A new wave of women take the wheel thanks to Freedom Boat Club

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Friday, July 28, 2023
A new wave of women take the wheel thanks to Freedom Boat Club
Freedom Boat Club is breaking down the barrier to entry for anyone interested in diving in the world of boating.

DELRAN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- "Living near the Delaware, I'd watch the boats go by and be like, I really want a boat," said Amy Bond. "So, I posted on Facebook and someone told me about the Freedom Boat Club."

Established in 1989, Freedom Boat Club has locations across the United States and internationally where members can easily grab a boat and go.

With more than 80,000 members, Freedom Boat Club reports that 35% of its members are women.

"And there's multiple chances for you to learn from other women to feel confident when you take a boat out on your own," said Bond, who is from Philadelphia.

Bond and her new friend, Heidi Siegel, met at the Dredge Harbor Marina in Delran, New Jersey, to catch a cool breeze on this hot summer day. It is one of more than a dozen locations in the Greater Philadelphia & New York areas.

At the wheel was Olivia Eggert, New Jersey Regional Supervisor for Freedom Boat Club.

Growing up on the water, Eggert became more serious about boating specifically when she learned about the club. But even she recognizes that taking on the hobby can be an intimidating thought for newcomers.

"We are striving towards becoming more diverse with how many people we can get on the water," she said.

That's why all members participate in a 4-hour classroom and on-the-water training. In addition, their US Coast Guard-certified captains are available for additional training when needed.

"Which, I think, is why more women and people who are just kind of novices on the water feel more comfortable getting out there and trying something new," said Eggert.

Additionally, within the Freedom Boat Club is a social group called the Sea Sisters.

"They can all have a good time out on the water, share different experiences that they have together, and really grow in their boating," said Eggert.

To learn more about Freedom Boat Club and to find a location near you, visit their website.

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