2014 May Commodore’s Column: Include Reciprocals In Your Summer Boating Plans!

Macy 9Ahoy, before I get into reciprocals, I want to say WOW!  April was an amazing month.  Our members have always been impressive, but everyone was outstanding in April!  The meeting was not to be missed with a full house, outstanding member speaker, wonderful chili, great judges, and a terrific Watch.  It went on from there with a well-run, well done club clean-up; another great Earth Day at Mystery Bay; and a first time Open Boat in Port Ludlow.  Thanks to everyone – check out who made it happen in Bravo Zulu on page 2.

Now, to reciprocals – our greatest member benefit – and perhaps the most underutilized.  Jess Schefstrom, our trustee who is overseeing the club reciprocals, and I just recently got a notice from our on-line reciprocal database Yacht Destinations that only 15 of our members are signed up!!  I know you probably have meant to do this or are perhaps new enough to the club that you don’t know about it, but you are really missing out!   So here is the scoop on Yacht Destinations and the 2 other places you can get reciprocal information.

Yacht Destinations database has now become the best place to go for current information.  It is updated annually or more and includes almost all the local clubs from Olympia to Schooner Cove, B.C.  The database is on line at:   yachtdestinations.org.  It requires free registration, is easy to do, and gives you access to almost all the PTYC reciprocals.  Detailed information for each reciprocal is there and you can print it out.  The link to Yacht Destinations is on our website.  So, before you head out this summer, get registered.  Look over all the places you can visit for free!  A few nights of free moorage and you will have paid for your club dues.

Bill and I have a Roster on board LADY so that we can quickly see if there might be a reciprocal near-by when we are out on the water.  Last summer, we were in Seattle heading north to LaConnor and knew we needed a place to overnight on our way.  We called ahead to Hat Island Yacht Club, found they had room, and went there for the night.  It was the perfect half-way point!

For several years we have been recommending and giving to new members The Burgee for reciprocal information.  It is a local marina guidebook published every few years by David Kutz and the only one that includes yacht club reciprocals.  Unfortunately, he does not have any immediate plans to update and publish a new one.  It is still helpful with nice chartlets showing where reciprocal docks are located and what the rules are, but it is not always up to date.  He does publish an update each year and we have been sending it out via the list serve.  There are a few clubs in the Roster that are not in either The Burgee or yachtdestination.org.  They are mostly ones out of the local area.  If you are interested in these, you can often find information on the club’s website or by giving Jess a call.

If you look on page 9 of the Roster, you will see that we have 4 pages – 123 yacht clubs with which we have reciprocal agreements.  The agreement is that we arrange for reciprocal moorage at Boat Haven for our partners and in return we receive reciprocal moorage at their clubs, usually free or at a reduced rate.  They are grouped in the Roster by cruising areas and information is included on the marina and city.

A few reminders –

  • From Jess:  Timing of arrival, especially on weekends is critical.  Early afternoon before 3:00 PM is when you will have the most success.  Also, traveling Sunday through Thursday will increase the odds of a successful reciprocal.  The most difficult time to get an open slip is during the summer on weekends at popular destinations.
  •  Members of the Port Townsend Yacht Club may not use our own reciprocal moorage at Boat Haven.  It is only for visiting boaters.
  • Some clubs, like Roche Harbor Yacht Club don’t have moorage at their home marina, but instead have made arrangements for another location, in this case, Bremerton Marina.
  • Always fly your burgee and carry your PTYC membership card.  You will usually be asked for your card.
  • Moorage is usually free but you often have to pay for power.  Sometimes, you need to pay a refundable deposit to get a key to the gate and/or bathrooms.
  • A number of clubs have restaurants or weekly events that visiting boaters can take advantage of.
  • A large part of our budget goes to maintaining one year-round slip and a second slip for summer for visiting boaters.  So, take advantage of moorage offered to us.

May is going to be a busy, WOW month too.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone May 3 at Opening Day for breakfast, the boat parade, the open house, and later at a potluck dinner with Ivar’s clam chowder.  Check out our website for times, dates, and other activities!!

Tug on,     Macy Galbreath, Commodore