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The Sailing Club, Inc.


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MEMBERSHIP

Participation is open to anyone interested in joining. Sailing experience is not necessary, but sailing (cruising) is the main activity of our Club. Annual membership fees help to defray some of the Club's operating costs and includes our Club newsletter, The Flotilla Report. Please also see our Membership web page.

You must be a Sailing Club member to sail on any Club trip. A membership form is available from the Membership Secretary or Trip Leaders. It can also be downloaded by clicking here. There is also a form at the back of the Trip Information Package.

PLEASE NOTE: Sailing conditions are dynamic. Your safety, and that of your crewmates, depends on your good physical health and agility.

TRIP SIGN-UP PROCEDURES

Membership in The Sailing Club does not guarantee you a spot on a trip. Regardless of whether you receive the member package at the Annual Meeting, from this website, or in the mail, Trip Leaders will accept reservation forms at anytime on or after a date which is typically two weeks after the Annual Meeting. On that date, all reservations received up to that point will be recorded in a random draw. All reservations received after that date will be recorded in the order in which they are received.

No reservation is accepted unless accompanied by a check in an amount equal to the specified deposit for each person named on the reservation form. After you decide which trip(s) you want to go on, complete a trip reservation form for each of those trips. Forward the reservation form with deposit check payable to The Sailing Club, Inc., to the person indicated on the reservation form.

A confirmation notice will be sent to you indicating your status on the trip. Your status will be one of the following:

  • Confirmed: You are a confirmed participant. When boat and crew assignments have been made, you will be sent a copy of the crew list.

  • Wait-listed until additional crew and/or skippers sign up: There is still space on the trip, but additional crew and/or skippers are needed before further boat and crew assignments can be made.

  • Wait-listed on a full trip: As of the day your reservation form was received, the trip was full. The Trip Leader will keep you advised of any changes in this status. Reservation checks will not be deposited until you are confirmed on the trip.

If you know in advance that a trip is full and you want to be placed on the wait-list, you must still send in a reservation form and a deposit check. No boat will sail with more than one empty space aboard. Vacancies will be filled from the trip wait-list. Deposit checks will be returned, after the trip has been completed, to anyone wait-listed who does not get on a trip.

TRIP PRICING

The price of a trip generally only includes charter fees for the boats. Occasionally pre-determined miscellaneous trip-related expenses such as slip fees may be included. Food, fuel, traveling expenses, and other incidentals are handled separately by each boat's crew, and therefore, are NOT included in the quoted trip price.

The price for children is pro-rated based on sleeping accommodations. If a child shares a bunk with his/her parents or if two children share a single bunk, their cost is half the trip price. A child using one bunk all on his/her own must pay the full trip price.

The Sailing Club, Inc. ("the Club") depends solely on the voluntary efforts of Trip Leaders, Assistant Trip Leaders and Club-qualified skippers to plan, organize and lead the various cruising activities the Club engages in for its members.

In recognition of the large amount of effort and responsibility these individuals undertake, the following trip price discounting applies: Trip Leaders and Skippers each receive a 50% discount; Assistant Trip Leaders receive a 25% discount.

PAYMENT

As stated above, all trip reservation forms must be accompanied by a deposit, as described in each trip description.

A payment schedule is located at the end of each trip write-up (i.e. the description of the trip) with final payment due dates indicated on both the trip reservation form and the confirmation notice. Late payments are subject to a $10 late charge.

New reservations made after the final payment date must include FULL payment. Late charges do not apply in this situation.

Qualified skippers who want to reserve an entire boat must first contact the Trip Leader to confirm boat availability. A reservation form and a check covering all spaces on the boat must be sent to the Trip Leader.

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

For most trips, full refunds will be given for cancellations made 30 days or more before the trip departure date.

Cancellations made less than 30 days [or as stated in the trip write-up] before the trip departure date are not refundable, regardless of reason, including medical, unless a replacement is found.  If a replacement is found, the cancellation may still be subject to a $25 fee .

