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Should yacht clubs stop charging a joining fee?

Triassic

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The joining fee isn't to cover the cost of signing up. Essentially you are buying a stake in the premises and assets, your annual fee is then for covering running costs. Should the club ever liquidate then as a member you'd be eligible for a portion of any remaining proceeds.
That being the case I take it you get your joining fee back if you were to ever resign your membership?
 

alant

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Don't think so, if they are private members clubs. Some "clubs" are in fact businesses that just style themselves as "clubs". However many private members clubs like the one I belong too are professionally managed on the facilities (clubhouse, marina, yard) and the sailing activities a mixture of professional and volunteer.
Well, the YC that I used to frequent is now limited & so apparently, are the others in the area.
 

Supine Being

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Well, the YC that I used to frequent is now limited & so apparently, are the others in the area.
They may be limited companies, but I think it's simply a case of being tax efficient and having limited liability for the officers of the club. Especially if the club want to do things like room hire for business events or weddings. I wouldn't expect dividends to be paid to the company directors or anything like that.
 

Woodlouse

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Yes. RHKYC currently charge the equivalent of about £6,000 to join and there is a waiting list!
Last time I was there I got the impression that the yacht part of the club was a small consideration. It seemed more like an American style "country club" with swimming pools, saunas, bowling alleys and tennis courts. It wouldn't surprise me if most members didn't sail.
 

Triassic

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I don't know, I'd have to read the rule book. I'd have thought it would vary with some clubs refunding, others considering it more a non refundable deposit.
I would think that would have significant influence on answering the original thread question.
 

lw395

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Having been a member of a few clubs over the years, I've never had a joining fee refunded.
But not all clubs charge one.
Why do non-members think clubs need their advice on recruitment? Most clubs are financially stable and don't actually need an influx of new members, particularly those who are not committed enough to pay a joining fee. It's been seen in several clubs that if you grab a load of members one year, they get involved in a big rush of enthusiasm then wander off after a few seasons. Most clubs have been around for a very long time and do OK by staying much the same and catering for a loyal membership. Sure, a steady flow of the right new members is good, but a long term view and a clear vision of what the club is about is more important than maximising membership in the short term.
All clubs seem to have cycles of being busy and less busy, but most seem to think for the long term.
Often very long term.
 

Woodlouse

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I would think that would have significant influence on answering the original thread question.
Maybe. But in answer to the original question if I was having doubts about the cost of a joining fee I'd also be having doubts about subscriptions which would tend to lead to me having doubts about wanting to be a member in the first place.
 

Resolution

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Last time I was there I got the impression that the yacht part of the club was a small consideration. It seemed more like an American style "country club" with swimming pools, saunas, bowling alleys and tennis courts. It wouldn't surprise me if most members didn't sail.
Which bit(s) of the RHKYC did you visit and when? Sure there are some god non-boating facilities, but here are also three club houses each with its own boating facilities, very active racing side, lots of crazy types for whom rowing is the life, and of course many cruising yachts.
 

Pump-Out

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Oh, and in my club there has been a long-standing policy to recruit most of the General Committee members from the under fifties, with the commodes in their sixties.
So, after ten years on the committee, you get issued with a toilet facility?
I know it's not what you meant, but hilarious, never-the-less. :rolleyes:
 

Woodlouse

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Which bit(s) of the RHKYC did you visit and when? Sure there are some god non-boating facilities, but here are also three club houses each with its own boating facilities, very active racing side, lots of crazy types for whom rowing is the life, and of course many cruising yachts.
Only went once about four years ago so probably didn't get the right feel of the place. I know England is pretty unique as to how it does yacht clubs but this was way off the mark.
 

prv

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So, after ten years on the committee, you get issued with a toilet facility?
I know it's not what you meant, but hilarious, never-the-less. :rolleyes:
Now I'm not sure whether it was an auto-correct typo or a deliberate jokette. My dad's a retired RAF officer and not uncommonly refers to the one-star rank in that service as "Air Commode" :)

Pete
 

Resolution

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It was deliberate. "Commode " is regularly used in conversation in the club, mostly to ensure that the current holders of the posts of vice or rear commodore do not get too inflated an idea of their importance. As most of them recently have been close friends and contemporaries, it is a term used with affection rather than contempt. They do also put in a tremendous amount of time and effort towards the running of a large club, for which we should be grateful.
There, now everyone knows the meaning!
 

DJE

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Only went once about four years ago so probably didn't get the right feel of the place. I know England is pretty unique as to how it does yacht clubs but this was way off the mark.
To be fair to them the football club and cricket club are similar with large numbers of social members. People living in small flats and/or with long commutes value having a club in the city.
But the sailing and rowing sections at RHKYC are very active and if an applicant can demonstrate a real commitment to either sport then they jump the queue to join and the joining fee is deferred for two years. (This was all explained to me in great detail when a client was trying to lure me back to a full time position in Hong Kong.)
 

oldgit

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Seems an odd arrangement when it's generally those members who are most well-off. But I guess they're also the ones on the committee that sets the fees...

Pete

In most clubs you apparently get a discount merely for longevity , plus all the best moorings of course, where usually ,the boats tend to move least. .
Virtually 50 % of our club is now paying some sort of reduced membership fee.
On the up side,all joining fees now can be reclaimed , via the bar/galley or fuel tank.
 

Keith 66

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Benfleet Essex
Our club dropped the discount for seniors years ago, As for joining fees, why not? You are buying into an organisation where everyone else has paid it so its a matter of equity. If a joining fee is large spread it over several years to make it easier.
As for buying a stake in the club the joining fee may have been for this in the past but any club whatever that wants access to funding needs a dissolution clause to stop asset stripping in the event of the club folding. In a way a good thing as it takes the tempation away!
Too many people regard a club as a gym membership where they can dip in & out as required!
 

Craignish

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Our club dropped the discount for seniors years ago, As for joining fees, why not? You are buying into an organisation where everyone else has paid it so its a matter of equity. If a joining fee is large spread it over several years to make it easier.
As for buying a stake in the club the joining fee may have been for this in the past but any club whatever that wants access to funding needs a dissolution clause to stop asset stripping in the event of the club folding. In a way a good thing as it takes the tempation away!
Too many people regard a club as a gym membership where they can dip in & out as required!
Then the joining fee should be refunded to the member when he or she decides to leave.
 
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