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Old 03-07-2014, 10:42 AM   #1
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Boating friends/clubs

In our sailboat days we belonged to a sail club and enjoyed the company of many like minded friends and boating enthusiasts. The age of the members ranged from 20's to 80's but most like us were in their mid 40's. We enjoyed weekend cruises to many anchorages and marina's and I learned the area quite well. The boat club facility where meetings took place and the race skipper briefings were held was a open floor facility with bathrooms and a storage area. It was maintained by the members and member fees were more than reasonable. Less than $100 to join and $35/mo I think.

Since buying our MY (motor yacht) we've joined the USPS and completed their basic boating course. I was hopeful that we would meet some folks that like to do weekend cruises but that has not happened. The club does a monthly cruise but it is always to a marina and generally on the few we've gone to only 3 or 4 boats attend, though several couples do come by car. We are in our early 60's and appear to be younger than average which probably explains the marina cruises. The admiral is no longer interested in attending the meetings.

In researching motor boating clubs they are more like country clubs with restaurants, pools and high member fees. Since our marina has a pool and very nice restaurant on site we really have all that without the high membership fees. Only problem is we've found no one to cruise with, even for weekends. Most of my dock mates are retired or nearly so and I am surprised almost none of the boats on our docks have a dinghy. Which of course means they don't anchor out. We moved to a new marina 6 months ago, and the guy behind me a very nice fellow, retired from the FAA with a 43 Bayliner has invited us to join the USPS he is a member of and much closer than our old USPS. We will but again he has no dinghy and no interest in anchoring.

We might have to get chummy with some of the sail-boaters, they all have dinghy's.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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I've noticed most all yacht clubs here (with sailboats and/or powerboats) have outings only to other yacht clubs, except perhaps for an annual delta rendezvous on anchor.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:22 AM   #3
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I'm new to cruising, but have spent a business lifetime dealing with recreation clubs (scuba diving). IMO, there are often a core of members who do the recreation to some degree, but as most clubs get older the membership becomes more social than participatory. Nothing against yacht clubs, etc., but I bought a boat to cruise and get away not get to the next dock.

I was very fortunate to have a cruising couple in the next slip to me when I arrived in Fort Myers. They are from Kentucky; here for the winter; then off to the Bahamas in April for a couple of months. Learned a great deal from them and hope to spend a long weekend out cruising before I head North and they go East. I'm sure we will stay in touch and hope our paths cross again next winter. My point is that in the couple of months that I have had a cruising boat, I have met 4 other cruising boats of relatively like minded people. The trick now is to stay in touch (short email now and then) and make the effort to get together in the middle of nowhere in the near future. Those that cruise and are social seem to know others and make the effort to get together off the beaten path. That interests me more than sitting around the pool at the yat-chet club.

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Old 03-07-2014, 11:29 AM   #4
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Our yacht club has four raft-ups a year plus a month-long stay on Catalina Island, with different members coming and going.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:30 AM   #5
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Our club has a big problem. Very few marina's these days can handle 60 plus boats for a club cruise so now we are starting to do more anchor out ones. Notice a difference in the turnout..........
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:32 AM   #6
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We started our own unofficial yacht club. Membership is free and we have no costs or facilities. We share a phone tree that includes folks we have met at anchor in various locations. If it's decent cruising weather as simple phone call is made and those that can go do!
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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Taken on one of our joint outings with fellow TFers:

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Old 03-07-2014, 11:47 AM   #8
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Here is one of our weekend raftups. No formal club, just lots of friends and friends of friends. Word usually goes out by word of mouth, text and Facebook a week or two in advance. This was our biggest turnout last year. Notice that our Tug is off to the left in the picture. We decided to anchor on our own and use the dinghy to get back and fort to the main raftup. This was in part to be able to go to bed when we wanted and also in case the weather turned. We do raft with smaller groups where we know everyone personally.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:51 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. t. You've received a number of suggestions and comments.....mine....



A case is just under $2K+shipping. LOTS of cruising friends AND of the proper sort.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:09 PM   #10
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by timjet View Post
In our sailboat days we belonged to a sail club and enjoyed the company of many like minded friends and boating enthusiasts. The age of the members ranged from 20's to 80's but most like us were in their mid 40's. We enjoyed weekend cruises to many anchorages and marina's and I learned the area quite well. The boat club facility where meetings took place and the race skipper briefings were held was a open floor facility with bathrooms and a storage area. It was maintained by the members and member fees were more than reasonable. Less than $100 to join and $35/mo I think.

Since buying our MY (motor yacht) we've joined the USPS and completed their basic boating course. I was hopeful that we would meet some folks that like to do weekend cruises but that has not happened. The club does a monthly cruise but it is always to a marina and generally on the few we've gone to only 3 or 4 boats attend, though several couples do come by car. We are in our early 60's and appear to be younger than average which probably explains the marina cruises. The admiral is no longer interested in attending the meetings.

In researching motor boating clubs they are more like country clubs with restaurants, pools and high member fees. Since our marina has a pool and very nice restaurant on site we really have all that without the high membership fees. Only problem is we've found no one to cruise with, even for weekends. Most of my dock mates are retired or nearly so and I am surprised almost none of the boats on our docks have a dinghy. Which of course means they don't anchor out. We moved to a new marina 6 months ago, and the guy behind me a very nice fellow, retired from the FAA with a 43 Bayliner has invited us to join the USPS he is a member of and much closer than our old USPS. We will but again he has no dinghy and no interest in anchoring.