In the event anyone cancels less than 30 days before the trip departure date and no replacement is available, he or she will also be required to pay any additional fees and charges that cannot be canceled prior to the trip in addition to forfeiting all trip fees paid to date. For trips that require more advanced planning, stricter refund policies may be implemented. Trip participants are always advised to read all trip documentation carefully.

NOTE: Individuals will not be permitted to select their own replacement unless the wait-list is empty.

Any refunds due will be held until after the trip has been completed unless the Treasurer and the trip leader both agree to an alternate arrangement.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

The Sailing Club recognizes that some trips represent a significant investment for its members.  The Club also feels that this long-standing cancellation policy is more than fair to its members.  However, it is possible for members to individually take out travel insurance for a particular trip.  There are several publicly available policies that can provide coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation/interruption, baggage damage, and more.

Members should make their own decisions regarding insurance that would provide coverage appropriate to their needs, and that they feel best protects them in their individual situations.  One useful resource for comparing plans is www.insuremytrip.com

BOAT AND CREW ASSIGNMENTS

Several weeks prior to the trip, the Trip Leader meets with the designated skippers to assign boats and crew. Primary importance is given to ensuring that each boat has sufficient experience among the crew. Once experienced crewmembers have been assigned, the rest of the crewmembers are allocated. Safety is, has been, and always will be our NUMBER ONE consideration.

If you or anyone in your party has a medical or physical condition (i.e., allergies, restricted mobility, motion discomfort, non-swimmer, etc.) that might affect your safety or anyone else's, you must advise your skipper. This may be done privately and should be done before boarding the boat, if not prior to the pre-trip meeting. He or she can then offer some suggestions to safeguard your comfort and well-being.

The boats we charter are all different in regard to model, size, age, overall layout, and interior accommodations. Furthermore, boats are randomly assigned. Crew assignments will be made with as much consideration given to personal preferences as possible, including smokers/non-smokers, and sleeping arrangements (i.e., couples/singles, distribution of males/females).

Minor children may be accommodated on any trip. Children will only be assigned to a boat with the complete agreement of the skipper and the entire crew. Children's reservations will be taken in order of receipt and will maintain their priority as boats are filled. Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a life jacket at all times, except when below decks.

PRE-TRIP MEETING

An informational meeting for all trip participants is usually held two weeks prior to each trip. The Trip Leader will forward information and location for the meeting. At the pre-trip meeting, the Trip Leader will summarize the proposed trip itinerary and answer any questions you may have concerning the trip. Individual boats have the opportunity to meet their skipper and crewmates in order to plan meals, decide berth assignments, and organize travel arrangements. All crewmembers are expected to attend.

ADDITIONAL TRIP INFORMATION AND DETAILS

On the first night of each trip crews usually arrive at the marina, stow their gear, have dinner at a local restaurant, and sleep aboard the boats. The skipper and charter agent will conclude the boat checkout the following morning if not completed the previous day. Then the crews will be thoroughly briefed on boat operations and safety. Finally, the trip is under way!

The Trip Leaders plan an itinerary for the trip which typically includes anchoring out one night and the opportunity to explore and dine ashore another. Breakfast and lunches are normally eaten aboard. Individual boats may opt to establish their own daytime cruising plans according to the desires of the skipper and crew; however, all boats are expected to meet at the designated evening anchorage. Hourly radio checks confirm each boats location and progress.

Along with brushing up on sailing skills, relaxation, socializing, and sightseeing ashore, additional trip activities may include swimming or kayaking (bring your own equipment).

In general, all boats are equipped with stoves, ovens, coolers, a limited supply of hot and cold running water, showers and toilets, and basic kitchen utensils. Boats typically feature a galley area (kitchen), salon (living/dining room), heads (small bathrooms!) and forward and aft cabins. In addition to assigned food and beverage responsibilities, crewmembers should bring bedding and towels as well as any other personal gear. Always pack in soft luggage.

