The Sailing Club; a ship of fools
Starting now and moving back to past, it seems that this latest faux pas just show how weird (for lack of a better word) can be. The post Tom refers to really had nothing to do with anyone except the people who had boats in the mooring field, but was the notice was sent to the club’s full email list.
When you read the first email, it sounded like the city was forcing the club to move all boats to the city’s mooring field outside of the spoil islands, ostensibly for added city revenue. Anyone who has any dealings with city would consider that very plausible.
Actually the planned move is for a very short time, just enough for the club to remove the old moorings anchors and replace them with environmentally sound ones. The state of Florida has been on the club to replace them for years and now they are doing it.
The old anchors gigantic hunks of concrete and old train wheels that weigh 2,000 pounds each. I will be quite surprised if the contractor can actually get the stuff out of the mud.
One interesting post on this thread is Marc, who I believe is a past commodore. He states that the club’s liquor license does not allow them to serve non-members and social members. I’m not sure how they get away serving a guest of a member. Not serving them would be pretty tacky. The real story is that the club buys a license that costs $400 a year with restrictions rather than one for $1750 a year that will allow them to serve everybody. Are they really trying to be that elitist?
Another post states that the club had a social membership and dozens of Grovites joined. Their membership, and their food and drink revenues saved the club from a huge financial mess. Once the club was in good financial shape, they did away with the social membership, and then went down to the $400 liquor license to make their argument about social and non-members.
Here are a few of the many stories that I have lived through or have been told. I’ll keep the sexy ones out of this post.
In the late 1970s, the city, aggravated by the club’s antics, told them they had to build a new clubhouse. The old one, a Navy storage hut, was literally falling down and looked pretty bad right on South Bayshore Drive. The members at the time were paying $25 a year in dues, and now they were facing huge increases in dues and a $500 payment for each member for the new building. Half the members quit. The building got built, thanks no small part to a local bank helping them out.
A side story here: The water company hooked up water for the construction and told the club to call when it was finished. Five years later the water company found out that there was no meter and the club had not paid anything. A meter was immediately installed. No word about the bill.
In the 1980s the club was paying quite a bit in rent to the city. They had signed an onerous agreement with the city and were looking to renegotiate. No way said the city, we need all the money we can get. So, someone in the club got creative and slowly changed the percentage they were paying. Within six months the rent payment was cut in half and stayed that way for a number of years. No one in the city noticed and it wasn’t until the city hired an outside auditor and the jig was up. The club did repay the money over several years.
Not too many years ago there was this very nice lady working the club office. No one ever realized that she used to have an ever so slight cocaine problem. She fell off the wagon and teamed up with another cokehead women working in the dock office. Pretty soon there was no petty cash and no cash payments. She began to wear the number off the club ATM card. She bought thousands of dollars worth of Home Depot gift cards. After a few years, she resigned to take a similar position at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, just up the street.
She didn’t last long there. They caught her right away and she was fired. When the commodore of BBYC called the commodore of CGSC he advised him of the situation. No one at CGSC had any idea what happened. More than $100,000 had disappeared. She pled guilty and was sent to rehab. When the bank found out about it, they advised the club that they had fraud insurance. The commodore and the board refused. My guess is that they were too embarrassed because it would have gone public and everyone would have known.
In the interest of full disclosure I was a member of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club from 1984 to 1999.
Coconut Grove, FL
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