stayoutofthemiddle

The Yacht Club - Do you get value from your dues?

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6 minutes ago, Kirwan said:

Well, pardon me for farting in your snob-i-torium. 

The question was about value.  I guess I don't value that feeling of superiority a fancy YC engenders. 

 

 

I'm having trouble discerning your point. Clearly there are all levels of clubs for all sorts of demographics, and you seem to be against this.

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48 minutes ago, Kirwan said:

What a wonderful, euphemistic way to say "You're not welcome"

Maybe the high initiation fee is to help keep out the 'wrong sort', you know, people who would make the members 'uncomfortable"

In my case, what makes me the 'wrong sort' is that I don't consider $25,000 to be pocket change. 

What I dislike is that you all won't admit your snobbery, prejudice, and condescension.  Own that superior attitude!

 

The thing is, I like what SDYC does; racing, youth, etc - I'd even be willing to contribute my time and effort.   But when I go there, it might as well have a huge sign that says:

YOU DON'T BELONG HERE. 

Fuck that.

I think that maybe one of the ancillary reasons why the initiation fees and dues are so high is to help provide a friendly atmosphere where success (what some call being rich) does not make an individual a target for hatred or jealousy. 

Some people don't see hard work, effort and success when they look at an individual; all they see is the money and if you're successful you don't really want to be around people who smile at you but secretly bear you animus simply because you put in the hours and effort to become successful.

With high initiation fees and dues the club helps create an atmosphere where jealousy is minimized because everybody is already pretty successful in their own right.

I came to the conclusion long ago that while love is the strongest emotion, jealousy is the most common, fear and hatred the most easily aroused.

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1 hour ago, Kirwan said:

What a wonderful, euphemistic way to say "You're not welcome"

Maybe the high initiation fee is to help keep out the 'wrong sort', you know, people who would make the members 'uncomfortable"

In my case, what makes me the 'wrong sort' is that I don't consider $25,000 to be pocket change. 

What I dislike is that you all won't admit your snobbery, prejudice, and condescension.  Own that superior attitude!

 

The thing is, I like what SDYC does; racing, youth, etc - I'd even be willing to contribute my time and effort.   But when I go there, it might as well have a huge sign that says:

YOU DON'T BELONG HERE. 

Fuck that.

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1 hour ago, Kirwan said:

What a wonderful, euphemistic way to say "You're not welcome"

Maybe the high initiation fee is to help keep out the 'wrong sort', you know, people who would make the members 'uncomfortable"

In my case, what makes me the 'wrong sort' is that I don't consider $25,000 to be pocket change. 

What I dislike is that you all won't admit your snobbery, prejudice, and condescension.  Own that superior attitude!

 

The thing is, I like what SDYC does; racing, youth, etc - I'd even be willing to contribute my time and effort.   But when I go there, it might as well have a huge sign that says:

YOU DON'T BELONG HERE. 

Fuck that.

I'm just pissed I cant afford it.  I would LOVE to belong to one of those clubs with all those amenities.  I'm also pissed I cant afford a mansion on the beach and drive a ferrari and not have to work.   Having said that, I am pretty sure ANY of these clubs would love to have your money, if you had it.  So, I guess its basically your fault you cant afford it. not theirs. :P

Ps. I have NEVER encountered ANY snobbery at these fancy clubs.  If anything they are very welcoming and friendly when the public is invited in.  But, It only makes me feel worse I cant belong. :D

Pps.  I think the "Member Reference" requirements are a much harder nut to crack than the financial.   

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Interesting article that kind of relates:

"It winds me up when people say sailing is a rich man's sport," says Mark Orams, who was involved in two America's Cups with Team New Zealand. "That's not the sport I know and fell in love with. At the grassroots in New Zealand, we have people who work in very humble, little corrugated iron yacht clubs like Lake Ngaroto in the Waikato, Taipa in Northland or Timaru in the South Island. That's as far away from a rich man's elitist sport as you can get."

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11887858

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23 minutes ago, MauiPunter said:

 

Pps.  I think the "Member Reference" requirements are a much harder nut to crack than the financial.   

not really..., if you can demonstrate an interest in sailing.., and aren't obviously a jerk after someone spends 15 minutes with you.., you will probably get in.

these clubs are not looking for a reason to turn people away, and they rarely do. 

some of the more expensive clubs, with more rigorous reference requirements, have what is basically a one-season membership, that's relatively easy to get. You pay the dues, but not the initiation - with no commitment on either side when it's over. After a season of membership, most people who want to go forward with the full membership, will have met enough people that it's not a problem. 

in general, it's probably easier if you are a relatively low profile kind of person, rather than someone everybody knows...

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21 hours ago, Kirwan said:

There is a constant refrain here that the sport of sailing is having trouble getting people interested, that it's considered exclusionary and only for the rich. 

To me, those exclusive, expensive yacht clubs are the epitome of the problem. 

But good for you rich people, you sometimes tolerate the likes of me for a few minutes on race day.  Heck, even Bushwood had 'caddies day'.

 

 

+1

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This perception of sailing as an exclusive, expensive sport is one which continues to baffle me. On the boat on which I race 9 out of the 10 on board only pay for a lifejacket and maybe a set of foulies every few years. Just about everything else (lunch, drinks, boat itself and maintenance, sails, bottom cleaning, insurance, slip rental, entry fees, etc) is covered by the owner. So 90% of the participants are having unlimited fun effectively for free. It is only the idiot owner who pays, and the crew seem to have just as much fun without any of the stress of organizing the program. Just about the only benefit the owner gets is choosing the music...

