The Carefree Boat Club (CBC) has been around for a while now, but the Wisconsin chapter just opened last year. The Lake Geneva/Lake Delavan clubs are brand spanking new for 2016, and the WCVB is crazy excited to introduce them to you! We had a little one-on-one chat with Jim White from CBC and scored all the deets on the new boat club here in Walworth County. Read on to learn how you can take advantage of a boating lifestyle without actually owning your own boat.
WCVB: Please tell us a little about Carefree Boat Club – Wisconsin.
CBC: Carefree Boat Club of Wisconsin consists of two separate Clubs; Carefree Boat Club of Milwaukee and Carefree Boat Club of Lake Delavan/Lake Geneva. Carefree Boat Club was originally established in Virginia in 2002, has 45 affiliated clubs across the country. The clubs are private, and our members are the only ones with access to our top of the line fleet of boats. Members can reserve a boat through our online reservation system. When you arrive, your boat will be all ready for you. We’ll meet you at the dock, hand over the keys, and help get you and your party on the water. Upon your return, we’ll help you dock and disembark. That’s it! It truly is boating with all the fun and without the hassles!
WCVB: How did the Wisconsin chapter get started?
CBC: Our club is a family owned business. Roland Wolff and his son-in-law Paul started the Milwaukee Club in 2015. Then, in the spring of 2016, they opened the Delevan/Lake Geneva Club. Roland’s son Justin had been a member of the Lake Norman Carefree Boat Club near Charlotte NC. After seeing the successful start-up of the Milwaukee Club, he decided to move to Seattle Washington and start up his own club. This year, Roland’s other sons, Brendan and Connor Wolff also became owners of their own Carefree Boat Club in the San Francisco Bay area! The family that floats together, boats together!!
WCVB: What other locations are there?
CBC: Carefree Boat Club has 45 locations across the country. Clubs are located on inland lakes, the East Coast, the West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Similar to a country club, members have reciprocal rights at all Carefree Clubs. Our members have the ability to reserve a boat at any location…..for free. All you pay for is gas!
WCVB: What are the benefits of “boating without owning?”
CBC: First is affordability. In most cases the cost of membership is about 1/3 the cost of ownership. We cover the cost of owning a boat. This includes boat purchase, slip fees, insurance, maintenance, repair, taxes, towing coverage, winterization and depreciation. Second, with no costs of ownership you also get NO hassles of ownership. To get on the water and enjoy a day of boating, all you need to do is show up. We do the rest!
WCVB: What kinds of boats does Carefree Boats have on Delavan Lake, and how many boats are available?
CBC: Our fleet will change and grow as our membership evolves. As of August 2016 we have 3 awesome new boats on Lake Delevan.
1) a 26’ Sea Ray “Sundancer” 260 Cabin Cruiser – capacity 12
2) a 25’ Chaparral 257SSX Bowrider with Folding Arch Tower – capacity 16
3)a 24′ Coach Tritoon 150 HP and high performance tubes – capacity 15
WCVB: If I am new to boating, can I still become a member?
CBC: Absolutely! In fact, if you’re new to boating and thinking about purchasing a boat, joining Carefree is a great way to learn the ins and outs of boating and determine if ownership is right for you. Additionally, all members are given a training manual upon joining. Members attend one classroom session. After training, members call to schedule a boat for “On the Water” training with the dock master.
Training covers CBC processes, general navigation, docking, and safety. A separate “On the Water” training is done on cruisers to practice docking and learn overnight processes. Upon completion, you will receive a safety certificate from CBC. We call our training program, Be A Better Boater.
WCVB: Are there boats on Geneva Lake as well? Does membership include usage of boats on both lakes?
CBC: Currently we have two boats on Lake Geneva.
1) 22’ Bryant Speranza with Mach II Wake Tower – capacity 12
2) 27′ Coach Tritoon 250 HP and high performance tubes – capacity 16
For a small additionally monthly fee members Delevan Club members can have unlimited usage of boats on Lake Geneva.
WCVB: Is there a maximum boat usage allowance for members?
CBC: No. Members have unlimited access to boats. Boat as much as you like.
WCVB: What benefits are included for members of Carefree Boat Club?
CBC: Benefits include affordability, access to a large variety of like-new, professionally maintained and cleaned boats, great availability, unlimited usage with no additional cost, training and on the water instruction, and access to locations across the country.
WCVB: What kind of fees are involved?
CBC: There is no fee to use the boats. Like most clubs we charge a one time Initiation Fee and an annual membership fee (which you may choose to pay monthly). We do not require long commitments from our members; you can join for as little as one year.
We do however greatly reward members who will commit to the club for at least three years and give the best overall value to our five year members. Our fees do vary a bit by location based on local costs, fleet configuration and availability of membership and we also have some different membership options. Please contact us to discuss the various options.
WCVB: Are there any requirements for membership acceptance, besides the monetary fees?
CBC: No. We do require all members attend classroom and on-the-water training to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience.
WCVB: What is each member responsible for each time they reserve a boat?
CBC: For the most part all members need to do is show up at their reserved time and location! Of course we request our members treat all boats as their own to insure an enjoyable experience for ALL club members.
WCVB: How do I sign up to become a member?
CBC: You can visit our website at CareFreeBoats.com or call us at 262-422-6287. We’ll answer your questions and arrange for a tour.
WCVB: Personally, what is your favorite part about being a member of the Carefree Boat Club?
CBC: The quality and diversity of the fleet of boats is second to none!
WCVB: What is your favorite boat that is on Delavan Lake?
CBC: The one I happen to be on, or if I’m not on the water it’s the next one I have reserved!!
WCVB: Where can we find Carefree Boat Club in Delavan? How about Lake Geneva?
CBC: On Delevan we are located at the Lake Lawn Resort Marina. On Lake Geneva we currently have 2 locations; on Buttons Bay and Williams Bay.
To learn more about Carefree Boat Club, please visit their website, or follow them on Facebook.