Membership Requirement

I am surprised that this topic hasn't been discussed yet here on this forum.

I can say that within our fleet, it looks like about 80% are dead set against it.

Sloop John B.

What are the pros and cons that you heard from your fleet members? We are having a fleet meeting this weekend and I would be interested in what your fleet members are thinking.

Flying Scot #1087
Flying Scot Fleet #197

I'm not sure were and whether it is being discussed to require FS fleets who hold local races to require FSSA memberships from all participants. But I'm with John Wake, that it will harm FSSA only.

Doing so may deter newcomers to participate in their first "just for fun" participation in a race who otherwise never would have considered racing. A nice welcome may lead to FSSA membership. A membership requirement will turn people away and pick another class or hobby. It's better to encourage FS memberships than to require them. Our overall goal is to encourage people to sail Flying Scots.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA     FS Fleet 0     FSSA Member

I bought a new FS 5867; I pick it up next week, so I am probably the newest member of FS and FSSA.

Why would an existing FS fleet require membership in FSSA just to race? Shouldn’t we encourage all FS boats to participate. Since I am a fleet of one down here in Charleston we just need two more FS to charter and FSSA membership will not be required. Membership would be discounted in the registration of any racing. Perhaps $5. This minor cost could ring a bell.

Someone new to sailing should be encouraged with experience and time on water. Racing is an animal that comes from that time.

I joined FSSA so it would not be an issue if I show up on your lake.

Is this a good time to invite FS to our Hobcaw open regatta next June?

The resolution is to require "active membership in FSSA for Flying Scot owners who regularly participate in fleet racing and/or other fleet activites.", so it's not just racing. I interpret that to include fleet meetings, as well as racing, if either of them are "regularly" done. Of course, then it gets into the meaning of "regularly", and on and on.

BTW, which FSSA members can look at the Association's books?

Flying Scot #1087
Flying Scot Fleet #197

While I was originally in support of the new requirement, I admit I had not considered the feelings of the newer members, those that are not real sure they want to get into racing, etc.

Those of us that race our Scots on a regular basis, will almost certainly participate in FSSA sanctioned events (Districts, Mid-Winters, NACs, Wife-Husband, etc.), which of course require FSSA membership -- so this new requirement is a non-issue for us. However, there is an equal number (or even more) who are either brand new to the sport, or are basically cruising sailors. To be honest, FSSA doesn't offer much to the cruising sailor. They try, they even try to generate some cruising interest in SnW articles, but at the end of the day when all is said and done - the association is really a RACING association (but I'm not supposed to admit that).

To maintain fleet status within FSSA, the fleet must have, I believe, at least 3 paying members. Meeting this requirement is of course not a problem for large fleets (like Fleet 103). But a small fleet must do a bit of arm-twisting each year to stay current.
Having been a member of FSSA since 1986, I consider it automatic that I'll renew each year as I compete at all levels (when not soothing aches and pains). It's hard for me to put on the other hat and think about those that don't live for racing -- but this we must do.

So I am coming around to the belief that this requirement is only going to result in turning those fence-sitters away. It will further slam the door on Scot sailors that are cruising sailors and only dabble occasionally in putting their boat up on the starting line.

I've always felt it was the responsibility of the hard-core racers to coddle (if you will) and encourage those new to the sport. You don't berate them, you don't challenge them with rules infractions, or any of that stuff. They are at the end of the pack, and struggling hard to work their way up from being dead last. If you want them to continue racing with you, then you had better help make the experience for them an enjoyable one. Do this on a regular basis, and the newbie will keep coming back - and in a few years, you better look over your shoulder because he'll be gaining on you. AND by that time, because he/she too will be racing in sanctioned events, they'll be paying their FSSA dues anyway. So .. FSSA needs to adopt the same kind of philosophy. Reel them in slowly, but surely.

Sloop John B.

