Yacht club opens new location at Oak Bay Marina


Oak Bay Marina Cruise is the latest venture dedicated to bringing islanders into boating.

“We’re here to get people on the water and get as many people on the water as possible in the marine industry,” said William Purdon, owner of Freedom Boat Club BC.

The Freedom Boat Club began in 1989 in Florida as a small members club for boaters. Fast forward to 2022 and Freedom has over 300 clubs around the world.

“In 2015 we launched Freedom Boat here in Canada, we took it out of the United States,” Purdon explains.

“We were the first international club and since then over the past six years we have been able to grow the Freedom Boat Club from 115 venues to 350 venues.”

Members receive training on the water in addition to having their refueling, maintenance and cleaning handled by staff in an effort to streamline the boating experience.

“The ability to just get off and not worry about a dead battery or any issues with your boat at the boat launch, we’ll take care of that,” Purdon says.

“You’re just going to be on the water within five minutes of arriving.”

During the pandemic, Purdon and his team have seen an increase in interest as well as memberships, with everyone looking for new ways to explore the outdoors.

“I think the growth has been phenomenal during this pandemic time where we’ve been able to do that and really give people some common sense,” says Freedom Boat Club BC membership manager Marcial Reyes.

“People can save time because it only takes five minutes to get on the boat and five minutes to get off the boat.”

After expanding to Vancouver Island last year with a location in North Saanich, Freedom Boat Club BC is launching a new location at Oak Bay Marina.

“We have partnered with Oak Bay Marine Group and they have given us the opportunity to grow within their marinas and we plan to open more and more clubs each year,” Purdon says.

“So next year we’re going to the Ladysmith, Nanaimo area and we’re going to continue to grow every year.”

To learn more about Freedom Boat Club, visit their website.

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