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2 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

This perception of sailing as an exclusive, expensive sport is one which continues to baffle me. On the boat on which I race 9 out of the 10 on board only pay for a lifejacket and maybe a set of foulies every few years. Just about everything else (lunch, drinks, boat itself and maintenance, sails, bottom cleaning, insurance, slip rental, entry fees, etc) is covered by the owner. So 90% of the participants are having unlimited fun effectively for free. It is only the idiot owner who pays, and the crew seem to have just as much fun without any of the stress of organizing the program. Just about the only benefit the owner gets is choosing the music...

That works until the owner puts the furling jib on and decides to be crew and let someone else pay for racing sails. You eventually run out of owners.

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24 minutes ago, us7070 said:

not really..., if you can demonstrate an interest in sailing.., and aren't obviously a jerk after someone spends 15 minutes with you.., you will probably get in.

these clubs are not looking for a reason to turn people away, and they rarely do. 

some of the more expensive clubs, with more rigorous reference requirements, have what is basically a one-season membership, that's relatively easy to get. You pay the dues, but not the initiation - with no commitment on either side when it's over. After a season of membership, most people who want to go forward with the full membership, will have met enough people that it's not a problem. 

in general, it's probably easier if you are a relatively low profile kind of person, rather than someone everybody knows...

At many clubs, the best way in is to ask when you can come by and help do something like sell beer at the regatta or rig 420s or whatever. You'll have your references within an hour tops ;)

That said - there are some old time clubs that will NOT let just any random person in and sometimes for very deplorable reasons.  In the 80s I knew someone blackballed from the XXX club for having the occasional Black crewmember aboard. He was pissed they did it and pissed they didn't have the balls to tell him why - he had to find out on the down-low.

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22 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

That works until the owner puts the furling jib on and decides to be crew and let someone else pay for racing sails. You eventually run out of owners.

Ding. 

Exhibit A: www.chbaysss.org

CHESSS is the second largest class in this year's SMCM Governor's Cup.

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Even better than that, after 120 posts it would appear that everyone who wishes to be a member of a club already is, and nobody who wishes to be a member of a club is not. So if we extrapolate from this surely representative sample then, when it comes to yacht club membership, everyone on planet Earth is happy except for Kirwan. 

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I'm still upset that no one at the NYYC has asked me to be a member.  

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I was kind of interested in to join the club near by me( one of big 5.), and they had a booth at the marina festival.

i was approaching to a lady  said " hello, excuse me, may I have some membership information?" and standing in front of her for couple of minutes, she ignored me whole time even she knew I was there. Very selective,,,,

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Mostly I just don't like bullshit.  or snobbery.  

There was a post up there that started by telling me Yacht Clubs were welcoming, then went on to defend their condescension and exclusion.  Others piled on. 

Assholes like that are why I don't like (most) YC's.   Unfortunately, if you want to race in this town, you have to deal with them. 

 

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The girl who ignored me was not even fit in the picture of that club. How she could be snobbish even she is not a member, just works there.

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5 minutes ago, Legion of Modernrate Jack said:

She is being paid to recruit within specified guidelines. There are still 4 other clubs to check out?

If she saw you as invisible, i think her boss was watching and she was after a raise! :)

None of 4 near by, lol.

there were not her boss neither, other girls were but busy to talking to prospective members.

those girls knew and suggested the girl pointing me but still she did not,,,.

i don't think I looked that bad, lol.

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2 minutes ago, cpt_757 said:

None of 4 near by, lol.

there were not her boss neither, other girls were but busy to talking to prospective members.

those girls knew and suggested the girl pointing me but still she did not,,,.

i don't think I looked that bad, lol.

This is actually interesting. What were you wearing? / No wearing? More details...

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On 7/26/2017 at 9:31 PM, SF Woody Sailor said:

They are also the ones that run the Etchells World Championships, the Farr 40 World Championships, the J-70 World Championships, the J-111 Worlds, the Pac52 Championships, the Star Worlds, 505 Worlds, etc. etc. etc. etc. And the ones that train and host the race officials, judges, umpires and other infrastructure that are necessary for world calibre events. And the ones that train, nurture and support youth sailors and Olympians. And that run events for aspiring women match racers. And so on. And so forth.

Please don't get me wrong; it is wonderful that there are inexpensive, casual and even "virtual" clubs that do a great job of promoting participation, and they are to be welcomed. However, I wish you good luck getting a "paper" yacht club to host an event like the Etchells Worlds or Big Boat Series.

  

This sounds like fake news.  Whilst I have had the pleasure of attending a World Championship at St Francis Y C ... which in my 57 years still ranks as the most memorable of my sailing career, I would suggest that the ability to host World Championships or train race officials, Olympians is not the sole reserve of mega buck clubs ... on this side of the pond most of the talent that has found their way onto the rostrum has originated from the enthusiastic clubs, with member run bars and bacon sandwiches before racing.

Some of the top Racing Officials in the World have also progressed from this background.  And Youth sailing is generally promoted by keen sailing family members trying to impart worthwhile values onto the internet generation.

Having had a scan through the membership charges of some of the UK's pre-eminent clubs GBP 500 should see you through a year of membership with clubs with dining and in prime locations, that run World Championships, train Youths, have Olympians amongst their members, have decent restaurants and bars ... mine costs GBP 250 for family membership and ticks most of these boxes.

I would suggest that whilst clubs like St Francis or Annapolis YC are great, these are essentially country clubs for people interested in sailing, and whilst there is no denying that they do good things, this has more to do with a need to justify their existance.

 

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1 minute ago, Legion of Modernrate Jack said:

You gave her maximum single handed sailing mode vibe... it worked!

Lol,

i am more like a party guy!!

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37 minutes ago, Legion of Modernrate Jack said:

weird (most) are fucked assholes, maybe take up raquet ball?

