Why Belong to Ballena Bay Yacht Club? Why Is This Club Nautique Benefit Special?

  • Being part of a yacht club is fun, and it builds community around a common interest—boating, which reinforces both the social and technical dynamics of boating.
  • There are lots of activities—as many or as few as you want to participate in or create.
  • Social events provide dinners, camaraderie and fun.
  • Cruise-outs create experiences to hone and build sailing/boating skills and confidence. Cruise-outs can also help form friendships with members of other clubs.
  • Friday night sailboat races provide the opportunity to test your skills against other racers, have a great bar menu dinner, and share tall tales over a beer.
  • There are new destinations to sail to—through the Pacific Inter-Club Yachting Association (PICYA), BBYC opens the opportunity to visit virtually all the yacht clubs in northern California and more, whether by boat or car. Check their website for all affiliate clubs and their descriptions.
  • Membership also provides opportunities to go on sail and power adventures with other club members—new friendships and adventure.
  • You have a great place to “hang”, whether after lessons or when you are chartering.

What are the Protocols at Ballena Bay Yacht Club?

  • Your membership with BBYC through Club Nautique accords you virtually every membership benefit of a full dues paying member, with four exceptions—you cannot go behind the bar to serve yourself, run a bar “chit,” have a key to the Club or vote. However, you can enjoy all activities; use the Club as long as a full, key-holding member is present; and have the benefit of
    reciprocity with all of the other yacht clubs in northern California and elsewhere that a Ballena Bay Yacht Club membership provides.
  • You will receive a yellow, plastic Ballena Bay Yacht Club membership card. Please have it with you and be prepared to show it if asked.
  • Upon entering Ballena Bay Yacht Club, fill out a “stick on” name tag with your name and the letters “CN” after your name.
  • Feel free to order from the bar. Most bar prices are posted, but the person behind the bar will be pleased to help you if you don’t see what you want.
  • Bar rules are consistent with the laws governing the issuance of the liquor license to BBYC, so must be strictly observed, i.e., no serving of minors or taking alcohol off the premises.
  • Members can use the facilities for personal gatherings at a very low cost.
  • While there may be room at dinner events as a walk-in, it is best to sign up on the electronic evite invitation you can receive, but you must furnish BBYC your e-mail address (there is an email sign-up sheet just inside the door above the guest sign-in book/paper name tags). However, if you have signed up for an event and cannot make it, be sure to cancel via evite or at
    social@bbyc.org, or you will be charged. Same for cruise-outs.
  • Pets are permitted on the patio if they are well behaved.
  • Normal standards of courtesy and consideration apply.
  • BBYC is an all volunteer club–weigh in, join a committee, engage. BBYC would love to have your participation.
  • If you should decide to become a “key carrying” full dues paying member, let us know! We’ll gladly give you an application!

What Are Typical Visiting Protocols With Reciprocal Clubs?

  • Call ahead to the yacht club to make sure there is dock space and receive instructions to your dock space. Some yacht clubs have their own docks. Others will direct you to their harbormaster. Are there special instructions to follow when entering the marina (no one wants to be a stick in the mud!)? You can go to the PICYA website to get yacht club contact information. Determine arrival times and with whom to check-in upon arrival.
  • Know the length and beam of your boat—you will be asked to ensure that there is a dock or slip available to accommodate your boat size.
  • Ask about club and marina rules: Pets? Events? Protocols? Electrical services? Bath-houses? Parties? Hours? Pump out? Fuel? Power requirement? Payment method for facilities? Boat documentation requirements?
  • Observe sound environmental practice consistent with concern for proper waste disposal and discharges from your vessel.
  • Make sure that you know where you are going, how to get there, and the course you have to navigate to enter the marina to avoid shallow waters. A great book for marinas around the Bay and other points to reference is Cruising Guide to San Francisco Bay by Carolyn and Bob McHaffy. This book gives you the contact information for these marinas and harbors as well as instructions for entering the harbors and marinas.
  • Be sure to fly your BBYC burgee when visiting the reciprocal yacht club. This is required.
  • Observe traditional yachting protocols and courtesies, which foster collaborative relations between yacht clubs. Generally, dockside parties must observe club/marina noise rules and quiet hours. When you cruise in, you are representing Ballena Bay Yacht Club.
  • Carry your membership card which you will be required to show (no card, no entry!). Sign the guest register when you enter the reciprocal club and fill out and wear a “stick on” badge with your name and BBYC on it.
  • Enjoy yourself! Have fun!

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