Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Freedom Boat Club Chattanooga / Guild TN River Cruises

A great joy in life is to explore new bodies of water. The joy is enhanced exponentially when such exploration can be done by boat. That is precisely what we did this recent Thanksgiving week.

The Freedom Boat Club makes such ventures affordable, convenient and hassle free. Through our membership at the Lake Lanier Club we simply reserve at any of 145+ North American destinations, show up and enjoy. No trailering, no white knuckle driving, no prolonged travel.

This trip we cruised the Tennessee River out of Freedom's Chattanooga / Guild Club at the Hales Bar Marina & Resort. We spent 2015 Thanksgiving week in Chattanooga and were charmed by the place. Our only trek on the river that trip was via the Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge Explorer Riverboat, which will unfortunately cease operation in January 2018. 

We aspired to take in the magnificent waterway piloting by ourselves this time, and the experience was outstanding. These were our first Freedom river cruises. Our vessel for three days was a 21 foot 2015 Starcraft 2000 Deckboat powered by a peppy yet efficient 115 HP Yamaha four stroke outboard.

It's not always possible to secure a boat for 3 days during peak season weeks via Freedom, but when boats are available the Club makes every effort to accommodate member requests.

On day 1 we took a 70 mile round trip cruise - in red - from Hales Bar to Chattanooga. We were the only recreational boat on the water, passing barges and other work vessels along the way. With temps peaking at 49 degrees it was a brisk and "invigorating" day indeed.

Day 2 - in blue - was a more relaxed and warmer jaunt to and from Nickajack Dam. The Day 3 voyage was a hybrid of the first two and the warmest day of the week.

Vistas along the way included fall colors, sheer bluffs and the historic and supposedly haunted Hales Bar Dam.

Video footage of these thrilling treks here, here and here do not do justice to the real life experience. But hey, at least we tried.

The market value of this Starcraft is approximately $25,000. All we paid each day was the cost of fuel consumed plus a gratuity for the dock hand to gas up and clean up for the next reservation.

In a week we take to the waters of the Tchefuncte River out of Freedom's New Orleans / Madisonville Louisiana Club. Our goal in coming years is to complete some fantasy Freedom Boat Club vacation tour across North America. Whether or not we succeed it promises to be a most adventuresome experiment.

For more information about Freedom Boat Club membership contact John Roberge at 404-901-4907. Please tell him Peter Stoddard referred you.