One of Erin Bernhardtâ€™s favorite memories is of the time her family (she, husband A.J., and daughters Anna and Morgan) took a boat out on New Yearâ€™s Day a couple of years ago.
â€œWe had the surprise of a 70-degree warm spell,â€ she says, â€œand on short notice we were able to get a boat that was well-maintained and enjoy a beautiful January afternoon in Tennessee with shorts and t-shirts out on the lake.â€
Before joining a boat club they used to own a boat, she says â€“ but since joining Carefree Boat Club theyâ€™ve had the chance to spend a lot more time on the water.
â€œWe have always loved boating and living on or near water,â€ she says. â€œAs we got busier with work and kids, the time required to trailer and maintain a boat got to be more onerous, and we just didnâ€™t do it as much.â€
Initially they were skeptical about the boat club â€“ and whether theyâ€™d use it enough to justify the monthly cost. But now, she says, thatâ€™s no longer a concern.
â€œBecause it is available and so easy, we spend many weekends or evenings on short notice out on the lake,â€ she says. â€œThe time together is wonderful. We share lots of laughs, and weâ€™ve been able to see our daughters grow to love swimming, tubing, and wake-boarding.â€
She counts more than 120 outings that her family has taken over their years with the boat club, on three local lakes and in Charleston, S.C., a favorite spot for family vacations and reunions.
â€œWhen the girls were young, it quickly became our vacation near home as we spent weekends and evenings after work relaxing on the lake together, she says. â€œThe girls have learned to wakeboard and surf, but their favorite times are still just swimming or getting tossed off the tubes!â€