Joanie & Mel Booker: Owners
Joanie and Mel opened Carefree Boat Club at Smith Mountain Lake in 2022. They fell in love with boating while living in Florida but when they moved to the northern VA area, they missed being out on the water, so they joined Carefree Boat Club outside of DC.
When they are not working they love to travel, go fishing and enjoy time with their twin boys who attend VA Tech – Go Hokies and Penn State – WE ARE! They have two dogs, Dodger and Chessie, who love the lake life as well. They live on the lake and are out on the water as often as possible.
Chris Bechtler, Operations Manager
Chris B. has a strong maritime background, retired after 23 years of service in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. Among his assignments were the aircraft carrier USS America, the Coast Guard Cutter Kennebec, several Multi-Mission Stations performing Search and Rescue, Recreational Boating Safety and Law Enforcement, Aids to Navigation teams and a Marine Safety Office. His final duty assignment was as Chief of Police at the Coast Guard Yard.
After retiring he took a job with Carefree Boat Club and managed the Annapolis and Pasadena, MD locations as well as providing Boating Safety and on the water training. Then worked for an oil spill recovery organization before taking a position as dock master at Old North State marina a McConnell Golf Property. When McConnell Vacation Properties purchased Crazy Horse Marina, he was promoted to Director of Marine Operation for McConnell Golf and moved to Smith Mountain Lake to manage Crazy Horse Marina.
In addition to managing the marina Chris has served on the board of the Smith Mountain Lake Boating Association, served on the Water Safety Council and the TLAC Navigtion Committee. In 2020 Chris received the Spirit of Smith Mountain Lake Award from the Smith Mountain Lake Association.
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With a Carefree Boat Club membership you get:
With membership as little as 1/3 cost of owning a boat, you can cross these expenses off your list: boat purchase, slip fee, insurance, maintenance, repairs, taxes, towing and winterization.
Use the boats as often as you would like with no additional cost.
Our online reservation system allows you to pick the day, time, boat and Carefree location...easily.
Large Variety of Boats
Varieties include 18'-27' Cruiser, Deck, Bowrider, Pontoon, Fishing, Ski and Sail Boats & more! Members have options in both type of boat and type of activity!
With low member to boat ratios, an easy to use online reservation system & spur of the moment walk-on access members can enjoy boating how they like when they like.
On The Water Instruction
Instructors at each location provide Boat Safety training and handling skills so our members can comfortably and safely enjoy the great variety of boats for all activities.