From beginner to expert, flotillas attract a wide range of experience and mixing this allows for great learning & mentorship. if you enjoy new experiences and meeting new folks, you're one of those great people we welcome to join on our next flotilla!
GENERAL FLOTILLA INFORMATION
The flotilla leader is the skipper of the lead boat. They'll be keeping an eye on the group like a shepherd tending their herd. Flotilla leaders do their best to be available when you need some assistance - like helping you make sure your anchor is well set, or being there to grab a line when you are docking.
They are there as a resource ~ & can be available on the VHF or by phone. They will also be involved in helping to organize some of the shore side activities normally associated with these events.
WHO CAN COME? HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
You can come with your own boat (that you own, charter or stole) or you can come as a member of the CREW CLUB. A flotilla fee applies to your own boat ~ you can bring anyone you would like on your boat. Members of the CREW CLUB pay a member's event fee (listed as an amount "per member").
The balance of this section explains how the CREW CLUB option works.
SPECIFICS: CREW CLUB MEMBER
ASSIGNMENT OF BOAT & CREW
72 hours prior to the scheduled start of a program, we will assign boats & crews. Skippers will then be in touch with their crew to help plan menus, shopping & the rest of the fun.
WHAT VESSELS ARE USED
All vessels in the COOPER boating fleet ~ power & sail ~ may be used for CREW CLUB flotillas. While we consider and work to accommodate requests, juggling the crews is a challenging task for our shore crew,so we cannot guarantee you will sail on a specific vessel on any particular trip. If you want to ensure a specific boat, please gather your own group & charter it!
During a flotilla, beyond the usual responsibilities (command of boat and crew, reviewing planned routes, keeping abreast of potential hazards, relevant tides and currents, weather forecasts etc), the skipper of a boat manages a few additional tasks.
They will be your contact for things like organizing grocery shopping & food planning, and divvying up costs of moorage, fuel, and grocery costs.
FOOD & FOOD PREPARATION
You are responsible for the procurement, preparation and costs of your food for the duration of the flotilla. Your skipper will contact you approximately 72 hours before your journey, to organize food and food prep for your boat.
Sometimes one or two crew members buy everything and the cost is split between the crew, other times each member brings assigned items. We also have sample menus available if needed. Occasionally, COOPER makes arrangements for flotilla participants to eat at a restaurant on one of your stops. In this instance, we will plan to have you join us unless you explicity tell us you won't be joining us. Beware ~ "party poopers" are generally asked to walk the plank the following day.
Each boat pays its own moorage per the arrangements of the individual marina. Cooper will book moorage for all vessels ahead of time. CREW members are also responsible for fuel. It is customary to divide the cost amongst the participants - occassionally financial types take on role of CFO. Engineering types are asked to get permission before taking anything apart.
HOW DOES IT ALL START?
FLOTILLA MEETING - Everyone meets join the flotilla leader to meet new and old friends at a scheduled meeting to discuss sailing and boating plans, weather forecast, hazards along the way to watch for, communication plan, events & free times.
CREW CLUB participants are welcome to board their boats that evening & sleep on board at the docks that night. Depending on where you are headed the next day and the tide, current, & weather conditions, you may have a very early start to your day.
Other boats participating in the flotilla may be:
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENINGS AFTER WE'VE DOCKED/ANCHORED?
The flotilla leader normally will be the first in, and then is there to help everyone else dock & anchor. We often have a theme to our flotillas - a treasure hunt at EASTER, a jazz festival in the fall... a cool potluck dinner between great friends to wrap up the season each year in NOVEMBER.
Each flotilla has a flavour to allow you to pick your favourite! On longer flotillas, not all nights will have scheduled events - free nights might mean an evening hike, an impromptu sing-a-long over a campfire, or cuddling up in your cabin with a great book. For those of you with great organization skills….. why not organize a book club or a musical evening?
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MORNINGS WHEN WE GET STARTED?
Participants are often found wandering around, coffee in hand, mingling, telling stories….. prodding others to
get ready to leave at the pre-scheduled departure time. Usually there is a general appreciation of the calm
and beauty of the surroundings, and enjoyment of experiencing a not-usual morning.
HOW DOES THE ACTUAL SAILING HAPPEN? IN A LINE? AS A GROUP? IS IT A RACE? WHO GOES FIRST?
Normally we try to gather around a known point and travel within sight of each other - monitoring a pre-assigned radio channel or monitoring 16 and switching back to a normal pre-assigned channel (for those
without dual monitoring capability).
Any time two boats travel in the same direction there can be a race flavour… in a flotilla it's certainly not the goal or intention but some friendly competition has been witnessed in the past! There's no start line, horns or serious component ~ just camaraderie & fun!
Occasionally, adjustments to that basic sail plan need to happen along the way to adapt to weather or hazards.
But it's true what they say - more than half the fun is just getting there!
ARE THERE GENERAL RULES OR GUIDELINES WE NEED TO ADHERE TO?
To get the great member pricing you must be a crew club member. Not yet a crew club member? sign up for a one month FREE trial membership & join your first flotilla.
We are certain you'll find it a great group and will want to continue, but there are no obligations to continue past the first month if it doesn't fit. To be fair, we must limit every person to one 30 day trial. While aboard the club, you can also participate in SUNDAY sails year round and TUESDAY evening sails in the summer.
NOTE: layered clothing is the best; you may not get a chance to go back to your cabin