Originally Posted by speedoo
You bring up an important consideration, and I'd like to ask a few questions, as a former YC member, now considering joining one in a different location.
1. Can you say what you mean by "reasonably prominent"?. Examples, maybe?
A club that is recognized by other yacht clubs, perhaps for its activities such as sponsoring races etc. In Florida there are many facilities associated with condo or communities that like to call themselves "yacht clubs" for marketing
purposes but aren't recognized as a yacht club by any other than there own "members". In Florida, a "prominent club" might be one that is a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs. However, our own Club also recognizes, and extends reciprocity to members of, Clubs outside the Council such as the San Diego
Yacht Club, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Richmond Yacht Club, all of California
, etc. On the other hand, a group here-abouts that goes by the name "Redneck Yacht Club" won't quite get the same recognition. Generally, size, cost or prestige are not the determining factors. It is contribution the sport/community and courtesy to others.
2. How does a YC that does not enjoy a wide, national and perhaps international group of recip clubs gain them?
Generally, Clubs may extend reciprocity by their Secretaries sending Letter of Invitation to other Clubs which are routinely reciprocated if a club has facilities that it can extend to visitors. When we first arrived in Florida we were informed by office staff at one "Prominent" yacht club that we were unwelcome. I mentioned the matter to the Secretary of our Club in California
(that had just hosted a group from the club that had chartered several boats in SoCal and spent seveal nights at our Club docks). She promptly called the Commodore of the club here who promptly sent us a letter of apology and an invitation to visit/use his/their club/restaurant "on the house as their guests". We did not, but could have.
3. Is it your experience that most clubs always have recip slips and/or moorings available?
No, but if not, most have been very helpful with alternatives including making arrangements with nearby municipal marinas
at very discounted or no cost. Not always, but sometimes.