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Our regular hours for open sailing are
10-6 Saturdays & Sundays, 6:30 to sunset Mon-Fri. more info...
Spring Laser Regatta Sun June 15th
Boat school every Saturday 9am-noon.
Racing every Sunday at 10am. and Wednesdays at 6:30pm.

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Survey Results 2003

  1. You are a:
    (19) 43% Member of 2-7 years
    (10) 23% New member (joined last sailing season)
    (9) 20% Member of more than 7 years
    (3) 7% Former member
    (2) 5% Non-member

  2. You came out to the club:
    (32) 73% Frequently
    (10) 23% Occasionally
    (2) 5% Never

  3. Your affiliation with the University of Michign is:
    (12) 27% Alumni
    (10) 23% Student
    (7) 16% Staff
    (7) 16% None
    (4) 9% Faculty

  4. You found out about the club by:
    (23) 52% Word of mouth (friends/coworkers/members/etc)
    (7) 16% The web
    (4) 9% Read about us in the Observer, Ann Arbor News etc.
    (2) 5% Saw one of our fliers/posters on campus
    (2) 5% Boat on campus
    (1) 2% International Day

  5. Please rate your satisfaction with the following core activities of the club: (Scale: 1 to 5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being highest.)
    1 2 3 4 5
    Saturday morning instruction (3) 7% (8) 18% (8) 18% (18) 41%
    Sunday racing (3) 7% (6) 14% (12) 27% (11) 25%
    Thursday meetings (1) 2% (2) 5% (4) 9% (19) 43% (8) 18%

  6. How can we improve these activities?
    • Advertise everything more to students.
    • Create on Instructor Email sub list to request help and motivate instructors. A very active and organized Vice Commodore facilitates instructors and students all day long and covers such an email list. Meetings - Once a month have an "Advanced Lecture" in a nearby classroom for the experienced sailors.
    • Do some racing rules reviews. Have a clinic for instructors. Give more lead-time as to the Thursday meeting contents.
    • I am a new employee at UM and pending a move into the area. I am an avid sailor with several Macks experience. I am considering joining the club. I understand that the club has a mack crew?
    • I think the Sailing Club should try to get more experienced sailors to teach the first and second time beginners. I didn't have a problem with this, but my friend was initially taught by someone who had just learned two months ago, and she learned at a much slower pace than I did.
    • If a lecture is cancelled at the last minute, is it possible to have somebody there with a sign or something?
    • I'm mostly interested in windsurfing, not so much sailing. A few more rigs would be great, for those times when there are long waits for us windsurfers.
    • More advanced instruction at boat school.
    • More consistency of instruction for new sailors, more instruction for post crew-rated members, more incentives to teach, more incentives to volunteer in other ways.
    • More helms instruction should be given during that time to improve the sailing skill of the crew rated teachers. Offer crash-boat handling skills demonstration and practice more often. Racing: Perhaps have a list somewhere -- on web site and/or at the club of individuals looking for crew for a Sunday race.
    • Offer some advanced sailing technique classes.
    • Reorganize Saturday racing to reduce instructor burnout.
    • Saturday morning instruction should be faster paced. We should have tables for each shore school activity with an instructor at each. Then we should sign off the people immediately when they pass the activity. For those who have not joined yet, we need a crew rating sheet that is not part of the book. In this way they can make progress toward their crew rating without having the book. Sign-offs on their sheet would be transferable to the book when they join. Get people on the tiller as soon as you can, hopefully in the first lesson, so that they can get used to steering the boat.
    • Schedule racing for after noon on Sunday. Schedule instruction for sailing teachers.
    • Standardize instructor training (very similar to TRAIN the TRAINERS concept).

  7. Please rate the importance of the following activities to your experience of the club: (Scale: 1 to 5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being highest.)
    1 2 3 4 5
    Ride coordination (out to the club) (22) 50% (5) 11% (5) 11% (5) 11% (2) 5%
    Night sailing (5) 11% (8) 18% (9) 20% (11) 25% (8) 18%
    On-the-water sailing game days (9) 20% (8) 18% (9) 20% (8) 18% (6) 14%
    Sailing frisbee (12) 27% (6) 14% (11) 25% (9) 20% (3) 7%
    Sailing-related trips (i.e. tall ships or boat shows) (6) 14% (15) 34% (11) 25% (5) 11% (2) 5%
    Winter meetings on sailing-related topics (5) 11% (9) 20% (14) 32% (8) 18% (3) 7%

  8. How can we improve these activities?
    • Better organization about the club's activities. Better communication.
    • Create an interactive email system to coordinate rides to the club on an ongoing basis. Thus, a student rider can place a need for a ride on X day (within club defined times) and hopefully get a direct response back from a driver.
    • Get students involved.
    • More advanced notification of these events
    • More game days and frisbee!
    • More windsurfing trips. Also, allow members who demonstrate knowledge of windsurfing to take out a rig for a day or weekend (away from the lake).
    • Sailing related trips: A group camp-out at Higgins Lake State Park in late June would be a nice addition. Several members have their own boats/sailboards.

