Here are the facts as I (Jens Biskaborn) see them:
1st: Living in this area of Canada, we have approximately 20 - 22 weeks a year that we are able to sail. The sailing season runs from the beginning of May to the end of September. Sailing in early May is usually done in very cold water. In the fall, many yacht clubs take their boats out of the water before the end of September, and late fall can be some of the best sailing.
2nd: Living in London Ontario means getting to either of the area Great Lakes, is a 1 hour drive, or more, depending on where the boat is kept. This usually rules out evening sailing. So now, we are left with 20 - 22 weekends for sailing.
Of those 20 - 22 weekends, you will lose half of those weekends to too much wind or not enough wind. Now you are down to 10 - 11 weekends, and you will probably lose another 3 - 4 weekends to other commitments. Now this sailing stuff might start to sound like a lot of hassle for only 6 - 8 weekends of good sailing. I have a friend who owns a 35 ft boat at one of the clubs on Lake Huron. I have been on his boat 3 times, and have yet to be able to go out for a good sail. One time, there was no wind and we motored out and floated for a while. The other 2 times, there was so much wind, we could not get out of the harbour because of the large waves.
- Fanshawe Yacht Club is close enough for evening sailing - now you have 20 weeks to sail again. The biggest waves you will probably see on our lake is 1 1/2 to 2 ft high, and only if the winds blow hard from the north, so you can sail when the wind is pretty strong (provided you are skilled enough).
- Many of our members take their boats and trailer them to their vacation spots, and have great sailing holidays. They don't spend much of their vacation time motoring their boats to their holiday locations.
- Our members are usually very willing to lend a hand, or their expertise, to help you on your way to good sailing.
- Another great thing about our club is the club grounds. It's a excellent place for family outings. Have you ever seen the crowds in Springbank Park on summer weekends? How about a quiet place for family picnics, and be able to go sailing without a lot of hassle - that's FYC almost all the time. Check out the virtual tour of the club.
Sure, our club has some negative points. Some years, depending on the combination of rain and long hot weather, the water quality could be better, but most years, the water is not a problem.
Yes, we ask our members to volunteer some time to do some club work, such as maybe helping to opening the club in the spring, or closing the club in the fall, but these events turn into social times as well, talking to fellow sailors, exchanging sailing stories. This is one of the ways we keep the membership fees low.