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Old 12-07-2014, 19:46   #1
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Marinas or Yacht Clubs?

Whatís preferred? Weíre retiring in Sept, 2015, with a Manta in the 38-40 range at the top of my wish list right now. The plan is summer-seasonal berthing in Toronto, and winter cruising south.
YCs look like a better deal than Marinas, when cost averaged over a few years, but whatís the general consensus?
I might be restricted to a marina, regardless, because the few marinas that take cats up here are space restricted, and so far it hasnít been easy to find a marina that will take me.
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Old 12-07-2014, 20:47   #2
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

Congratulations on your retirement. Personally, I'm delighted with my membership at a yacht club as my family and I have been active in many of the club's activities. The Junior Sailing Program got all three of my children to participate in a sport that taught them decision-making skills at an early age. My wife and I have quite a few friends that we sail and socialize with. On top of that, the cost to keep our boat in one of the Club's slips is about the lowest in our community. However, we did have to pay a fairly hefty initiation fee and there are monthly dues above and beyond the slip fees. Membership at some clubs is on an invitation-only basis - you can't just walk in and say, "I want to become a member.". Well, you could but it might not get you an application for membership. Some yacht clubs offer reciprocal privileges to members of other yacht clubs and this can be great when cruising.

Most marinas are just places to tie up a boat and that's exactly what many people want. We have stayed at many marinas in our travels and met some wonderful people there. There are many marinas that have first rate facilities.

There are a lot of cruisers who eschew yacht clubs as being the epitome of snobbery and eletism. Personally, I have found the opposite to be true. I hope you enjoy staying wherever you choose to park your boat.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 12-07-2014, 21:22   #3
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

There are just too many variables to make a generalization..
....However;

If becoming a member/shareholder of YC.... Look into the fiscal and management health.... as you are often buying into that risk.
Know that any dock construction has a calculated lifespan of 25 years.... so assess the age and condition before making any long term commitment.
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Old 12-07-2014, 23:21   #4
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

As a curmudgeon, I eschew yacht clubs and utilize public marinas.

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Old 13-07-2014, 12:50   #5
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

Yacht Clubs are just that, clubs. They offer a group of like minded people for a ready made social group. Especially nice if you are a racer, have children/grand children who could benefit from a sailing program, and/or a cruiser who likes to sail in a group.

A marins is just a place to park a boat. There may be amenities beyond bathrooms or not. No ready made social group. Usually cheaper than a Yacht Club if the club offers the amenities of a club like a dining room, bar, etc.

I've occasionally been a club member but long distance of residence from club or leaving the area has limited my time with them. Enjoyed the membership when I could take advantage of what the club offered but have never been a joiner so didn't have a strong affinity. If you like a club and can justify the expense, they have their value.

One thing I've found with marinas is there are lots of boats but very few people especially in the off season. Seems most people buy boats so they can pay slip rent and visit them on the 4th of July. Sort of like the Easter church goers. Don't expect to build up a boat oriented social circle in a marina.
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Old 13-07-2014, 20:13   #6
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

My experience since the early 70s is that every club and every marina are very different.
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Old 18-07-2014, 06:29   #7
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CITYGIRLSAILING View Post
Whatís preferred? Weíre retiring in Sept, 2015, with a Manta in the 38-40 range at the top of my wish list right now. .
My advice is why limit yourself? Think big!!

Buy this Manta and begin the adventure in paradise!!!!

Manta 40 Cruising Catamaran for sale
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Old 18-07-2014, 07:33   #8
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

If you find a YC in Toronto that'll take a big cat go for it. Belonging to a club on Lake Ontario has many advantages including reciprocals at most of the clubs on the lake.
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Old 18-07-2014, 08:33   #9
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Re: Marinas or yacht clubs?

Well, the kidís are all grown, and I personally never liked other peopleís kids very much at the best of times, so a family club atmosphere isnít really what weíre looking for.

Weíre not really all that social, actually. Citygirl can fake it better than I can, but we generally prefer quality above quantity when it comes to social relationships. Still, the idea of a lounge, with a TV and other people around if cabin fever started to set in seemed sort of appealing.

For our cruising future, we do plan to live on the boat during our vaguely habitable Ontario summers, and cruise the rest of the year.

I was surprised that the one yacht club that might have space for a cat next year looked to be less per season than either of the two marinas I visited. Even with upfront initiation and other fees, it looked like the overall costs would be less after only a few years. Plus it had the clubhouse, and a restaurant and a bar of sorts.

They expected thirty hours of work out of us each season, but that didnít seem too onerous, and it was suggested that club members were a pretty helpful resource for members.

Reciprocals were a big draw, and Iíd be trying to get as much use of them as I could, trying to maximize my sailing experience while on the lake.

Pelagicís comment on financials was interesting: Iíd hate to join a club and then find there might be a special-assessment for members to put in new docks, or a new roof, whatever, even though Iíve only been a member for a week. Iíll have to investigate how that might apply.

So far the YC advantages are:
-Community, although Iím guessing marinas have that too in the high season.
-Cost-averaged pricing advantages, {For some clubs.}
-Reciprocals
-Clubhouse
The pros for the marinaís are:
-Availability
-Downtown location
-Berths close to shore, as opposed to on the ends. The finger berths seemed less affected by waves than on the dock ends. Am I right about this?
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Old 18-07-2014, 08:59   #10
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Re: Marinas or Yacht Clubs?

If you keep sailing for five years or so you will find that most self-help clubs around Toronto end up cheaper than a marina. The initial initiation fee is what deters most folks but many clubs allow that to be paid over a few years now. There are many clubs within 10 minutes of downtown reachable by public transportation. The problem will be the catamaran.

As for waves, all the clubs I know are in really sheltered locations.
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Old 18-07-2014, 10:42   #11
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Re: Marinas or Yacht Clubs?

It sounds like you are planning on free dockage thru reciprocals as the justification. I suspect you are overstating the value. You might want to check what marinas will give you free or discounted dockage before signing up (we've found many will let you come in even if you aren't a member anywhere for a reasonable rate).

Also, check on the extras. We almost joined the Detroit Yahct Club because they sold us on getting a cheap slip. It sounded too good to be true and you know what they say...

The problem was when you added all the extras up it was much cheaper to find a nice marina.

Another complication is many marinas have a yacht club, so you can't say a marina is just a place to park the boat. Many (even without a yacht club) have active communities.

I would say join a yacht club because you want to join the club not for alterior motives.
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Old 18-07-2014, 15:15   #12
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Re: Marinas or Yacht Clubs?

Don't know if you are at all interested in racing, but long ago in the SF Bay area one had to belong to an accredited YC in order to enter any races other than the "beer can" type on Friday evenings. Don't know if that is still true.

And FWIW, we gave up our YC membership when we left SF to go cruising many years ago. In our travels through the Pacific, we've only been denied access to a YC's facilities once. That was at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland... bunch of stuck up self important DHs IMO (at least at that time in the early 90s). Most YCs are happy to welcome overseas visitors no matter whether they are YC members themselves. Do be aware that even with "reciprocal" privileges many clubs expect payment for berthing. It may be at discounted rates, though. I'm sure that this varies widely with location in the world.

Hmmm... that turned into sort of a rant! Sorry about that...

Cheers,

JIm
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Old 18-07-2014, 17:07   #13
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Re: Marinas or Yacht Clubs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Don't know if you are at all interested in racing, but long ago in the SF Bay area one had to belong to an accredited YC in order to enter any races ...
It is still true. ... The only reason my father joined a yacht club in the 1960s was to be able to participate in sailboat races.
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