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Old 12-06-2014, 15:35   #1
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Yacht Club Reciprocity?

Is it worth joining a yacht club just for the reciprocity? How does this work? Do all yacht clubs recognize each other or do certain ones have agreements with others? Are services generally free at the reciprocating club or discounted?
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Old 12-06-2014, 15:48   #2
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

Various clubs have agreements with other clubs that the members of one club can have (limited perhaps) ability to use the facilities of the other.
Such as one night free dockage if available per month. You could have dinner at the visited club, and charges would appear on your home bill.

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Is it worth joining a yacht club just for the reciprocity? How does this work? Do all yacht clubs recognize each other or do certain ones have agreements with others? Are services generally free at the reciprocating club or discounted?
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Old 12-06-2014, 15:51   #3
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

for us on Lake Ontario....the answer is clearly a YES....we belong to a club and we have reciprocals on the USA side and the Canadian side......all of the clubs we have been to have great facilities ...power,wifi, pools, sauna and great bathrooms..

if it wasnt for reciprocals I would have never entered the Royal Canadian Yacht Club or the Boulevard Club etc.....

we could easily spend the boating season all over the lake without paying for one slip and with great company...the yaucht clubs are very friendly......around here the reciprocal usually offers 3 day at the club.....
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Old 12-06-2014, 15:55   #4
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

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for us on Lake Ontario....the answer is clearly a YES....we belong to a club and we have reciprocals on the USA side and the Canadian side......all of the clubs we have been to have great facilities ...power,wifi, pools, sauna and great bathrooms..

if it wasnt for reciprocals I would have never entered the Royal Canadian Yacht Club or the Boulevard Club etc.....

we could easily spend the boating season all over the lake without paying for one slip and with great company...the yaucht clubs are very friendly......around here the reciprocal usually offers 3 day at the club.....
Ok, that sounds great. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-06-2014, 16:05   #5
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

Our yacht club was a member of Yachting Club of America, which maintains a register of clubs offering reciprocal privileges (link => Reciprocity) You might want to check it out. We took advantage of reciprocity a number of times on the Chesapeake Bay.
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Old 12-06-2014, 16:22   #6
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

We dropped ours because things have changed since the time we joined. At first there was free or reduced fee for transient docks but it was limited to participating clubs. Now it doesn't matter if your a club member or not if you have $$ and they have an open slip it's yours.
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Old 12-06-2014, 17:31   #7
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

On the Gulf Coast almost all the clubs are members of the GYA. Reciprocity is automatic and full between them and other GYA clubs. Non GYA members are typically allowed full access to the facilities, member rates on rentals, dock space, ect. But unlike other GYA members you may have to pay for it at the time. Generally we don't allow cross charging to non-GYA clubs unless we have done business with that club in the past.

There are other advantages to being a member of a yacht club anywhere than cross charging however. Like if you need repairs and don't know which of the four local marinas do a decent job, or who to talk to about sail repair, where the good chandlery is, all of that information is freely available for the price of a drink at any yacht club anywhere in the world, and often the ticket to get to the bar is a YC membership.

The other suggestion is that many YC's have discounted rates for non-local members. We for instance offer a $10/month membership for people while they are out cruising.
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Old 12-06-2014, 17:57   #8
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

Depends on your cruising grounds. In some areas your yacht club membership is paid for with one night of docking. In other areas you'll never find a use for it. Size of boat also impacts how many clubs will be able to accommodate you.
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:05   #9
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

I was thinking of joining our local YC in Grand Rapids. Not sure what reciprocity that might bring.

Info - Reeds Lake - Grand Rapids Yacht Club

We were wondering about how much advantage membership is once we leave the US. Does the sharing end at our borders? (other than Canada as noted)
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Old 12-06-2014, 18:33   #10
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

The main reason for joining a yacht club is... to belong to a yacht club, because you want to be part of a community, as opposed to just being in a marina (aka parking lot). Though communities sometimes break out in marinas, too.

But yes reciprocals are a nice perk to club membership. Be warned that when you stay at a reciprocal club, it's still a club too, so it's a bit like staying at a friend's house, whereas a marina would be like a hotel.

After 7 years, we still love the club thing, including reciprocals.
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Old 12-06-2014, 19:22   #11
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

After belonging to the Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego for 14 years, I resigned from that club and joined the San Diego Yacht Club. My family and I have found the membership there to be very rewarding. Many aspects to our social life revolves around the club and many of our closest friends are also members.

SDYC offers reciprocal privileges to members of other yacht clubs with whom the reciprocity has been established. This includes a slip, if available, for the visiting yachtsmen's vessel, free of charge, for the first three nights. There are checks in place, though, for those who might try to abuse the hospitality of the club by staying for free for three nights, going somewhere else for a night and then trying to return for three more free nights.

However, I think it would be a mistake to join a yacht club merely for the reciprocal privilege. Some yacht clubs have significant initiation fees and monthly dues. More importantly, a yacht club can offer a gathering place for like-minded people to participate in the sport of their choice, share camaraderie, perhaps enjoy a meal or a beverage. Even though we have been cruising for four years now, I still treasure my membership and continue to stay in close touch with many members of my club.

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Old 13-06-2014, 08:36   #12
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
Is it worth joining a yacht club just for the reciprocity? How does this work? Do all yacht clubs recognize each other or do certain ones have agreements with others? Are services generally free at the reciprocating club or discounted?
Usually not as the yacht club dues can be more than transit moorage. So moorage is not FREE. Unless you are retired and your size boat probable not be able to use the reciprocating moorage. Yacht clubs are more for the social aspect of boating and prestige.

We joined a yacht club. The Eagle was the one of the largest boat, too large, and many time we could not got on club cruises and not once were we able to use the moorage. We joined for the social aspect mainly for my wife to get off the boat. We dropped the yacht club for several reason and would not join another one.
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Old 13-06-2014, 08:45   #13
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

One of our major reasons for joining a local yacht club was the excellent tennis courts and program.
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Old 13-06-2014, 11:47   #14
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Re: Yacht Club Reciprocity?

Your first challenge is finding a yacht club with openings for new members. You will be very fortunate to find one in New England without a long waiting list (3 years plus!!). Next challenge is the size of your vessel. Most yacht clubs will not have facilities to accommodate a 65ft vessel except perhaps at a mooring. I also remember that when I was a YC member, reciprocity was not generally available, and if it was, it was usually only between like (think membership fee/location) clubs.
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Old 13-06-2014, 12:00   #15
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Our club membership is paid for by the reciprocal privileges it provides. As others have pointed out that is not a slam dunk for everyone. Time of year makes a huge difference to reciprocal slip availability. We are winter boaters so we can use our reciprocals pretty well everywhere we go. In the summer that would not be true. Most clubs maintain a relatively small amount of dock for reciprocals and its first come, no reservations. Once that space is full you are a paying customer.
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