What's Right (or Wrong) with US Sailing?

Wess

Super Anarchist
Oh Geez. It is not US Sailing that makes sailboat racing expensive. Membership is a lousy $65 per year and less if you join for a multi year deal.
What makes sailing expensive is the cost of admission for most clubs
What makes admission expensive for most clubs on the Eastern Seaboard is real estate taxes. It is a fundamental difference between the UK and here. The cheaper clubs around here are thousands of dollars a year which would make them among the most expensive in the UK where you can join a decent club for a couple of hundred quid.
In order to cover their real estate taxes, yacht clubs start adding useless fluff like fine dining, swimming pools, tennis courts, 12 hour launch services, fuel docks, which makes the cost of sailing a sunfish on Thursdays totally inaccessible. The cost of US sailing is a mere blip. If they really wanted to spend money to affect sailing, lobby for real estate tax concessions for sailing clubs.
Respectfully you can tilt at windmills all you like but the fact is unless forced by some regatta they do (and most don’t do such regattas) the vast majority of even racing sailors don’t join. They do join clubs. They do buy (often used) boats. They often volunteer to help. But they don’t join US Sailing. There are reasons for that like it or not, agree with it or not. It’s not the absolute dollar amount. I am guessing it could be near free and folks still would not join (unless forced). It’s the principle. It’s viewed as another useless bureaucracy with its hand out. It’s viewed as Olympic sailing. You can ignore facts or try to understand why folks don’t join.
 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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1,970
Respectfully you can tilt at windmills all you like but the fact is unless forced by some regatta they do (and most don’t do such regattas) the vast majority of even racing sailors don’t join. They do join clubs. They do buy (often used) boats. They often volunteer to help. But they don’t join US Sailing. There are reasons for that like it or not, agree with it or not. It’s not the absolute dollar amount. I am guessing it could be near free and folks still would not join (unless forced). It’s the principle. It’s viewed as another useless bureaucracy with its hand out. It’s viewed as Olympic sailing. You can ignore facts or try to understand why folks don’t join.
It is not a principle. It is apathy and freeloading. If the membership fees at the club were encouraged but voluntary, there would be a cadre of sailors who would neglect to pay their dues and go racing anyway. Im sure if they were challenged they would come up with some "principle".
US Sailing volunteers provide the vast bulk of their services to sailors irrespective of whether they are members or not, so why bother paying the membership fee when you can get it all for free anyway.
USS Prescription 61.4 needs a slight tweak.
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
So basically your answer to what is wrong with US Sailing is that the vast majority of sailors are apathetic freeloaders. That will fix it for sure LOL.

So go ahead and force folks to join. Force them to join WS as well (worse than a useless bureaucracy). Its not like the sport is in decline and people need another excuse to leave.
 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,892
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South Coast, UK
In the USA, do clubs pay a per-member fee (or similar) to US Sailing? In other words, do club members contribute to US Sailing through their club memberships?
 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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1,970
So basically your answer to what is wrong with US Sailing is that the vast majority of sailors are apathetic freeloaders. That will fix it for sure LOL.

So go ahead and force folks to join. Force them to join WS as well (worse than a useless bureaucracy). Its not like the sport is in decline and people need another excuse to leave.
Nope that is not my answer. That is your answer.

The people who can fix US Sailing are the active, energetic member-volunteers. But they cannot fix it until they get their voice back. Which means they need to have the right to nominate board members and the right to select and vote for their President returned to them.

