Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Freedom Boat Club Lake Lanier Regal 2100 Bowrider Cruise

Freedom Boat Club on Lake Lanier did Two Big Things in 2017.

1. In addition to their original Holiday Marina location they opened a second at Bald Ridge Marina.
2. They invested approximately $1 million in brand new boats to expand their fleet.

We recently took out a 2017 Regal 2100 bowrider (a/k/a ski boat) for a 4 hour test cruise. A most exhilarating experience.

We had not captained a boat on Lanier since January, so we had pent up boating energy to expend. The Regal 2100 was the perfect vessel for that mission. This was also our first reservation at the new Freedom Bald Ridge "office". 

As we checked the boat out the deck hand informed us, "This boat will get up and go. Like a thoroughbred all she wants to do is run." We replied all we aspired to do was leisurely reacquaint ourselves with the old neighborhood. He just grinned in response as if to say "We'll see."

The Regal console is much like those of the Freedom Ebbtide, Monterey and Starcraft bowriders we had come to know and love. While Freedom maintains their entire fleet with great care, what first struck about the Regal was it's pristine appearance. Though it had been thru a season of use we got the feeling we were its first ever pilots. That in itself is a rush.

We wanted to make a few stops before we put the Regal to any test. Weeks earlier our houseboat became the largest ever to sink on Lake Lanier. Following refloatation BoatUS towed it to a different marina to await restoration. Our first trek in the Regal was to the new slip for a look at whether it sank again. It didn't. Ours is the still floating for the time being vessel with green canvas 4th from the right.

The houseboat sinkage is a subject for another, much more lengthy discussion to come.

Our next trek was across the main channel to the home of Port Royale Marina area friends who had hosted us a week earlier. It had been months since we traveled to their crib by water, and we wanted to see if we could still spot it for certain from asea. That was confirmed with a cell call to our recent host who was annoyed with the report that we were "working". So was he, but not like us.

With those 2 essential errands out of the way we were free to explore. That meant a cruise northeast past Gainesville Marina and under the creatively named "Lanier Bridge". Here we opened things up a little. We are not a need for speed people who must make our gums bleed on every voyage. Let's just say the gums were pulsing. The Regal was indeed more than ready to get up and go.

Note: This is not a picture of us or anyone we know, nor was it taken by us. But it is the correct model Regal 2100.

This November day we saw only 3-4 other boats on the lake, those being work vessels. Waters were therefore calmer than on a high traffic day except for chop stirred up by brisk winds on the main channels. This Regal is heavier than other bowriders to which we are accustomed. It cut thru chop like butter.

Rather than attempt to express nonexistent boat expertise we share someone else's expertise in a professional review here.We do not know options featured on the model we tested, but list price is approx $45,000. Cost for the day: $50 in fuel and a $5 tip for the mate to gas it up and clean for the next reservation. Tip would be more generous if boat was covered in fish guts etc.

Another shot of what the Regal would look had 2 attractive people joined us, which they didn't.

We look forward to utilizing both Lanier Freedom locations. Holiday Marina is more convenient some days, Bald Ridge others. Members can reserve from a large fleet of boats at either Lanier location. Bowriders, deck boats, pontoons, center consoles and cabin cruisers.

Navionics app somehow erased the November 10 course but this was it. Roughly 65 total thrilling nautical miles.

We were on the Tennessee River out of the Freedom Chattanooga club yesterday and will be out there again tomorrow. Click here for a brief video of that experience. In two weeks we will explore the Tchefuncte River out of the Freedom New Orleans / Madisonville Louisiana club.

Freedom members have access to boats at over 145 North American locations at no additional cost. As in zero. Members simply make a reservation thru their local club and pay for fuel at the destination club.

In the near future we expect to check out boats most often from the Bald Ridge club below:

Do not be deceived by appearances. Freedom is not known for luxury real estate. Freedom is known for luxury boats.

To inquire about membership at Freedom Lake Lanier call John Roberge at 404-901-4907. Please tell him Peter Stoddard referred you.


John Roberge
Freedom Boat Club Lake Lanier