I am going to be a grouch. I found a club that seemed on the up and up, even had their own private marina with a 20' draft at low tide. Curious, of the 50 slips, only about 5 boats ever left. The flag officers were not among them. Seems the prime reason for being a member was 'cheap booze' and a view of derelict boats. Every three months new fees imposed to help balance the books, got real tiring.
About the recips, I have several times had to pay while visiting other clubs because they don't own the marina, only twice have I been welcomed for free, Loch Lomond, one night and Alameda YC at Fortman. Those two free nights cost a whole lot dollars to be a member at my home club.
Talk boats at the club, not likely. Politics, yes
Cruise outs were better attended by land yacht than sea and always involve going to another club to get falling down drunk.
I have moved my boat back closer to home and will not renew at this club. However, I did visit two of the three local clubs. I asked the commodore of each "Why should I join this club" Answer; cheap booze. Seriously.
I did make two friends that are just about worth the membership, so it wasn't all bad. And I participated in various activities and work days. I suppose if all I wanted out of the place was a deep water slip I would still be happy.
That said RYC, or any club that has active, on the water, programs would probably be a worthwhile investment.
Since I left the club, I found sailing partners for crew, no one wanted to sail at the club, and have used my boat so much more because I am not active at the club. From my perspective, with time I have available, any yacht club is likely to be a waste of time and money. Recips will worthwhile when I start coastal cruising.
What should have been a red flag is when they looked at me and said how badly they need younger members. I am 57. My next club will have kids, not grand kids.