Boaters seem to have an instant connection with other boaters. Whether it’s sharing knowledge about how to deal with a maintenance issue or enjoying stories about tall tales during seagoing adventures, boaters enjoy the camaraderie of other boaters.
Joining social boat clubs, yacht clubs or other boating organizations is great way to build relationships with other boaters in your community, cruise to new destinations and enhance your experiences on the water.
Yacht Club Memberships for Boat Owners
If you are interested in socially connecting with other local boaters, then a yacht club is a great way to enhance your boating experience. Known either as yacht clubs or boat clubs, most social club typically covers a geographical boating area and is named for the region. However there are other social clubs based on a brand of boat or type of boat (such as clubs for owners of trawlers) that encompass larger geographic areas.
Joining a social yacht club typically costs boaters a nominal annual membership fee (as little as $25 a year), with additional charges for special events or trips. In addition to membership fees or dues, members typically must adhere to a constitution or bylaws established by the club.
There are also other boat membership opportunities with local United States Power Squadron and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary organizations. These memberships are especially helpful for improving a boater’s maritime expertise, but they can also involve community social events.
Social Benefits of Boat Clubs
Besides having the right to sport a namesake burgee flag on your boat, a social yacht club membership has many benefits. For most boaters, the biggest benefit of a yacht club membership is the ability to socialize with other local boaters. Boaters are able to network and make new friends through socially oriented yacht clubs and boating activities. Sharing knowledge, expertise, boating stories, cruising trips, raft-ups at favorite anchorages and enjoying time with like-minded boaters can greatly enhance the boating experience.
Planned social activities for boat clubs could include:
- Races or regattas
- Poker runs
- Raft-up parties
- BBQ’s, crab feasts or clam bakes
- Seasonal or holiday parties
- Off-season club house events
- Fund raising or charitable events
Other benefits of boat or yacht clubs can include use of clubhouse facilities, discounted marine services (such as marine fuel or pump-outs) or reciprocal privileges with other area boat clubs.
Cruising with a Boat Club
Boat clubs will usually plan many trips throughout the year or season, expanding cruises beyond a boater’s typical destination plans. Traveling in groups is safer and having the club select marina destinations and reserve slips for a group of boats can be very convenient.
Some boat clubs exist solely for boaters interested in cruising to specific destinations. One example includes America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association (AGLCA) for boaters who are planning to navigate the 5,000 – 7,500 mile loop around the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America. This nautical adventure is a bonding experience for boaters and club members that will create stories that last a lifetime.