So I guess what I am saying is that at that next Race Officers seminar, or Judging course, or instructors course or stakeholders summit...put governance on the agenda. Talk about it. Let USS leadership know that you are mad about this. In that feedback form at the end of the seminar, complain about the $40 fee if you want to , but dont forget about the elephant in the room...give feedback on what you think about governance

The sport of sailing welcomes everyone. There will always be apathetic whiners, who like to complain but do nothing about it but that is okay......we have somewhere for them as well....its called Sailing Anarchy Forums.
 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,540
1,970
In the USA, do clubs pay a per-member fee (or similar) to US Sailing? In other words, do club members contribute to US Sailing through their club memberships?
In the US we have a hybrid system. There is a membership category for organizations. Clubs and One Design Class Associations are encouraged to join as organizations. The fee is not based on the number of members so it is an expense item for a small 25 boat class and peanuts for large clubs. The membership fee for an organization is $225 a year. (In a 500 member club, 50 cents of your $3,000 annual dues goes to USS.) Any club which runs a junior sailing program or hires instructors is going to join or face stupid liability risk. It is harder to host a regatta as an OA unless your organization is a member organization. The organization can become a "patron member" for $1,000 a year and you get to see your name in lights on USS website, front row seats at meetings and your flag officers are individual members.

The club's members do not automatically become USS members, they have to join individually but you can join USS through the club's MVP program. This is a discounted rate and the club gets a credit for each club member that individually joins USS through the MVP program. Those credits can be used to pay for various USS services.
 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
16,892
1,585
South Coast, UK
OK thanks. For UK clubs, the RYA affiliation fee is banded according to club membership income and only the very smallest clubs would be paying as little as $225 a year, while larger clubs could be paying much more. Roughly, the RYA gets 2-4% of membership income. Without direct evidence to prove it but based on conversations, it is my belief that most racing sailors aren't personal members of the RYA because they consider they are supporting it via club membership dues and their club's affiliation fee. It's a system that seems to work well enough, I don't hear many complaining about it.
 
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Wess

Super Anarchist
Well you got me interested enough that I will have to do some digging when I have some time. Not sure obviously but the comment rung true with me only because I seem to recall some kerfuffle about WS (or its predecessor ) trying to insert itself into the Dogzilla match race and being told to pound sand.

Tangential to this though is I don't see why you couldn't have a match race without their involvement or oversight. Lots of fun races these days like R2AK or EC where I don't see why they would have to have any role.
 
Tangential to this though is I don't see why you couldn't have a match race without their involvement or oversight. Lots of fun races these days like R2AK or EC where I don't see why they would have to have any role.
Lots of racing that you can do without US Sailing or the RRS. I run a race at my club where we don't bother with Port, Starboard, windward, leeward, inside, outside or any of that nonsense. When you approach another boat, you each hail your age and....the lower number keeps clear. KISS.

That doesn't obviate the role of US Sailing. I have never been a freeloader my entire life, so yes, I pay my dues despite room for improvement at USS. I certainly dont feel that everyone has to join, and I genuinely welcome any sailor to any activity I am involved in. However, for myself, I get a lot from the sport that I love and the people that make it happen so its a small gesture and I am a member.
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
Lots of racing that you can do without US Sailing or the RRS. I run a race at my club where we don't bother with Port, Starboard, windward, leeward, inside, outside or any of that nonsense. When you approach another boat, you each hail your age and....the lower number keeps clear. KISS.
No clue if you are serious or not but quite honestly that sounds like a crap ton of fun. Many variations of that could be used to get folks out on the water!
 
No clue if you are serious or not but quite honestly that sounds like a crap ton of fun. Many variations of that could be used to get folks out on the water!
I am serious. Next year I intend to introduce it to the juniors, based on the combined age of a two person team in the Ideal 18s. The juniors will steer and they can invite any family member as their crew.

They are competitive and they can do math. It will bring tears of joy to grandad when nipper asks him to crew on July 4th.
 

Parma

Super Anarchist
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here
1) After you've joined & paid your member ship dues, everything should be free (except merchandise)

2) If you volunteer a certain number of hours your membership should be free
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
I am serious. Next year I intend to introduce it to the juniors, based on the combined age of a two person team in the Ideal 18s. The juniors will steer and they can invite any family member as their crew.

They are competitive and they can do math. It will bring tears of joy to grandad when nipper asks him to crew on July 4th.
That is quite honestly one of the best ideas I have ever heard for getting (especially new) folks on the water racing. You could also run one where the guys have to give way to the gals. Tip my cap to you Sir.
 




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