The LCYC Experience

by John McKissack

The Lake Charles Yacht Club welcomes new members. We welcome individuals and families. The LCYC is an affordable and fun way to enjoy sailing and meet fellow sailing enthusiasts. Many people over the years have joined the club not only because they were avid sailors, but because they wanted to learn to sail. Sailing is a fun way to escape life's worries and get out on the water and relax. With easy lake access from the yacht club, you can easily sail out on the lake any time of the day, or take a moonlight sail after you watch the sunset. If you are one for adventurous sailing you can fly across the water on a catamaran with one keel up in the air driven by the wind. For those who are a little competitive, you can race against other boats every Wednesday and during our monthly LCYC Regattas. The racing schedule runs from March through October.

The members of LCYC love sailing and love sharing their sailing knowledge. I had been a member of the club for several years and wanted to get into racing. I guess I was not too sure of my abilities and I thought I would never get up the courage to joining in on their weekly races, or racing in one of the regattas. When I expressed my reservations several members offered me the opportunity to crew on their boat and learn the basics. The first race I was in, was not very exciting. We got out there, the horn sounded and the race started 5 minutes later. The problem was the change in the weather. The wind died and the lake was calm and smooth as glass. That day I learned how to start the race at least. I had plenty of time to learn. I thank Steward for letting me crew with him. He had plenty of time with no wind to explain the basics. The next race I crewed on Richard's brand new sailboat. It did not take long and I was hooked. Next, I crewed with John. He was racing the club's Flying Scot which is such a fun fast boat to sail. I had so much fun that I found and bought an old used Flying Scot for $1400. Now I race on my own Flying Scot. I named it “Wild Thang” because it can get exciting sailing this boat. I never would have been able to have so much fun and enjoy sailing as I do without the help of LCYC members. I am not sure why I couldn't get up the courage to just sail out there and race. It is just sailing with other boats around a few buoys. If you want to test the water, there are always skippers looking for people to crew for them. Contact us and get out there crew on a boat. You will love it.

When my wife and I first joined the club we did not have a sailboat. We had several boats in the past but had not has a sailboat for almost ten years. We decided to join the club just to have a social life and get out of the house and hang out with good, down-to-earth people who love sailing also. We had been looking for a used sailboat for a while but had not found one we liked and could afford. When I suggested to my wife we go ahead and join the club her response was “But, we don't even have a sailboat yet!” I assured her that once we join the club, we will be hanging out with boat people and it will help us find a boat. Boy! Was I ever right. We found out about more boats for sale than you can imagine. Needless to say, we found a sailboat and it was already docked in a wet slip at the club.

Sailing is great and fun, but one of the biggest benefits of being a member of the club is the people. They schedule regular Club Socials and some are themed. Christmas party, Halloween, with costume competition. You always have a few pirates there. They have a Superbowl Party, Cheese Burgers in Paradise, Crawfish Boil, and many others. Now my wife and I are not high society, blue blood types. We are just normal (well, pretty normal) average people and so is everyone else in the club. We felt right at home and have a lot more friends. We have vowed to get even more involved in the club.

The club offers free sailing classes in the Summer. My wife Tammy and I decided to take the class with our two oldest grandsons. They give lessons at the clubhouse and sailing lessons on their fleet of Sunfish sailboats. I have been sailing since I was 14, but took the lessons anyway, to spend good quality time with my wife and grandsons and I learned things I did not know. We all had fun and I ended up being one of the instructors taking people out on Sunfish as they learned to sail. I am so proud to be a member of the Lake Charles Yacht Club because they really make an effort to advance the sport of sailing and share their passion.

I could go on all day talking about the LCYC because it has become a real part of my life and gives me such enjoyment. On the practical side, the club offers the use of a boat ramp to all members and you can keep your sailboat docked in a wet slip. We had our boat docked there which was so convenient. With water and power at the dock, we enjoyed spending nights on the boat in comfort. Heater in the Winter and AC in the summer. The use of the Clubhouse was convenient too. With an upstairs meeting room and restrooms, showers, and even an ice machine. This Summer we sold our big sailboat we kept in the wet slip and now we have our Flying Scot. We are into racing now. I can't believe what I have been missing all these years. We keep our sailboat on a trailer at the club ready to go. The mast stays raised and all we have to do is hook up to the trailer and launch it at the club's boat ramp. The club dues are just $30 a month billed quarterly and the wet slip fee is an additional $50 a month, dry slip, or trailer storage is just an additional $10 a month. The fees are kept affordable so almost anybody can afford to be a member. There is a one-time initiation fee of $300. 

If you are interested in sailing, I hope you will consider becoming a member of the Lake Charles Yacht Club. Sailing can be exciting and peaceful. I remember when we took a friend of ours out sailing. She had never been on a sailboat before. She was surprised at how peaceful it was. The wind in the sails and the calming sound of the hull cutting through the water. She commented that it was so much different than being on a powerboat. She said you have to yell to talk on a powerboat, on a sailboat you can talk in normal tones.

I have always said “Power-boaters speed to their destination, sailors are already there."
Being under sail is the destination.