Freedom Boat Club honors member by naming fishing boat after him |

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Freedom Boat Club honors member by naming fishing boat after him
Freedom Boat Club honors member by naming fishing boat after him

      It is the traditional way to honor a special person: You name something after them.     

      Babies are named for beloved family members or friends. Some restaurants and pubs honor their most favored customers by naming a particular dish or drink after them. Others people have bridges or roads named in their honor.

      Freedom Boat Club of Jacksonville and St. Augustine has come up with its own variation.

      “We are naming a boat after one of our members,” said franchise owner Lisa Almeida. “He is very deserving of the distinction.”

         According to Almeida, it is only appropriate that Brian Merchant, an avid outdoorsman and enthusiastic proponent of Freedom Boat Club, be the first member to have a boat named after him. So, the club’s new dual-console Key West fishing boat has been christened, “Reel Merchant.”

      “The name is very fitting,” Almeida said. “Brian is one of our most loyal members and goes out fishing almost every weekend. He also volunteers whenever we need people to help with charity events or to talk about the club to prospective members. He is s great advocate for Freedom Boat Club.”

      “I consider this a special honor,” Merchant said. “And I am looking forward to catching lots of fish on the boat that carries my name.”

      For Almeida, and FBC Jacksonville and St. Augustine co-owner, Kevin Seelig, naming a boat after Merchant not only allows them to honor a faithful member, but also gives them fresh ideas when it comes to the often challenging task of naming a new boat.

      “In the past three years we have purchased 47 boats for our fleet,” Almeida said. “And we are planning on buying three or four more before the end of the year. It can be difficult to come up with fresh, fun, upbeat names for all those.

       "Brian Merchant is the first member we have ever named a boat after. He will likely not be the last."



Freedom Boat Club is the world’s largest members-only boating club offering a simple alternative to boat ownership. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Freedom Boat Club offers 83 franchise locations across the country, plus 14 corporate-owned locations on the West Coast of Florida. For more information,

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