FAQs

How can I become a member of the American Yacht Club?

The process is relatively simple. You must first contact the club secretary and ask for an application. Then find two current members to act as your sponsors. The secretary may have thoughts on who you might find to help with this.

Submit your application along with an application fee (refundable). Your name will then be submitted to the Membership Committee who’ll review your application and a short biography and place your name on a waiting list. There is no guarantee you’ll be voted in right away, sometimes it may take a few years before your name may be called.

Once your name is high enough on the list you will be contacted to see if you are still interested (of course you are!) and, if so, there will be an initiation fee and an interview to be sure you understand and agree to the club, rules, culture, and expectations.

Then your name is placed before the club membership for a vote. When approved you become a new member when all your fees and dues are paid.

As a volunteer-based club, what is expected of a volunteer?

Our club relies on the time, efforts, and talents of our members. Cooperation is the keyword. We do expect every member to contribute in some way, usually within one of our committees. But we also understand not everyone likes to work on a committee, so there are many opportunities to participate.

A volunteer who is required to participate is hardly a volunteer at all. So we count on the honor system to make it all work out. And it does. We especially cherish those who pitch in. However, if you become a member and “goldbrick” you will become conspicuous by your absence.

If I join the club am I guaranteed a mooring?

No. Moorings are limited in number and are assigned by the Mooring Committee. You must make a mooring application after becoming a member. If any moorings are available the Mooring Committee makes a determination of assignment based on member seniority, boat length and draft of the vessel, and other factors. Some members have waited several years before obtaining a club mooring.

Due to limited draft and fleet density, we cannot accommodate boats over 6 ft. draft or 40 ft. LOA.

Our mooring field is also currently restricted by allotments assigned by the Newburyport and Salisbury harbormasters.

Does the club have a restaurant or bar?

We have neither. That being said, we are located within a short walking distance to a variety of restaurants, pubs, and bars in downtown Newburyport.

The club itself does not allow alcoholic beverages on its docks, deck, buildings or anywhere on our property. During official sanctioned events the ban is often lifted. You may have alcoholic beverages on your boat while tied to our docks.

We do have a galley kitchen where members and guests are allowed to prepare and cook food. This is a self-help situation where you are required to clean up after yourself. There may be limited space in the refrigerator but mark your goods with your name or it may just disappear. There is a large gas stove, sink, prep areas, refrigerator, and microwave oven.

What is the estimated ratio of powerboats to sailboats at the AYC?

The AYC encourages boats of all kinds from kayaks to cruisers, sailboats, and powerboats. Currently, not counting kayaks, dinghies, and other small boats, the fleet is made of approximately 40% powerboats and 60% sailboats.

Do you have club or rental boats available?

Generally speaking, the only club-owned boats are small, shallow sailboats used for our Sailing School, and several powerboats used for specific purposes.

The only club-owned boats that can be used by the general membership are two outboard-powered skiffs used as general workboats and as means for members to get to their moored boats out in the river. The use of these boats requires a class in their operation and docking techniques that are unique to our river conditions.

There is a 20-minute limitation on the use of either of these boats.

We also run a six-passenger steward-operated launch within limited hours during our operational season. Early and late in our season, our launch runs on weekends only. Summertime launch service is available on all days. Please check operator hours before planning a ride on our launch.

What is your dock policy?

The club maintains docks for temporary use of larger boats and allows limited dinghy tie-ups for longer-term.

A boat may stay on the dock for a prescribed 20 minutes, though leniency may be made for an extended time depending on need and the amount of dock traffic. On weekdays, with the permission of the steward on duty, longer tie-ups for your boat can be arranged, especially if you are having problems with the boat.

Boats on our dock cannot be unattended. If you must leave to do a quick errand, please notify the steward first. The steward may grant some amnesty, though may recommend other alternatives. Please be respectful of the stewards as they have the responsibility of dock management.

Is there parking available in the club yard?

Generally speaking, there is usually ample parking during the week. Weekends can be very busy, as can weekdays when we hold various activities and events. In those situations, you may have to find parking outside of the gate. On weekends, there are a few available parking spots opposite the water treatment plant.

The club is fenced in with a coded gate. All members will have the code, or you can arrange to have a steward open the gate for you. If you are our guest you will be provided with a temporary code to allow you access.

Please do not, at any time, park a vehicle where it blocks any boat or boat trailer. Do not park to block the boat ramp. These are serious infractions and your vehicle will be towed.

Long-term parking in the yard is usually relegated to our east seawall area. We advise you to leave keys with our stewards in case your vehicle needs to be moved for any reason.

Can I keep my boat in the club yard?

In season this is called “dry sailing.” Off season this is called “storage.” Dry sailing requires that the boat be on a trailer and be launched and used during the season. “Storage” speaks for itself.

Either depends on the available space. We have a committee dedicated to managing our yard. These folks work very hard to accommodate every boater’s need for storage in season and off-season. However, our space has limits and this committee may not allow all small boats to be stored on site. Once you become a member, contact the Yard Committee regarding your needs.

All boats, trailers, and materials stored in the AYC yard must be approved by the Yard Committee who will inventory items, ask you to label them with your name and phone number. Storage fees may be applicable.

Does the club have a fuel dock or pump-out?

We do not have fuel at our facility. There are several fuel docks nearby, a pump-out station is located a bit further upriver at Cashman Park. You can also radio for a pump-out and be serviced while on a mooring.