I like sailing, in all forms - my knee is too blown out for racquet sports.  I race on op's boats, and simply avoid the YC scene.  I cruise my own little 4ksb, and while it'd be nice to have 'reciprocal rights', that's unlikely to ever happen in my low budget world.  Frankly, sailing (especially racing) is a Rich Man's sport, and in my experience that group has a lot of assholes, and when they congregate at the club... well, no thanks. 

Full disclosure; I have been to a number of YC's that were friendly and welcoming.  Usually small ones, that let us pitch our tents on their lawn during regattas. Others make you feel as welcome as a cold; something unpleasant that must be endured until they can go back to "being comfortable".  

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Kirwan said:

I like sailing, in all forms - my knee is too blown out for racquet sports.  I race on op's boats, and simply avoid the YC scene.  I cruise my own little 4ksb, and while it'd be nice to have 'reciprocal rights', that's unlikely to ever happen in my low budget world.  Frankly, sailing (especially racing) is a Rich Man's sport, and in my experience that group has a lot of assholes, and when they congregate at the club... well, no thanks. 

Full disclosure; I have been to a number of YC's that were friendly and welcoming.  Usually small ones, that let us pitch our tents on their lawn during regattas. Others make you feel as welcome as a cold; something unpleasant that must be endured until they can go back to "being comfortable".  

 

 

So even if they were free, you would not join anyway because you do not like the members, so the dues are pretty much irrelevant.

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13 minutes ago, cpt_757 said:

I don't know how it works, an owner of boat is member but crews are not, as guests??

Correct, crew are not members, they are guests of the owner (the paying club member), unless they also join as members in their own right (apply, pay dues, etc.)

 

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14 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Correct, crew are not members, they are guests of the owner (the paying club member), unless they also join as members in their own right (apply, pay dues, etc.)

 

I thought so, ,,

easy to tell who is member and not, but enjoying same privilege.

i was wondering any guide line for crews who are in and out the club without a member on site.

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2 hours ago, DavidG said:

This sounds like fake news.  Whilst I have had the pleasure of attending a World Championship at St Francis Y C ... which in my 57 years still ranks as the most memorable of my sailing career, I would suggest that the ability to host World Championships or train race officials, Olympians is not the sole reserve of mega buck clubs ...

I would suggest that whilst clubs like St Francis or Annapolis YC are great, these are essentially country clubs for people interested in sailing, and whilst there is no denying that they do good things, this has more to do with a need to justify their existance.

 

Fair enough. I am pleased that St. Francis YC was able to provide a memorable experience for your world championship. To my knowledge the StFYC runs more races per year and more world championships per year than any other Club, and world class race management is one of the Club's primary missions. It is not mere window dressing for a country club. If it were, ladies who lunch would complain about the starting guns and sailors in wet foulies disrupting their domino games, but in the case of the StFYC the ladies are equally adept as the blokes at firing starting guns, racing in foulies, setting marks and winning championships.

The fake news analogy mystifies me, but otherwise your comment was generally perceptive and articulate so thank you.

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Been to the St. Francis YC twice.  Neither time to sail.  Was in SF on business and took a few friends to the YC for dinner.  First time there was after a fire had destroyed much of their kitchen.  Wait staff was profoundly apologetic over the limited menu choices.  Still, one of my dining companions said that her meal was among the best she had ever had.  The other time it was just my wife and me.  Server hands my wife the menu, hands me a menu and a wine list.  Then he hands me another wine list.  I remarked that I already had one.  To which the server says: "Sir this list is from vineyards owned by members of the St. Francis YC."

I went back home to my midwestern, very blue collar YC and told the Commodore that we needed to do that as well.  Soon, the commodore's Pearson Ensign graced the cover of the wine list and inside were such famous vintages as Bud, Bud Light, Miller, Miller Lite, and, of course, PBR.

FYI, we were treated very, very well both times there. 

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17 hours ago, cpt_757 said:

I thought so, ,,

easy to tell who is member and not, but enjoying same privilege.

i was wondering any guide line for crews who are in and out the club without a member on site.

Depends on the club.

Some clubs, the crew shouldn't be hanging out in the clubhouse without the member present at all.  Some clubs care less about it, as long as you're spending money at the bar.

My club is not a "yacht club."  We have food and bev. service on Friday nights and "on demand" to serve scheduled events, but we don't have a restaurant or wait staff. During the week, the club is usually empty and locked (but still accessible by the members). We are laid back and don't have a formal policy, but we usually allow non-members to hang out when we're open in the hopes that if they enjoy themselves, they'll see the value and join us.  If after a time, we get the sense that you're freeloading, we'll politely ask you to join, or hang out elsewhere.

My club is largely small boat-centric.  High performance beach cats, Wetas, Lasers, Flying Scots, Chesapeake 20's, 420's, Albacores...oh my.  We have a small beach launching area for some of those and a hoist for the larger boats like the Flying Scots.  We rent parking to these boats on an annual basis. We do have a decent sized keel boat population but they are mostly cruisers. We have a dock and moorings that can accommodate them temporarily but we don't have permanent slips so the keel boats are not docked at the club.

This year, I've done a fair amount of marketing research comparing my club and its dues structure to other, similar clubs and I found that our prices are right in line or even slightly less than similar clubs with similar amenities and infrastructure to maintain.

Probably more than you wanted to know... sorry.

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Quote

any guide line for crews who are in and out the club without a member on site

In addition to Ajax's commentary, local liquor laws may come into play.    If a YC has a "private club" liquor license, all guests must be accompanied/signed-in by a member.   Otherwise it would be considered a bar open to the public. 

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On 7/27/2017 at 2:09 PM, Ajax said:

Ding. 

Exhibit A: www.chbaysss.org

CHESSS is the second largest class in this year's SMCM Governor's Cup.