We might have to get chummy with some of the sail-boaters, they all have dinghy's.

Capt. Tim, I have heard it said that the FL east coast is the gold plater and fishing coast. The FL west coast is the cocktail coast. Seems to be fairly accurate. Anchoring is one of the joys of boating. We belonged to Bradenton Yacht Club when we were on the west coast. It was true there. There were some fun cruises to other nice yacht clubs, but no anchoring.

It seems that you and I are a little different kind of boater. We have cruisers, but use them more like trawlers. We don't hang around an area more than a season or 2, so we very seldom have buddy boats along for a cruise. We are pretty much on our own where ever we go, but that's OK. It's not that we don't like to socialize, it's just that we enjoy the solitude and decompression.

When we get back to the west coast, we'll hook up for some cruising. The best part of boating.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:02 PM   #12
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Our issue is that NO ONE of our age group is into boats. if you add my and my wife's age together you get the average age of most boaters. that would be 68, BTW. Its not a big deal for us but i feel kinda bad for our daughter who more often than not has no one anywhere her age to play with.

But i suppose our goal is to raise a independent, free spirited child.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:24 PM   #13
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Our issue is that NO ONE of our age group is into boats. if you add my and my wife's age together you get the average age of most boaters. that would be 68, BTW. Its not a big deal for us but i feel kinda bad for our daughter who more often than not has no one anywhere her age to play with.

But i suppose our goal is to raise a independent, free spirited child.
That is surprising - my wife and I are in our early 40s and have lots of friends from our area that we've met on the water in the same or very close age group. Also lots of people out with the kids. That said, we are in the minority with our NT. Most of the boats we hang out with are SeaRays and similar types. Not that it matters - we often rafted with these boats even when we had our sailboat. We just leave the dock a little earlier and get to the raft ups a little later, burning a lot less fuel. Of course, everyone wants to be on our boat when the weather turns (nothing like a pilothouse for an early spring/late fall cruise).
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:25 PM   #14
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Our issue is that NO ONE of our age group is into boats. if you add my and my wife's age together you get the average age of most boaters. that would be 68, BTW. Its not a big deal for us but i feel kinda bad for our daughter who more often than not has no one anywhere her age to play with.

But i suppose our goal is to raise a independent, free spirited child.
If she is old enough, tell her once in a while she can invite 1 friend for a weekend cruise. Clear it with the parents and see how it goes. Kind of like going camping for the weekend with your best friend's family.

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Old 03-07-2014, 02:44 PM   #15
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I joined a yacht club to meet other like minded boaters. I've met many, but many of them don't use their boats as often as we do, and most of them use it only as a floating apartment where they congregate on the docks on weekends. We don't keep our boat at the YC docks because we like the covered moorage where we are. I do go to the Friday nite BBQ's and it's fun, but it's the same group every Friday night.

The club has gotten quite cliqueish (is that a word??) and seems to be headed in a different direction. The clubhouse is located between several shore side condo buildings. We used to have a limit on the number of non-boat-owners we would allow to join. That limit was removed last year.

Now, more and more of the non-boater condo members are joining the club and it appears it's becoming more of a "Condo Owner's Social Club" than a boating club. There are enough non-boating members now that they vote as a block and can control what decisions are made in the club. It's still fun to go to the BBQ's and the periodic parties, but with more and more members being non-boaters it seems the emphasis of the club is morphing....and I don't like it.

Apparently there are others who feel as I do. Of the ~150 members we had last year, 11 have not renewed their memberships for 2014, and I know of a few others who are not going to renew at the end of this year. The ones who are not renewing are more the owners of the larger boats in the club. The loss of dues income from the 11 members represents about $5,000/year, plus the loss of moorage income is probably another several thousand. That's quite a financial hit for the club to endure.

There's another YC in our area that is much more active, both in the numbers of cruises and the numbers of parties. As a YC member we're always welcome to attend their parties and we often do, and we often join them on their planned cruises.

So Tim, if you do find a group of boaters who actually like to take their boats out of the slip (what a novel concept!!), join them and have fun with them.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:19 PM   #16
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Check out the MTOA, Marine Trawler Owners Association, a nationwide group, they do have a sub group "Tampa Bay Cruisers". If you do a search with those words you should find something I believe they are quite active with several group cruises and more by individuals. Good Luck
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:53 PM   #17
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Yup, nothing quite like heading out to the favorite quiet anchorage and finding a large raft of loud boaters.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:43 PM   #18
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Well, in BC, we tend to anchor out everywhere. We have a KK42 and it only sleeps 2 people. We have met people on the water and have become friends, and it's nice to meet people when at docks, but for the most part, these aren't marinas.

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Old 03-07-2014, 08:17 PM   #19
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Tim-try getting into Active Captain. They have the facility to meet and find people you met along the way and ways to keep in touch. I thank that over time you can build quite a little community based pretty much on boating. Jeff would chime in with a bit more info and some tips.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:14 AM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. t. You've received a number of suggestions and comments.....mine....



A case is just under $2K+shipping. LOTS of cruising friends AND of the proper sort.
Good Grief! Australian whiskey on TF! I knew it was happening, this is my first bottle sighting. Tasmania, that triangle shaped island to the south east of the mainland, flat side north sharp end pointing south, best known as the finishing point of the Sydney-Hobart race, also makes excellent sparkling wines (we can`t call it ch-mp-g-e, the French get upset), Arras is gaining a high reputation. Cheers!
PS. There is a Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage) comedy piece about the "map of Tasmania". That`s all I`m saying.
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