No two boats, even of the same model, are identical. However, in general, onboard accommodations are simple and efficient, sometimes described as "camping on the water". It is also close quarter living at its best!. The fresh breezes, blue waters, the thrill of adventure, and perhaps most importantly, the camaraderie of the group are the true incentives of our trips!

Remember -we sail rain or shine, so be prepared!

 

CREW RESPONSIBILITIES

As you've no doubt heard, our trips are a lot of fun. Whether rafting at Luce Creek in the Chesapeake, or handling 6 foot seas off Newport, a trip with The Sailing Club is sure to be interesting. (Good, and good for you!). A sailboat is a closed environment which tends to limit personal privacy. This may be a little unusual for you, particularly if there are people on your boat that you don't know. (Don't worry, you'll get over it by the end of the first day). Understanding some of the etiquette and responsibilities for you as a crew member will help make the trip go more smoothly.

SAFETY - SAFETY - SAFETY

The skipper and crew share equally in the responsibility in providing for a safe and enjoyable trip. There are four very important things to remember on a sailboat. We are proud of the fact that we have had VERY few incidents on our trips. In fact, your skipper's main responsibility is the SAFE operation of the vessel. Use common sense.

    
  • Make sure you know where all safety equipment is and how to use it. This includes: Life Jackets, Fire  Extinguishers, Distress Flares, First Aid Kit. and Life Ring
 
  • If you don't understand anything, just ask.
 
  • If you can't swim, make sure you tell your skipper  (no one will laugh - we have non-swimmers all the time).
 
  • Make sure your skipper discusses and demonstrates man-overboard procedures - just in case.

Ask the Skipper

If you have any questions about anything (sailing, safety, the meaning of life) ask your skipper. Your skipper is a veritable repository of useful (and not-so-useful) information. Moreover, he or she will be glad to answer your questions or direct you to the proper authority. One of the criteria we use in selecting our skippers is their willingness to share knowledge. (Use a little discretion regarding timing. Asking about how the GPS works while reefing the sail in a 35 knot wind is probably not the right time).

REMEMBER: The ONLY stupid question is the one that wasn't asked.

The skipper is responsible for the safe operation of a boat that may cost from $100,000 to $500,000 and is also responsible (to a lesser degree) for the smooth interaction of the crew. Most non-safety decisions should be made with input from all crew members. For these decisions, the skipper acts more as a mediator.

PLANNING

This is a very important part of the trip. Before each cruise, there will be a trip meeting. The trip leader will go over the itinerary, and answer questions. Then, the meeting will break up into crews for planning menus, provisions, etc. Each member will usually be designated to bring various items (chocolate chip cookies, lunches, chocolate chip cookies, paper goods, chocolate chip cookies etc.). Keep your receipts as all the expenses are usually divvied up at the end of the trip.

SHARE 'DA WORK

A sail boat ain't a four star hotel! Your crew is a team where all members share equally. Part of the fun of our trips is that we all work together. Everybody likes to share the sailing work. Tacking, jibing, anchoring, it's all fun. However, the other stuff needs to be done also, i.e. cooking and meal preparation, cleaning dishes, swabbing the deck, etc. Attention Guys: Nothing will tick off the women in your crew more than your assumption that they are going to handle all the galley (i.e. kitchen) chores. Likewise, don't assume that the women can't handle their share of deck work.

CONTROL YOUR SPACE

The space on a sailboat is limited. It will help if you keep your personal stuff organized. Always use duffel bags or other soft luggage to pack in. There's no place to store suitcases. On board, either unpack into the storage spaces shown you by the skipper, or live out of your luggage. When you get ready for the day, try to plan what clothes and things you'll need. Keep these packed on top. Your crew mates will appreciate it if you try to keep your stuff organized, and you'll have an easier time also.

SMOKING

Smoking is not permitted at any time while on board, whether on deck or below.  Smoking is only permitted while ashore.

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