Unlike last year, we did not do a Groupon Special this year. We just didn’t feel it was prudent to send out an online offer when the boats were already as busy as they were and we were sold out of memberships at some of the locations. Instead, this year we are just giving those discounts directly to our existing Members. We sent out renewal notices last week in the mail, and as we indicated in the mailing we are raising rates effective October 15th. So make sure you call the office at 612.208.1800 and get your renewal on file before the October 15th deadline.
Having our renewals on file in the fall greatly helps us with our planning, and we save money by generating the cash to purchase our new boats now in the off-season when the dealers and manufacturers need money rather than waiting until Spring during their busy season. We are happy to pass these savings directly along to our existing Members. So make sure you get your discount!
We have three discount options this year:
1.) A small deposit and monthly payment plan
2.) A 1/3 down, 1/3 on Nov. 15th and 1/3 Jan. 15th payment plan
3.) A pay in full now payment plan
Please feel free to call the office at 612.208.1800 M-F 9AM-4PM for specific rates or with other questions. We have included a list of some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Most Commonly asked questions by Renewing Members
Q: What is the current Member to boat ratio and what are your plans for next year?
A: We began the 2013 boating season with 63 boats and 553 members, which put us at 8.78 members per boat. During the season we sold 10 three year old boats and purchased 18 new boats, giving us a net of 71 boats. We currently have 571 members, which puts us at 8.04 members per boat. For 2014 we plan to have 600-625 members. After we pull the fleet out of the water we will inspect and recondition each boat. Based on what we find, we plan to sell 15-20 of the current boats and purchase 25-30 new boats, which should give us a net of right around 80 boats in the fleet.
Q: How many boats do you plan to have at each location next year?
A: We have to turn our slip requests into the marinas by Oct 15th. We will most likely be requesting 25 slips on Minnetonka, 20 Slips on Prior, 9 Slips on the St. Croix, 9 Slips on White Bear, 8 Slips on Waconia, 6 slips on Forest Lake, 2 slips on Gull and 2 slips on Cross.
Q: How did this boating season compare to other past boating seasons?
A: Last year, the 2012 boating season was one of the best weather years we have ever seen. The ice went out early in March, the weather got warm and stayed warm, and it rarely rained. This allowed our members to get out on the water early and often. The 2013 boating season was a completely different story. The ice went out exceptionally late in May, the Spring and early Summer were abnormally cold and wet (it rained almost every weekend in May and June). The weather did finally turn nice in July, and it has stayed nice ever since. But overall, this was the poorest boating weather we have seen in the Spring and early Summer during our 4 years of doing business. The rain and cold weather made it undesirable for many of our members to get out in May and June. This had the net effect of compressing our overall season, and it led to our busiest July and August ever. You can see this in the actual number of uses as broken down month by month in the table below:
Year April May June July Aug Sept Oct Total
2012 116 1438 2490 2809 2406 *802 – *10061
2013 791 2058 3204 2975 *831 – *9859
*to date 2012 and 2013 totals only
Here’s to hoping for more normal weather in 2014!
Q: Is YBC planning on adding any new locations for 2014?
A: At this time we are not planning to add any new locations for 2014.
Q: How do I guarantee I get the best price for my membership for next year?
A: As we have done in years past, we want to offer our existing members the chance to renew their membership and save money by committing to renewing by Oct. 15th.
For 2014 we are going to have to raise our rates for new members, primarily due to the rising costs of boats (on average $4,000 more per unit than when we started in 2010), slips and insurance. The new rates will also allow us to help offset the discounts we are offering to you, our existing customers. We guarantee these are the best rates and that we won’t be offering them to new members. So don’t miss out! The new rates go into effect on Oct 16, 2013.
We can be reached M-F from 9AM-4PM at 612.208.1800.
Your Boat Club was at the fair! Every day a few of our managers, dock hands, sales, office staff, and the owners were manning the booth. We greatly appreciated all the Members who stopped by our booth to say hello!
Winding down from the high bridge just north of Stillwater to Prescott, Wisconsin, the St. Croix River offers beauty, fun and delicious dining along the way. Its history dates back to 1837 and as the 1850s progressed, one town along the way, Stillwater, became the primary lumber destination. It is there, on the north side of town at Wolf Marine, where our boats are located.
Whether you’re planning on docking up to an island for fun on the sand, fishing for muskies, dining at one of the delicious restaurants in Hudson or Stillwater, or simply cruising along between the beautiful bluffs, a St. Croix River excursion is sure to satisfy your YBC experience expectations. Most of our boats are Pier 2 and 3 but we do have a Pier 1 pontoon available so everyone has the opportunity to take advantage.
The St. Croix offers a variety of choices for those who wish to dock up somewhere, including many different islands. Head north to an island and enjoy a relaxing getaway that’s perfect for a day of quiet time for the family or a romantic couple. Cruise south towards Hudson for one of many islands, including the one and only “Beer Can Island,” where fun can be had tossing a Frisbee, putting back a cold one, playing a game of volleyball, or simply people watching. Anchor up to the end of the dike and walk down one of the oldest bridges in the Midwest to downtown Hudson for lunch at one of many great restaurants.
If dining out is part of your agenda here are a few of our favorite eateries close by in Stillwater and Hudson. Stillwater dining is perfect for your pre- or post-boating excursion as it’s just a half-mile from the dock. Hudson is ideal for your mid-boating hunger cure.
Victoriano’s Pizza: Victoriano’s is a family owned and operated pizza place with over 60 years combined pizza experience. They put their heart and soul into every pie and every dish. Chef George “The Pizza Connoisseur” is at the oven so you are sure to experience a “Pizza Affair to Remember”.