Hey, sorry for the tangent and don't think its your intent, but that comment is maybe a bit unfair and can kinda come across the wrong way no?

There are 10 CHESSS boats that range from PHRF 48 to PHRF 234.  I get you guys don't do splits within class because there generally are not enough boats in your class to do it, but if you took that same range in PHRF (which as a class is over 55 boats from Naps alone... 80 plus I think in the race) there are over 40 going from Naps.  There are 11 multihulls.

Just saying keep it real.  Know there was some pushback about safety of singlehanders in an overnight race. Few years back I darn near got tagged by one (who later dropped due to exhaustion...not a CHESSS sailor... this was pre-CHESSS).  I am a fan.  Even thought to do a CHESSS race or two.  

Peace and love, peace and love...

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Doesn't matter, we're not the 2nd largest class now that everyone else has filled in. No hurt feelings here.

We're up to 10 boats, double the entries that we had in Down the Bay. My hope is that if participation keeps rising, we *will* do splits within the class.  What really matters, is that Governor's Cup is a long-running race with a good tradition that has been struggling for survival the last few years. SMCM has done a good job of trying to adapt with the times to accommodate the changing desires of the racers. That includes allowing CHESSS to participate, for which we are grateful. This has helped participation.

Maybe this is a more fair or accurate way to describe our participation: Currently, out of 112 boats, CHESSS has 10 entered, which accounts for about 9% of the entries, which is not insignificant.

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11 minutes ago, Ajax said:

 Currently, out of 112 boats, CHESSS has 10 entered, which accounts for about 9% of the entries, which is not insignificant.

Its a good thing! 

Good luck and sail safe (are you doing it?).  Forecast looks decent if on the nose both ways perhaps

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

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24 minutes ago, Wess said:

Its a good thing! 

Good luck and sail safe (are you doing it?).  Forecast looks decent if on the nose both ways perhaps

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Grrrr...no.

I have a family obligation that I have made every attempt to squirm and weasel my way out of, to no effect. Something I've been locked into for nearly a year.

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On 7/31/2017 at 9:30 AM, stayoutofthemiddle said:

This is actually interesting. What were you wearing? / No wearing? More details...

The college t-shirts, shorts, sailing shoes and a gold watch(lol).

Other people who were recruited wore more casual than me.

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Having just served as our club's treasurer for the past seven years and having been on the finance committee the last eleven or so, I find some of these posts pretty naive.  I belong to a club in Marblehead that has pool, tennis courts, dry sailing, dining, bar and waterfront facilities.  Initiation is about $15K and annual full dues are about $4K. 

 

First, all initiation fees go straight to the capital fund.  They are needed to fund improvements and repairs to a facility that is almost 150 years old and sits on the ocean!  They are NOT meant as an exclusionary tool to keep out the "wrong type"

Next, the challenge with providing dining is to simply limit your losses.  Providing good food with a seasonal staff is difficult and expensive.  Add to that members who complain about not enough variety in the menu.  My stock answer to that is to recommend they go to their favorite restaurant in town three times a week for twelve weeks or so (about the length of summer) and tell me how they did on providing variety.  The ONLY food that makes money is private events like weddings and parties where fixed menus can mean economies of scale.

Thank god for the bar!  Alcohol usually provides a healthy surplus and the goal is to offset losses from dining.  The really great news is that our members never let me down with their enthusiastic participation here.

Last you have areas that are simply expenses.  Waterfront ( launches, crane, staff,committee boats), pool (staff and chemicals), and tennis (staff). 

In summary, your operating revenue comes from dues, member dining and bar, and events.  Pure expense is the waterfront, pool, tennis and clubhouse spending.  We try to maintain a small overall surplus, but it is REALLY hard to do. 

Capital comes from new member initiation and whatever surplus we generate during the year.. 

Maintaining the kind of club that you all like to attend for big regattas is complex and expensive.  While sailing itself may be egalitarian, membership at a club like this is not.  It simply requires a certain amount of resources. 

Two other quick comments.  Our membership is healthy and the list of prospective members is strong.  Lastly, we have an aggressive program to make it easier for young adults to join with lower dues, initiation, and payments over time.  The idea is that they will make it up in the longer run.

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to address the OP's question, yes i believe i do get the value from my dues. the cheapest dry yard storage in the area with two crane accessibility, amazing youth program, a great (no pretentious) place to just hang, generally a majority of the membership all interested in restoring the avenues of sailing that were present 30+ years ago, and a place who's moniker above the front door states "this place was built for fun"

i've been a member of various clubs in the bay from large to small since age 6, none gave the ROI that i receive now. clubs are truly what the membership and it's ideas make them

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22 minutes ago, dave-j said:

Having just served as our club's treasurer for the past seven years and having been on the finance committee the last eleven or so, I find some of these posts pretty naive.  I belong to a club in Marblehead that has pool, tennis courts, dry sailing, dining, bar and waterfront facilities.  Initiation is about $15K and annual full dues are about $4K. 

 

I belong to a similar cub - i think the initiation is about the same but the dues are more. my club operates nearly year-round, whereas i think yours is seasonal.., so that probably explains most of the difference.

someone above called these clubs "country clubs for people with an interest in sailing".., and while they didn't mean it as a compliment.., i will consider it to be one.

the thing is that in some cases the "interest in sailing" runs pretty deep.

anyway, if my club didn't have some of the attributes of a country club - the pool, the tennis, the dining - i would have ended up joining a country club _and_ a yacht club.., so i could get all the things i wanted for my family - women's tennis for my wife, tennis tennis lessons for the kids.., swim lessons for kids.., swim team.., and so on.

