Become a Member
The Club’s Guiding Philosophy: When you join the Twin Cities Sailing Club, you are not just learning to sail or sailing boats. It’s so much more than that. You are joining a community of fun-loving people dedicated to the sport of sailing. Our sailing club is operated much like a cooperative; it is owned and operated by the members for our own benefit. Indeed, when you’ve learned to sail, we ask that you give back to the club and even volunteer as an instructor. As much as possible, the club promotes a “self-service” philosophy, meaning that your experience is dependent upon your initiative. More than anything else, individual member initiative is what creates a positive experience for each individual member—and improves the club as a whole. As a member, we hope you will join us for not just sailing, but also our social activities throughout the season.
More information about joining us for the 2016 season is below. If you have questions after reading this material, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in sailing lessons solely, you may want to contact the following:
- Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board – www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=612
- Lake Calhoun Sailing School – www.lakecalhoun.org
- Lake Minnetonka Sailing School – http://lmss.us/wp/
- Wayzata Community Sailing Center – www.wayzatasailing.org/
(The Twin Cities Sailing Club does not endorse any of these options; they are provided merely as community resources.)
Membership Applications and Dues
The application, waiver and dues will only be accepted electronically in 2016.
NOTE: You must be 18 years of age or older to join the Twin Cities Sailing Club and have proof of health insurance.
2016 Dues: Standard dues are $230, with the following discounts:
Discounts (only one may apply):
- Student ($40 discount). Awarded to full-time students only. Proof of full-time student status is required.
- Early-Bird Returning Skipper ($40 discount). This discount is only available for returning skippers, and only until the last day of Skipper Week (typically the first week of May). A member may not join the club for the first time as a skipper, but all members are eligible to become skippers.
- Auxiliary Fleet ($150 discount). If you have a boat on Lake Harriet and are willing to make it available on club sailing days for club members to sail on with you, then you can join with this discount. Please note that you must be a returning club member to apply for and receive this discount.
Returning Members: Any former TCSC or SCUM member, whether you’ve skippered out or not, may join at any time during the season. However, returning skippers must join by the last day of Skipper Week to receive the Early-Bird Returning Skipper discount.
New Members: New members are invited to join TCSC each spring and then periodically throughout the summer as room becomes available. Due to TCSC’s popularity, membership is carefully monitored and controlled to avoid overcrowding.(Sign-up in the right-hand column of this page to join our e-mail notification list.)
Sailing Days on Lake Harriet
Club Sailing: We sail as a club Tuesday nights (5:30PM-dusk), Saturday mornings (9AM-Noon) and Sunday afternoons (1-4PM; during the first six weeks of the season excluding Memorial Day weekend). Our sailing season on Lake Harriet starts in May and ends in October. Club members meet at the picnic table by the sailing shed, near the dock just east of the Lake Harriett band shell. When one arrives, he/she gets a name tag and signs in on the clipboard with the First Mate. People will be assigned to a boat and a skipper (instructor) on a first-come, first-served basis.
Club Skippers have access to the boats outside of club sailing times for personal sailing. In return, they participate in club sailing days and provide an on-board environment for new sailors to improve their skills. More information about becoming a skipper is below. Club members who are not skippers do not have access to club boats outside of club sailing times, unless they are sailing with a skipper.
Bad Weather. Inclement weather may force the club to cancel a club sailing day. Conditions will be assessed at the dock and the decision whether or not the club will sail will be made–and announced–at the dock only.
What to bring? The focus is on being safe and comfortable while sailing. Only one piece of gear is required to sail with the club: a personal floatation device (a.k.a. a PFD or lifejacket). A PFD can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. The following items are optional, but recommended:
- Sun protection: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses (filtered, with UV protection), lip block
- Appropriate dress: Warm clothes on cool days. Light but protective clothes on warm days. Keep in mind you might get wet! It may be nice to keep a change of clothes in your car.
- Water or another drink to keep you hydrated while on the water.
- Non-marking deck shoes, sailing gloves, a dry bag (to keep keys and phones dry): These items may be found at West Marine (Ridgedale, Bloomington) or Seven Seas (located at the Shorewood Yacht Club.)
Parking: Parking abounds near the sailing shed. A relatively inexpensive Patron Parking Permit may be purchased from the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. Free on-street parking is usually available around the lake, and a convenient area is near the intersection of W. 42nd St and S. Queen Ave.
Sailing Opportunities with TCSC
Learning Opportunities. You can improve your sailing skills both on and off the water. The club provides a sailing orientation and instruction class at the beginning of each season (i.e., a “dry class”) as well as additional learning opportunities throughout the season. In addition, a sailing manual which provides descriptive sailing instructions and terms is available to all members. Beyond this, the best learning opportunities occur on the water on club sailing days.
Become a Skipper. Skippers are experienced club sailors who have demonstrated a higher level of sailing proficiency. All new members are encouraged to become skippers. There will always be at least one skipper on a club boat when under sail. During club sailing times, a skipper’s role is to provide an on-board environment for new sailors to improve their skills. Most skippers are not trained instructors, but they will do their best to answer questions and demonstrate techniques.
All new members should receive a “Skipper-Out Card.” A new member interested in becoming a skipper should study his/her sailing manual, practice on club sailing days and ask a skipper to sign his/her Skipper-Out Card when he/she proficiently demonstrates a skill. Skills include (but are not limited to) tacking and jybing, dock departures and returns, knot-tying, man overboard recovery and sailing in stronger winds. Once the card is completely filled out, the sailor needs to pass a written exam before becoming a skipper. New members with substantial previous sailing experience should contact the club’s Head Instructor about an alternate process to become a club skipper. How long it takes to become a skipper depends on a variety of factors including the club member’s existing sailing knowledge and how often he/she participates in club sailing days. Most members easily become skippers within one sailing season, and many “skipper-out” by mid-season.
The biggest benefit of becoming a skipper is access to the fleet of boats outside of club sailing dates and times for personal sailing. That benefit comes with the responsibility of acting as a “skipper” for others, which includes sailing with the club and working with club members on two club sailing days per month.
Racing. Got speed? You don’t need to be an experienced sailor to enjoy the thrill of racing. Racing opportunities are open to club members – crew, safety boat or skippering a boat in races on Lake Harriet. Experienced racers are often need “crew” on high-wind days. Races sponsored by LHYC and open to TCSC members are held June to August during most Wednesday nights, Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings. This is a terrific opportunity to learn to sail outside of club times. To get involved, contact John Berg, TCSC Race Coordinator, at skipper.johnb (at) gmail.com.
TCSC is a Community of Sailors
Club Mixers. There are plenty of opportunities (both formal and informal) for club members to get together off the lake:
- New member event. On the first weekend of club sailing, there will be a new member event before or after club sailing. This is an opportunity to get to know other club members.
- Tuesday nights. Club members will usually get together (informally) for dinner following club sailing on Tuesday nights at a location near Lake Harriett. Usually, the Dock Captain will announce the meeting location as boats return to the dock on Tuesday nights.
- Thursday nights are Skipper Nights. Get together with fellow experienced club skippers to hone up on your skills and learn better how to teach sailing.
- Monthly mixers. During the sailing season (May to October), club members generously open their homes to host all-member mixers. Information regarding dates/times/locations will be provided in advance via the club e-newsletter.