Well, why pay now? I do not get full membership benefits and have to ASK for pro-rate?
I wish we had the previous membership system where it's joining date is the renewal date.
US Sailing operates that way.
I tend to take a much more positive view of communications from Laser sailors whether the comments come from members or just those who seem to have opinions.
I assume everybody wants to have a better game, believe the Class could improve its efforts, and therefore hope to improve the Class by offering suggetions.
JRF believes the game would be better served by giving each person one year of membership beginniong on the date the Class processes the funds.
I absolutely agree with JRF>
I believe there are numerous reasons for having individual membership dates.
I believe those reasons far outnumber the reasons for having everyone's membership expire on January 1.
I believe the value of the reasons for using individual membnership dates far outweighs any value to the game achieved by havng all memberships expire on January 1.
I beileve there was a change made to annual membership dates when the class officers were of the belief that one annual expiration for all membershipos would save labor by our paid staff and somehow allow our paid staff to better focus its efforts .
I believe that there is NO SUCH savings available and further I believe the false hope of saving staff time merely makes it more difficult to budget staff time for membership processing throughour tehe rest of the year.
I further believe, it is not rthe place opf our officers to save money by screwing the members out of ANY of the days of memberships or services our members buy.
Simply: When we spend the effort to gather tehe name address and other contact information from a person, I want that information used in every possible useful way for at least one full year.
One of those methods of use is to invite that sailor to attend the next edition of that same annual event at which that sailor joined the class!!!!
Another method is to oput 365 days worth of North American laser class sales information into that sailor's life. ( Newsletters, emails, district newsletters, regatta notices and everything we do for one full year!!!!)
Now...As long as i am opening the subject..
Not compainining...Dicscussing how to IMPROVE OUIR SAILING!!!!!
I believe we gather addresses and other contact information purely to invite others to come play with us. We do not have memberships to EXCLUDE other sailors. ANYBODY is welcome to join. The purpose of memberships is PURELY to invite people out to play. The purpose of the memberships is to use those memberships to somehow improve our game. ( otherweise we should not waste our valuble very limited promotional assets on funding an association)
IF we do not have memberships running 12 months from the date of sign up we lose at least ONE golden opportunity for encouraging people to renew.
Plese read the following and tell me how a January 1 expiration date can EVER be as powerful a welcome to renew as the followiung>>
Hi Herb Sailordude. We see you gave us your contact information and became a class member last year on February 31. That was the weekend of the Leatherlips YC Freeze Your Tushie Regatta. We certainly hope you plan to sail the same event this year on February 29 and 30 and we would love to help save the time of the on site volunteers by asking you to renew on line or in the mail before your membership expires again. It was great to have you as a member this year.
I am NOT complaining!!! I am suggesting how I believe our class could better serve our game.
I believe the memberships should run from the day a person pays dues until one year after that dues is paid.
or in some cases..two or three or even fifty years as one fellow did when he couldn't figure out a better way to give the class $3500 of operational funding it desperatly needed.
People tend to have regular larger bills, occurring at the same time each year. For example, in the UK I have car tax, car insurance, car service and car MOT (gov. safety checks) all at the same time on the anniversary of when I purchased the car. At that time of year I feel pretty broke and am less inclined to spend money on non-essentials. Similarly, a load of house bills seem to come in at the same time each year making me feel broke again and less inclined to spend on things I can avoid. For some, these yearly peaks in bills will come in around early Jan (e.g. in the UK it is the time many complete their tax return and some will end-up with a tax bill !!) and there is the risk they delay joining the Class (until a financially "easier" month) and once it slips it easily gets forgotten and stops.
I don't think individual membership dates will get many people deciding to join but it might avoid people leaving.
Alternatively, many organisations operate a scheme where people joining during the year have their membership fees pro-rata's for the remaining time before next fixed renewal data. Thus, joining part way through a year does not cost you extra so there is not the same issue about effectively paying double when you join half way through the year.
Personally I would think the individual membership dates is a far better idea (better than pro-rata and much better than fixed date).
The argument about "less work for the office" can actually work both ways because, with everybody renewing at the same time the office is swamped around the renewal time - and other things maybe don't get done as quickly as they should. Spreading renewals through the year spreads the load allowing time for all the other activities the Class employees have to do. With modern technology there is no real issue about reminders, etc. No idea how it happens at the moment but it could all be done electronically (for most people) meaning the office staff have little do do with the renewal process anyway.
I, like FireplaceGirl, probably won't become a member at this time due to financial constraints, but I have no idea what the cost is either.
Here's another quandry: I live in the Great White North, which is truly great, but also white (and brown) from November to May. The local sailing haunts are frozen over for 4 months of the year, thus removing the possibility for a mid-winter sail for even the most hardcore among us.
Tell me what incentive there is for me in an annual membership to participate in competitions which can not operate for 6 months of the year?
Some may say that I could travel to other locales to compete, but I wonder how many of those have crossed snowy/icy/unpredictable mountain passes in winter with laser in tow (or on the roof). Sorry. I LOVE to sail, but it is just not worth the stress of travelling in winter.
Now, as for the once-a-year renewal date, I am firmly in the camp of distributing renewals throughout the year. Around these parts, car registrations are staggered according to your last name. A's and B's are in Jan, C's and D's are in Feb, etc. It works here, why not for the Classs?
I could join, but until I know I might in a major 2010 regatta requiring membership. I will wait to re-join. I know they will send you back issues at separate costs than in bulk mailing.
