The new Savannah Boathouse will be the place to be all summer '21. Reserve a spot now at Freedom Boat Club owner Thomas McCarthy's newest marine installment.
Freedom Boat Club owner, Thomas McCarthy, has found success in the Coastal South and has now set sail for expansion that will offer Savannahians a spectacular place to launch their weekend fun.
Written by: Julie Collins • Photos: Miranda Osborn
The pandemic has taken a lot, but one thing we haven’t lost is the ability to enjoy the natural beauty of where we live in one of the most uniquely beautiful places in the South: the Lowcountry. What better way to experience the area than by spending a day exploring the creeks, marshes and islands by boat? It may be an obvious question, but are we really taking advantage of coastal living if we’re not spending time on the water?
Thomas McCarthy, owner of the Freedom Boat Club in Savannah/Richmond Hill, is opening Savannah Boathouse, giving Lowcountry residents one more reason to get outside and leave restrictive lifestyles behind. This full service marina–conveniently located at the base of the Bull River bridge on Wilmington Island–offers a 168-space, fully enclosed, dry stack storage area, 2,000 linear feet of in-water dock space, and will be home to the Freedom Boat Club.
A few years ago, McCarthy saw an opportunity to expand his business by acquiring the property at 8020 U.S. Hwy 80 East, where the Williams Seafood restaurant used to be. “There was just no room for growth at our current location in Thunderbolt and parking was always a problem,” says McCarthy. Development of a full-service marina not only solved the expansion problems, but also offered an attractive solution for boat owners.
Savannah Boathouse is the perfect spot for the community to enjoy a day on the water. Offering ample parking spaces, a retail/reception space, shower and restroom facilities, wash racks, a bait station, a laundry facility and an open-air event area with plans for a future restaurant, Savannah Boathouse has it all. “It will be the perfect place to come in off the water, have a cold drink, a burger, and just enjoy the scenery,” McCarthy says. “I could have built condos here, but this way–with a marina and restaurant–everyone can enjoy these gorgeous views.”
Aesthetically, the marina keeps true to the island style with a casual feel that complements the natural surroundings rather than competes with it. Exposed beams in the restaurant space and a reception desk modeled after the bow of a ship are just some of the design elements. With construction beginning just after the pandemic reared its ugly head, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. McCarthy’s project employed local contractors during an uncertain time and no doubt will offer a convenient spot for Intracoastal Waterway travelers to stop and patronize local businesses.
Thinking about the possibility of enjoying the boating lifestyle but don’t own a boat? Perhaps the Freedom Boat Club is a good option. Interested in learning more? Check out savannahboathouse.com for details, construction updates and contact information. Dry storage reservations are nearing capacity, so get on board before it’s too late! One thing is for sure: sunny days are coming soon and the Savannah Boathouse will be the place to be.
For more details about the Savannah Boathouse, head to savannahboathouse.com.