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Old 12-11-2006, 19:24   #1
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Yacht clubs...

I am still doing lots of learning before I leave, and after having ready Lin and Larry in several different places they mention yacht clubs in passing, but seem to use them a great deal. Now I know that most clubs are not all that you would expect from thier reputations in general (blue blood, exclusive, expensive, etc.) but they do have thier uses such as occasional guest slip. What are everyones experiences with them. Would it be worth to join one for the connections they provided around the world cruising?

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Old 12-11-2006, 19:41   #2
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There are 3 Yacht Clubs in Hobart, plus 3 Sailing Clubs (the difference is, apparently, that Yacht Clubs are afiliated with the National Federation, whereas Sailing Clubs are not, or so I am told). Only one of the yacht clubs has the typical blue-blood, exclusive, expensive sort of feel about it, the others are friendly, less formal, with a more "working class" feel about them. I am a member of one of the latter clubs. It probably doesn't have reciprocal rights agreements with as many clubs as the posh one does, but it feels right for me.
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Old 12-11-2006, 21:23   #3
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Elkhorn Yacht Club Moss Landing, Ca. We have recognized recipricol privelidges world wide, and offer the same to virtually all other yacht clubs. The benefits? anywhere you travel, you have a place to socialize with like minded people. A place to shower, and usually a guest dock to tie off for a night or two at discounted or no charge. And, a social network worldwide. That said, not all yacht clubs recognize recipricol privelidges, and yes, there allot of blue blazer clubs out there. We are not one of those. In fact, if you wear a blue blazer into our club, you may be expected to buy the house a round (at least from me). Not all clubs are created equal.
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Old 13-11-2006, 01:30   #4
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Na Hoa Holomoku of Hawaii Yacht Club. 150 families strong. Dress in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops, teach kids and adults to sail and generally is a club designed to help sailors. No slips, no clubhouse but about 20 club owned boats that members can share.
$24 a year for off island members. Recognized by HYRA and USSailing. Great newsletter that I publish monthly.
Lots of people recognize us and give us reciprocal privileges even though we don't offer a posh clubhouse, tennis courts or a swimming pool.
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Old 13-11-2006, 06:06   #5
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Fairfield Harbour Yacht Club in New Bern, NC. You have to live in FFH to join, dues are $30 per year, and it's reasonable to live here (We did move here for other reasons, good cruising grounds, reasonable cost of living, easy access to big water), but the Yacht Club is a nice plus. There is no building to maintain because we meet at the community center. Regular seminars, parties, and lots of cruising, from overnight to 3 months at a time, available to both power and sail. Attending the first meeting, it might look like a geriatric yacht club but there are many active folks here, some have circumnavigated, some regularly take off for extended cruising. I'm not a real estate sales person, just pointing out that this is probably one of many similar organizations.
http://www.fairfieldharbouryc.org/index.htm

Has anyone used reciprocal privileges along the ICW waterway? Understand the Savannah Yacht Club (which we have passed occasionally) does not offer them.

We haven't used any reciprocal privileges yet, but we're off to San Diego for Thanksgiving (by plane, not boat) ...Maybe we'll test it and have a drink at the bar of the San Diego Yacht Club!

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Old 13-11-2006, 10:09   #6
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At most of the yacht clubs I have visited by boat, we were generally welcomed irregardless of our membership (or not) in some other yacht club. The further you are from home, and the more remote the area, the more welcome you will be, it seems.

At one club where we did inquire about recipricol priveleges, the answer came back "no, we don't do that, but we'll gladly rent you a mooring for the night, and with that comes temporary membership in our club with full access to all our facilities..."
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Old 13-11-2006, 11:09   #7
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I've had nothing but great experiences with all yacht clubs - blue blood or not. They are very welcoming, serve to keep overnight mooring costs down, and employ local college kids often (who you should tip).

I grew up associated with a small YC called KPYC (Kittery Point Yacht Club). It no longer exists, but it is directly responsible for helping me reach from "guy who wants to sail" to "guy who lives on a boat."
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Old 13-11-2006, 13:11   #8
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They're like private golf clubs.... but take up mooring / anchoring space in our harbors.

Some are inexpensive and welcoming... others expensive and snotty.

In general where there's lots of money the yacht clubs are pretty snotty.

Go figure how that relates to sailing...
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Old 13-11-2006, 13:15   #9
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We belong to the Seaford Yacht Club here in VA. We are fortunate to have a club house and a marina. We do about 70% of all the work ourselves and have no full time employees other than a few folks that do the indoor cleanup and grass mowing. All the other work is done by members or contracted. We put on our own monthly dinner meetings and have several parties and a weekly happy hour. Dues are about $350 / year. Event prices are just about at cost. You can rent a boat slip for about 1/2 the going commercial rate. We do have a membership process and an application with a review that requires 2 member sponsors. To date no application has ever been denied. We do have a membership cap that limits the membership count. Because the size of the club house is limited we have restricted the count so that we don't overflow the fire marshal restrictions. To date I don't think anyone has had to wait more than 3 months. We have a board of directors that set the budget and committees that do most all the work. The fact that it is largely volunteer keeps the snooty people away.

We enjoy reciprocity with various clubs and we also have many social and boating functions including racing, cruises, and education. While there are clubs near that charge large amounts of money to support larger more elaborate facilities. If you have a large building with even a few staff it takes some heavy dues to finance a private club. If you have a restaurant you also end up with minimums to keep the place private and operating in the black. Large health clubs and swimming pools start to make the finances of being private really hard.

Yacht clubs come in all sorts of flavors and by and large are more about having fun than anything else. We also have a club near us that has no club house or facilities and they put up a pretty solid race program. You can form a paper yacht club very easily.

As far as reciprocity goes it isn't always just a matter saying you are a member of some club. The normal process is for the Commodores to exchange letters of invitation. These extend the access of the club facilities to the other club. It usually outlines what you can get for free or at a low cost and what limits you are expected to obey. One free night with perhaps an electric charge on a space available basis is not uncommon. If your club has nothing to extend it is not all that reasonable to expect you'll be offered much more, but asking first with a formal letter might just be enough. I know it would at our club.
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Old 13-11-2006, 16:01   #10
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Thanks All,

I've been considering joining the Fort Worth Yacht Club (yeah, thats a little funny, but not nearly as good as the Abilene Sailing Association to which my father in law is a charter member in good standing.) It sounds like being a member has some pretty nice perks mainly in the chance to meet with and sail with like minded people. I still have some time, and right now my new daughter is keeping me plenty busy!

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Old 13-11-2006, 18:09   #11
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There are many clubs around and joining one where you feel welcome and want to participate is a worthwhile experience. Some of my best Friends after moving to VA are in the club we belong to now. Some of them even sail a power boat.
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Old 13-11-2006, 23:06   #12
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And some of them have even gone multi-hull!!! ======
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Old 14-11-2006, 00:14   #13
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Local Character

20 odd years ago I lived in New Zealand at one of the most special spots. Just outside of Whitianga the area Mercury Bay (great cruising) I would go racing with a friend on his 1/4 tonner. The area is very rural so mostly racing was an odd collection of farmers . The yacht club was named the "Mercury Bay Yacht club". The owner of an island in the area Sir Michael Fay decide to challenge for the America's Cup in Fremantle, the challenge was issued from the local yacht club. At the time of his challenge the yacht club clubhouse was an old rusty station wagon on the beach. I guess at heart no matter what the dress code is is irrelevant. Maybe they have a building now, but I bet there is the same collection of characters.

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