Your post got me curious so I phoned Mosquito Creek claiming to have a 25 foot sailboat and here is what I learned (turned out to be useful to me). Many marina's will not list an owner on a reserve list for boats under 30 feet. The turn over is much higher amongst the smaller boats and the number of moorage slips is much higher compared to the larger boats. The woman says she has a much higher turn over in the smaller boat sizes and said to call back at the end of the month. I suspect if you call them once a month that in about 6 months you'll have a slip.
Sewell's is a smaller marina so I am guessing they won't have a listing. Having said that, when I searched for a marina, everywhere except Mosquito Creek were full up and I was worried. When I called Sewell's they had a spot open much to my surprise so I grabbed it instantly.
My long term goals are to move to our house in Qualicum Beach on the Island and I would like to moor my boat in Nanaimo, which is very difficult to get into. I just phoned them and they have the same policy of not reserving for boats under 30 feet. I told the woman I would call her about every 4 months and bug her for a space, but I also told here I don't want it until about three or four years from now. I said if I kept bugging her, she'd probably give me a space 4 years from now just to get rid of me; she laughed when I told her that.
I did some research
and I'll give you my philosophy (which I guarantee you isn't universally held) on yacht club membership
. There are two reasons I would belong to a yacht club (three actually but one doesn't count). First out stations are important to me. If a yacht club has some decent out stations (where you can stay for free), then joining seems worth while. Secondly, does the club have decent reciprocal agreements with other clubs so that cheapskates like me can save money
A club house isn't important to me as it usually means higher annual dues, and some will tack a food
bill onto your annual membership
, quarterly even if you don't eat there. Most yacht club's food
is okay to good, but not excellent, so the extra charge doesn't thrill me.
The third reason to join a club is to get reduce moorage fees
. This is great except the "best" clubs that cost $50,000 to join have unbelievable waiting lists. I'm told that Royal Vancouver Yacht Club has a 25 year waiting list for moorage- who needs that? Also if the cost of joining the club is high, it offsets the "discounted" moorage fees
so that they really aren't discounted.
Lastly some clubs have higher than I want to pay annual fees, again once you factor these fees in, the "discounted" moorage fees, aren't.
So with all the above caveats involved I sought out the cheapest yacht clubs on the coast that were mildly accessible to me; I came up with two.
The Ladysmith Yacht club was $350 to join but it bumped up its initiation fee to $500, but it doesn't have any out stations, but does have a club house - if that is important to you.
The Schooner's Cove Yacht Club is $500 to join and does have two out stations, but no club house (a good thing in my opinion, lower yearly dues). The two outstations are Duncan Cove and Silva Bay, both located in great areas to sail.
I consider these two clubs to be bargains since more and more folks will be moving and retiring on the Island (best weather
in all of Canada). I am thinking of joining the Schooner's Cove club as the reciprocal agreement list is substantially longer than the Ladysmith club. The annual dues for both are peanuts.
Lastly, another bargain I found, which probably means it will be a bear to gain entry into, but persistent enquiries over years will probably pay off, is the Vancouver Rowing Club at Stanley park. Check out their moorage fees, joining fees and annual dues. Very reasonable.
Ladysmith Yacht Club
Schooner’s Cove Yacht Club
Vancouver Rowing Club/Yachting
Listing of BC Yacht Clubs
Polite persistent calling is what is required to get some of the better moorages; most people call once, hear "No" and move on. I'm willing to bet getting into Mosquito Creek isn't that difficult.