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Old 09-10-2019, 09:19   #1
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Yacht club membership

Are club memberships a thing of the past?
Why would you join a yacht club and what is the value of staying a member?
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:29   #2
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Re: Yacht club membership

It is not too different than becoming a member of a golf or a tennis club for example - you get the benefit of mingling with other like-minded people, yacht clubs also host dinners, shows and events for kids and families, there is usually some kind of junior sailing program that kids can enjoy. Most yacht clubs near me are not associated with your typical yard services and they don't do haul outs, so while you get a mooring for summer you still have to look for a place to park your boat in winter. I want to warn you though, it costs crazy $$$ to be a yacht club member and personally I don't think it's worth it if all that you are looking for is sailing your boat.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:43   #3
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Re: Yacht club membership

Thanks for your response. I am interested to understand if Yacht clubs look at a Youth Sailing program as potential for future club membership or more as outreach to encourage and educate younger sailors?
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:53   #4
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Re: Yacht club membership

We are members of Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) and Point YC (Pt.YC). The sailing camaraderie along with fun events (regattas and cruisers raft-ups) were the main attraction for us. Pensacola YC has a very active youth sailing program and certainly does see this as a means of attracting future members in addition to educating young sailors and providing world-class sailing and racing opportunities.

The other great benefit that we make use of while cruising is reciprocity. PYC is a member of the Florida Council of YCs and as such, we have reciprocal use of member clubs, including a free night on the dock (for those with docks). This is a great benefit for us as we travel south or around Florida often.

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Old 09-10-2019, 11:14   #5
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Re: Yacht club membership

Some stuff that's right here and some that's either wrong or too local to be useful.

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Originally Posted by navdi View Post
It is not too different than becoming a member of a golf or a tennis club for example - you get the benefit of mingling with other like-minded people, yacht clubs also host dinners, shows and events for kids and families, there is usually some kind of junior sailing program that kids can enjoy.
Yep, absolutely right. Add to that help, advice, and the occasional loan of tools. Oh, and racing. Don't forget racing.

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Most yacht clubs near me are not associated with your typical yard services and they don't do haul outs, so while you get a mooring for summer you still have to look for a place to park your boat in winter.
Too local to be useful. Every yacht club in the Toronto area (and I think most on the south shore of Lake Ontario) has winter storage and provides haul-out. It is true that for most that's a once-a-year thing ... if you need to haul out mid-season it's up to you.

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I want to warn you though, it costs crazy $$$ to be a yacht club member and personally I don't think it's worth it if all that you are looking for is sailing your boat.
Once again, YMMV. Either wrong or too local to be useful. Some clubs are very expensive .... generally the ones with pools and restaurants and bars. But smaller self-help clubs are much, much cheaper. When we first bought Connemara, we compared costs at the club we joined to those at the nearest marina. In the first year, it cost us more -- there is an upfront initiation fee. Every year since, it has been cheaper and the difference has been increasing since marina rates have risen more rapidly than ours.

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Old 09-10-2019, 11:26   #6
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Re: Yacht club membership

I belong mostly to race. Having said that, we often enjoy the hospitality at club functions and there are always great people to meet!
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:33   #7
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Re: Yacht club membership

I joined the local club. Not really a yacht club as there's no facility. I enjoyed the racing mostly. Looked at doing some other activities with them. Turns out its more of a drinking club than a sailing club. I quit the club but still race with them. There's always a shortage of racers around here, so they're happy to have me out there.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:39   #8
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Re: Yacht club membership

Iíve been a member of four yacht clubs so far in my nearly two decades of boating. Each has been quite different.

Three that I have joined included owning and operating marina-type facilities that includes haul/launch, dockage/moorings, land storage, not to mention various levels of land services like bathrooms, showers, laundry, kitchen, etc. One club managed some marina facilities in conjunction with the marina corporation. In addition, some of these clubs provided a focus for more social actives Ö but some did not.

Some are purely social. Some basically operate marina facilities. Some provide haul and storage services. And some do it all. So as others have said, it would be a mistake to generalize.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:39   #9
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Re: Yacht club membership

We joined the Antigua Yacht Club. It was not a big cost and a large part of the funds go to the youth programs. Membership gets us 10% off in the restaurants and AYC club stuff. We have access to the toilets and showers. This is a great perk is you live on an anchor. Other benefits are access to the small boats, mostly Lasers and rights at the dinghy dock. We spend 4 to 8 weeks per season in Falmouth harbor. Haven’t explored reciprocity at other marinas yet.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:02   #10
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Re: Yacht club membership

We joined a yacht club as it is a convenient, close-to-home and cheap (well, cheaper at least) place to keep the boat for the summer. It also lets us avoid adding 35 minutes to our trip to the boat from home as it is the only viable marina or club that is (i) on the bay we like and (ii) does not require us to cross a bridge that handles lots of traffic on nice days. Dues and launch fees are reasonable. Amenities include bathrooms and showers. We do not have a kitchen available for member use, but we have a restaurant and a bar which is great after a day on the water.

There are some downsides. As we have a mooring field and not docks, there is no shore power. We only have room to haul and store a few smaller boats, but there are several nearby marinas available for winter storage. Our club is very racing-oriented and we do not race, so we are not as engaged as we might otherwise be, but there are plenty of other social activities. In fact, this weekend a large group from the club will be getting together at a local business that helps folks make their own wine to bottle the 3 varieties we made last year. Wine making has been going on for several years with this group.

We do have a youth sailing program (Lasers and Optis) and use it both for educating youth and to capture prospective members. We also host a college sailing team, although that has not really led to new members. We try to use different membership tiers to capture young adults as they age out of their parents' memberships. We also have a few Colgate 26's which we have sold ownership interests in as a way of attracting members who want to sail but don't want or can't afford a boat of their own.

For us, the benefits of club membership are worth the rather minimal expenses. We looked at other clubs that were less expensive but offered fewer amenities, and we looked at clubs that were much more expensive and offered more amenities. There are plenty of clubs out there with lots of approaches to membership benefits.
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Old 09-10-2019, 13:41   #11
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Re: Yacht club membership

The OP doesn't say where in the world he is based, what sort of boat he has and what his use pattern is. Without that information, it is impossible to suggest whether club membership is desirable or not.


In many situations, it is the only solution to owning and using anything larger than a trailer sailer.
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