  9. Please rate the importance of the following social activities to your experience of the club: (Scale: 1 to 5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being highest.)
    1 2 3 4 5
    Potlucks/picnics at the club (2) 5% (4) 9% (8) 18% (12) 27% (15) 34%
    Parties at off-site locations (10) 23% (8) 18% (13) 30% (7) 16% (2) 5%
    Camping at the club (11) 25% (3) 7% (13) 30% (8) 18% (6) 14%
    Winter activities outside of sailing
    (i.e. hiking, tennis, skiing, trips)
    (9) 20% (7) 16% (13) 30% (7) 16% (4) 9%

  10. Would you like to see any of the following items at the club?
    Yes No
    Instructor training sessions (28) 64% (7) 16%
    More club merchandise such as t-shirts, hats etc. (25) 57% (11) 25%

  11. What other sorts of activities or instruction would you find helpful or enjoyable?
    • A more organized effort to promote the upper ratings on a continuous basis. Hold Skipper/Helm Key meetings at the club to promote better instruction and club operation.
    • Catamaran
    • Help for instructors knowing what/how to teach more praise of instructors and other volunteersÕ clinics eg. spinnaker, trapeze, Laser, family boat... camaraderie among volunteers.
    • Honestly, I come to the club to sail, swim, and enjoy the company of other members. The activities & amenities are nice, but not necessary to my enjoyment of the club. Overall the club is meeting my needs quite well.
    • I feel that all new instruction and activities that the club might pursue must be watersports-related first and foremost. I do not favor introducing any new activities to draw in nonsailors.
    • Instructor training. Cruising training to get certified to charter boats. (Maybe for a winter trip)
    • Kiteboarding instruction.
    • More advanced sailing clinics, promote racing, change skipper/crew during racing to help all get more experience.
    • More evening activities like cookouts, musical evenings, night sailing, roasting marshmallows around a fire.
    • More instructor training with the crash boat. More instruction in boat repair techniques.
    • More trips to places such as west coast of Michigan to sail catamarans or sail on tall ships. People already do this sort of thing within small groups of friends, but we should make an effort to use such trips to get students interested.
    • Organized instruction beyond basic sailing. Once you get your crew rating, there aren't many opportunities to learn (on the water) more advanced techniques. Paul Townsend has been great about teaching beyond the crew level. It would be good to see more of this happening in a way that newly "crewed" people can know about and take advantage of.
    • Teaching lessons on blackboard on what exercises will be done (i.e. rounding buoys) BEFORE getting on the water. After-the-race feedback and summary. Sailing Students could have small card w/photo with various sailing proficiency levels stamped as they pass their tests (i.e. levels white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black).
    • Water toys (donated items, like super soakers, might be fun), kayaking, canoeing.

  12. Please rate your satisfaction with the following facilities of the club: (Scale: 1 to 5, with 1 being lowest and 5 being highest.)
    1 2 3 4 5
    Bathrooms (3) 7% (3) 7% (7) 16% (18) 41% (11) 25%
    Parking (2) 5% (2) 5% (9) 20% (16) 36% (13) 30%
    Lawn/grounds (1) 2% (1) 2% (3) 7% (18) 41% (18) 41%
    Seating (i.e. chairs, benches, picnic tables) (2) 5% (2) 5% (9) 20% (19) 43% (10) 23%
    Storage for personal gear (5) 11% (12) 27% (11) 25% (9) 20% (5) 11%

