How Much Do Yacht Club Memberships Cost? 5 Examples

In Boatingby Morten Storgaard

Joining a yacht club is an important milestone in your life. It marks a certain degree of success and allows you to enjoy plenty of luxurious amenities. Setting sail on a yacht is the ultimate way to unwind from a hectic work week while you try to climb the corporate ladder.

Fortunately, there are yacht clubs all over the country that would love to welcome you as a brand-new member. You can enjoy an afternoon on the water with a beautiful yacht in exchange for a small sum of money.

But how much do Yacht Club memberships generally cost?

Prices for Yacht Clubs will vary based on your location, the fleet, and even the amenities that are offered at the marina. The average annual membership price is between $900-$4,000 depending on your level of luxury and needs.

To give you an idea of what you could expect to pay for your yacht club membership, here are some numbers gathered from across the country:

Yacht Club Annual Dues
Charleston Yacht Club $900
Florida Yacht Club $3,288
Atlanta Yacht Club $900
Chicago Yacht Club $3,690
California Yacht Club $3,144

What Does Each Yacht Club Offer?

Each yacht club is going to offer something that sets it apart from the others on this listing. To give you a better idea of where your money is going, here is a brief synopsis of what you can expect at each location.

Charleston Yacht Club

Charleston is a premier cruising destination with plenty of waterways for you to explore. They offer a launch hoist, dry slips, day dockage, free parking, and a long list of events scheduled throughout the year.

You also gain privileges at other yacht clubs around the world. If you don’t own your own yacht, they have plenty of members who often have room on their boats to accommodate a few extra passengers.

Florida Yacht Club

The Florida Yacht Club is a relatively exclusive club that features amazing amenities like fine dining and an array of aquatic activities.

You can play tennis, enjoy a spa treatment or massage, or get in a rousing game of croquet from the shore. They also host events and permit you to extend your privileges to other locations scattered around the Florida coast.

Atlanta Yacht Club

The Atlanta Yacht Club is primarily geared toward sailors who are interested in racing. They have a fleet of more than thirty different boats that are designed to help you further your knowledge of sailing.

If you still have a lot to learn, you can even take classes at this location. Prospective members must be sponsored and co-sponsored by two club members for entrance.

Chicago Yacht Club

Members of the Chicago Yacht Club will find plenty of opportunities to get involved. With more than forty different committees, you can find a circle of friends that have common interests beyond just sailing and racing.

You also receive transient docking at both the Belmont and Monroe harbors, exclusive invites to private events, and reciprocity at more than 900 clubs across the country.

California Yacht Club

The California Yacht Club is home to both national and world championship regattas.

They host plenty of events from scuba club to book club to wine tastings. If you want to find a true community of like-minded sailors, this could be the place for you.

One of the best features is the reciprocity at locations not just across the United States but across the world. You can feel free to travel the world with your yacht and experience some of the same fellowship globally.

What are the Cheapest Yacht Clubs?

The cheapest yacht clubs charge just under $1,000 per year for membership. While this does give you access to different types of experiences, you may be disappointed by the overall amenities.

Some yacht clubs are known for their extravagant country club styles that help you to embrace a particular lifestyle. They include Olympic-sized swimming pools, state-of-the-art tennis courts, and fine dining.

Everything has a beautiful waterfront view. It can feel like you are in the middle of an idyllic paradise without ever even having to leave the shore. If this is what you can gain from the most expensive yacht clubs, you should set your expectations much lower for the cheaper yacht clubs.

The cheaper yacht clubs lack the community aspect of these exclusive options. They feature dry slips and the occasional party, but not much more.

Some of them may have the feel of a county park with some picnic benches, outdoor grills, and a moderately sized swimming pool. Expect a much more casual atmosphere when you choose to go with a cheaper yacht club.

It is even possible that they are simply “paper yacht clubs” that do not even maintain a physical building of their own.

How Much Do the Most Expensive Yacht Clubs Cost to Join?

The most expensive yacht clubs can vary a great deal in price. Most of them will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 per year. However, you can certainly find more exclusive clubs that will cost above and beyond this.

Keep in mind that these more expensive clubs generally are not open to the public. They are offered by invitation only and you must have a member sponsor you to be considered for entrance.

When you are paying for a more expensive yacht club, you should make sure that you are really going to get your money’s worth. These expensive clubs promote a certain type of elegant lifestyle.

Make sure that you are planning to take advantage of all the amenities available from one of these clubs before you sink too much money into the membership fees. The social aspect of these expensive yacht clubs is extremely important.

If you plan to simply rent a boat from time to time, you might be able to go with a cheaper yacht club.

What Is Generally Included in the Membership Fee for Yacht Clubs?

Have you been wondering why you should join a yacht club? Many potential members want to know what they can expect from their membership fees before they commit to a year-long contract. There are many advantages to signing up for a membership with a well-known yacht club.

Amenities and Activities

First and foremost, you get access to activities and cruises planned by board members. These might be various sailing activities, dinners, get-togethers, tennis matches, or other events that take up a lazy Sunday afternoon.

You also gain access to any amenities that surround the yacht club’s marina. For many programs, this means a fitness center, pool, and tennis courts. Several locations also offer fine dining, meeting rooms, and more.

It is like a private oasis where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the regular world. Time moves slowly when you’re enjoying the amenities here.

Many yacht clubs have programs that introduce children (and adults!) to sailing. Take classes to learn more about improving your technique, sailing safety, and other important aspects of life on the open water.

Access to the Fleet

The main reason why most people join yacht clubs is to be able to rent out boats instead of purchasing their own. Joining a yacht club may give you access to an entire fleet of yachts that can be reserved for a day or weeks at a time. Some yacht clubs allow you to rent boats for up to ten days at a time.

Others do not allow you to rent out ships. They are primarily geared toward individuals who already own a yacht or will own a yacht in the future. Make sure you know the difference in advance.

Are There any Additional Costs Besides the Membership Fees?

Unfortunately, the membership fees are not the only cost associated with joining a yacht club. Most of the clubs in the United States also have a one-time initial fee that tends to cost thousands of dollars. Many will range from $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the location and the exclusivity of the yacht club.

This one-time fee should be the only additional money you pay except for fuel. Most yacht clubs do not cover the cost of the fuel used in the ship during your rental if renting is an option. Be prepared for what this could cost you.

If you cause damage to the ship, you can also expect some out-of-pocket costs. Insurance should cover the damage, but you will likely be asked to cover the cost of the deductible.

Be sure to inquire about how much you may be on the hook for before you sign up for any particular yacht club. Accidents can happen, even to the most experienced sailors. Make sure that you can afford the mishap in advance.

Is a Yacht Club Membership Right for You?

Understanding what the real cost of a yacht club membership is can be the first step toward determining if this is right for you. Many people love the luxuries available through the more expensive yacht clubs, but they may not be able to afford it. Consider what is most important in a club to you before deciding to sign on the dotted line for an annual membership.

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