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Old 06-01-2018, 07:44   #1
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Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

The question may be rhetorical as Iíll probably join for at least a year just to be able to experience everything that the GLCC offers. The price of admission and dues seem a little steep though and Iím wondering if anyone can weigh in on its value, particularly in the age of ActiveCaptain and other resources both printed and electronic?
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Old 06-01-2018, 08:22   #2
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

Been sailing on Lake Ontario since 1984. First I heard of them. What do you get for the money? There are good cruising guides for the lakes.
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Old 06-01-2018, 15:46   #3
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

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Been sailing on Lake Ontario since 1984. First I heard of them. What do you get for the money? There are good cruising guides for the lakes.
The Great Lakes Cruising Club

Precisely what I'm wondering. The main feature seems to be updated reports and first hand observations of harbors, anchorages, etc. Compared to Waterway Guides, Richardson's, ActiveCaptain et al combined, the GLCC seems rather pricey. Though I can afford to critique the service myself, I thought I'd see if anyone can endorse them.
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Old 06-01-2018, 16:05   #4
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

I was a member for a few years while sailing mostly Lake Superior. I only found two of their services to be of any value to me. One was the discounted access to the online education sessions, and the other was the harbour reports.

The former service was available to anyone, but GLCC members got a small discount (25%? I forget). The harbour reports are good, but I found that most of the info was already available via various print and online guides.

I think if youíre located in an area which has lots of members, you might be able to benefit from the camaraderie and social aspects. I didnít see any of those benefits being on the Canadian side of Lake Superior.

I let my membership lapse after about three seasons. There just wasnít enough value for me.
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Old 06-01-2018, 18:29   #5
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

I like Active Captain.
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Old 06-01-2018, 18:35   #6
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

They have been around since 1934, decades before published cruising guides. Other than a social organization Iím not sure how relevant it is today.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:48   #7
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

D,
I have sailed the Great Lakes for over 30 years. I have never belonged to any club/organization. I believe that doing your own homework before a cruise adds to your experience level. Also, if everything is known beforehand it removes any spontaneity from the experience. However,for some, it might provide an added comfort level and the camaraderie that some need when cruising. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 09-01-2018, 06:16   #8
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

I like really, down to earth critical information. Cruising guides NEVER give derogatory, critical information.

Guides often indicate where to eat and places to visit, but I have NEVER read one that gives a hard stated evaluation of harbors and anchorages ... only "pleasant", information.

If I had ever read how utterly bad Fairport Harbor is for anchoring because of all the sometimes huge powerboats that just aimlessly go back and forth until 10 or 11 pm ... every &$#*^&@&*$% day ... sometimes actually circling sailboats at anchor ... fast ... I would have avoided that hellllo place like the plague.

I don't need to read a goody goody reason to go somewhere.
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Old 09-01-2018, 06:41   #9
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

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I like really, down to earth critical information. Cruising guides NEVER give derogatory, critical information...
The GLCC was founded in 1934 to share cruising information among its members. It is still our core purpose. Our famous Log Book and Harbor Reports contains decades of detailed observations by our members, who have personally visited the areas, anchorages, harbors or waterways described in the individual reports.

That information — over 1,200 separate reports — is available through this Web site to our members...

... Unlike commercial products, our harbor reports are constantly updated. They are maintained by our members in this "wiki" format on the Web. All GLCC members are, of course, encouraged to contribute their own observations, so we can continue to keep the reports up-to-date and state-of-the-art...


Excerpted from ➥ About the Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) | The Great Lakes Cruising Club

The GLCC is NOT a fan club, and has no commercial interest in promoting any particular place or service.
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:41   #10
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

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D,
I have sailed the Great Lakes for over 30 years. I have never belonged to any club/organization. I believe that doing your own homework before a cruise adds to your experience level. Also, if everything is known beforehand it removes any spontaneity from the experience. However,for some, it might provide an added comfort level and the camaraderie that some need when cruising. Good luck and safe sailing.
Thanks to all whoíve responded. I probably should have better emphasized that it is the informational resources I am interested in and much less any sense of belonging, camaraderie or social opportunity. It is precisely homework and preparedness that I have in mind. Iíve experienced, through a lifetime of boating, a career in steering airplanes and other pursuits, that no matter how well prepared, conditions or circumstances invariably pop up and furnish me with more than ample opportunity for spontaneity.
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Old 15-01-2018, 08:11   #11
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

My wife and I went to the Toronto Boat Show this past weekend and came upon their booth. The conversation with the representative was exactly what GordMay and others above mentioned. We came home and evaluated if there was value in membership and came to the conclusion there wasn't for us. If you see value in being a member and taking advantage of some of the information and just flying a member burgie than that is up to you. I should mention that we sail in the Georgian Bay area and have never encountered a situation where I wished I had more info that perhaps the GLCC might offer.
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Old 15-01-2018, 09:51   #12
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

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My wife and I went to the Toronto Boat Show this past weekend and came upon their booth. The conversation with the representative was exactly what GordMay and others above mentioned. We came home and evaluated if there was value in membership and came to the conclusion there wasn't for us. If you see value in being a member and taking advantage of some of the information and just flying a member burgie than that is up to you. I should mention that we sail in the Georgian Bay area and have never encountered a situation where I wished I had more info that perhaps the GLCC might offer.
Very wise mottseng. We ended up joining the GLCC at the TO Boat Show after getting their pitch. Sounded interesting, and Iím generally supportive of organizations that are trying to take collective action towards an issue (in this case, boating on the GLs).

But like I said, after about three years I concluded there was insufficient value for the money for me. Mainly I found the anchorage reports to be good, but not unique. And any of the social connections were impossible given my location (not that Iím much of a socializer anyway). But others will measure things differently, and I certainly wish no ill towards the group.

Tellingly perhaps, we then joined the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) shortly after dropping the GLCC. I just let my membership lapse after about five years, mainly for similar reasons: little value for the money for me.
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Old 15-01-2018, 10:06   #13
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

Mike, thanks for adding your input and experience. It confirms my decision not to join.
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Old 15-01-2018, 10:44   #14
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

I'm a Great Lakes part-time cruiser, so I appreciate your input as well. I looked at the price, "... initiation fee ($90 USD) and the yearly recurring dues ($120 USD)." I'd like to be a member to support the community, but considering it's probably all-volunteer, I wonder why it's so expensive. Other than a web site, a quarterly magazine, and a burgee, I do not see any expenses. I've not seen the magazine, but for $30 an issue, it must be something.
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Old 15-01-2018, 11:25   #15
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Re: Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) Worth It?

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I like really, down to earth critical information. Cruising guides NEVER give derogatory, critical information.

Guides often indicate where to eat and places to visit, but I have NEVER read one that gives a hard stated evaluation of harbors and anchorages ... only "pleasant", information.

If I had ever read how utterly bad Fairport Harbor is for anchoring because of all the sometimes huge powerboats that just aimlessly go back and forth until 10 or 11 pm ... every &$#*^&@&*$% day ... sometimes actually circling sailboats at anchor ... fast ... I would have avoided that hellllo place like the plague.

I don't need to read a goody goody reason to go somewhere.
Try Active Captain. It's free and they are based on user feedback. You have to read between the lines but you will see critical information.

30-40yrs ago, GLCC was probably great as there was no other option. Today...there are other options.
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