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  #21  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

We just joined a YC this year, its also where we'll keep the boat. The jury is still out whether it was the right decision or not, time will tell I suppose. The process was pretty straight forward, similar to what has already been mentioned. Apply, sponsored, voted in, pay them $$$. YClubs seem to vary in how they get members, on the Chesapeake it seems memberships are down 10% or more.

I grew up spending the summers at my grandfathers yacht club so I was familiar with what it could be like, but our primary reason was the cost and facilities. I do not have much desire to get involved with all the nice events planned for the year, although I am sure they are fun and appeal to many.

There are many benefits which also have already been mentioned, reciprocity, fuel discounts, sail camps for kids, regattas, social events, etc...probabaly most of all the sense of camaraderie is the thing most enjoy, as do I.
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  #22  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

I will give you three POVs mine and my 28 and 24 years olds from there first hand experience in how they and I were treated

Let me start by saying I was a member of the Orient Yacht Club in the 1980s when I bought my first J24 due to the influence of my first sailing mentor

I became very involved in helping him run a J24 junior sailing program and it made it pretty easy to get in as I had spent a huge amount of time using there young ones as crew and other than then my personal discomfort with some of the mandatory party's it was a great experience.


If we fast forward to about 2008 when I again found myself owning a second J24 and the place of use being Northport

Its freaking snooty central and the part that really pisses me off is my first sailing mentor was one of the founders of the snooty paper club and at 50 some odd years old I felt like a high school outcast

I will say I sail with and have MANY GOOD FRIENDS that are member's of all the clubs in the area who could not possibly be nicer

However my 24 year old social worker and 28 year lawyer children were so turned off by the actions a few people you could now NOT pay them to join a club

And my son said it best in that while the douche was a douche the other members who new what happened and just stood by and let it slide were the biggest douches
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  #23  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

I think the requirement to be "refereed" and "seconded" is a way to keep out the undesirables. More than being one yourself (that will be immediately obvious) you need to find out what the general consensus of what "undesirable" is. This can vary from club to club. I could not and will not be a member of a club that is based on some sort of discriminatory selection. I am kind of OK with not wanting run down boat, but if it is race, or other discriminatory basis count me out. Other clubs want only rich folks, again not for me. I grew up in that culture and it does not interest me at all.

That said the "nomination" is frequently you go to an open house, you meet someone and they feel you out and if they think you meet there requirements they will recommend you, then someone who is OK with who recommended you will then second you so it is not really as hard as it might at first seem. If you show up and talk like you know what you are doing then it is likely that you will get recommended, as many folks say they are desperate for members.

Another option near me is a "working yacht club" that is short on membership and in order to fill up the harbor they are now renting slips. I am considering this as a way to see if I want to be part of them before forking out the money to join. Keep in mind "working clubs" will generally have requirements for certain hours of physical labor. Cutting grass, or painting fences all need to be done. If they do it DIY style they can keep costs down. Working yacht clubs are often the least expensive way to keep a boat as they are not trying to make a profit.
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  #24  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

I read a great Ted Turner yacht club story years ago.

When he was obviously the best skipper for the America's Cup he had to be a member of the NYYC. Apparently there was a lot of resistance due to Ted being Ted.

They finally realized that to retain the Cup, they had to admit him. He was at a party at the clubhouse - you can imagine - everyone in blazers and gowns, all carrying copies of their page in Who's Who and so forth - the ultimate in stuffy pretension.

Ted turned to his companion and said "what some of these stiff old babes need is a good f**king".
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  #25  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

To the OP,

Putting aside the social concerns for just a second, how about the financial prospects?

Are you concerned about the decline in participation in sailing and sailboat racing?

Are you concerned about the continued "recession" and our economy?

Have you read any of the news articles about marinas and sailing clubs ending up in bankruptcy court?

While the club considers your membership, will you be inquiring about its financial prospects before handing over a large sum of money to it?

Do you think this is a wise investment?
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  #26  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
While the club considers your membership, will you be inquiring about its financial prospects before handing over a large sum of money to it?

