What if you could enjoy the ocean in a brand new way?

A yacht club is a great way for you to experience the sea and even make awesome new friends. However, many people don’t know the answer to this simple question: “what is a yacht club?”

With this complete guide, you can discover everything about these clubs and how you can join!

What Is a Yacht Club?

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get out on the ocean. Let’s start with the main question: what, exactly, is a yacht club?

While there are many variations, a yacht club is an organization that brings yacht enthusiasts together. These organizations typically provide access to boat slips, boating facilities, and professional boating opportunities.

Obviously, you don’t need to join a club simply to sail a yacht. But these clubs provide many opportunities to make new friends with similar interests. Alternately, clubs let someone new to the yacht scene learn from seasoned veterans.

How Do You Pay?

We’re going to detail more about the benefits of a yacht club in a minute. However, we should address another popular question first: how do you pay for a yacht club?

Different clubs have different pay structures. Some require a monthly fee while others require payment only in the form of annual fees.

The exact membership costs will vary from club to club. Some smaller yacht clubs may have an annual fee as low as $50 a year. Others may cost thousands of dollars to join and then hundreds of dollars in monthly fees.

Of course, “expensive” doesn’t mean better. While it’s true that cheaper clubs will offer fewer amenities, the most glamorous clubs are usually charging more for their prestige and “brand name” rather than actual club quality.

Do You Have to Own a Yacht?

Another common question is whether you need to own a yacht to join a yacht club. The honest answer is that it depends on the club.

Certain clubs will allow you to rent a yacht for use. This typically costs an additional amount on top of your regular fee. Yacht clubs that offer such a service ensure that owning a yacht ahead of time is not necessary.

More commonly, though, yacht clubs are designed for those who already have yachts. However, if you are likely to buy a yacht in the near future, the club may go ahead and approve your membership.

Is This Only For the Rich?

Words like “yacht” and “yacht club” probably make you think of extreme wealth. That leads to another good question: are yacht clubs only for the rich?

For the most part, the answer is “no.” While it’s true that you must own a yacht to join most clubs, you do not have to be ultra-wealthy to own a yacht. And plenty of club members are more like upper-middle-class rather than rich elites.

With that being said, there are many different yacht clubs out there. If cost is a concern, you can do your homework and find a club with a relatively low monthly cost or annual fee.

Is There a Dress Code?

How should you dress as a member of a yacht club? Generally speaking, you should dress up for club functions. But the exact requirements of local yachting attire will be up to your club.

For example, more informal clubs may recommend something as simple as polos and khakis. In other words, as long as you skip the “jeans and a t-shirt” look, you’ll be fine.

Other clubs may require things like a jacket for formal dining events. But even with fancier clubs, there will be more informal areas and occasions where you can “dress down.”

Beyond club requirements, we can only offer this classic advice: dress comfortably!

Are the Clubs Big?

How big will the yacht club be? This generally depends on how many clubs are in your area.

In areas with many different clubs, each yacht club is likely to be on the smaller end. This means 100 members (and sometimes less than that).

In areas where there are very few clubs, there may be hundreds or even thousands of members. While there are advantages to these larger clubs, it can also be intimidating when you first join up.

So long as you have a choice, we recommend you choose a club size to suit your preferences.

Know the Roles

While in the club, you may hear terms like “commodore” or “treasurer.” So, what’s up with these terms?

At the end of the day, a yacht club is an organization. And like most organizations, it has an elected body of leaders to help run things.

The commodore leads the meetings and is generally the person in charge. The second and third in command are, respectively, the vice commodore and rear commodore. They help manage affairs on the ocean and on the land.

A club secretary helps maintain records and documentation of various club activities. The treasurer, of course, helps handle the finances. 

Social Opportunity

One of the biggest motivations to join a yacht club is networking and making friends. Within these private clubs, it’s not hard to make friends and professional connections that can change your life.

That extends to your children as well. Most clubs have youth programs that can help your children make friends while teaching them valuable “hands-on” skills.

Professional Racing

Care to do more than take your yacht for a leisurely journey? Yacht clubs can help you take your boat to the limit!

Many clubs focus very intensely on racing. This includes racing fellow club members and participating in both local and national championships.

Yacht clubs also help to prepare the next Olympic-level sailors. This could be your chance to go for the gold!

By Land or By Sea

Now you have an answer to the question, “what is a yacht club?” But do you know where you can find adventure on both land and sea?

We help inspire families to find joy in every moment. To start planning your next major trip, check out our Travel section today!