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Old 22-11-2015, 20:06   #1
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Yacht club?

The wife and I just visit a yacht club in Tampa FL. and it looks like real fun and then I found out when we are going to be sailing next year you can go in and out of other yacht clubs and park there for awhile.... my questions ... what are the pro and cons of being a member and is there one better than the others
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Old 23-11-2015, 07:26   #2
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Re: Yacht club?

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Originally Posted by watermanmax View Post
The wife and I just visit a yacht club in Tampa FL. and it looks like real fun and then I found out when we are going to be sailing next year you can go in and out of other yacht clubs and park there for awhile.... my questions ... what are the pro and cons of being a member and is there one better than the others
If one belongs to a Club that is a member of the Florida Counsel of Yacht Clubs, club members are granted reciprocal privileges at other Counsel clubs. That typically includes one night at a guest dock or slip per visit without charge and subsequent nights at reduced rates, generally in the range of $1.25 per foot, which is quite a bit less than charges at municipal or private marinas. Further, if one can get a slip in the Club's marina, which often takes one to three years on a waiting list depending upon boat size, the costs of one's slip plus related charges (power, water, etc. depending upon the club) plus club dues is generally about the same as what one would pay for a slip, alone, at commercial marinas. One also commonly has a "spending minimum" at the Club's restaurant/bar, generally in the range of $75-$100 per month, but one will commonly spend that amount anyway so most don't consider that a factor.

As to whether one Club might be better than another, that depends upon what you are looking for. Some clubs are "Country Clubs" that happen to have marinas. Some have become little more than Dining Societies that grudgingly operate their marinas to subsidize the eating habits of the non-boat owning members; and, some are true yacht clubs, organized and oriented to support sailing and yachting that also happen to have a restaurant/bar. One can get a pretty good sense of which is which by looking at their memberships, their calendars of events/activities; and, the size/elaborateness of their restaurant menus/wine lists. Then pick the one that works for you.

FWIW...
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Old 23-11-2015, 11:46   #3
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Re: Yacht club?

Good answer by svHyLyte. My wife and I thought we would never join a yacht club as most of the ones we had any knowledge of were exclusive, expensive, and snobby. Then we found the Anacortes Yacht Club. It's membership fee was low. The dues are low (although they did go from 150 to 250 recently). Very casual. Active cruisers and active racers. Nice people. Reciprocal privileges to other club facilities. Florida is where I found some of the stuffiest and boring clubs in the US though. Like HyLyte says, pick one that suits you and do your research. You may have to get a sponsor to even get in for a dinner but you will probably be able to call their office (if they have a staffed office - ours does not) and get a tour and brochure. Many require a sponsor to get accepted but you can probably find a way around that. Ours does but all you have to do is ask someone and have a drink with them at the club and they'll help you out. BTW - we actually aren't current members but were for years and will probably rejoin this coming year. We were in between boats for a few years.
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Old 23-11-2015, 15:24   #4
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Re: Yacht club?

Thanks to both you....Gives me quite a bit to ponder. Our idea is to be around the virgin islands for the first 1-3 years if not longer and travel all around there. I just will need a good spot for the summer months to have it stored while we are back up north.
Thanks again for the advice.
Troy
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Old 23-11-2015, 16:27   #5
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Re: Yacht club?

I've avoided yacht clubs because to me they are for racing sailors or for socializing and drinking... none of these are reasons I sail. I am not the least bit anti social... but I sail to get away from the structure that I associate with "land". Yacht clubs obviously vary and some are expensive, fancy, exclusive and so on... other just a bunch of sailors and they may not even have a physical club. The main attraction for some is "reciprocal" privileges and things like moorings. I prefer to anchor. YMMV
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Old 23-11-2015, 17:40   #6
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Re: Yacht club?

alot of these pionts are very good and true....but I would suggest to try it, you can always leave, I am sure it would be a good experiance
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Old 24-11-2015, 04:51   #7
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Re: Yacht club?

We've never been yacht club members, but we have been guests at some different yacht clubs in Florida, Maryland and Rhode Island. We've always found the people at these yacht clubs friendly, engaging and with no less a variety of interests as cruisers who are not members of clubs.

We choose not to join a yacht club for economic reasons. The reciprocal benefit of visiting other yacht clubs would only have value if you were to spend time seeking these clubs while cruising and, even then, the benefits rarely keep the costs much lower than an occasional stay at a commercial marina. In addition, we would need to continue paying membership fees for our "home" yacht club even when we were cruising far from the home club and the majority of yacht clubs have restrictions that prevent living aboard your boat.
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Old 24-11-2015, 06:43   #8
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Re: Yacht club?

what I liked to hear was that if I was a member of the one in Tampa, as we sail threw the Caribbean, we can use other clubs. I just wish I had a list of witch ones.
and since we are semi - retired....I would like to be at different ones for a few days to a week.
If you join Marina Del Ray in Fajardo.....do you have a right to go to the ones in Virgin Islands, or in D.R.
I am trying to find the best one between Jamaica and the south east tip of the Caribbean
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Old 24-11-2015, 10:56   #9
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Re: Yacht club?

Waterman,

Formal reciprocal privlages are typically by geographic area. So if you join a GYA (Gulf Coast) club any other GYA club just allow you privlages. Outside of this formal reciprocity I have found that a member at any yacht club is often granted informal privlages almost anywhere in the world. In some cases these maybe restricted, or limited to about what an associate member of the hosting club has.

As an example, I am a member of a GYA club and frequently use clubs all over the gulf coast. For everything from dinner to dock space. In Jamaica the two yacht clubs also grant me full access to their clubs and docks when I am there, though no formal reciprocity exists. New York Yacht Club (the pinnacle of high end in the US) grants almost no one reciprocity to their downtown NY club, but does grant it to the sailing venues.

A quick email or call to a destination club will usually allow you to work things out, and they may ask for a letter of good standing from your home yacht club. But in my experience there is about a 99% chance that a membership card gets you access to all but the highest end clubs in the world.

The ones I know that grant very limited access even to other YC members...
New York YC
Royal London YC - Cowes
Royal Thymes YC
Monaco YC
Hong Kong YC

I am sure there are others. But there are probably 50 clubs world wide at this level of exclusivity.

Only you can answer if it is worth it to you. But as an example... I showed up at San Diego YC ragged and gross from a delivery. Showed my NOYC card and was immediatly granted access to showers, the dining room, the bar, and a great evening talking sailing with the members. Without my YC card I would have never gotten in the door.
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Old 24-11-2015, 12:03   #10
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Re: Yacht club?

Yes and no Greg.

We belong to a Yacht Club that is a member of the Columbia River Yachting Association (West Coast). We have presented our membership card to marinas in the SF bay area and received discounts. The same is true in the inside passage.
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Old 24-11-2015, 17:41   #11
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Re: Yacht club?

Depends on the club......SBYC is a soulless place, but members get a great discount on berth costs....hence I am a member
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