As I’ve been alluding to in previous posts, Pegu Club has a new home. After much discussion between Jeff and I, we decided last month to join Shennecosset Yacht Club (“Shenny” for short).
I have a co-worker who is a member of Shenny (and my boss was a member back when he had a sailboat), and they both spoke highly of the club from the moment they discovered that we had bought a boat. There were a lot of weekend activities which appealed to us, but with Jeff working on Saturdays it didn’t make sense to join. Once Jeff got his new job and we started having weekends off together, we decided to revisit the subject. We attended an open house and met several nice people, and it was clear that it wasn’t stuffy at all. As one member told us, “No pressed pink pants are allowed.” We hemmed and hawed for a while, crunched the numbers, and finally decided to join.
The primary thing that appealed to us about becoming members was the community. We’d be able to meet many more people who are into boating (and particularly sailing, which was definitely the minority at Pine Island Marina), including some who have gone cruising like we plan to do, and likely make some friends. We also liked the location – still on Pine Island Bay, right next to Pine Island Marina. But the thing that tipped us over the edge was the surprisingly reasonable price. While there is a modest initiation fee, the annual cost to keep Pegu Club on a mooring and haul/launch and store her in the winter was the same as Pine Island Marina. The clincher was when we looked at what would happen when we buy the big boat in a few years.
We really love being on Pine Island Bay. It’s a beautiful spot, and the access to Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound can’t be beat. Five minutes after dropping the mooring line, the outboard is off and we’re sailing. Unfortunately, Pine Island Marina won’t be able to accommodate the bigger boat. It’s going to be too large for a mooring, and the docks are too shallow for sailboats. We would have to move. Realistically for us, moving meant going to Noank, and that meant we’d have to deal with motoring down the Mystic River for a minimum of 15 minutes to get to Fishers Island Sound. Jeff and I had checked out the marinas there previously, and while Noank is lovely, the Mystic River felt like a freeway with all of the boat traffic. That was not something we were psyched about.
The marinas at Noank are also very pricy. When we looked at the cost to dock our hypothetical boat in a Noank marina and then compared it to a dock at Shenny, we were shocked. In the first year alone we would save more than what the initiation fee cost. Once we realized that, joining Shenny became a no-brainer for us.
For now we are provisional members, and during that time we are required to attend a certain number of activities and also work at a few. It’s a great idea because it’s giving us a chance to meet various members and get familiar with the place. With over 370 members it’s easy to feel like the new kid in school, but the more people we meet the easier it gets. Shenny has also recently started a mentor program where they assign a senior member to each new member. That has been fantastic, giving us a single contact where we can direct all of our questions and help us to meet other people.
Although we initially thought we’d be keeping Pegu Club at Pine Island Marina for the rest of the summer, we were able to get a mooring assigned to us so we moved her over (only 5 spots from her previous mooring) last month. Each weekend we get more comfortable and meet more people. We never thought we would join a club, but it’s looking like this is going to turn out to be a great experience.