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post #11 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

$6000 for the initiation fee, then about $5-6000 per year depending on boat length. So the first year was $12000. Marinas around here are about $5000-6000 a year for a boat that size, but no initiation fees.
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post #12 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

How many people do you know that have never been on an airplane? Of course, there are some, but I'll bet it's much fewer than would have been the answer 30 years ago. Fewer still 30 years prior to that.

The point is that people in general want varied experiences now and they are within reach. The local yacht or country clubs used to be the best place in town to entertain yourself or your kids. That money can now be used for a trip to Europe or a winter bareboat cruise in the Caribbean. People don't want to be locked into one thing anymore.

My family belonged to a yacht club, when I was a kid. I never have as an adult, but have been recruited by members to join several. I don't want to be locked down. I don't want to feel obligated to attend events, if I have a better offer that weekend. I really don't want member work hours obligations.

I currently belong to a country club and an upland bird hunting preserve. The Country Club hass dwindling membership and they keep throwing assessments at the members to plug operating losses. Everyone is getting tired of spending more and more, when we all attend less and less. I no longer golf, so it's strictly social and I see these same people elsewhere. The "status" of being a member has zero interest to me. The club is beautiful, the membership is nice but not snotty and the staff are great. We just don't go.

The hunting preserve is different, because it's generally the only place I can go to do this. Almost gone are the days of hunting on public land, like I did as a kid. I no longer sit and wait for big game, like deer. I much prefer to walk a field with a flushing dog. I love watching the dog, whether we ever see a bird and the exercise is nice too. The point is, I belong to and use that club in the winter, because it's essentially the only option for the activity. No yacht club has that advantage.

I think the one's that are just that good, are well located where there is ample disposable income or have some serious advantage in providing access to sailing, when nearby public marinas don't, will make it. The rest are doomed, I'm afraid. People don't want them like they used to.
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post #13 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

Minni is right about the end of the club era... A few will survive on their snob appeal the rest have way more downside than up. Virtual clubs for racing... or meeting at restaurants and so on may replace the bricks and more clubs. The restaurants will become public and the slips will be available to anyone who pays. Launch service will be private pay as you go services.

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post #14 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

I wonder if there is another local factor too. I don't have the stats, but I think the percent of household budgets spent on eating out has increased over the years. That would mean more options would become available too. It used to be that the club's restaurant was a real social and culinary draw, to accommodate the lack of options. No shortage now. Usually better. This trend would reduce disposable income too. My young kids definitely eat out way more than I did at their age, by order of magnitude.


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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

I belonged to a sailing club for several years, and at one point was an officer. The club that I was a member of did not have any facilities, but it rented space from another yacht club for meetings. The goal of the club was to get boat owners that wanted crew and competent crew together. I met some GREAT people through the club, and had some great experiences sailing on other people's boats. When I teach, I STRONGLY suggest that my students join this club to try it out.

However, the question is why I am not a member. I let my membership lapse twice for several reasons. One of which is the "clickey" nature of every club. The same people would always sail and socialize with the same people. After belonging to the club for over 5 years, one of which I was an officer, I was socializing before a meeting when a more senior member of the club came up to me and asked; "and who are you?"

I made an effort to sail with different people whenever I could, and to this day found that the best education of all of the boating related classes that I have attended. Unfortunately, I felt that there were not enough boat owners or crew that would do this.

Another issue is that I started to question the value of membership. Dues were about $100 every year. Dues were collected and much of the money went to an insurance company and *sometimes* recognition for selected members. Meetings were open to the public, and the club where meetings were held did quite well at the bar, so that wasn't it. It seemed that *the* primary reason for dues was to pay for an insurance policy on the club.

A concern that the officers of the club had is that members would not participate in club events. In my attempt to address this, one year I organized a club event and was able to get some of the money in the treasury for a memento to all that participated in the event (a $3 monogramed LED light). The concept of having some memento seems not to have been grasped by the club, as it did not happen again. Also it turned into a headache for me because 30% of the lights were DOA. Further, I was disapointed by the example that several of the officers of the club would set by never attending the public meetings.

The officers of the club stated their concern for declining membership, yet they were unwilling or unable to implement any kind of change to encourage new members. For example; I sat through several board meetings where the officers debated making the club roster available "on-line" yet the idea was continually resisted because making this change could raise privacy concerns. I finally addressed this with the board by suggesting that members be allowed to "opt-out" of the on-line roster. The next year the club implemented the change! To the best of my knowledge, no one ever opted out.

As a final example that I can think of off the top of my head; there were some members of the club (like members of SailNet) that were experts on everything, and would bicker about anything and everything. One example; I shared information about a deal on a Rocna anchor with the membership, and this sparked an anchor debate where these "experts" were challenging my motivation, experience, and seamanship. I was neither promoting nor relegating the Rocna, I just stated that there was a deal on one if anyone was interested. Unfortunately, you can't put someone on "Ignore" in real life as easily as you can in SailNet. I could cite other examples...

I am sure that if I reflected longer on this topic I could come up with other reasons. I had hoped that my leaving the club the first time would show that I was not happy with the way that the club was run. After a two year hiatus, I returned for two more years, yet I found that things were still the same. To put it simply, I decided that I was not right to be a member of this club.

I have returned to a couple of the the club's "public" meetings because I wanted to hear the speakers. Both times I have been greeted warmly by many members, and I have thouroughly enjoyed the experience. It has been suggested to me that I join again, but I feel that would be like marrying the same woman three times.
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post #16 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

One major advantage of a private club of any kind is being a safe haven from all the buttheads who invent all the awful things the 1%ers are sure to be doing. Sure, there are idiots in every social echelon, but it's tiring to hear one is awful, by definition, just because they worked hard, took risk and became successful.

