MEMBERSHIP: Beware of breaking the rules of sailing

Published on April 16th, 2013

Just over a year ago, Scuttlebutt reviewed the by-laws of prominent clubs around the U.S., discovering that many did not provide membership which included the spouse. At these clubs, individuals applied for membership, and the rights of membership did not extend past the individual. Spouses were welcome at the club as guests, but they had no membership rights.

This report prompted some ‘shock and awe’ by people who assumed otherwise. We learned of instances where former club commodores were never members of the club they represented. We learned of individuals representing clubs of which they had no membership. And we learned of some instances where our report led to club by-law changes to become more inclusive.

As a reminder, to compete under the Racing Rules of Sailing, Rule 75.1) requires that the boat must be entered by…

(a) a member of a club or other organization affiliated to an ISAF member national authority,
(b) such a club or organization, or
(c) a member of an ISAF member national authority.

This rule is not so onerous, but it would be a violation to enter a race under false pre-tense. If your club’s membership policy does not include the spouse, they can easily join their national authority (US Sailing, Sail Canada, etc), or better yet, join the always free Scuttlebutt Sailing Club.

Any remarkable reports of club rule changes? Send ’em.

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