Ronstan

Keeping your club from freezing solid in the winter

Published on March 2nd, 2015

A visit now to Lake Winnebago in northeast Wisconsin would find hundreds of ice shanties and trucks. When the ice is right, there might also be seen an iceboat blistering across the span. But what you won’t find is a sailboat.

For most Neenah-Nodaway Yacht Club (NNYC) members, it won’t be until mid-May before they can race again. So how who does a club keep its membership activated during the winter? Jonathan Coultas explains what NNYC has been up to this season:


We don’t have a clubhouse with a restaurant, indoor pool, or racquet sports, so everyone typically stays isolated until the big thaw and start of the sailing season. That has been the case in the past, but this winter NNYC is really trying to keep our members active and engaged.

There was the bus charter to Strictly Sail Chicago in January. We had a very fun outing to a local curling club. We have been getting together for Monthly Sailor Gatherings to enjoy food and drink and talk sailing.

We started a computer racing fleet on SailX (www.sailx.com). The crew over at SailX lets clubs start their own private groups with their own sailing areas separate from the public. This has been a fun way to “sail” together in the winter and stay sharp on tactics and strategy.

There is talk of a bowling night soon and a “Spring Fling” where guest speaker Fred Hallett will bring to life his 12,000 mile retirement voyage around the Atlantic.

Club members have been having a good times and we have been able to offer activities to interested members instead of trying to drag them along until we can get them on a boat in May.

Now is a great time for cold weather clubs to be getting members together to socialize, keep the club vibrant, and kill those winter blues. If your club is as frozen as the icicles on your gutter, try heating things up with some fun winter club activities. Members will have a lot of fun and get to bond off-season and off the water to form a stronger club that is more excited for the coming sailing season.

Spring will come eventually to northeast Wisconsin, and this year instead of reuniting after a long and drab hibernation, many of our members will be re-capping club adventures from the winter!

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