The Dock Café: On the shore of the St. Croix, the Dock Cafe looks upriver to the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge and downriver to Lake St. Croix. It lies on the edge of picturesque downtown Stillwater, nestled between the St. Croix and the river bluffs. The patio, bar and dining rooms provide unrivaled views as well as the area’s most complete menu choices. The warm contemporary architecture of the Dock cafe is comfortable and inviting. A focal point of the bar area is a 4’ x 24’ topographic survey map of the St. Croix River.
Mad Capper Saloon & Eatery: Mad Capper Saloon & Eatery is family-owned and operated right in the heart of downtown Stillwater. It has been in the Chilson family for 33 years and growing. Serving a variety of delicious sandwiches, made-to-order burgers, a plethora of appetizers, and a never-ending selection of new and staple craft beers, Mad Capper is a must stop for your next visit to Stillwater. As the city’s home for watching Twins baseball and Vikings football, with live music on Saturday nights, fun is guaranteed to be had.
Barker’s: Located on the main drag in the heart of downtown Hudson, Barker’s small and historic river town charm is shaped with big city tastes. Using only local ingredients their steaks & pork chops are hand cut in-house and their lean burger is ground to “Barker” specifications by their local butcher each morning. They season and roast their whole-bird turkeys daily in baker’s ovens and their Pico De Gallo is made from scratch using only the freshest produce available. Serving 100% Columbian coffee and sixteen imported and microbrew craft selections on draft and numerous bottled labels coupled with the tastiest burgers in town or one of many delicious “Barkwiches” assures you an unforgettable dining experience that will keep you coming back again and again. Oh, and don’t forget the fries – they’re the BEST!
Pier 500: At Pier 500, you will experience homemade classic American food served in the backdrop of the beautiful St. Croix River. Located in the heart of the historic St. Croix River Valley, Pier Five Hundred prides itself in offering casual fine dining in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Executive Chef and Partner Scott Foster has created menus and consulted for Redstone, Champp’s, Big Bowl, and Tommy Bahama. Scott prides himself on serving fresh, homemade food that consistently exceeds guests’ expectations. After dining, take a stroll along the St. Croix River or relax with an after-meal cocktail on the spacious outdoor patio.
Freestyle Yogurt: Freestyle Yogurt is not only refreshing and delicious – it’s FUN! With over 100 different frozen yogurt flavors on rotation (14 at a time) and 50 different toppings, they keep things fresh at FreeStyle. Their shop has a flavor and style of its own that will welcome you, warm you, and provide a great place to make memories with friends and family. FreeStyling is exactly what you do! YOU make your own HEALTHY dessert, exactly the way YOU want it. Size it, flavor it, swirl it, top it off — Your Way. You don’t wait for them to take your order — just grab a bowl or cone and go do your thing! You even have the option to spin the large wheel to try for your chance at a discounted or even FREE dessert!
Del Lawson, his wife Norma, parents Ken & Sandra, and children Hogan (12) & Jack (9) have been YBC members since 2011. Initially they were looking into buying a boat, but considering the cost, storage issues and labor of ownership decided to go with the convenience, total cost and simplicity of the YBC model. “My mom and dad had recently retired and moved here from Oregon,” Del said. “Dad is a life-long fisherman. I grew up loving fishing but had switched over to golf after I left home. Golf was a big time sink from a family perspective [and fishing] gave us something to do as a family.”
The Lawsons use YBC as a vehicle for spending great quality time together. It’s quiet time, it’s fun and it serves as a stress reducer. But mostly they love fishing as a family. The boys fish when the fish are biting or serve various roles of netting or reeling in. They also enjoy playing iPad games, relaxing on the pontoons and tubing. Del says his family enjoys telling stories about “the ones that got away.” Norma caught a very large Northern on White Bear Lake that they got to the boat but wouldn’t fit in the net. “I am still kicking myself for not snapping a picture of the fish in the water,” Del said. “I drove straight to Gander and bought a bigger net on the way home.” He estimates the fish at well over 40 inches.
Ken caught a 32 inch Muskie earlier this month on White Bear by himself. While recovering from rotator cuff surgery, this was no easy feat. Nothing can keep Ken from fishing. A natural righty, he taught himself to fish left-handed and when his right wrist gets sore he switches over his reels to the other side of the pole and continues on. When needed, his grandkids (whom he moved here from Oregon to be closer to) help him reel in the big ones.
Frequently fishing for Bass and occasionally for Muskie, Del has fallen in love with Northern Pike. “They are vicious, voracious and fun to catch,” he said. “We catch two to three Northerns for every bass at White Bear [which] makes for a fun day.”
The Lawsons release 99% of the fish they catch, keeping a few bass once in a while. However, the fish are not completely gone. They keep track of every single catch in their heads. Ken’s dad taught him to keep track when he was three years old saying, “It always made for interesting and factual story telling later.” Since Ken and Sandra moved to Minnesota two years ago the Lawsons have caught over 5,700 fish, reeling in 2,963 last year. Their goal is always to try and do better than the previous year.
When Del initially joined Your Boat Club he was hesitant about whether or not he would want to renew at the end of the season. “Of course,” he said, “that became a no-brainer based on [our] family’s love of the river/lakes and getting bit by the Minnesota fishing bug. We really love the boat club, always recommend it to our friends, and still haven’t figured out what the catch is as to why this isn’t the greatest investment we could make for fun, friends and family!”