Reciprocal Privileges between Clubs

Reciprocal Privileges between Clubs

Questions often arise about issues of reciprocity between yacht clubs and the role of PICYA with respect to this matter.

There are over 100 yacht clubs and boating organizations in PICYA, each unique in size, structure, membership interests, and facilities. Therefore, it must be the responsibility of each club to develop its own program of activities and its own policies and procedures about reciprocity with other clubs.

There is nothing automatic about reciprocal privileges despite the fact that uninformed individuals and organizations pass this word along. While we believe that all our member clubs have a spirit of sportsmanship and friendliness toward other boaters, we support every club's right and responsibility to establish its own policies with respect to visiting privileges. Reciprocity is a privilege not a right.

Visiting Protocol and Courtesies of Clubs

If your club does not already have a policy on reciprocity and non-member privileges, work with your Board to develop one. In addition to the courtesy that extends to both your members and your guests, it may be important for complience with requirements of taxing authorities and the Alcoholic Beverage Control if you sell such beverages at any time.

A club is no different from a person’s home with respect to guests.

Most yacht clubs in Northern California reciprocate with other clubs on a formal basis through the exchange of reciprocal cards that are issued on an annual basis. Post the comparable cards that you receive so that mutual arrangements can be made between port and fleet captains or individual members. Be aware of the requirements of the ABC in this regard.

These reciprocal privileges are not intended to entitle guests unlimited use of the other’s facility.
Under no circumstances should a yachtsman assume that all yacht clubs are reciprocal and before requesting entrance, you should check with the club.

If visiting a yacht club in another state, first call the club and ask what is needed for you to visit. Usually a letter of introduction from your Commodore on yacht club stationary will help to allow you access to their club for a one time visit.

The large national organization that you may want to join or check out is Yachting Club of America and they use the Register of American Yacht Clubs as their reciprocal guide as well as most east coast clubs.

Guidelines for Clubs 

  1. Verify that you have reciprocal privileges.
  2. Call ahead to ensure that space is available, your visit will not conflict with other club functions, and to make arrangements early in the year for a club cruise.
  3. When making arrangements ask about club and marina rules such as, allowing pets, parties, electrical service, etc.
  4. Always sign the guest register.
  5. Always have a current membership card from your clubs and be prepared to show it.
  6. Wear a nametag from your club or sign a ‘stick on badge’ from the club.
  7. Ask for a copy or location of club rules and observe them, you are a guest.
  8. Patronize the facilities of the club. They may have brought in extra staff just for your visit.
  9. Under no circumstances board or make fast to any vessel without permission. Do not use any equipment left on the dock.
  10. Always follow good environmental practice consistent with concerns for proper waste disposal and discharges from your vessel. Leave a clean wake.
  • Most clubs want you to enjoy your visit at their facility.
  • Traditional yachting protocol, courtesy and a thank you goes a long way in fostering good relations between clubs.