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Columbia Yacht Club Membership Costs: An In-Depth Look

Situated along the scenic Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, the Columbia Yacht Club is one of the premier boating and sailing clubs in the Pacific Northwest.

With a rich history dating back to 1890, it’s a coveted club to join for recreational boaters and racers alike.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Columbia Yacht Club membership costs range from a $1,000 initiation fee and $250 in monthly dues for Social membership, up to a $15,000 initiation fee and $550 in monthly dues for Full membership.

There are also Junior, Young Professional, and Associate membership types.

Overview of Columbia Yacht Club

The Columbia Yacht Club, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a prestigious yacht club that has been in existence for over a century. With its prime location on Lake Michigan and a rich history, the club offers a unique experience for boating enthusiasts.

Whether you are an experienced sailor or just starting out, the Columbia Yacht Club provides a welcoming environment for all.

Chicago, Illinois

Brief History and Overview

The Columbia Yacht Club was founded in 1892 and has since become one of the premier yacht clubs in the Midwest.

Originally located on the Chicago River, the club relocated to its current location at Monroe Harbor in 1993. The club’s mission is to promote the sport of sailing and provide a social and recreational community for its members.

Over the years, the club has hosted numerous regattas and sailing events, including the Chicago to Mackinac Race, one of the oldest and longest annual freshwater yacht races in the world.

The club also has a strong commitment to community service and regularly participates in initiatives to preserve and protect Lake Michigan.

Amenities and Facilities

The Columbia Yacht Club boasts a wide range of amenities and facilities for its members to enjoy.

The clubhouse, a stunning four-story building designed by renowned architect Harry Weese, offers panoramic views of the lake and the city skyline.

Members have access to dining facilities, a bar, and lounges, perfect for relaxing and socializing after a day on the water.

In addition to the clubhouse, the club offers a full-service marina with over 300 boat slips, accommodating vessels of various sizes.

The marina provides all the necessary amenities, including fuel docks, pump-out stations, and electrical hookups.

Members also have access to showers, laundry facilities, and a ship’s store for any boating essentials they may need.

Fleet and On-Water Activities

The Columbia Yacht Club has a diverse fleet of boats available for members to use. From smaller sailboats for beginners to larger cruising yachts, there is something for everyone.

Members can choose to sail their own boats or take advantage of the club’s charter program, which allows them to rent boats at discounted rates.

In addition to recreational sailing, the club offers a variety of on-water activities and programs. Members can participate in racing events, join sailing clinics and classes, or simply enjoy leisurely cruises on Lake Michigan.

The club also hosts regular social events, including themed parties, live music nights, and educational seminars.

For those looking to improve their sailing skills, the club offers a robust youth sailing program and adult sailing lessons. From beginners to advanced sailors, there are opportunities for all skill levels to learn and grow their passion for sailing.

On-Water Activities

Columbia Yacht Club Membership Levels and Fees

Social Membership Cost and Privileges

The Social membership at Columbia Yacht Club requires an Initiation Fee of $1,000 and costs $250 per month. This membership level is designed for younger adults and has limited privileges.

Members can access the clubhouse facilities and attend social events. However, they do not have voting rights or boat storage privileges.

The Social membership allows younger folks to be involved in the yacht club community at a lower price point.

Full Membership Cost and Privileges

The Full membership is the highest membership level at Columbia Yacht Club. The initiation fee is $15,000 for new members. The monthly dues are $550.

Full members have full access to club facilities, voting rights, the ability to serve on the Board of Directors, and boat storage privileges. There is a multi-year waitlist for new Full memberships due to demand.

Some key privileges of Full membership include:

  • Access to clubhouse dining and bar
  • Ability to host private events at clubhouse
  • Voting rights and ability to hold office
  • Year-round boat storage (additional fees apply)
  • Reciprocal privileges at other yacht clubs

Junior, Associate Member, Young Professional Memberships

Columbia Yacht Club offers reduced-rate memberships for juniors under 21, Associate Members or those who do not own boats, and Young Professionals.

These special membership classes allow people who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for Full membership to be part of the club at a lower cost. However, some restrictions apply based on membership type.

The Member Application and Approval Process

Becoming a member of the prestigious Columbia Yacht Club is a highly sought-after opportunity for sailing enthusiasts.

However, the club has a thorough application and approval process in place to ensure that only the most dedicated and qualified individuals are granted membership.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the steps involved in becoming a member of the Columbia Yacht Club.

Completing the Application

The first step in the process is completing the membership application. The application form can be obtained from the club’s website or by contacting the membership office directly.

The application typically requires personal information, contact details, and a brief introduction about the applicant’s sailing experience and their interest in joining the club.

It is important to fill out the application form accurately and provide any requested supporting documents, such as sailing certifications or references. Incomplete applications may delay the approval process.