Another advantage, with clubs like the hunting preserve, is there are no anti-gun, anti-hunting people around to criticize. Mind you, the only guns around are over-under shotguns worth thousands of dollars each, often tens of thousands believe it or not. It's not a place for AR15s. Still, people pay for privacy (legal privacy).

Not sure many yacht clubs are necessary for either of these issues. All marinas are wealthy. You have to be well in the upper half of wealth, probably top 10%, if you own any boat at a marina, even the smallest.


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post #17 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I belonged to a sailing club for several years, and at one point was an officer. The club that I was a member of did not have any facilities, but it rented space from another yacht club for meetings. The goal of the club was to get boat owners that wanted crew and competent crew together. I met some GREAT people through the club, and had some great experiences sailing on other people's boats. When I teach, I STRONGLY suggest that my students join this club to try it out.

However, the question is why I am not a member. I let my membership lapse twice for several reasons. One of which is the "clickey" nature of every club. The same people would always sail and socialize with the same people. After belonging to the club for over 5 years, one of which I was an officer, I was socializing before a meeting when a more senior member of the club came up to me and asked; "and who are you?"

I made an effort to sail with different people whenever I could, and to this day found that the best education of all of the boating related classes that I have attended. Unfortunately, I felt that there were not enough boat owners or crew that would do this.

Another issue is that I started to question the value of membership. Dues were about $100 every year. Dues were collected and much of the money went to an insurance company and *sometimes* recognition for selected members. Meetings were open to the public, and the club where meetings were held did quite well at the bar, so that wasn't it. It seemed that *the* primary reason for dues was to pay for an insurance policy on the club.

A concern that the officers of the club had is that members would not participate in club events. In my attempt to address this, one year I organized a club event and was able to get some of the money in the treasury for a memento to all that participated in the event (a $3 monogramed LED light). The concept of having some memento seems not to have been grasped by the club, as it did not happen again. Also it turned into a headache for me because 30% of the lights were DOA. Further, I was disapointed by the example that several of the officers of the club would set by never attending the public meetings.

The officers of the club stated their concern for declining membership, yet they were unwilling or unable to implement any kind of change to encourage new members. For example; I sat through several board meetings where the officers debated making the club roster available "on-line" yet the idea was continually resisted because making this change could raise privacy concerns. I finally addressed this with the board by suggesting that members be allowed to "opt-out" of the on-line roster. The next year the club implemented the change! To the best of my knowledge, no one ever opted out.

As a final example that I can think of off the top of my head; there were some members of the club (like members of SailNet) that were experts on everything, and would bicker about anything and everything. One example; I shared information about a deal on a Rocna anchor with the membership, and this sparked an anchor debate where these "experts" were challenging my motivation, experience, and seamanship. I was neither promoting nor relegating the Rocna, I just stated that there was a deal on one if anyone was interested. Unfortunately, you can't put someone on "Ignore" in real life as easily as you can in SailNet. I could cite other examples...

I am sure that if I reflected longer on this topic I could come up with other reasons. I had hoped that my leaving the club the first time would show that I was not happy with the way that the club was run. After a two year hiatus, I returned for two more years, yet I found that things were still the same. To put it simply, I decided that I was not right to be a member of this club.

I have returned to a couple of the the club's "public" meetings because I wanted to hear the speakers. Both times I have been greeted warmly by many members, and I have thouroughly enjoyed the experience. It has been suggested to me that I join again, but I feel that would be like marrying the same woman three times.
Yes I had similar experiences. It’s the “politicking” which ruined it.
I remember once my wife and I decided that the foyer of the club needed repainting. In the past the Commodore just did this in many areas as the ongoing maintainence didn’t need debate or approval if the cost was minimal ( less than $75) . This work was done during January when most members didn’t use the club so not to impact meetings etc.

A few of the social members when they returned didn’t like the color so they ranted and raved about the lack of approval and that the membership needed to vote on the color. This small mindedness was so intense about what the issue was about, you’d have thought I’d embezzled money.

They all thought they had the right to an opinion even though they paid bare minimal fees compared to the boaters.
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post #18 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Not sure many yacht clubs are necessary for either of these issues. All marinas are wealthy. You have to be well in the upper half of wealth, probably top 10%, if you own any boat at a marina, even the smallest.
Not sure I can relate to any of that, but certainly my experience is a bit different than this....the marina my boat is currently in has about 300 boats, and probably half belong to middle class folks.....I certainly dont' know everyone there but the folks I do know are electricians, plumbers, welders, an ICU nurse, teachers, retired navy and air force, and some folks who work at the port. Definitely not an upper 10% scene!
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post #19 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

I am a past Commodore and Vice Commodore of a sailing club in North Florida - ( no longer a member due to move) we had a pool ,bar, dock, slips , Jr sailing program , reasonable rates and held numerous regattas each year - but was still a challenge to keep membership up - my kids grew up there and there used to be a lot of families with kids involved with many having their own boats - mostly under 30 feet - lots on trailers.
I just don't think many of those type of families are around now , at least not as many - so waht you have are clubs full of old farts - which might be fine for us old farts - but does not drive membership as much.

I keep a boat in Cocoa area now - there are a couple of yacht clubs - but with my kids older grown and gone - I don't have the interest or need in joining a club, sitting around a bar and BS's with others just has no interest - I like sailing clubs - not interested in Yacht Clubs - but for sailing clubs to thrive they need participation of kids - which in turn gets the parent involved - kids and young families just arent sailing like they used to.
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post #20 of 100 Old 12-14-2019
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Re: Joining Sailing/Boating and Yacht Clubs

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pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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