So, I avoid the hassle of me trying to race my boat at one club.., and my wife and kids going to  another club on the weekends...

this club meets my needs perfectly, it probably _saves_ me money - and it happens that i like yacht clubs better than country clubs, so it's a win-win.

i also read that these clubs organize regattas to "justify their existence" - I don't think many club members are worried about justifying the club's existence. Mostly we do it because we like to do it. I think we hope that some of the many non-members who attend the regattas appreciate the effort.., but i also understand that there are many that think we are a bunch of jerks. 

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On 2017-07-11 at 5:47 PM, White Lightnin' said:

If its too expensive get involved and change it. If it doesn't do enough get involved and volunteer to make it happen. Sitting on the sidelines complaining just makes you sound like a whiny little bitch.

If you think a club is too expensive, or its programs don't meet your needs, I would suggest that you simply join a different club: there are plenty of alternatives, to suit all budgets and tastes.

Engaging in a quixotic battle to impose change seems like a poor use of time. And besides, if things are a certain way at a club it is probably because most of the members like it that way.

On 2017-07-12 at 12:24 PM, PHM said:

I guess it depends on the club and the person.

^^^^ THIS.

On 2017-07-13 at 8:46 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

OTOH some clubs truly are pretty much commercial operations. You can see the various threads on the life cycle of clubs where they mutate into a country club and the sailors end up being seen as a nuisance.

E.g., Royal Southampton YC.

On 2017-07-13 at 10:03 PM, MikeR80 said:

the list is endless, but me thinks the list doesnt need to include some hokey member "name badge", lol

Yes, what's up with that? I've never seen any "name badges" at any club I've belonged to or visited. What a tacky idea.

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On 2017-07-11 at 1:46 PM, Ajax said:

Letterboxing= "pigeonholing" or labeling people.

In your world, I guess.

In my world, it's simply a type of spinnaker drop.

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It seems as though one is looking for a problem.  If you don't like being excluded, find another parallel world where peoples' minds are all the same, and there is no port tack.  Judgement is what makes us human, and it is our burden/joy.

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We have access to 38 acres of shoreside property where we can go anytime we choose. 

Not only that we can store our toys there .

That more than covers the $$$. VS value part,

We also have all that racing stuff

and lots of friends are usually around 

 

My YC membership is probably my least expensive “bang for  the buck” investment 

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On 2017-08-01 at 2:34 PM, us7070 said:

someone above called these clubs "country clubs for people with an interest in sailing".., and while they didn't mean it as a compliment.., i will consider it to be one.

the thing is that in some cases the "interest in sailing" runs pretty deep.

anyway, if my club didn't have some of the attributes of a country club - the pool, the tennis, the dining - i would have ended up joining a country club _and_ a yacht club.., so i could get all the things i wanted for my family - women's tennis for my wife, tennis tennis lessons for the kids.., swim lessons for kids.., swim team.., and so on.

So, I avoid the hassle of me trying to race my boat at one club.., and my wife and kids going to  another club on the weekends...

this club meets my needs perfectly, it probably _saves_ me money - and it happens that i like yacht clubs better than country clubs, so it's a win-win.

i also read that these clubs organize regattas to "justify their existence" - I don't think many club members are worried about justifying the club's existence. Mostly we do it because we like to do it. I think we hope that some of the many non-members who attend the regattas appreciate the effort.., but i also understand that there are many that think we are a bunch of jerks. 

Nothing wrong with country clubs that offer sailing. The extra amenities do cost more, and will not appeal to everyone (including me), but that's all right: horses for courses. As long as there are a range of clubs, from basic to lavish, everyone should be happy.

I don't know why any reasonable person would resent fellow sailors who choose to pay more to belong to a fancier club (or, conversely, why any would condescend to fellow sailors who choose to pay less to belong to a simpler club). While some clubs are said to be 'exclusive', one trusts that it just a synonym for expensive and they do not actually exclude anyone willing to pay the tariff.

Anyway, a long time ago I gave up worrying about what other people think of me. In all probability they are preoccupied with their own lives and are not thinking of me at all, so why bother?

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2 hours ago, Svanen said:

Anyway, a long time ago I gave up worrying about what other people think of me. In all probability they are preoccupied with their own lives and are not thinking of me at all, so why bother?

This.  A thousand time this.  I still struggle to remember sometimes, but this is the truth.

We learned something about this yacht club attitude thing over the last few years since we've returned to the fleet with out new to us 6knsb.  We'd moved our mooring up the coast, and were now close to the Stuffy Old Club, and no longer near the Exciting Racy Club.  We were members of neither, but candidates for both.  Back in the day,  I had felt an outsider at the Exciting Racy Club, with my old Catalina 25, and not much budget.  Back then ERC believed SOC to be full of stuffy old people, and there was an almost institutional dislike.  Now we were spending much more time at the Stuffy Old Club, feeling welcome, and treated well. We chalked it up to the wealth at Stuffy Old Club, and the fact that the stuffy old members had nothing to prove, unlike the younger, more asperational Exciting Racy Club.  It took two summers to realize the difference was 15 years of maturity; a total lack of care as to how I'm seen in either scene; and, the fact that people respond well to open, friendly people, and that was what I'd become.  Selma, to her credit, has never cared about how she's seen by others.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, sshow bob said:

People respond well to open, friendly people.

Yep. While there are a few angry jerks out there, the great majority of people will welcome anyone who smiles, looks them in the eyes, and has a quiet, open manner. 

On 2017-07-31 at 11:12 AM, cpt_757 said:

I was kind of interested in to join the club near by me( one of big 5.), and they had a booth at the marina festival.

i was approaching to a lady  said " hello, excuse me, may I have some membership information?" and standing in front of her for couple of minutes, she ignored me whole time even she knew I was there. Very selective.

That's pretty bad. While I don't believe a club, or any other organization, should be judged on the one-time behaviour of a single representative, at the end of the day the club is responsible for choosing friendly - or at least polite! - people to act on its behalf.