Interview and Screening

Once the application is submitted, the next step is an interview with a membership committee representative. This interview allows the committee to get to know the applicant on a more personal level and evaluate their suitability for membership.

The interview may cover topics such as the applicant’s sailing experience, commitment to the club’s values, and potential contributions to the club’s community.

During the interview, applicants are also assessed for their ability to adhere to the club’s rules and regulations, as well as their willingness to actively participate in club activities and events.

Interview and Screening

Waiting Periods for Approval

After the interview, the membership committee carefully reviews the applicant’s information and makes a decision regarding their membership.

The approval process can take some time, as the committee needs to thoroughly evaluate each applicant and ensure that they meet the club’s membership criteria.

It is important to note that the Columbia Yacht Club has a limited number of memberships available, and there may be a waiting list for new applicants. The waiting period for approval can vary depending on the current demand for memberships.

Once the membership is approved, the applicant will be notified and provided with the necessary information to complete the joining process, including payment of initiation fees and annual dues.

Ongoing Membership Dues and Expenses

Being a member of the prestigious Columbia Yacht Club comes with certain financial obligations.

In this section, we will delve into the various ongoing membership dues and expenses that members incur.

Monthly and Annual Dues

As a member of the Columbia Yacht Club, individuals are required to pay monthly and annual dues to maintain their membership.

These dues contribute to the overall upkeep and maintenance of the club’s facilities, as well as the various amenities and services offered to members.

The exact amount of these dues can vary depending on factors such as membership level, age, and length of membership. It is recommended to contact the club directly for the most up-to-date information on current dues.

Food and Beverage Minimums

In addition to monthly and annual dues, members of the Columbia Yacht Club may also be subject to food and beverage minimums.

These minimums require members to spend a certain amount on food and beverages at the club’s restaurants and bars within a given time period, typically on a quarterly or yearly basis.

This policy ensures that the club’s dining establishments remain financially sustainable and continue to offer high-quality dining experiences to its members.

Not only does this provide a source of revenue for the club, but it also fosters a sense of community among members as they gather and socialize over delicious meals and drinks.

Storage, Moorage, and Equipment Fees

For those members who own boats or other watercraft, additional fees may apply for storage, moorage, and equipment.

Columbia Yacht Club offers various storage options, including dry storage and wet slips, for boats of different sizes. These storage fees contribute to the maintenance and security of the club’s marina facilities.

Additionally, there may be fees associated with the use of club-owned equipment, such as kayaks or paddleboards, which members can rent for recreational purposes.

It is important to note that the specific costs associated with storage, moorage, and equipment fees can vary based on the size of the boat, the type of storage chosen, and other factors.

To get a clear understanding of these expenses, it is recommended to contact the club directly or visit their official website for detailed information.

By understanding the ongoing membership dues and expenses at the Columbia Yacht Club, individuals can make informed decisions about becoming a member and budget accordingly.

The benefits and experiences offered by the club often outweigh the financial commitments, making it a worthwhile investment for sailing enthusiasts and those seeking an exclusive waterfront community.

Is a Columbia Yacht Club Membership Worth the Cost?

Are you considering becoming a member of the Columbia Yacht Club but wondering if the cost is worth it?

Let’s take an in-depth look at the benefits that come with a membership and help you make an informed decision.

Benefits for Avid Boaters

If you are an avid boater, a Columbia Yacht Club membership can offer you a wide range of benefits.

First and foremost, you’ll have access to a top-notch marina facility, complete with modern amenities and services.

This means you can dock your boat with ease and enjoy a stress-free boating experience. Additionally, the club offers various boating programs and classes, allowing you to enhance your boating skills and knowledge.

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or just starting out, the club provides an exceptional platform for boating enthusiasts to connect, learn, and explore.

Benefits for Avid Boaters

Prestige and Exclusivity

Being a member of the Columbia Yacht Club comes with a sense of prestige and exclusivity.

The club has a long and rich history, dating back over a century. Its members include prominent individuals from all walks of life, creating a unique and influential community.

Being part of this exclusive club allows you to network with like-minded individuals who share a passion for boating and the finer things in life.

The club also hosts various social events and gatherings, providing opportunities to connect and build relationships with fellow members.

Networking and Community

One of the significant advantages of joining the Columbia Yacht Club is the networking opportunities it offers.

Whether you’re a business professional looking to expand your network or someone who enjoys connecting with others, the club provides a platform to meet individuals from diverse backgrounds.

You never know who you might meet and what opportunities may arise from these connections. Apart from networking, being part of the club also means being part of a close-knit community.

Members often form lasting friendships and bonds through shared experiences and a common love for boating.


With a Columbia Yacht Club membership costing upwards of several thousand dollars in initiation fees and hundreds more per month, it’s certainly an exclusive club.

For avid Pacific Northwest boaters interested in premier amenities, facilities, and community, the membership may well be worth the price of admission.

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