Friday, August 26, 2005

New Mexico Sailing Club, August 26, 2005, slip priority

$155.24 looks like the net amount that most folks will wind up paying for their slips after they receive their refund. $155.24 is the amount that people should pay if they haven't paid for a slip yet and don't have any special circumstances, such as work credits carried over from 2003.

Also, during Labor Day Weekend, Rich & Sue Strasia plan to set up a “poker rally” sailing race – it should be a bunch of fun. There might also be a semi-long-race if someone also wants to set that up. And, we should have another semi-potluck dinner on the Saturday, August 3, before labor day (you bring dessert or something yummy to share), and maybe a surprise the evening of Sunday, August 4. So, come! Stay!


Some people may misunderstand how sublets and the priority list work. Here’s my try at explaining it; if I’m wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time this week or even today!) please let me know. This system was originally set up back when there was a long waiting list for slips and every slip was occupied. It was designed so that a member who couldn’t put his or her boat in its regular slip could find [corrected] someone to “sublet” the slip (or buoy) for a season. The member was responsible for making sure that the slip (or buoy) fee got paid to the club and could not sublet for more than two seasons. The system gave new members a chance to experience the pleasure and convenience of having a boat in the slip and participating fully in our seasonal community.

If a person couldn’t be found to sublet the slip or the sublet arrangement fell through for any reason, the regular slip renter had to pony up the full rental fee or surrender all rights to the slip or buoy in question. Either the slip renter paid up and retained his or her spot on the slip priority list, or gave up the slip and was removed from the slip priority list (if desired, back onto the waiting list of people who didn’t have any rights to a slip or buoy).

With the drought and damage to the marina, some changes have been forced upon the club. The “grace period” for maintaining slip rights was extended because of the drought. Some members have been moved to allow for disassembly of part of A dock and repairs to other parts of the marina, and the slip and buoy committee may have to move more boats to optimize marina usage and allow for safety during future marina repairs. Several slips have been lost, for now, with the partial closure of A dock. However, the club lost more members than slips, and we do not at the moment have the luxury of a long list of would-be sub-letters waiting to rent slips. For the moment, we have more slips than boats.

In spite of all this, the basic rules have remained the same. Long-term slip tenants are still responsible for their slip fees. Because the club does not have a list of people willing to step forward to sublet, slip users face the choice of either arranging to pay their fees or risk losing their right to a slip.

Any changes to this existing policy would need to be approved by the board. The board does have the option of giving extensions or providing some form of relief where true, unavoidable hardship exists and to try to take the action that its members deem to be in the best interests of the club. So, if you don’t like the rules, be prepared to bend the ears of your board members with a polite, well-reasoned argument to support your solution. Or, volunteer to serve on our committees and board so you can help write the rules! It’s your club and your leaders are waiting to hear your voice with your suggestions, your solutions, your plans, and your offers of help. As they say, “Lead, Follow, or yield to those boats on Starboard Tack!”

It is understandable that some members may have made other plans for the remainder of the season or be engaged with other activities and conflicts now that summer is winding down and the school year has begun. Still, many weeks of fine weather remain for sailing. The area usually enjoys mild, “Indian summer” conditions in the late summer and early fall, followed by a period of crisp mornings and mild days as fall colors begin to emerge in the mountains. If at all possible, please join us; launch your boats if you haven’t already and join the rest of us in appreciating the beauty and peace of this special time of year. If not, please send your slip fee or buoy fee (NMSC, PO Box 1795, Bernalillo, NM 87004) if you haven’t already so that you can retain your place on the slip and buoy permanent priority list. And, please show up for our events, with or without boat. That way, you’ll be doing your part to support the club and the people who have worked so hard to salvage a sailing experience for you out of the devastation of the drought and its damages.

The outlook for the 2006 season will not be assured for some months to come, but already the prognosis is brighter than at the beginning of this year. Unlike the last two years, we expect to retain some water in Willow Creek Cove during the coming winter and spriing [corrected]. Perhaps even it will be enough to keep the marina floating freely or else it will be enough to minimize damage and make it much easier to get the marina set up next year than it was this year. With this year’s surplus of close to 40,000 acre feet of water, the club and marina face a brighter season than a year ago. We are assured of a reasonable sailing season even if we get as little as 25 to 50% of the normal 96,200 acre-foot “firm yield” through the tunnel to fill the lake. If we are so fortunate as to get another excellent snowmelt year such as this one, then we would have a guarantee of sailing through 2007 as well as 2006. Also, we have insurance coverage in place through most of next summer (with grace period, essentially through all the summer), so that will be one less obstacle with which to contend.

Wind and water await you, along with friendly sailors and a snug port (the harbor, not the wine, though that or maybe even some free beer could probably be arranged if you say the right thing to the right “old salt”).

So – come, play, eat, drink, visit, help, talk, play, explore, race, cruise, paddle, and… SAIL.


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