Freedom Boat Club Partners with Sea Tow Foundation for National Safe Boating Week and “Sober Skipper” Initiative

Venice, FL, May 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Freedom Boat Club, the largest and oldest boat club in North America with 185+ corporate-owned and franchise locations, is celebrating National Safe Boating Week May 18 – 24, 2019 through a variety of boating safety promotions.

“We are major advocates of boating safety and it is always at the forefront of our member training and ongoing educational programs,” said Freedom Boat Club President and CEO John Giglio. “As Freedom Boat Club celebrates 30-years of open-water adventures, safety remains a key component of our membership focus. While we are pleased to promote the National Safe Boating Week, for us it is a 365-day commitment and focus.”

Freedom Boat Club adopted a national, network-wide ‘Sober Skipper’ program in 2016 which is sponsored by the Sea Tow Foundation. The initiative calls on Freedom Boat Club dock staff to work one-on-one with club members in designating both a ‘sober skipper’ and an official lookout/observer, and to review important safety messaging prior to boat departure. 

“Every time a club member prepares to depart for an outing, our protocol mandates that we address who will be the designated sober skipper and the observer, and what it entails to be safe on the water,” said Giglio. “Safety initiatives such as the Sober Skipper program have provided our dock staff with best practices to ensure our members have a great experience each time out.”

In 2018, the 20 corporate-owned clubs in Southwest Florida managed more than 73,000 bookings, with an additional 263,190 system wide. All boat departures include the Sober Skipper review.

“We are very proud to be partnered with Freedom Boat Club in the Sober Skipper program,” said Michael Wesolowski, Director of External Affairs for the Sea Tow Foundation. “Freedom Boat Club is an outstanding example of an organization that is truly dedicated to ensuring their members understand boating safety. Our program, coupled with their consistent communications and member education, has reduced the number of accidents related to alcohol consumption.”

Freedom Boat Club plans to release a mix of Sober Skipper and boating safety messages through a targeted social media campaign during National Safe Boating Week.


Freedom Boat Club, headquartered in Venice, FL, is the nation’s oldest and largest boat club with 185+ locations in 31 states, Canada and Europe. The club services 20,000+ members and sports a fleet of 2,000+ boats. For more information, visit



With a focus on safe boating practices that result in fun on the water, the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – was established in 2007 by Sea Tow Founder Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer. After his passing in 2015, Captain Joe’s legacy continues as the Foundation brings attention to the number of preventable boating-related accidents, injuries, and deaths, and directly addresses prevention methods through education and awareness. More than 550 life jacket loaner stands are now available across the United States and the Foundation’s Sober Skipper program continues to grow. For more information on the Sea Tow Foundation, please visit




National Safe Boating Week returns May 18 – 24, 2019.

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