As the saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression".

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3 hours ago, sshow bob said:

This.  A thousand time this.  I still struggle to remember sometimes, but this is the truth.

We learned something about this yacht club attitude thing over the last few years since we've returned to the fleet with out new to us 6knsb.  We'd moved our mooring up the coast, and were now close to the Stuffy Old Club, and no longer near the Exciting Racy Club.  We were members of neither, but candidates for both.  Back in the day,  I had felt an outsider at the Exciting Racy Club, with my old Catalina 25, and not much budget.  Back then ERC believed SOC to be full of stuffy old people, and there was an almost institutional dislike.  Now we were spending much more time at the Stuffy Old Club, feeling welcome, and treated well. We chalked it up to the wealth at Stuffy Old Club, and the fact that the stuffy old members had nothing to prove, unlike the younger, more asperational Exciting Racy Club.  It took two summers to realize the difference was 15 years of maturity; a total lack of care as to how I'm seen in either scene; and, the fact that people respond well to open, friendly people, and that was what I'd become.  Selma, to her credit, has never cared about how she's seen by others.

 

 

Wait--there are yacht clubs in Maine? Who knew?

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On 2017-07-11 at 11:08 AM, Ajax said:

Even worse, my sailing club (WRSC) is heavily volunteer oriented. It's how we keep our annual dues so low. The club's "core" volunteers (the 20% of members who do 80% of the heavy lifting) are aging out. Literally dying, or becoming too frail to do the work they've been doing for 20+ years. Younger members (I'm talking about the 40-60 age bracket here) are not stepping in to fill the voi

Joining, belonging, "social capital" or whatever you want to call it, is in serious decline across the country for a variety of reasons that could be debated to death. 

I’d have to disagree on this. 

Younger generations may not be lining-up to join expensive, sports-related organizations where they need to know 3 people and give the Commodore a handy behind the pump-out to get in, but “Social” is stronger than it’s ever been.

Maybe if you live in some still-sleepy, behind the times suburb where yacht/golf/tennis club membership is a ticket to the Board of Selectmen, you’re not seeing it, but in many cities the alternative options for meeting, networking and socializing can be endless. Meet-ups, industry events, run crews, demos, side hustle pitch nights,  etc have taken the place of drinks by the pool with Muffy. In my city, just this week there are over 20 industry events and 100 meet-ups, and that’s just scratching the surface. Plus, most of these things are “happenings.” Ive been to networking events that have the vibe of rock concerts. I don’t need to stand at the bar listening to Fat Teddy tell the same Samurai Douse story for the 100th time. 

Every week when I sit down to plan my calendar, I’m flabbergasted by the choice. And there is SO MUCH energy out there. No matter how much I engage I still feel like I’m missing out.

And that’s the problem with yacht clubs - they have all the fresh energy of a balloon leaking air. And I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on much.

 

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Peanut Butter makes some valid points.

Most millennials are attracted to relatively spontaneous events, rather than sustained commitment to ongoing activities. I'm not suggesting that preference is good or bad, merely that it is different. And indeed they do have a huge number of choices.

I also agree with PB that few young people have patience for a cumbersome, lengthy vetting process. Clubs that require letters of reference from 3 members of >5 years standing, all of whom must have known the candidate for >2 years, are dying slow deaths (I never could see the point of that sort of thing anyway, unless it is a none-too-subtle method to exclude Non-U people from membership).

I don't agree that (all) yacht clubs are boring, low-energy places. Some are, some aren't. Any club with a good racing scene will be bustling ... a club with a major focus on lawn bowling, perhaps not so much.

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43 minutes ago, Svanen said:

Peanut Butter makes some valid points.

Most millennials are attracted to relatively spontaneous events, rather than sustained commitment to ongoing activities. I'm not suggesting that preference is good or bad, merely that it is different. And indeed they do have a huge number of choices.

I also agree with PB that few young people have patience for a cumbersome, lengthy vetting process. Clubs that require letters of reference from 3 members of >5 years standing, all of whom must have known the candidate for >2 years, are dying slow deaths (I never could see the point of that sort of thing anyway, unless it is a none-too-subtle method to exclude Non-U people from membership).

I don't agree that (all) yacht clubs are boring, low-energy places. Some are, some aren't. Any club with a good racing scene will be bustling ... a club with a major focus on lawn bowling, perhaps not so much.

This.

Meanwhile the Queens Quay social sailing club you can join with just a credit card and not make a commitment longer than a summer is absolutely killing it and buying more boats every year...

Shitty old J24’s, mind you, but they’re growing while everyone else is shrinking.

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On 2/18/2018 at 4:35 PM, Svanen said:

Yep. While there are a few angry jerks out there, the great majority of people will welcome anyone who smiles, looks them in the eyes, and has a quiet, open manner. 

That's pretty bad. While I don't believe a club, or any other organization, should be judged on the one-time behaviour of a single representative, at the end of the day the club is responsible for choosing friendly - or at least polite! - people to act on its behalf.

As the saying goes, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression".

There were 3 of them, none of them even said hello. Couple of ladies were not even looked fitting in that club maybe temporary worker.

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19 minutes ago, cpt_757 said:

Couple of ladies were not even looked fitting in that club maybe temporary worker.

What's up with THAT? ^^^

Sounds like you have a preconceived idea of the "fitting" race for a YC member. <_<

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40 minutes ago, zenmasterfred said:

Just live long enough and some clubs confer on you special Lifetime Membership, no more dues so of course it is worth it if you don't have to pay for it.

Before one leaps at this as a panacea it is best to consult with one's finance, membership, new member development, youth and long term planning committees. Like many politically expedient policies this one starts with the best of intentions; in this case it is often justified that the YC doesn't want to lose longstanding, loyal members (and their widows) who might be on fixed incomes; this is undoubtedly a laudable goal. 