Whew! I should have looked further into the political sides of this forum. Silly me, I only poured over the sailing threads and dreamed about my new FS. I pick it up Wednesday from Deer Park FS5867

So far and after three weeks as a new member and four or five posts, I finally have been contacted by the Commodore on Lake Murry for the Scots on the Rocks regatta. Although I waded through the vast information base and had decided to enter the regatta anyway, it sure was nice to finally have a response. I will be there.

The drama going on in these forums is EXACTLY why I quit racing 25 years ago. But I am back now so get ready to be passed on the mark.

Wallace, welcome to the Flying Scot. Congrats on your new boat. Please stick with us as we try to push for change to the FSSA organization so we can better serve our membership. These changes should have been made previously.
Greta Mittman
Southwest District Governor

I would like to clarify that I oppose the membership requirement.


You did the right thing. The Scot is a great boat and the racing is excellent. FSSA is in a slight panic because income is down. This too will pass.

Class Associations and fleets need to make things fun and create value. I for one think the FSSA can be a very good value. The mailed Scots and Water is pretty well done. I have not studied the financials, but it would seem like the class could:

1) Promote the racing. Traveling regattas are great ways to meet friends. Maybe the class should somehow promote low-cost junior events in each district and then comp the kids who schlep to the NAC.

In our fleet we do this Challenge of the Lakes, between us and Hunterdon, and both fleets are growing. Hmmm.

2) Communicate, on paper, email and website. Tips, tricks, news about the boat and the racing. Maybe create a "My Story" area, where you can post pics and stories about your Scot adventures. I hate to say it but not all of our members are very digital. The guy who I bought my boat from had saved all the Scots and Waters, and I have to admit, I do it too.

In our club, we print 150 copies of our newsletter, but only 17 opt-in to electronic (PDF) The electronic version has color pictures and you can click links in it for email and web references.

As far as I can tell the blog is a one way thing. Maybe we need Youtube videos, a Facebook page, etc. I know I am a fan of the Flying scot.

Regatta news could be better, and timely, on the web.

I would think, for $40K, we would be getting a good portion of a full time person's time to run the FSSA. On the other hand, are we telling them what we want them to do? Maybe we don't need to spend, less but get more? Let's think out of the box.

If the class requires mandatory membership to be part of the local fleets, you will kill FSSA. The fleets are the feeder system for FSSA. The friendly fleets that add a lot of value are growing. We have more people who cruise than race in our fleet. If they had to be a member is FSSA, they might leave the fleet. We would lose touch, and at that point you can bet that they aren't sending money to FSSA anytime soon.

My boss always says, "You need pull" A push strategy for a sailing association is sure to be a loser. He also says "Fried chicken doesn't just fly into your mouth", which means that someone has to add value for things to be worth eating.

Fishing Bay did a "Who's Coming" list for the 2007 NAC on their website. It was cool to see who else was coming, and that if Mike Mittman was going to schlep from Texas, well I guess I can drive from PA to VA.

See you at the Wife Husband, whoever is coming! How can you beat a $5 adder for lobster for dinner on Saturday night[8D] Diane Kampf is adding value!

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086
Fleet 163 Nockamixon Sail Club

Sounds like I joined the FSSA at a good time. Phil is on point. Not all members are plugged into the forum and it makes the dated and incorrect information real time for those that are not plugged in. As,forum literate people, we are months ahead of the published stuff. One could even say that forums are out dated with Twitter and Facebook taking over. Did you ever think that Chat forums would go away? Leadership and communication would be my suggestion, Thank you for your kind words and I will stick with it.

We have four open Regattas in Charleston mixed around the yacht clubs, I belong to Hobcaw. So far I am a class of one, the newest virgin fleet, Ya'll are invited to help me build one down here in Charleston.

Wallace said:
"But I am back now so get ready to be passed on the mark."

Get in line -- [:D]

Seriously, wish I was knocking heads with you and others this summer. A bum knee is got me in the dumps! [:(]

Sloop John B.