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  #1  
Old 09-19-2010
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Yacht Clubs vs. Marinas

Just wondering what peoples opinions are on this?
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Old 09-19-2010
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I've never been a member of a real Yacht Club. I define "real" as a Yacht Club with its own facilites vs. the types of Yacht Clubs I've been a member of, where they more or less borrowed the facilites of particular marina to host their events.

To me the real difference is the level of commitment. If you're unhappy at a Marina, you find another one and move on. If you join a Yacht Club and leave after a short time, you'll be out the initiation fee at least. If you know you're going to stay in the area long enough to amortize the extra up front costs of joining a Yacht Club, it could be pretty much a break even.

Also real Yacht Clubs tend to have a lot more in the way of programs for developing young sailors, so if you have children that could be a major consideration. If I lived closer to Deltaville, there is no doubt I would have joined the Club down there but I decided against it thinking sooner or later the drive down would become more than I could handle, which is exactly what happened.

I'm still pondering the idea of joining a club here closer to home, but haven't really come to any firm decision yet.
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Old 09-19-2010
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Horses for courses

When we were travelling, no need to be in a club. Now we are going to be members of the 'weekend warrior set' we have re-joined our old club -

We dont go into the races, but everyone knows everyone - & keep an eye out on your boat. Very friendly and even after a rejoin fee, it is still cheaper by far than a marina.

If you were interested in racing - everything from casual to serious, Lady Skippers to training for kids (young and old).

Easy to forge friendships that last.

Some clubs are quite formal, ours isn't. Some of the more formal ones are too stiffling for us and we are 'anti-snobs'.

Before we left on our last trip and were preparing the boat, We were a little transient within the club. A bloke I haden't met came up to talk, looking at the now heavily laden cruising yacht.

"Where you come from? he asked
" E row." I said
"Oh, where you headed next? he then asked
"F row". It kinda killed the conversation
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Last edited by St Anna; 09-19-2010 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 09-19-2010
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One of the biggest advantages, at least it is in Canada, is the reciprocity to visit other yacht clubs. Clubs with reciprocal privileges, and that includes 95% of the clubs, offer one or two nights free berthing. You can take a long summer cruise and never have to pay for a dock.

Clubs usually also have friendly bars and restaurants, usually with better prices than commercial establishments.
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Old 09-19-2010
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Originally Posted by kengreig View Post
One of the biggest advantages, at least it is in Canada, is the reciprocity to visit other yacht clubs.
To be fair, some marina chains offer reciprocal berthing privileges in their marinas as well.
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Old 09-19-2010
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To be fair, some marina chains offer reciprocal berthing privileges in their marinas as well.
Interesting.... to my knowledge here in BC this does not happen. Good concept, though.

These days there seem to be several types of clubs. In Canada, the more serious, formal clubs often have the word "Royal" in the name. These clubs have excellent facilities, numerous outstations, and good international connections if you're into travel. These clubs typically are reasonable to join as a youngster, and progressively more costly as you age. (approx $20-25K for someone to join at say, 40-50 years of age.) This does tend to put you in the blue blazer set.

Then there are the more relaxed clubs in major centers that generally have significant assets but not quite the posh of the ones above. Popular, these clubs often have long waitlists for their moorage facilities. More reasonable, but still costly initiation fees in return for the level of service and facilities.

After that there are clubs in smaller towns and cities that provide reasonable, sometimes incredibly inexpensive moorage, they function primarily on volunteer labour, generally don't run a bar or a restaurant but will host a series of social and racing events and programs.

Then there are clubs of convenience, often nowadays referred to as 'virtual' clubs.. those with no real assets, renting meeting spaces, not providing moorage in any way, shape or form. Very inexpensive to belong and their primary mission is to provide a venue for cruising or racing (many organized regattas have a yacht club membership requirement) These clubs are great social clubs and benefit to a degree from the lack of politics and maneuvering that comes when real money or influence becomes involved.

When it comes to marinas, generally you'll get what you pay for. Shoddy docks, unreliable power and services, poor access or parking will be reflected in the rates, as will the availablity of those same services of higher quality. But you're just buying a service, a "parking spot" for the most part and there's not the personal investment that often goes with joining a yacht club, whichever type appeals.
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Old 09-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooreVOLS View Post
Just wondering what peoples opinions are on this?
Depends on what you are looking for. If you just want a place to keep your boat, look to marinas. If you want to interact with other boaters, sail and power, united in a common purpose, a yacht club can be great. My own yacht club states it's purpose for existing is to:

encourage the sport of yachting , to promote the science of seamanship and navigation and to provide and maintain a suitable clubhouse and moorage for the use and recreation of it's members.

For folks who are non-social, a yacht club would be a bad idea. They are, at their heart, social institutions.
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2010
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For folks who are non-social, a yacht club would be a bad idea. They are, at their heart, social institutions.
Yacht clubs are a place for drinkers with a sailing habit to meet.
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Old 09-20-2010
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We belonged to a club in my then home town and then went on a cruise into the Indian Ocean. When we arrived in the Seychelles we went to the yacht club and flashed our club membership card and were afforded full membership to the club for the full duration of our stay at no cost.

Other visiting boats were charged a considerable amount of money for using the same facilities.

Right now we are members of a club in Auckland and have the use of clubs all around the country.

Reciprocity is a wonderful thing.
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Old 09-20-2010
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My local yacht club was $400 to join and about $80/month to keep your boat in the water. No electricity/water/anything. Yacht club consisted of an old building that had a BBQ in it. And there were apparently some old Sunfish available for kids. Nothing had been upkept in what looks like years. No one could explain what my $400 initiation fee went towards, nor my monthly fee.

I found a marina/landing that is more convenient and is $60/month. No initiation fee, etc.
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