However like many well-meaning policies springing from laudable goals the policy has unintended consequences. In one Club with which I am familiar there are several multi-millionaires paying reduced dues as a consequence of age and tenure; meanwhile prospective members (the future lifeblood of any Club) consisting of promising young families with active racing parents and active juniors but who are struggling with the costs of housing and education at this time of their lives would have to pay more as a result. This Club has had many such promising new member families balk at the prospect of subsidizing wealthy, retired members who have the leisure time to utilize all of the same Club services at a higher rate but pay much less.

Once implemented such a policy is almost impossible to reverse due to political constraints. I would advise you to be very, very careful. Just a thought.

 

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To the OP

I think so, we have a great bar with good food. I love to sit around on a Sunday afternoon and chew the fat over some boat part I just installed or go over to a mates boat and help him install something. It's the camaraderie you don't get with non-sailing friends.  The junior program is growing and we just signed up a high school program so things are looking up. I think many look at YC membership in a pretty self serving manner. The reason I'm a member is to promote sailing, junior sailing and the sport of sailing. My dues are reasonable ~$70/month. I spend more on a couple of rounds for my crew after a race. If you are looking for "what's in it for me" it's never worth it. If you are looking for how can I be active in supporting sailing it is worth it.

We are a volunteer club with a few paid staff but it's the local racers who come down to make anchors for the marks and fix the sabots. Our local fleet is growing and having fun.

We address the needs of a different demographic but the SDYC's of the world do a ton of great work all around SoCal. More power to that group who can afford to contribute at that level. I appreciate every thing they do.  

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I've always wanted to form a modern hybrid Sailing Club meets YC. I've mentioned the details to some sailing/racing friends in person and they all really liked it.

Personally, I've been a member of two YC's and sailed out of 4 others as guest crew. Man you couldn't pay me to join them again. Waaaay too much friggin drama! Like a soap opera for boys (and some girls) often late in age.

Interestingly, the pricier upper crust club was a nice group, other than the awkward invite for a threesome with cocaine (haha) that I politely turned down they were the most open minded, polite and least amount of drama. It was the working class one with too much. There were some real salty and gentleman like, really nice, kind, funny people. Sadly, evebtually all it took were a few crotchety ones who finally did me in - adios! Of course I was one of the rare young ones and that didn't help and is an obvious decline in YC membership.

The best, cheapest, easiest kinda club is finding a marina with like-minded people and you make your own, making the YC boat change week to week and all chip in on inexpensive sailing dinghies. I got to be apart of one and it was the best! The leaders, a couple over 60, are the kindest, coolest sailors/boaters I have ever met.

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On 2/20/2018 at 3:59 PM, Svanen said:

preconceived idea

Maybe, 

i just could not image.

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I love the little yacht club I belong to. It feels more like a club house with a few moorings and a launch, oh yeah and the beer fridge makes those hot summer nights that much better. When you become a member at my club (KPYC) you become a share holder, with that share you have access to the club 24/7/365 and can rent out the space if you wanted. 

Our yearly fee is $400. I do feel that the classic yacht club vibe can be pretty boring...but that is me. 

To be honest, the only reason I joined this club was to get a mooring.

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Yearly fee at our club is just over two grand for our family, but includes:  launch service to my town mooring, unlimited tennis and platform tennis and a good kitchen, waterfront club with views and lively social scene.  The launch alone would cost me half that and I play a lot of racquets year round. Plus, the courts are about hundred yards from my house.  Not free, but for me it's a no-brainer.

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1 hour ago, sunseeker said:

A yacht club is just a high school with a liquor license.

You could have saved us a whole thread if you'd posted this earlier...

 

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6 hours ago, sunseeker said:

A yacht club is just a high school with a liquor license.

For the most part yes, other than the elite regatta venues like NYYC, StFYC, CRYC, etc...

We'll likely look at joining a local club here in the next few years-- what are people's thoughts on the miami area clubs (KBYC, BBYC, CRYC, etc)? our kids are a few years from junior sailing, but i guess thats on the radar.  The thing I really hate are food minimums-- I dont like feeling obligated to eat the same old yc cuisine over and over...

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1 hour ago, MikeR80 said:

We'll likely look at joining a local club here in the next few years-- what are people's thoughts on the miami area clubs (KBYC, BBYC, CRYC, etc)? our kids are a few years from junior sailing, but i guess thats on the radar.  The thing I really hate are food minimums-- I dont like feeling obligated to eat the same old yc cuisine over and over...

Augie Diaz briefly touches on all of the local clubs in this video. I believe he personally belongs to CRYC, CGSC, and BBYC.

He's a nice guy, very friendly and approachable; so if you want more information from a knowledgeable source, you could try asking him directly.  

 

F&B requirements are a feature of essentially all YCs that have restaurants. Most such requirements are pretty limited, i.e. the amount you have to spend is equal to about one meal for two, each month. I don't think that's onerous, but if it really bothers you just look for a small club that doesn't have a restaurant; then it's a non-issue.

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I was a member of the Tutukaka South Pacific for a short while. Mostly fishing and fizz boats, one sailboat. My brother's Lotus 10.6, since moved North. Was a member of the Penticton Yacht Club, and they made a few navigation errors. Then the Kelowna Yacht Club, and I disagreed with the direction they headed.

Now I belong to the Silva Bay Yacht Club. My boat is in Silva Bay, and I live 800 steps up the road. Yearly dues are $65- with $10- going to marine conservation. Hard to not get value for your $$.,  We do not own anything. We just organize social and cruising events. I am on the cruising committee, but do not have much to do. Major cruise this year is to the Broughtons. If we go, we will likely continue to Haida Gwaii, and maybe Alaska.

