Frequently Asked Questions

Through the years, we’ve encountered a lot of questions about topics ranging from how the Herring Bay Yacht Club works, to questions about boating on the Chesapeake Bay.  Below, we’ve captured some of the most frequently asked questions to help you understand more about our club:

Aren’t “Yacht Clubs” all formal and snooty?

Yacht Clubs come in many forms… from virtual organizations that exist to support education, to very large age-old organizations with very strict entrance requirements. While HBYC takes boating seriously, we don’t take ourselves TOO seriously. While HBYC abides by many formal age-old yacht club traditions, our overall tone is a bit more casual.  We believe in safe boating and improving the skills of our membership to be responsible boaters… and we like to have fun as a collection of like-minded boating enthusiasts. Our list of activity types should give you a sense of how HBYC defines itself as a yacht club.


Do I have to be a power boater to join HBYC?

Not at all. The HBYC is focused on providing a warm community for boaters of all types and skill levels to interact and enjoy the pleasures (and challenges) of boating. Our members include owners of power boats and sailboats, such as open consoles, express cruisers, motor yachts, day boats, mono-hulls, catamarans, cruisers, racers… and even long-time boaters who are “between boats”.  Currently, roughly 15% of all HBYC members are sailboaters.


Do I have to keep my boat at Herrington Harbour Marina to belong?

No – while many of our members are at Herrington Harbour Marina, we welcome boaters from anywhere… including out-of-state boaters ranging from Pennsylvania to Florida.  Having said that, the club has numerous activities at the marina (dock parties, etc.) so being at the marina will certainly add to your ability to mingle with the HBYC community.


What is “Reciprocity”?  What other Yacht Clubs does this include?

Reciprocity is an agreement between participating Yacht Clubs to grant access and privileges for a given Yacht Club facilities to “visiting guests from other approved Yacht Clubs”.  Through the HBYC membership in the Yachting Clubs of America (YCA), all HBYC members in good-standing are able to visit other clubs and enjoy their facilities (including slips, dining rooms, pools, etc. – as defined by that club).  As a HBYC member, you will receive a HBYC Membership Card each year – which will need to be presented at other participating Yacht Clubs to gain entry/access (at their discretion).     NOTE: Not all YCA member yacht clubs actually accept reciprocity (Annapolis Yacht Club being the most notable local YCA club that does not honor/accept reciprocity guests).  HBYC members have gained access to many yacht clubs across the US and the Caribbean!  The YCA website offers a complete list to member clubs -or- anyone can purchase a hardcopy list each year for $35 from the YCA site.


Do I need a Power Squadron Certificate to Join?

No.  But we do encourage all members to work towards obtaining a Power-Squadron certificate (and even USCG license for advanced boaters).  HBYC believes safety and education are critical to enjoyable and responsible boating, and many members are willing to help others move their way to these certificates.  In addition to being a better boater, some boating insurance companies even offer discounts for having various certifications (contact your carrier to determine if they offer such a discount and to what extent).


How diverse is HBYC?

HBYC strives to expand our membership to anyone/everyone who wishes to enjoy boating, improve their boating skills, improve their safety awareness, protect the natural resources and waterways in which we boat and live, and enjoy the camaraderie of other like-minded boaters.  It is the policy of the Herring Bay Yacht Club to provide equal opportunity for all persons, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation or disability.


Will I be excluded from Cruises if my boat is out of commission?

No.  Members of the club (and Fleet Captain) will work with Cruisers who are scheduled for a club cruise to attempt to pair up individuals/couples who would like to “ride along”.  This is, of course, at the discretion and preference of the boat-owner… but we strive to make sure everyone who is interested can join in on the fun.  In some cases, Members have been known to “drive” to destinations to join the “cruisers” for a day or the weekend.