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Old 24-08-2015, 13:47   #16
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Re: Yacht Club 101

If you have money burning a hole in your pocket…

I suggest you go to another location, other than Kemah, to take your classes.

Where?

I suggest San Francisco Bay, during the summer months.

Where to take lessons?

There are several sailing schools in SF Bay area, but I suggest you look at Club Nautique (they have a nice website outlining their classes and they are the largest or most popular SailUS school in the USA, book your classes in the Sausalito location if possible because it is very close to the Golden Gate and is a very nice place to stay while in that area) and go for a week of classes and sailing there.

Why SF?
Because great sailing requires good wind and SF is the windiest city in the USA (even more windy than Chicago) with "world class" sailing during the summer months. It will be a "cool" summer trip (as the air temp on the water is cooler due to the 54 degree water). That would be a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of Galveston Bay during the summer months.

Why pick a windy location like SF?

Because you learn more by being challenged more. You will learn to reef in real reefing conditions (winds during summer months are often 20-30kn). There are currents and tides and LOTS of boat traffic for you to learn right of way and to practice sailing. It is a wonderful place to learn and to gain confidence in more challenging conditions that will make most other sailing seem "tame" in comparison. And, while you are sailing, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery too!

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Alternatives?

Go to someplace like LTD Sailing in Grenada (a CF Sponsoring Member) and get your classwork and practical experience on a boat in the Caribbean.
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Old 25-08-2015, 05:34   #17
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Re: Yacht Club 101

A great way to get exposure to sailing on many different boats and meeting people is to find out when evening or weekend races happen in your town and go out and walk the docks where crews are getting ready to head out to the race course. Ask if anyone needs crew. especially for weekly "beer can races", which are a lot more informal, skippers without full crews will be glad to take you onboard. You don't have to be an experienced racer. If you are friendly, enthusiastic, and are eager to learn, you may be asked to come back for more racing with that crew. The camaraderie among racers is great and it's a good way to meet people and make new friends. Many who crew on other people's race boats have their own cruising boats. They can give you good tips and help you learn. Besides all the upsides of that, it's FUN!
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Old 25-08-2015, 05:51   #18
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Re: Yacht Club 101

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
If you have money burning a hole in your pocket…
Definitely not the case, but it does sound like an awesome idea
Perhaps I could settle for a winter class here in Kemah one day when the north winds are in full force?
I notice a few classes where you only have to give 24 hour notice, so I could pick the weather to some extent.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakota View Post
A great way to get exposure to sailing on many different boats and meeting people is to find out when evening or weekend races happen in your town and go out and walk the docks where crews are getting ready to head out to the race course. Ask if anyone needs crew. especially for weekly "beer can races", which are a lot more informal, skippers without full crews will be glad to take you onboard. You don't have to be an experienced racer. If you are friendly, enthusiastic, and are eager to learn, you may be asked to come back for more racing with that crew. The camaraderie among racers is great and it's a good way to meet people and make new friends. Many who crew on other people's race boats have their own cruising boats. They can give you good tips and help you learn. Besides all the upsides of that, it's FUN!
hrm, good idea! In fact, they have Wednesday night races literally right outside my marina entrance. I watch them a lot of times, but have never taken the plunge and took my boat out to their race boat for fear of never having raced before. It gets pretty crowded.
I never thought about walking the docks and seeing if anyone needs crew. I will have to try that one Wednesday night.
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Old 25-08-2015, 05:55   #19
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Re: Yacht Club 101

Depends on your long range plans, when I moved my boat to easter Lk ONtario I looked into the yacht club next door to the marina I'm in.
Financially would have been a dumb move. Only going to be in that area a few years before I head out cruising and the initiation fees were not refundable, there was another fee you could get back after 10 years.
If I was staying in that area the cheaper mooring alone would have made it worthwhile. The break even point was 6 years compared to the higher price I pay for mooring at my current marina. I plan on being gone crusin' in 3-4 years.
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Old 25-08-2015, 12:31   #20
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Re: Yacht Club 101

Well I did hear back from one of the yacht clubs I was looking into. The commodore actually called me. Real nice guy.
We talked about several things and he sent me an email with info. It has everything, but no prices...

I suppose this one would fall into the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" category?

I just hate to sign all the papers, then have the guy say " okay sir, that'll be X thousand dollars plus a monthly fee"

Perhaps I will just stick with the plan and forget the yacht club for now.
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Old 25-08-2015, 12:54   #21
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Re: Yacht Club 101

For me, apart from the social aspect, the main point of joining a formal yacht club would be to take advantage of the reciprocal privileges, and visit some of the other clubs in the bay.
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:04   #22
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Re: Yacht Club 101

It's already been made clear that there are yacht clubs at all different price points and levels, and with varying amenities and interests.

We belong to a smaller yacht club - its guiding principles are self-help (including mandatory work hours) and low hassle. We don't have a staffed restaurant or mandatory entertainment spend. We all work on launch and haulout. There's racing and cruising, and a workshop available to members. Cost-wise, it's a bit less than most marinas, when you factor everything in. Our club has more young members than the posh clubs, so 30yr olds and their young families aren't out of place.

(you see lots of older people in yacht clubs because they have stayed with it. When it fits, it fits)

I think there's one common factor about yacht clubs vs marinas: a yacht club is a community, a marina is more like a parking lot. If you want to belong to a group of like-minded people, want to have people and resources to further your boating experience (and in turn are willing to share your experience and knowledge), want to have somewhere where you can wave and say hi to anyone there without being considered creepy... then you might be club material.