The local pub burned down a few months ago. They are supposed to have something in place in May.

Unkle Krusty 

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Waikiki Yacht Club has certainly been cost effective for me and my family, even though I mostly live in Los Angeles.

Whenever I’m in town, I save the annual dues just in bar tab — way cheaper than other bars in Hawaii. And the people at the bar are friendly, interesting, and some I’ve known for half a century.

Flying in on a Friday afternoon, getting to the club, and hopping aboard one of the many boats heading out for the 52 week a year Friday Night “Racing” that consists of a nice sunset sail out to Diamond Head and back, later watching fireworks from the YC patio.

Absurdly reduced fleets compared to decades past, but what remains is a bunch of great sailors on fast boats racing warm clear blue water in good breeze with green jagged tropical island views. Watch for the leaping Humpback whales during the winter and spring!

Certainly one of the coolest places to hang out.

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On 7/27/2017 at 12:57 PM, IrieMon said:

Interesting article that kind of relates:

"It winds me up when people say sailing is a rich man's sport," says Mark Orams, who was involved in two America's Cups with Team New Zealand. "That's not the sport I know and fell in love with. At the grassroots in New Zealand, we have people who work in very humble, little corrugated iron yacht clubs like Lake Ngaroto in the Waikato, Taipa in Northland or Timaru in the South Island. That's as far away from a rich man's elitist sport as you can get."

 

which is why we must invade and destroy you . .

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On 7/26/2017 at 9:51 AM, Kirwan said:

SDYC would charge me a $21,000 initiation fee, then $2300 per year dues,  plus I'd have to spend $600 per year in the restaurant.  Plus slip fees on the order of $16/foot/month (>$5000/year for my little 28 footer).    

They would have to supply hookers and blow for that to be a worthwhile expenditure to me.  They run races well, but I usually don't even go there for the after parties. 

On the other end of the scale, Cortez Racing Association doesn't have a clubhouse, also runs good races, and membership costs $120/year.  

 

Don't forget the $600/year construction assessment for the Sailing Center.

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With current average age at YCs now one should not forget that there are tons of cougars to hit on :lol:

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I just joined the Cottage Park Yacht Club in Winthrop, MA.  I had always raced in their weekly series as crew on a members boat and enjoyed socializing there afterwards.  Seems like a really nice group of people in that club.  Not much pretentious bullshit from what I have seen.   My daughter is getting close to the age that she can participate in the junior sailing, so that was a draw as well.

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I think, having watched the changes in our small inland lake club for 30 years, the issue is demographics.  When I started sailing out there, the club was dominated by people in their 30's-40's racing in large OD fleets and well sorted handicap fleets. The focus was on the racing program (can't cruise a 1x2 mile lake) and your application was evaluated on your contribution to the racing program. Everyone hung out on the porch after racing and mixed well on the race course (mostly) as well as the porch.  Fast forward to today and THE EXACT SAME PEOPLE are running the club, regardless of who is elected.  The interests and activity levels of 60-70 year olds is different than 3-40.  Add the injection of non-racers brought in during economic downturns , a loss of focus resulting in catering to the lowest common denominator ("who can we find that will take the job of elected office?", one race regattas, frequent cancellation of races) has contributed to a balkanization of the membership that tends to have little contact with each other. Mix in a decade of place holder flag officers that "maintain tradition' by doing the same things the same way but complaining about the results and we have a club that is deteriorating on an activity level. Frankly, I see neither the awareness nor the interest in changing the direction of the club from either the elected or unelected leadership of the club.

That said, since the question was about solutions, here are some suggestions:

 Instead of bemoaning social media, use it to get people active.  Send out some sort of notice per day, heavy on pictures.  Watching a friend promote his bar, there's at least three posts a day of Facebook. Keep the posts focused on promoting sailing;  if you're talking about bicycling you're promoting something different.

Program consistancy; if you schedule races, run them unless the conditions are unsafe. Arbitrary cancellations discourage participation.

Actively recruit and train crew.  The largest complaint I hear about racing is "I can't find crew" but the same complainers try to recruit by sitting on the porch and not sailing.  Crew will be younger, providing the next generation of racers.  Local gyms are a good recruiting pool but their interests are a little different.  Have to tailor the pitch.

Bring the major racing fleets officially into the club power structure.  Some of the most agressive recruiters are the fleet "sparkplugs", bringing them into the governing structure will provide new energy and perspective.

Find ways to get the various interest groups interacting with each other.  Solution? Beats me.  I've tried food an I've tried alcohol, neither worked. We don't have a staffed club bar so people either have a couple of beers on the boat or small social groups on the dock.  Don't know how to solve that short of organized post race activities.  

Frequent member surveys. SurveyMonkey is cheap and easy.  Factor in activity  level; just like in Congress the least active constituencies have the loudest voices (they have the time and money) Using fleet structures will shift the balance of power a bit toward activity.

 

Overall, we need to recognize that the 60's, 70's and 80's are gone.  The next generation of sailors have different economics, time management and interests; sailing can meet these needs/wants but we need to change how we bring them in and treat them once they're in if we want the sport to continue.

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All the above posts about how great people's clubs are, yet wont even put a friggen name to the place, are hilarious... why are you people so afraid to say the name of your clubs?

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On 2/17/2018 at 10:43 PM, Svanen said:

Yes, what's up with that? I've never seen any "name badges" at any club I've belonged to or visited. What a tacky idea.

I think I may have seen them at Richmond YC, and possibly Alamitos Bay YC.  Santa Cruz YC might also be guilty of this.  

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I think YC business model isn't sustainable. Gen X,Y and Millennial aren't going to keep them afloat unless the drastically retool the atmosphere and value proposition...

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