  13. What are the top two things you'd like to change about the club, if possible?
    • 1) Getting more volunteers, not the same people doing everything, through incentives, i.e. people want to help if they feel the club belongs to them and their opinions are valued. A survey like this is great if it has some follow through. The board should not just be taking these ideas and doing it all themselves, but rather soliciting members, especially newer members, to have ideas and get involved. 2) Something with the instruction program that distinguishes between those who are just out for a visit and those that really want to learn to sail.
    • 1) Instead of a core of devoted individuals providing a free service to the community (giving lessons but many people never sign up), build up more participation among all members. It is too easy right now to be a slacker and let the old-timers do all the work. Maybe there should be some very minimal requirement, like helm-key/skippers would be required to do shore duty one day a month. I have no idea how this would be enforced. 2) Make it sound attractive to students and advertise in places students actually look.
    • 1. Cut off the piece of steel on the gatepost that some people scrape their cars on. 2. More formal maintenance program for the boats where those that use them the most (like the racers) must participate in a maintenance day.
    • 1. Not allow use of Club premises for personal functions/receptions/weddings/etc. 2. Learning how to sail and sailing should be the primary/core activity of the club, everything else to follow if time permits.
    • Better gear storage!!
    • Buy a catamaran. Less emphasis on new members, more emphasis on retaining members.
    • Embrace change. Add additional floor with terrace, chairs and umbrellas.
    • I am very satisfied with our sailing club. I promote it to everyone I meet.
    • I really enjoy the club, I can't think of anything I'd like to change.
    • I would be happy to get rid of or smooth over the speed bumps. They are rough on trailers and cars no matter how slowly one goes over them.
    • I'd like to see the club have a higher presence on UM campus since we exist to provide rec activities for them. I'd like to see the recent trend of volunteer task forces being set up to address specific issues continue, as when the bathrooms were painted.
    • I'd love to expand the boathouse. It would be great to have more storage space for personal gear, food, etc. and more space for windsurfing sails and boards (it's starting to get kind of cramped back there). I'd also like to see more one-on-one advanced instruction. The racing clinics have been great for people who enjoy racing. I don't want to learn racing techniques, but I'd like to increase my sailing proficiency.
    • Increased efforts to retain members. Modify Saturday instruction so instructors don't burn out and so we help new members.
    • More sandy beach area; encourage more volunteer work for upkeep (have actual sign-up sheets, have old-timers show newbies and others the tools for cleaning, sweeping, mowing, etc.)
    • More shaded seating. Add more storage for personal gear.
    • Nicer seats in the club. Filtered water. Storage bins for members.
    • Please remove all the speed bumps on the club road. Please put back the wild raspberry bushes.
    • Shaded seating near boathouse where everyone hangs out. A catamaran would be fun to have.
    • Some club members feel a little intimidating - like you will be more accepted if you're a great sailor.
    • Some people at the club are very insecure and tend to do a lot of bragging either about their personal intellectual prowess or about their boating skill. I wish this would stop. Not much you can do about it however. I would like to see more comfortable lawn (lounge) chairs and fun flotation devices for a more rounded fun experience at the club. A few umbrellas, round tables and a deck near the water would also be good. Drinking water has always been a problem also.
    • The daily hours during the summer. As a student I have time during the day and would enjoy sailing at times other than the evening during the week.
    • We need a catamaran.
    • When forming working committees, have them representative of all the club members. Purchase two more picnic tables for the grounds. Increase the personal storage capacity at the club. We appear to have a need for more maintenance at the club to include some inside painting and exterior doors. Hopefully we will have an ongoing maintenance program by which a large group of members can be involved to do the work and not rely on just one person. To finish the boathouse, we still need to wire in the wood stove electric fan to a wall switch (hidden wiring behind the dry wall). Let's move the gas shed away from the open fire pit to reduce the risk of setting the woods on fire. The current fire pit is flat to the ground, maybe we could raise it up a little with a brick/stone perimeter safety wall.

  14. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. That act alone tells us of your dedication to the club. Are there any other issues that you would like the board to discuss?
    • Always work on better communication and use the people that volunteer, even though they may not have been in the original plan. Volunteers don't come back if they are ignored.
    • Basically, I like the club. It is simple & functional. Lets us concentrate on sailing.
    • Change/amend Commodore and Vice Commodore mandates with two-year terms maximum and non-renewable non-consecutively after that.
    • Create a club environment that is dynamic and highly motivated plus have more transparency in communication within all areas and that empowers volunteer members to keep the club functioning on a very high level of educational and social activities. Over relying on any one person to do what appears to be the responsibility of other members may create an environment whereby club members become accustomed to be served and have very little or no incentive to get involved in the club and contribute. An excellent volunteer organization grows because good leadership recruits, trains, motivates and supports volunteers to do the same with newer members over the years.
    • Is the club open to sailing during the wedding? I would like permission to keep my yellow laser at the club this season.
    • It annoys me that I can't store my windsurfer at the club, but some other people are allowed to store their boats. Why are we afraid of these people?? Tell them to get rid of their crap.
    • Overall, I am very happy with how the club is being run. That includes current efforts to make improvements, solicit suggestions, and include new members in running the club as they become able to do so.
    • Should we install a weather station and connect it to the net? Should we install an outdoor shower?
    • Thanks for all your work keeping things running well.