Freedom to choose
Two colleagues with a knowledge of property time share decide to share a boat. They then launch a boat share concept. The business progresses, changes ownership, and 22 years later - in 2011 - John Giglio and a business partner move in. Freedom Boat Club starts to fly.
In 2011 Freedom Boat Club (FBC) locations numbered around 40. By 2012, when president and CEO Giglio bought his partner out and became sole owner, it had 50. Today, there are 175 locations in nigh on 50 US states and Giglio is looking to go international; two clubs are due to open in France this quarter. FBC has some 30,000 US-based members, a fleet of around 2,000 boats and is in the process of buying 500 to 600 further vessels. It’s a successful franchise – but far from just a franchise.
FBC has four corporately owned marinas and is actively looking to acquire more. As a buyer, Giglio’s interest lies in smaller marinas in which he will use 20 to 50 slips for club purposes and lease the remainder on traditional marina rental terms. But “as the marine business in the US has strengthened, slips have become harder to find,” he says.
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