Thank you for your comments. How far in the great white north? Traveling regattas and having the means to do so, can be costly. Traveling mountain passes? Yikes, I've learned how to drive in the Pac NW, towing Lasers, yikes! I am a native of the coastal plains of Delaware and Texas. Mountains majestic are so tall!
It's always alot of work, I do love it; though wish we got more food at regattas instead of alcohol.JRF
Masters have full sails and luffing minds? Speak for yourself. There some of us in rather great physical shape, pointing up wind nicely. As for luffing minds? Does that suggest we might be short on sail trim and long on emptiness of the mental capacity?
Can you up with something more intelligent and witty than that for the active, healthy, handsome and witty master Laser sailor?
If you can not, I will. I certainly won't put this decal on my toys.
JRF>>> Sweetheart, your mind has been luffing for years and that is just a small part of that which what endears you to us all.
Here is something Laserbabee's Dad wrote on the old Laser discussion list...pre laser forum days ...a few years ago..OK maybe a whole lotta yers ago....>>>
From: john ross
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 1999 18:11:17 AST
Subject: new racer
i just started racing recently and i was wondering if it is worth it to join the ILCA.
Any feeback would be great thanks
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, geneva]John,
[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, geneva]Is this a joke? I really don't know how to react to this question. This has to be a set up!
Certainly you need to join the Class. You need to join the Class if for no other reason than to make sure that the Class stays big and strong.
The Class IS Laser racing.
The Class IS the organization.
The Class and the organization it provides is the difference between cruising on a stupid little thirteen-and-a-half foot semi useless sailboat and a popular racing machine.
The Class is why you can still get every single part for your thirty year old boat in every city in the country and most cities in the entire world.
The Class is why your Laser is still worth more than any other singlehanded boat. That difference is between $500 and $3000 of extra money in your boat's sales price. You need to join the class to protect your investment.
The Class publishes the magazine. I have never received a Laser Sailor magazine that I failed to read cover to cover. Sometimes it is the only thing I can find to read in the house that isn't about Monica Lewinsky, murders, rapes, druggies, robberies, deaths, new taxes, winter snows, ice storms, and other sickening news. Sometimes I even know the guys in the pictures. (Once it was me. Carrying her boat and she wasn't in the photo...proof she wasn't helping. I got an 8 by 12 copy from Allan for the living room wall.)
The Classes are what makes J-24, Thistles, Snipes, Lightnings, and a host of other boats worth owning (or worth it to someone else when you are selling).
I guess my real gut reaction to people who do not want to join the Laser Class is pretty simple: I immediately want to avoid them. They are always the mooches. They are going to "borrow" my duct tape. They are going to "borrow" my daughter's spare parts. They are going to "borrow" an occasional drink. They are going to "borrow" a cigarette. They are going to "borrow" a lighter to burn the end of the line they "borrow" from me.
Don't be one of these guys John. We all want to like you.
They never show up for their turn on Race Committee. They stiff the waiter in the restaurants. They never seem to bother to actually join a sailing club. They drive their dad's cars and they leave the gas tank empty. They do this in spite of the fact that they have Mom's credit card for purchasing gas and car maintenance.
They are the sailors who tie their boats up between two of us who were just the right distance apart, and when we return from lunch, our boats are all scratched up from banging together.
Where do the non- class members spend their money? In church, they bang their empty fingers against the collection plate to make the other contributors' coins rattle, but they don't actually make an offering. When they have kids, they don't come to PTA meetings, and they never drive the carpool.
These are the guys who we help to put their boats on the roof racks, only to find ourselves alone in the parking lot when we need their help. Not one Laser sailor who is not a Class member has a decent set of jumper cables in his trunk. (Even if they did, they would slink off at the first RRRRRrrrrrrr..rr..rr clickkkkkkk kkkkk kk k of a dead battery. Non-members would only carry cables as their emergency equipment.)
The non-members are the guys who hurry to the front of the food line and put six pieces of ham on their sandwiches. They have T shirts from regattas only if the shirts were free; except sometimes they find one in the parking lot and keep it, instead of putting it in Lost & Found.
These are the guys who leave their trash in the parking lot and their dirty underwear in the club showers. They borrowed a towel Friday night after their shower from a sailor who planned ahead and brought one towel for each day. If they have soap or shampoo, it was swiped from a motel.
Seriously John: I would love to see you join us and sail with us for the next sixty years. (I will be well over 100 by then, so I will be sailing keelboats every day!) If you cannot see the importance of joining the Laser Class, just join for the next ten years and try to figure it out.
If you don't want to join the class?
I don't want to drive you away, but, joining the class is just a part of what I consider to be the minimum contribution that we all need to make. Because I already pay my own way and sponsor my teenage daughter as well.
Honestly John? I do not need another "mouth to feed." I want a friend! I want a guy whom I can hand a beer or a pop to, knowing that someday he will notice that I am thirsty.
If you don't want to join the class .......... I would like to see you sell your boat to someone who will pay his fair share, and perhaps even contribute beyond that most minimum level.
Well, if "John Ross" is an alias that the Class Office made up just to get a response: It worked.
I watched Secretary Fred Schroth and the Laser 2 World President sit at that table for five straight nights in Kingston, begging for sailors to pay their dues. And the sailors who never paid up made me sick. There were three fleets with over 120 boats, Lasers, Radials, Laser 2's, and half the sailors in those fleets were too stupid to realize exactly who made that regatta happen. Kingston may be a great place to sail, and CORK may be a great event, but the reason no other fleet had anything close to 100 boats was that none of those other fleets had the Laser Class to make it happen.
The kid can have her computer back now. Rebecca's dad