Freedom Boat Club and Jackson Marine Sales collaborate to develop new franchise development

VENICE, Fla. – Freedom Boat Club is collaborating with Jackson Marines Sales, a Maryland marina, to launch a new franchise operation in upper Chesapeake Bay. Freedom Boat Club currently features one Maryland-based club in Annapolis and believes the market is ideally suited for expansion.

“Whenever possible, we prefer working directly with well-established marina owners and operators in the development of our franchise boat club facilities,” said Freedom Boat Club National Sales Manager Lisa Almeida. “We are very pleased to collaborate with Jackson Marine Sales in this expansion initiative and are working jointly to secure a qualified franchise operator for this market.”

Woody Jackson, owner of Jackson Marine Sales, believes the area’s attractive waterways, combined with the regional boating activity and strong consumer interest, provides the perfect formula for boat club development. Jackson, whose full-service marina offers new and used boat sales and service, believes a boat club will be the perfect complement to grow boating in his market.

“The Freedom Boat Club model is a tremendous vehicle for bringing newcomers to boating as well as for providing an alternative for former boat owners who are seeking a new way to enjoy the water,” said Jackson.  “We are serving the new and used boat market in terms of both sales and service, and we believe our marina is highly conducive for boat club operations. We welcome the opportunity to work with a qualified owner/operator to mutual benefit.”

Added Freedom Boat Club CEO and President John Giglio, “Finding the right candidates as franchise owners is critical to our growth. We have developed a powerful brand with high marks for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Our success is a direct result of having franchise owners who share our values and vision, and who are committed to serving our members with an exceptional degree of excellence. ”

Giglio believes the best qualities of a franchise operator includes those who enjoy and are passionate about boating; leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit, but who understand the benefit of following a successful and proven system; those with good networking and relationship-building skills; and managers who know how to propel a sales-driven business. A strong marketing background and understanding of the targeted market is also a big plus.

Freedom Boat Club also stresses the importance of supporting the overall marine industry and the local retailers, as well as being actively engaged in the community.

In fact, Giglio has made it a priority to build strong relationships and trust with the major players in the marine industry.

“In the past, some marina operators and boat dealers were wary about the presence of boat clubs and viewed it as competition,” Giglio said. “However, those who have worked with us throughout the country understand we are committed to growing boating and to introducing more people to the boating lifestyle. We seek to collaborate and work with other industry players in every market we enter. There is no doubt that the club serves as a springboard to boat sales, as a percentage of our members love the boating experience so much that they decide to become boat owners.”

Over the past few years, Freedom Boat Club has taken an active role in many marine industry programs and organizations. The corporate entity is a member of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Marine Retailers Association of America, Marine Marketers of America and several statewide associations. It also supports many industry groups and programs including the Marina Recreation Association, and most notably, provides boats for multiple “Take the Helm” boat shows sponsored by Discover Boating. Three of the company’s top executives serve on the Recreational Boating Leadership Council, on both the nationwide Diversity and Affordability task forces.

“I believe we have proven to the industry, marina owners and boat dealers that we are good for business,” Giglio said.

Today, Freedom Boat Club has posted double digit growth the past few years, with a large fleet of 800 boats nationwide, with the goal to only keep boats three years old and newer in operation. A great member benefit is the opportunity to enjoy a reciprocal membership, allowing its boaters to visit other clubs and use boats from a variety of locations.

For more information about the Upper Chesapeake Freedom Boat Club opportunity with Jackson Marine, contact either Lisa Almeida at or call 904 588-2417, or Woody Jackson at or call 410 287 9400 #211.

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