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post #11 of 34 Old 04-15-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

Keep in mind what Groucho said years ago - would you want to belong to an organization that would have someone like you as a member?

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #12 of 34 Old 04-15-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

Moorage is a major concern, of course, and Yacht clubs that can offer moorage, esp if at a discount, are gold. Vancouver is probably one of the tightest moorage markets around, the waitlists for clubs offering moorage are ridiculously long (RVYC, WVYC, EHYC etc) I think the only one that offers a hope of a early slip is the Rowing Club. Not sure about Schock's DCYC.

The fees to join some of these clubs are substantial too, often age-dependant (and I'm not talking senior's discounts!) There are a lot of boats in private or municipal marinas that do not offer anything but moorage, really. For those of us in that position the 'virtual' clubs fill a gap.

Low cost moorage can cause it's own issues too... Thankfully our former club (we're still associate members) has a residency requirement.. otherwise it would be chock full of 'city' boats as it was only a 40 minute drive away.

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post #13 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

Many yacht clubs have designated special times or events for prospective members to visit the club... a certain hour every week, or an evening once or month, or perhaps at the beginning of the season.

And, it is usually easy to visit a club and get a staff member or volunteer to give you a quick tour.

Another in is to get on the club's crew list and meet people, or volunteer to help with a regatta or other event.

Big cities on the ocean with lots of boats often have several yacht and sailing clubs with different focus areas, levels of facilities and expenses, greater or lesser commitment to on-the-water activities and education, etc. It can take a bit of looking around and talking to people to find the right fit.
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post #14 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

Also if you want to race in your area, belonging to a yacht club is sometimes a requirement.

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post #15 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

We don't belong to one, but think about it from time to time. Reciprocity can be a big benefit. Ultimately, we don't want to be pinned down to a club and can't do the math to make the dues actually pay. We begin to think it would be good for entertaining, but that's what the boat is for!

Be aware that many clubs have expectations. There are those that expect you to be involved in some capacity, club leadership, organizing an event, setting race buoys, etc. Others have actual minimum work requirements to be a member: painting, cleaning, etc.


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post #16 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

In addition most will have a capital contribution when joining. We have one at our condo assoc. where we keep the boat. Dropped out a few years ago. A large portion of the cruising membership is retired and they were driving us nuts w/ micro managing cruising events. Would just rather do our own thing some place quiet.
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post #17 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

You should also know the difference between clubs whose members are the "no expense spared to make this perfect", which will vote for any assessment to spiff the place up and the clubs where they can't get an assessment passed to clean the bathrooms.
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post #18 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Keep in mind what Groucho said years ago - would you want to belong to an organization that would have someone like you as a member?
Why would I seek a group that judges? I find the idea repellant and adolecent.

Better to avoid them all together. In my case, I'm sure that's better for all concerned.
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post #19 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Reciprocity can be a big benefit. Ultimately, we don't want to be pinned down to a club and can't do the math to make the dues actually pay.
Almost all the cruisers I know of that are members of a YC use it for just that purpose. At $4/foot, you can quickly see why reciprocity can make money!! However, we still have not joined. We may yet, though, but our decisions will be based upon the reciprocity and where.

Also, shop around because some of the YC's are HIGH, and some are very reasonable. I think the entrance for St Pete, which has a lot of Reciprocity, is $5000. There are some in Miami, IIRC, that are a 10th of that.

S/V Hylyte, are you a member of St Pete?

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post #20 of 34 Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

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I'll be blunt: how does one join a yacht club? Is it appropriate to inquire or better to wait for an invitation? Many thanks!
It never hurts to ask. Just call the Club and ask for the Club Secretary (not manager) and ask what the policies are. Many Clubs also post their policies on the web-sites.

We have belonged to Clubs (two in California) that required one be nominated and seconded by existing members and endure an interview by a membership committee. We now belong to a Club in Florida that although similar to the former when we joined, 20 years ago, will now accept any warm body willing to pay dues on time and spend at least a stipulated minimum in the Club restaurant each month.

The first type were/are dedicated yacht clubs (both primarily if not entirely sail) and were/are only interested in admitting people that are interested in the sport and willing to participate in events in one way or another, and are, of course, sociable and a good fit with existing members. The Clubs' devotions are entirely to the sport and related events and training for the kids and overall are family oriented and very wholesome. The second type do have "yachting members" but are largely little more than waterfront country clubs who's primary focus is the social scene for the adults, mostly revolving around eating--Dining Societies for all intents and purposes. They commonly do have marinas but the fees tend to be rather higher than is the case with the former and the proceeds are used to subsidize the dining habits of the other non-yachting members rather than the marina and/or yachting related matters. One major advantage we see to belonging to a club, any club, is reciprocity with other clubs when one travels and the advantages of that can be substantial. Of course many if not most of our friends are folks we met through our clubs and, especially so, when our children were young. It was/(is ?) a good venue for a young family and that is also a major advantage.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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