How to Find and Join the Perfect Sailing or Yacht Club

Perhaps you have rented or purchased a beauty for the high seas. Are you curious about other amenities and aspects of the nautical world—in particular, yacht clubs? No matter what, you’ll want yacht insurance to cover your outings.

The Ins and Outs

Yacht clubs take all kinds of forms. Some cater to high-net-worth individuals while others serve a broader range of boat owners. Some are largely for people who race, while others have more of a country club feel.

Some members are upper- to middle-class working people, and not ultra-wealthy. While there are other clubs that are very upscale and might even require a jacket for dining in the formal dining room. Most of these clubs have informal areas as well, usually, the locker room, which might have a sauna, weight room, swimming pool, tennis courts, etc. available, depending on how well funded they are.

Some clubs are located in smaller, older facilities. They’re basically member-run, volunteer organizations that depend on their member base to do nearly everything.

Size can vary, too. Some clubs are lucky to have 100 members while others can push 5,000 members.

Why Join?

Many people join a club for the ability to get a boat slip on the premises or dry storage.

Members also have access to facilities such as a dining room, exercise room, meeting rooms, junior programs for kids, and organized cruises and other planned activities.

Then there’s the social component. Often, yacht clubs throw exclusive parties and gatherings for their members, which are either networking cocktails or events related to yachting.

There is also the perk of racing under a U.S. Sailing-sanctioned burgee. Membership in a qualifying club is required for national or international competition in higher-level races. Many clubs are built around racing that sponsor a weeknight race with regattas over the weekends in the summertime.

There are categories of racing, based on boat type, and a myriad of regattas to support racing at a variety of levels. Sailing is also an Olympic sport, so there are many individuals who aspire to Olympic campaigns, as well as many junior racing programs.

Why Join?

If you’re looking to join a paper club, simply apply, pay your dues, and you’re a proud member of a yacht club.

But for brick-and-mortar clubs, it’s not as easy. Generally the board of directors will decide whether a club should limit the size of the membership, depending on the facilities.

Some are more exclusive with more elaborate application procedures.

The Bottom Line

Talk to local sailing shops, look online and go to races sponsored by the club. Try to get a feel for the ambiance. The face of yacht clubs is changing, becoming more homey and clubby, not extravagant. There is a trend to make the clubs less formal as younger members are demanding a more casual environment. Casual or not, a measure of exclusivity can prevail among older, prestigious places.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (888) 402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.