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post #4 of Old 12-13-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

There are so many different kinds of clubs from virtual, to member owned, to full service clubs.

I was an officer and Commodore of a full blown club and member for 10 years. Aside from boat slips, the social aspect at the time was important for my wife to learn sailing and commradiere of other women sailors.

However the clubs politics ruined the last few years of our experience, probably because I got involved in it as the Commodore. The club was failing financially slowly. Was not run as a business, but run as a place to party. The club was held up financially by the resident members ( those with boats) paying over $5000 a year. The social members only paid $500 and they got a pool with that. This group became the the loudest at meetings and any attempt to increase their fees was met with threats. Meanwhile the boaters who supported the club financially really just wanted a safe place for their boats and weren’t interested in partying at the club on the weekend. They were out boating many times with each other.

The politics of this lead to a definite conflict. They wanted a cheap neighborhood place to party and actually resented the “yacht club “ history and it’s officers and tradition.

This discourse drove people away as well as their prices up for slips and it became a cyclical process. This clubs members were not willing to work on beautification projects together and felt they paid their fees to not to have to do that. I watched other successful member clubs who had healthy participation. They had some hour requirements. The only successful financially clubs controlled their social me,bet ship and their voting rights, and ran them as businesses too. While social members would want a restaurant, parties, they weren’t willing to support it financially.

My point is the politics of the club may be a real turnoff to membership. The club has to decide whether it’s a serious yacht club with boating/ sailing or a drinking party club for its neighborhood.

It has been and always will be a discussion of dwindling membership. Reputation helps drive increased membership as do its members attitudes to outsiders.

I was a member of CBCYA for years and have many many good friends from their who I continue to boat with.
Saying that I am glad we left where we were and find that our boating experiences have improved since we did.
We didn’t need planned parties or some member waiting at the dock for me to return from my weekend out to complain about the club or another member.

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