And oh man - reciprocal rights! it is so cool to be able to sail into another club and get a free nights mooring, to experience that club (and represent your club to them). In our area, we could cruise for a few weeks straight without spending a dime for transient slips.
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:06   #23
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Re: Yacht Club 101

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
Well I did hear back from one of the yacht clubs I was looking into. The commodore actually called me. Real nice guy.

We talked about several things and he sent me an email with info. It has everything, but no prices...



I suppose this one would fall into the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" category?



I just hate to sign all the papers, then have the guy say " okay sir, that'll be X thousand dollars plus a monthly fee"



Perhaps I will just stick with the plan and forget the yacht club for now.

You may want to ck out the Sea Scouts if you just want sail time.


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Old 25-08-2015, 13:15   #24
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Re: Yacht Club 101

You just need to ask, "how much are membership dues and initiation fees?" Also find out if there is a mandatory monthly food/drink fee or other costs involved. I don't think this stuff is a big secret. They are all different though! Other posts talk about this. I suggest you walk in, shake some hands, and get a feel for what they offer. If it's not a good fit, then try the next one. Yes, a lot of the members are going to be oldsters, and it's well known that many are drinking clubs with a sailing problem, but you never know....maybe you'll be the one to change the paradigm!
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:30   #25
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Re: Yacht Club 101

I belonged to one for quite a few years while my parents were alive. My father was an avid power boater and he and my mother enjoyed the social network. At least here in FL the average age was considerably higher than yours. Sad to say I catching up..

Many of the members were no longer in boating so the club was more of a social club. For those of us that were active, reciprocity was the primary attraction. In effect I was a member of every yacht club that were chartered. By that I mean had a mutual relationship in an overall group of yacht clubs. There were certain minimum standards that each club had to meet to become a member.

This reciprocity allowed me the use of any yacht club that was chartered for dockage, dining, fuel or whaterver. What I spent was billed back to my club which then billed me

Some clubs are more boating oriented. I crewed for a gentleman at another club for a bit over a year on the weekend races. There is another nearby club that sponsors a very active youth sailing program for Optimist dinghy races and lessons.

They are generally expensive. First there is an initiation fee, a monthly dues fee, and a monthly minimum spending. The minimum states that you will spend a certain amount at the club in food and/or drink. If you fall short, you will be billed for the difference.

At least with the clubs I was familiar with, there is a great deal of politics. People trying to become flag officers, others that just didn't like someone.

I found myself spending too much money for too little return. So I resigned with no regrets.

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Old 25-08-2015, 13:54   #26
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Re: Yacht Club 101

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I found myself spending too much money for too little return. So I resigned with no regrets.

Rich
I just received an email with pricing from another one of the local clubs I had been looking at.
Without going into too much detail on the prices that they sent me....all I can say is that hopefully Wednesday night racing, ASA certs and bare boat chartering works out instead
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:35   #27
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Re: Yacht Club 101

Maybe I got lucky with a good marina, people always stopping by to say hi, inviting each other over for post sail bevvies. Anytime anybody comes into the marina there are a bunch of people running to catch lines etc.
Have a great place to eat on site which we only have to pay for what we actually eat or drink. Launch day everybody hangs out until the last boat is in the water with the mast up. Maybe it's because just about all of us have sailing dogs, social event for both the 4 legged and two legged sailors. Everybody knows dog people are just more social.
PLus I saved a 4000$ non refundable initiation fee on top of yearly dues and my slip, the work days didn't bother me, only a couple days for the whole summer.
Can visit/stay a lot of places for 4000$ over 4 years for mooring.
IF I was staying in the area then joining would have made sense, can still pay for a jr. membership of some kind if I wanted to race with them, did enough dingy racing as a kid and young adult, I just want to be on the water enjoying myself with as little stress or bs as possible. Seen far to many people get bent right out of shape over club racing, no use for it at this stage of my life.
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:59   #28
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Re: Yacht Club 101

Although there are overlaps, it seems that the ASA courses are focused on cruising while the USSailing (United States Sailing Association) is more focused on racing. USSailing is the governing body for sail racing in the US, if that's any indication. I've done most of the ASA courses, and thought the quality largely depended on the individual instructor. I fully agree that if you know how to sail, you should challenge whatever sections you feel comfortable with. They just give you a test to pass (70%) and make you do a little walk around on a boat to see if you know names.

As far as hands-on sailing, I really recommend racing, even beer-can racing with a local club. As you so nicely put it, most of the yacht club members are "older", so they're not interested in running up to the foredeck for a quick pole set for the downwind leg. They'd really appreciate another sailor who can move around the boat and help with things, especially if they bring a six-pack with them. Check the local club for a crew-wanted bulletin board (almost always internet now), or ask around about who's looking. Do that for a couple seasons with an experienced captain and you'll learn or improve your sail trim, docking, close-in maneuvering, timing the boat over distance, and general boat handling. If you volunteer to help with the seasonal work on 'your boat', you'll get lessons in boat system maintenance and lots of bottom painting, all for the cost of a couple hours labor.
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Old 25-08-2015, 15:04   #29
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Re: Yacht Club 101

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
I just received an email with pricing from another one of the local clubs I had been looking at.
Without going into too much detail on the prices that they sent me....all I can say is that hopefully Wednesday night racing, ASA certs and bare boat chartering works out instead
Ya Vinny, I have to admit, as a club member for less than 1 year I'm a little culture and sticker shocked.

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Old 25-08-2015, 15:18   #30
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Re: Yacht Club 101

We looked at one a year ago. Very nice upscale place and the price seemed too good to be true...of course it was. By the time you added all the extras, it was cheaper to just pay for a slip.

From what I've seen, the recipricol privileges are not a big benefit but that depends a lot on what your cruising expectations are and what clubs give privileges (long distance cruisers generally not so much value).

The real reason to join one in my mind is for the social aspects.
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