Sailing clubs

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Paul No Boat, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Paul No Boat
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Location: Indiana

    Paul No Boat Junior Member

    Ok, after a few weeks on this site, I am as intruiged as ever and realize how little I know. Before I jump into the sailing world I would like to get into a position to gain some experience through a club or informal group of knowledgeable people.

    I would be interested in people's experiences with sailing clubs or shared ownership of boats.

    I know clubs of any kind can be ridden with internal politics and "bad apples".
    But I also believe they can be one of the best ways to get your feet wet without investing your life savings into something you know all too little about.

    any input?
     
  2. Itchy&Scratchy
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    Location: Oxford & South Africa

    Itchy&Scratchy Senior Member

    Hey Paul

    I think it depends where you are, if its a big yacht club where the boats are bigger, then yes it can boil down to 'how much money you have or mine is bigger than yours'. And of course every yacht club has , what is commonly known as the 'rockstars' these are the guys who are generally working on the big race boats, oh sorry, did I say working??? I meant to say kissing the owners of the big boats arses. They are easily identifiable by having the latest trendy name gear and of course every imaginable piece of crap hanging from their belts, they seem to have a tool for everything- forgetting of course that if they fall overboard(which couldnt possibly happen, could it??)
    they will be on a one way trip downwards.
    Right , now getting back to your question.

    Even though the bigger clubs have their rockstars etc you will always find 'real' sailors amongst their members. Ask around at the bar for the guys who have multiple long distance sailing trips under their belt and wait until you get a chance and go over and chat. These guys are often found at the clubs 'out of hours' in other words not at the time to be seen. If you get chatting and explain that you want to sail or learn to sail, they willl generally be the first to offer to take you out. If you show them that you respect what they have done and are willling to learn , you will achieve their respect in return. You can never know everything there is to know in this game, but you can learn from those that have been there done that got the teeshirt.

    Saying all of that, most yacht clubs have a sailing school attached or will know where you can learn the basics. Having a friend with a dinghy and a little patience will go a long way to having you sailing within a few hours.

    Smaller yacht clubs are generally friendlier places and having then most dosh doesnt really come into it.

    This sounds like a bit of a rant but I have been a member of a yacht club for many years, where we have a mix of big boats and smaller older boats, and recently the club was hit by a massive weather front and forty of our boats were damaged. One of the most wealthy and subsequently biggest *rseholes '
    boat was significantly damaged along with the others, over the years he has never even bothered to acknowledge me- even after buying him a few drinks here and there(as part of my round) but..... what goes around comes around!!! ........I have been living overseas for years and have been working as a boatbuilder and set up my own repair business and as it pans out, Im the only person suitably qualified to deal with the repairs that are required on his boat-The ball is now in my court........He He He

    Anway , moral of the story... it doesnt matter what type of boat you sail, as long as you are on then water is all that counts.
    Above all its about having fun.
    Good luck
    regards
    Justin
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Itchy&Scratchy
    Joined: Jul 2008
    Posts: 140
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    Location: Oxford & South Africa

    Itchy&Scratchy Senior Member

    Ok, I have just read your post again, and have realized that maybe you can sail already, apologies for misreading but you can still get the jist of what I was trying to sail. My opinion, by a trailer sailer,that way you have the option of being part of a club or not.
    J
     
  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Clubs can be, as you mentioned, everything from "allotment garden" sort of gathering to "fastnet racers only" with every nuance in between. One must sort it out.

    Shared ownership can be only one thing: a pain in the butt.
    leave it.

    Chartering (especially off season), is another proven way to find out what you like and where your personal requirements are positioned.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Just show up and offer to be "crew". You'll quickly get a grip on who's who and what's what, if you have any social skills at all. Then bring money to pay off the ones you've pissed off and donuts for the ones you like. After a few weeks you'll begin to get a feel for things, have developed friends and begin your quest toward sail type and model bias.
     
  6. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Justin has it about right, too many snobs (stiff upper lips) at these clubs for my liking :D

    The more I have to do with people the more I like my boat.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It depends on what and where, but generally the more fancy the boat, the more snobby they can get. I find it fun to remind these people that they're crap is the same color as their worst enemy's, which often brings out the surpressed human within them. On the other hand, I do have a local club where I love to piss off the blue bloods. I'll show up with a class racer, with big rust stains and hunks of gel coat missing from it's flanks. Then proceed to stomp on the fleet come the races. I've intentional used a buddies 40 year old, rust bucket pickup to tow the boat to the club, just to show them, that the local "red-neck" can whip their *** at their own game. Of course the sailors that are actually good know me and quickly point of the new sails, nice tight rigging, finely waxed bottom and spectra lines. At the end of the day, there's a bigger crowd around me sitting, drinking at the end of the dock with a cooler full of beer, then inside the club drinking fancy rum and soda on ice in the air condisioning.
     
  8. Paul No Boat
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Location: Indiana

    Paul No Boat Junior Member

    Hi and thanks to all who responded. Sorry I started this and then left for four days to be with family for the holiday. I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Now back to the subject.

    All good answers. Actually the type of club I was thinking of would be like a park district kind of thing where the club owns one or several boats of solid utility level and members are allowed to crew or use depending on their proven experience.

    I have been a member of several large scale, riding scale actually, model railroads and I have learned that despite the "club" format, there is always one or two individuals who seem to be the stars. Sometimes their stardom is warrented and they actually do know and produce more than the rest, but all too frequently it goes to their heads and they remind you of their superiority or put down the honest efforts of new but sincere members.

    and I am sure this often applies to boat clubs as well.

    I think my answer might be to join a club that does not require too much investment right off the bat, learn what I can about boats and the people who sail them and then hope my interest and effort continues to a higher level.

    Unfortunately I live in an area where sailing is common but not the top. Indiana has more jet ski lakes and water skiing than sailing grounds.

    Wish I'd been this interested when I was close to Lake Michigan spent 50 years in Chicago and saw a few tall ships regattas there.

    I do often visit puget sound tho as my daughter and her family live there and I am considering joining "The Center for Wooden Boats" as an absentee member to get in touch with the best reading and people and then get a chance to try out my research when I am visiting. I am not sure how much book learning is applicable right away but I spose if I do my homework at least I'll know the jargon when I get there for the hands on training. Just wish I was more accessable to this new world.
     
  9. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 4,603
    Likes: 174, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2484
    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    The only thing no one can help you with is to never stop thinking, especially if the weather picks up a bit.
     

  10. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Take care,

    especially the "Mahogany Sailors" as we call them in northern Europe are often quite nose up!

    Good luck
    Richard
     
    1 person likes this.
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