new and impeccably clean) are kept. The boat was ready to go and within minutes we were out on the water. No need to fill up on gas, no pre-cleaning, nothing to prep...just immediate relaxation.
SInce Freedom Boat Club is located at Yarmouth Boat Yard (which btw is an easy 20 minute drive from Portland) it was more than easy to get out on Casco Bay and motoring to Chebeague Island, which was calling our name for afternoon Rose on the patio at Chebeague Island Inn.
And with a 22 ft boat and powerful engine the ride over was not only quick, but also incredibly smooth. And although they don't come with the membership, the afternoon sun and breeze could not have been more perfect.
Casco Bay not really your thing? Don't worry, Freedom Boat Club also has a location at Moose Landing Marina on Brandy Pond in the Sebago Lakes Region. And the most exciting part of all?? Plans are in the works to open another club next season in the Portland area!
That's right...all my Portland peeps...you will have the ability to be out on a boat all summer long next year within minutes of your front door.
It almost sounds too good to be true right?
I can assure you it's not....and you too can be this happy out on the water as early as this weekend!
Now, I know what you are thinking...how much is this going to cost?
So I'll make it easy for you.
Here's the breakdown:
There is an initial entry fee of $5,900 and then you will have monthly fees of $349 for full 7 day access...or you can opt for weekday access only at $249 a month.
Now, I know that might seem a little steep, but if you think about the costs of buying a boat which is going to run you at a minimum of $10k (and that would be for a boat that is a fraction of how nice the Freedom boats are), a trailer which is a minimum of $750, fees of storing your boat, maintenance fees, dock fees, repairs...and more you are looking at at least $15k to get started and then to maintain it you are looking at around $300-$500/month. So in all actuality the initial $5,900 and monthly fees of $349 are pretty darn affordable.
Not to mention the fact that you literally do not have to spend any time on maintenance, or cleaning, or worrying about wear and tear. And how much is that worth?! Coming from a boating family I can tell you quite a bit.
Interested in learning more? Visit them online here - there is still time to join before the season ends and to save $1,000 off your entry fee! Sounds like a no brainer to me.
And if you are loving the Portland Trading Co. shirtdress as much as me you better get down there this weekend. It's part of a limited fall line and these will sell out! It also comes in denim...you're welcome!
Happy Friday kids...get out there and enjoy this beautiful Fall Friday and weekend ahead.
xo - margaret