Originally Posted by rgscpat
It does also seem that the club leadership has opened the potential liability door a bit wider if they prevent a member
who is paid up from accessing the member's boat, and in the mean time the boat sinks.
Thats what I was thinking. I dont think he's going to go after the club for damages but his insurance company might when he explains how his boat went from floating fine to sunk and they start asking questions like how often he checks on the state of the boat and why didn't he notice that it was filling up with water
unfortunately. I've had a similar experience with people who were given power to provide the service, and instead they exercise that power to control and regulate outside of their mandate.
Yeah. :-( I mean if it was in the bylaws of the club that said, "members or associate members who are involved in a partnership
on a boat will be held jointly responsible for moorage or membership
due arrears of other involved partners" or something to that effect I would have just bit my lip in my own circumstance. In a blanket case that would cover both myself and the fella who's boat sunk it could have been worded as simply as "associate and full members must provide copies of their insurance annually and failure to do so or be involved in a partnership
where a partner has failed to do so will have their membership
priveliges revoked until all involved members are up to date and out of arrears, including removal
of access priveleges such as keys".
However there is nothing even remotely close. A previous commenter put it pretty plainly and simply. An associate member cannot obtain moorage, vote, or run for the board, so therefore this associate member (ie. me) has paid a considerable sum basically for a key. So to hold my associate membership hostage due to the tardy payment of another member is quite simply a violation of the contract
that I have with the club, the fact that I was a partner on the boat is immaterial as the slip was held by an entirely different member.
I was at the docks last weekend joking with another member (you need to be sponsored by two members to get in) about how it made just about as much sense if he had not paid his moorage for them to revoke my key because he sponsored me (my partner was my other sponsor).
And to have the person in charge of doling out the keys shriek at my partners' wife when she had paid the moorage and was trying to obtain both of our keys that "he doesnt even live in this town, I have no idea how he even became a member" demonstrates a pretty clear lack of understanding of the rules of the club on the part of these people, as it pretty specifically states that an associate does not need to live in the municipality, but does not get moorage nor voting rights.
To be honest, I think that the founders of the club set up the bylaws in a really smart way. It saves the moorage for those in the town so people from nearby urban areas dont fill up the docks with boats. But it also allows for associates who basically get no rights at all to pay a considerable sum and put in volunteer hours to the club, all of which is good for the club without allowing the club to be taken over by non residents.
But unfortunately, when people either have little understanding of the plainly stated rules, make up the rules as they go along, or ignore the actual written rules, and toss in an attitude of inflexibility, tempers will flare and grave accidents can and will happen. And in what is basically a social club with moorage, that means drama and rumour mills ablazing.
There were a lot of long time members down on the docks the day that that guy's boat sunk, whether it was because they got a call or just a fluke, and they didn't look very happy. Former and current
board members shaking their heads. It was quite common knowledge that the fellow had had a really rough month with the house fire, and likely more commonly known than even I thought about the arbitrary and draconian style with which the keys were being withheld. One member commented to me that despite having fully paid moorage and membership as well as insurance documents that the lady was shrieking at him.
As I see it the point of this particular yacht club is that it is a social club first, and a "blue collar" yacht club (that's how it was described to me by a few people). The moorage is a secondary operation, and everything is supposed to be volunteer.
My experience over the past six months with this new board has seen me have my volunteering offers shirked, my membership priveleges revoked arbitrarily, my partner's wife insulted, and when I have attempted to escalate a matter to the president I have received no response at all other than that the status quo is just the way that it is an an offer to terminate my membership if I liked (without reimbursement of my initiation fee).
I'm a pretty easy going guy and I understand that volunteers can easily make mistakes
. But as someone who has sat on a lot of different boards I've always found that simply referring to the bylaws or constitution of the organization is the easiest way to settle or resolve any interpersonal disputes - and if a situation turns up where the bylaws aren't helpful to the interests of the organization, then you follow the bylaws until you can get a motion approved to alter them to take into account those sorts of situations.