|Great Resources for Planning to Cruise|
Once again my dear First Mate, Can Opener, veers toward madness. I caught him googling cruising associations around the world rather than poaching my breakfast eggs as he had specifically been instructed.
I have already permitted him to join a yacht club. What possible use or need for a cruising association?
I am currently snoozing on his research notes, hoping that ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ will prevail and he will soon give up this ludicrous project for good.
Not likely, you say? It has worked before…
Here follows the Can Opener’s notes on cruising associations:
Seven Seas Cruising Association
- founded: in 1952
- headquartered: in Florida, USA
- focus on: cruising around US, also rest of world
- goals: sharing cruising information, fostering camaraderie, leaving a clean wake
- membership: 10,000
- monthly bulletin to share info
- website with info by country/area - worldwide updatable Port Guides
- member tracking
- 100+ Worldwide Cruising Stations who welcome visiting members
- Marine Equipment Survey
- Cruising Seminars and Weekend Workshops online
- regional activities, meetups
- ‘members only’ discounts, special offers
- cost/year: $55.00 (£34) for electronic option
- founded: in 1908
- headquartered: in London, UK
- focus on: cruising around EU, Baltics and the Med, also rest of world
- membership: 4000
- facilities: clubhouse with excellent library, restaurant, accommodation, lectures room
- members-only area of the site has 8,000+ pages of cruising information and 800+ downloadable documents, cruising guides
- 10,000 volume Library, as well as a collection of worldwide charts for cruise planning
- 200+ Honorary Local Representatives (HLRs), who can provide help and advice to members in foreign ports
- quarterly magazine, newsletter
- cruises, rallies, and meets in the summer
- training, talks, seminars and social events in the winter
- RYA theory for cruising and navigation levels taught
- Crew bank and crew meetup in London
- regional meetups around UK
- ‘members only’ discounts, special offers at marinas etc, esp around the Med
- cost/year: £118 for UK residents, £80.50 ($129) for overseas residents
Bluewater Cruising Association
- founded: in 1978
- headquartered: Vancouver, Canada
- focus on: cruising around west coast Canada, also rest of world
- goals: seamanship and friendship for people with interest in offshore cruising
- membership: 1000+
- monthly meetings in Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria with presentations by speakers who have cruised/ are cruising offshore
- information on offshore preparation: provisioning, emergency first aid, exercise at sea, fibreglass repair, safety and navigational equipment, sail and rigging repairs
- informal gatherings at locations in British Columbia's Gulf Islands
- magazine, Currents, published 10x/year
- access to the members' pages in this web site
- cost/year: Can$110.00 for residents, Can$ 130 (US$128 / £80), plus Can$100 initiation fee (US$98 / £61) -
Cruising Club of America
- founded: in 1921
- headquartered: US-based, online only
- goals: promote cruising, encourage development of cruising craft design, seamanship, share cruising info
- membership: 1200, by invitation only - to sailors who have demonstrated offshore sailing experience in a command position
- some cruising guides and books by members
- make awards
- organise Bermuda Race
- online info on safety, boat design, first aid, communication, clean environment
- cost/year: not listed
Both the Cruising Association and the Seven Seas Cruising Association look like they have built up TONS of info from their membership. Each association’s information is weighted towards the region their membership is most heavily represented in.
Seven Seas has online seminar distribution well set up and is the cheapest.
The Cruising Association gives you a nice foothold in expensive London with accommodation priced from £35/person/night (US$56). Apparently you can quickly save more than the cost of CA membership with their member discounts if you are cruising.
Should I join? Easy answer: Join the cruising association that focuses on the area you plan to be cruising in.
When to join? If you already cruising or in the serious planning stages, joining at least the association that focuses on the area you are/will be cruising in seems like a must.
Will the Captain and I join? We are going to keep going to the Cruising Association lectures (non-members are welcome) and sign up as we get closer to our launch date. Our first cruising grounds will certainly be the Med.
Immediately after discovering these notes, I skyped my good friend and confidante, She-of-Endless-Head-Scritches-and-Smoked-Salmon (also the Can Opener’s ex), to ask her professional opinion:
‘The Can Opener’s fine, take a valium, enough already! It’s harmless enough. Snooze on the papers and he’ll fuhget all about ‘em. Used to work for me. Ack! Stockbroker on th’other line, must dash!’
Well, clear enough. The Can Opener’s ex’s advice has always served me well. Lovely woman. Back to my snoozerama on top of his notes! …and back to the hope that the he will return to (his version of) sanity soon.
Not likely, you say? Hmm. You may be right…
Have you ever belonged to a cruising association?
Is it good value? Will you sign up again next year?
(transcribed by She-of-Endless-Head-Scritches-and-Smoked-Salmon)