The demise of Thames Boat clubs !

oldgit

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We have just had a proposal to allow social members voted down at our AGM.
One of the opponents of the proposal ,a member of a Thames club also ,stated that the admission of social members was responsible for the decline in many Thames clubs and further that one particular club had collapsed completely due to this.
Speaking to others,boat clubs are merely one of many other type of clubs suffering from a decline in membership and a general disinterest in similar organised activities
Interested in any comments.
 

No Regrets

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Bray are managing to keep membership stable enough, but we're actively trying to do so, and have been for two or three years now.

It would be very easy to let it slip, either by way of disappointing members with poor events, or treating them less well than they would reasonably expect.

With social networking being such a prolific part of our lives these days, and the biggest reason people don't have to join a boat club to keep in touch with other boaters, I think the Clubs need to give people a good reason to join, and stay members!

I suspect we may be doomed long term, but it's fun while it lasts!? :ambivalence:
 

oldgit

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Re: The demise of a Thames Boat club !

There are probably some very valid reasons for preventing a social membership scheme , but find it difficult to believe that it led to the decline and fall of a club on the Thames.
The chap who put forward the case for retaining full membership only,did state the name of the club concerned.
Would it have been based somewhere around Hampton Court ?
As this forum probably has better overview of the situation than just about any other group and is usually prepared to share its view in full and frank manner,who better to ask :)
Personally believe that a limited number of social member would not be a bad thing, am happy to be convinced otherwise but lets have facts not conjecture ?
The general idea is to get more bodies coming through the club door.
 
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boatone

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We have just had a proposal to allow social members voted down at our AGM.
One of the opponents of the proposal ,a member of a Thames club also ,stated that the admission of social members was responsible for the decline in many Thames clubs and further that one particular club had collapsed completely due to this.
What a load of utter bilge ! Most clubs rely on at least a modicum of social members to keep the subscriptions down. Social members are not necessarily non-boat owners either - they may enjoy the social events without wanting to be "organised" in their boating preferences.
If your members allowed this comment to persuade them to vote against the proposal more fools them.
 

Ramage

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Social members are sometimes ex-boaters who still want to be part of the club, or even people who have their boat elsewhere (such as the South Coast or The Broads).
 

Ramage

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The best way to retain (and recruit) members is to offer trips and experiences that the individual boater either cannot do on their own, or lacks the confidence & experience to attempt.

An example of this would be going Tidal for the first time, or going Cross-Channel.

This tends to appeal to the newer (younger?) boater. Social membership comes into its own as the boater becomes unable or unwilling to use the boat for reasons of health or age.

A good club will recognise this and cater for both cases.
 

oldgit

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What's the difference between a full and a social member?

In our case it was an attempt to get round the 6 visit rule.A "social member",more often than not a non boat owner,is able to use the club facilities ie. bar/galley etc attend club "do,s" etc without the need to be signed in by a club member and can attend as many as they wish without limit.
A reduced subscription rate would be applied but the social member does not get to vote at the AGM.
Still trying to track down the club that went tits up due to social members,a number of other clubs were mentioned as examples of the dangers of social members, people on this forum are in those clubs.:)
 
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OG

In the not so distant past your club in particular had a cadet and social membership, I think this disappeared in the early 70's when the building changed from a pre fab to the current clubhouse. I believe MYC still has these categories, certainly the larger club opposite has a social side, indeed you go through a social member before becoming a full one. This is part of the process to see if you like them, and they like you.The cadet section is to encourage younger boat owners, and to perpetuate the membership of the club, long term. When trot moorings were the norm the cadet membership were invaluable in help picking up the trot moorings and running the club launch, particularly on the occasion of 'The Admirals Race' as it was known in those days. I know as one who did it.
 

oldgit

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In the not so distant past your club in particular had a cadet and social membership, I think this disappeared in the early 70's when the building changed from a pre fab to the current clubhouse. I believe MYC still has these categories, certainly the larger club opposite has a social side, indeed you go through a social member before becoming a full one. This is part of the process to see if you like them, and they like you.The cadet section is to encourage younger boat owners, and to perpetuate the membership of the club, long term. When trot moorings were the norm the cadet membership were invaluable in help picking up the trot moorings and running the club launch, particularly on the occasion of 'The Admirals Race' as it was known in those days. I know as one who did it.

Was totally unaware of this. !
 

Greg2

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I am a member of a costal yacht club and having moved the boat away we changed from full to associate (social) membership. It meant reduced fees but we didn't get access to a mooring or reduced cost fuel. It worked for us for a while but we have just gone back to full membership.

Current policy at the club is to close the gap between full and associate membership costs with a view, I guess, to ultimately eradicating the latter. Not sure that this is a good idea in the long term. The demographic of the club doesn't bode well for the future and I can't help but think that diminishing associate membership isn't going to help in keeping the numbers up.
 

oldgit

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After being a bit becalmed this season mainly due to loosing a pursor, committee once again has full complement of volunteers.Hopefully the galley will again be soon up and running full time and this will encourage members old and new to drop in more frequently and for visitor numbers to increase.
We have the Rochester Sweeps Festival coming up soon,in the past we have had 30 or 40 boats arrive for this event also worth bringing your boat down for is the Dickens festival usually in June.
http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/


 
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