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Should yacht clubs stop charging a joining fee?

RobbieW

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24 Jun 2007
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On land for now
This is an old thread and I may have said this before. Many clubs have valuable assets, like clubhouse premises in expensive areas of real estate, land, rescue boats, work boats etc. These will have been funded by existing and previous members. I believe in the event of a club closing, the assets if sold are to be divided amongst members. A joining fee is a contribution from a new applicant/member towards what existing members have already put in. This was the case at my Golf club and Yacht club back in the days we were Poole based, our current one in Cowes is a very much smaller affair and only has a tiny joining fee
My club, see above, deals with the asset situation in the articles. Members do share in any residual value but need a minimum of 5 years continuous membership, the share is pro-rated from there and we have members with 35+ years standing. We have no debt and a fair asset on the river in Hamble. In principle we have a joining fee but it hasnt been exercised for a long time.
 

Mark-1

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22 Sep 2008
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So can I, but I can also see that if you actually want new members, charging them double or more for the first year is likely to put a lot of people off
No quarrel with that. I had a quick look at a neighbouring club's fees earlier on this summer. Age graded special rates and no joining fees for young families in an attempt to attract the required demographic:
Membership Offers • Chichester Yacht Club

Depends what you're trying to achieve.
 

AntarcticPilot

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4 May 2007
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Cambridge, UK
I'm not a member of a club, and the only thing that would perhaps move me to join one would be if the club had facilities that I wanted and that were only available to members (e.g. the RHYC marina at Woolverstone). I have no interest in racing and the social side is well catered for by meeting folk on the pontoon at the marina. I don't spend time in bars, generally - got out of the habit when drink-drive laws kicked in! I suspect that declining club membership is entirely down to these factors - clubs no longer provide a service that many people need. Moorings seem to be the main reason people join clubs around the East Coast - but many moorings are operated by boatyards, not clubs.
 

jbweston

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25 Jun 2005
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Me: Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Boat: Sweden
you do realise this is a 4 year old thread, not a new one? What benefit to resurect it now, and not respond to current threads instead?
I understand why some people prefer a new thread to be started. Personally I prefer an old thread to be resurrected (as long as the new posts are on the same subject) because it saves me work as I don't have to hunt and dot around different threads on the same subject. But surely it's a matter of personal preference, not a reason to fall out and criticise each other?

I do find that some of us on here are inclined to contribute 'I do it like this and I'm right, so you're wrong'. I've always found that true expertise is not dictatorial and that the 'I'm right' brigade's contributions need to be treated with a pinch of salt and a little gentle Mickey-taking.

The older ones among us remember Warden Hodges and his comical officiousness. Possibly better not to be too like him?
 

Walther

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19 Jan 2015
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138
I'm pretty sure joining fees help retain member as well. People will be much more careful not to let membership lapse if they know there's a substantial cost in rejoining.

Makes people think harder about joining but *much* harder about leaving and eliminates people taking a season off every now and then.
Some truth to this. And it might make sense if members lived in one place their entire lives. However, in contemporary times people often move around, whether for work, family of other reasons.

It seems rather harsh to demand that a retiree who moves to a new place stump up another joining fee if he or she wishes to join a local club. Some clubs get around that obstacle by waiving the joining fee if the prospective new member has belonged to a reciprocal club for 5+ years.

Only if the joining fee is more than a year's membership, of course.
Some European yacht clubs, and most North American clubs, levy joining fees equal to 5 or even 10x annual dues ... generally on the ‘because we can’ principle (well and good if there is a long waiting list to join, much less so if there’s isn’t).

An even better way to retain members might be to make membership attractive and value for money.
+1

An attempt to ‘lock-in’ people seems more appropriate to proprietary health ‘clubs’ than to yacht clubs that exist to serve their members.
 

Walther

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19 Jan 2015
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I do find that some of us on here are inclined to contribute 'I do it like this and I'm right, so you're wrong'. I've always found that true expertise is not dictatorial and that the 'I'm right' brigade's contributions need to be treated with a pinch of salt and a little gentle Mickey-taking.
Thanks!

Meddlesome busybodies, who take it upon themselves to chastise people for transgressing imagined rules, are the bane of any club, and a serious factor in member retention issues. It was ironic to encounter supercilious bullying in this of all threads.
 

jac

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10 Sep 2001
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8,651
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Home Berkshire, Boat Hamble
Despite spending my early days sailing off half tide moorings on the East Coast I have become accustomed to the convenience of a walk ashore pontoon berth. I have, perhaps, been spoiled in that my yacht club located there had its own marina along with a MDL marina located just upstream.

Unfortunately the Hamble marinas are beyond my means (I have found them rather unrestful when visiting) so otherwise I think that leaves Chichester Marine & Chichester Yacht Club and the Lymington clubs and marinas?

I have friends who keep their boat one of the Gosport marinas and are members of Portsmouth Sailing Club but their club house is the other side of the harbour.
Definitely worth considering a mid river pontoon with bosun service - 2 Good clubs with that - much cheaper and almost as convenient - probably not for you though if you are use to just turning up at random times - fettling for a bit then going home.
 

RobbieW

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24 Jun 2007
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On land for now
Just curious, not come across the term before... What’s a ‘bosun service’?
In the context used, it means the club has a launch operated by a bosun who will deliver you to your river mooring and collect you later. That service would operate within defined times and areas of moorings
 
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