Dan Hasbrouck has a license to fly in the sky, but little did he know, his future was a boat company on the sea. Hasbrouck grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where he went to college and later to flight school for helicopters. After graduating, he and his wife made the decision to move to Encinitas. While his wife found a job in La Jolla, his job was four hours away in Santa Maria, flying to oil rigs in Santa Barbara. After a couple of years of this routine, Hasbrouck decided it was time for a change. He was ready to do something exciting and be in charge of his own schedule. His wife, who recently read an article on a boat franchise that was started in Sarasota, encouraged him to give Freedom Boat Club a call. He did so, and the rest is history. In August 2014, Freedom Boat Club of San Diego was created.
The idea behind Freedom Boat Club is hassle-free boating. They take care of the boat maintenance, insurance, slip rental and cleaning. They have powerboats ranging from 18- to 26-feet that you can use to fish, cruise the bay, wakeboard or dive along the coast. Members, in turn, pay a monthly fee to access a fleet of boats. Hasbrouck started the franchise with three boats, which now has grown to 12. He plans to add 15 boats to the fleet in 2016 plus another location in the San Diego Bay.
Q: Misconception people have about the Freedom Boat Club of San Diego?
A: People are not really sure about what we do. They think that we rent or that we are a time share. Also, most people think that they will be allowed to only boat a certain amount of days per month or per year. Our program does not restrict members on how much they boat in a year. Cost seems to be another misconception. A lot of people think it is more cost effective to own a boat. All of our members that have previously owned boats agree that the club is more affordable than owning a boat. Not to mention, hassle free.
Q: What’s your first memory on a boat?
A: I can remember learning how to ski and knee board on a lake in Orlando. I was afraid to let go of the rope so when I lost the knee board I kept hanging on to the rope and they had to stop the boat and pull me in underwater. I’ve been around boats ever since.
Q: Describe your most perfect day in San Diego?
A: Wake up early to surf. Surf until 11. Then go to Swamis Café for sweet potato pancakes and a coffee. Take off the rest of the day to enjoy the view off my front porch.
Q: If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
A: I would want to fly. Mostly because I used to fly helicopters and I loved it!
Q: What would you tell your 10 year old self?
A: Keep being yourself. It seemed to work out, no matter how different you are.
Q: Best part about doing business in San Diego?
A: This is the same as why I live here. The people. I really like the vibe both in business and life here. It seems that most people that I deal with have a great sense of others’ perspectives and I think that is the key to living.
Q: What advice can you give to young entrepreneurs?
A: Find something that you love and do it. Find a place that you love and live there. Ever since my wife and I were in our 20s we have been doing what makes us happy. The flip side of that is being ready and willing to sacrifice. The beautiful part is that if you love what you do, the sacrifices are easy. Do something for your self today that you will thank yourself tomorrow for. Don’t procrastinate. There is one constant in our lives, time.