Do you think this is a wise investment?
Love it - examine the clubs finances before considering joining - talk about turnabout.

Maybe I should try that with Royal Van.
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  #27  
Old 04-16-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

Yes, you certainly should consider whether you consider it a worth while expense to join a club.

I paid a significant amount of money to join the biggest yacht club in our city, and I don't regret it for a second. I certainly consider it a good investment because it gives me access to 7 outstations, 2 home port moorage facilities, drydocks, cranes, and multiple restaurants and bars. In addition they offer excellent junior training programs, and financial support for the top racers to compete at the international level. My 11 year old is also a member, and so is already building seniority, which is important if he ever hopes to get moorage for his own boat in the future. Aside from the physical assets the yacht clubs offer, there is a camaraderie with fellow members that has become a big part of our family boating experience, whether it is organized family cruises, racing, events like Opening Day (aka Sailpast), or even work parties where members volunteer to help clean up and improve our facilities.

Some people look at yacht clubs, particularly the more expensive ones, and assume that they are full of elitist snobs. I know I used to think that, but as I got to know more and more club members through racing (before I joined) I came to realize that was not the case. I am sure there are some members that are like that, but I have yet to meet them! I have approached a dock on my modest little sailboat, and had the owner of the million dollar yacht, catch my lines, help me tie up, and offer me a drink upon arrival. Granted, I have found the same type of friendliness from boaters in general, but certainly more so from club members.
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  #28  
Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
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?

Brian
The initiation fee for 2012-13 at SPYC is a bit north of that figure for those over 40 (I've inquired, but am not a member). I have attended a number of events, sponsored by other organizations, at several of its local facilities. It is an elegant club, and it sponsors many regattas and other activities.

St. Pete and environs also support several yacht clubs of the "working" type, with dues a fraction of SPYC, fewer activities, and serviceable if smaller and less elegant facilities.

To my understanding, each of these clubs has reciprocity with many others in Florida. Each has good sailors, racers and cruisers and others, as members. Each has its own social scene and personality.

There are likely similar choices among clubs in many harbor towns. Nothing wrong with choosing that which best suits, or (my choice, at least for the time being) none at all.

To more directly answer to the OP's question - ask around to find out about clubs of interest, and don't be afraid to make a direct inquiry at a club if that seems best. Good luck!
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  #29  
Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

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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!! ......
If you can make the math work, it's a great idea. We just don't take slips in many places at all.

We have taken a slip from time to time at a yacht club as a guest, sometimes we must pay, sometimes not. It's been a real crap shoot on whether we've felt comfortable. We've never been treated rudely, but can get the subtle feeling of being any outsider or, on the opposite end, the need to socialize with 100 of your new closest friends.
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  #30  
Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Membership Etiquette

We have belonged to the oldest YC on the Chesapeake for 7 years. I can echo all sentiments above except Tommays. Reciprocitity for us not only exists in the Chesapeake, put when we have traveld to Long Island, Newport and Nnorth we have been welcomed and also helped by a few of them including people willing to let us borrow their cars for provisioning etc.

While you want to check the Yacht club for its financial acumen, which is a good idea, it should be noted that all 114 slip holders at our club own our club and vote on its fees unlike a marina which is take it or leave it. We had our first slip increase in 5 years this year and are highly competitive with marinas around us.

At our club there is no pressure to participate in activities, but they are available. We have a sail fleet which has rendezvous for cocktails every three weeks or so if you want to join in.

Another big difference is the commradiere that T37chef mentioned. As opposed to a marinia where the only people you talk to are the immediate slipholders next you you or on your pier our club has a pretty integrated group of sailors who will helop on projects, we have seminars with outside speakers, etc.

Another important part of the commradiere are the AMIRALS. I have found its sometimes good for my wife to hang out with the other admirals at the club aso they can commiserate together how we all "yell orders" at them, and for sharing similar sailing experiences.

Sometimes they just get together and take a boat out as a group

It is a financial decision as well as a social one.
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