SailTime and Freedom Boat Club were both included on Entrepreneur magazine’s 10 Hottest Franchise Business Categories of 2017 in the Entertainment/Recreation category. According to their website, Entrepreneur magazine’s picks for the most exciting franchise categories of the year “include several that are going strong and show no signs of slowing, and a few that are beginning to ramp up to their true potential.”
“It’s a terrific honor for us at SailTime to be recognized as one of the hottest concepts in the entertainment and recreational franchise sector,” SailTime CEO Todd Hess said. “2016 has been an outstanding year for our franchises, boat owners and members, and we look forward to an even better 2017.”
“We are very excited to be included in the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 and believe the rapid growth of our franchise organization over the past four years validates the viability and success of the Freedom Boat Club model,” said Freedom Boat Club President and CEO John Giglio. “Our franchisees are able to launch and take their business from zero to 60, thanks to the support structure and systems that FBC has developed over the past 27 years.“
SailTime said it has grown 161 percent since 2012, expanding to 28 bases in the United States and six bases in Australia. Their recent partnership with Beneteau provided SailTime franchisees the opportunity to offer Beneteau boats for both the membership program and the boat ownership program. Three Beneteau yacht dealers in North America integrated with SailTime in 2016, including Murray Yacht Sales in New Orleans, La., Harbor Sailboats in San Diego, Calif., and Great Hudson Sailing Center, in New York City.
Freedom Boat Club currently has over 15,000 members in 115 locations throughout North America and opened its first international location in Vancouver, B.C. in 2016. The franchise has forged partnerships with companies such as West Marine and Port Supply, as well as boat and engine manufacturers Godfrey, Bennington, Scout, Regal, Key West, Cobia, Catalina, Starcraft, Duffy, Heyday, Yamaha, Suzuki and Evinrude. In 2017, Freedom Boat Club will be partnering with the Sober Skipper program operated by Sea Tow and the Sea Tow Foundation.