What Does It Mean To Be A Member?
Diamond Island Yacht Club members are united by a love of boating and Lake Champlain. All boaters can find a home here. We have members with little boats and big boats, powerboats and sailboats; members who live year round in Vermont or just come for the summer; members who grew up boating or who just bought their first boat; members who embrace the Do It Yourself mentality or those who prefer to hire out.
You will find us a welcoming, casual, supportive and fun loving group of boaters, comprised of families, couples, and singles of all ages who enjoy getting together for social activities, boating education, cruising, racing, rafting up and generally enjoying anything having to do with boats. Our mission is to enhance our members’ fun on the lake, first by helping them stay safe through educational activities. Activities both on shore and on the water provide opportunities to meet other boaters, exchange knowledge and have a great time.
We have about 130 members, with a quarter being power boaters and the remainder sailors. Boats range in length from 14 to 44 feet and include everyone from day boaters to long range cruisers. Our dues are affordable by any boater, and for nearly all, will be one of your smallest boating expenses, but with one of the biggest payoffs.
What Facilities Do We Have?
DIYC is based at Point Bay Marina. Facilities include a tent and use of a small building with a kitchen and storage space. This is used for most of our shore based activities. We also maintain moorings in popular nearby anchorages for exclusive use by members. Most of our members keep their boats at PBM during the summer but we also have members with home ports spread from the Crown Point Bridge to the Lake Champlain Islands.
How Are We Organized?
We have an eight-member board of directors that meets monthly throughout the year. All members are welcome to join the board. There are three Director positions (one- to three-year terms), a Secretary and Treasurer and a Flag Officer track that starts at Rear Commodore, progresses to Vice Commodore and finally to Commodore in the third year. We have an annual meeting in the fall at our Change of Watch dinner where next year’s board is elected by the membership.
Throughout our 42 years of operation, the club has depended on volunteerism for the management of club operations and for planning and conduct of all club events. All members are expected to participate; these volunteer activities are excellent opportunities to interact with other like-minded boating enthusiasts while fostering and maintaining the supportive camaraderie the club is known for.
What Are Our Activities?
Our Fast Sail program includes a series of eight to ten fun and low-key races for DIYC members. The races are typically run without an on-the-water race committee so starts are informal and time keeping is up to each captain. The scoring is done using the PHRF handicap system. It is easy to register your boat and get a PHRF rating (if you don’t have one) by applying at the Lake Champlain PHRF website. All are welcome to race, from the very experienced to newcomers. The conduct of races is informal; the racing can be competitive for the top sailors while still welcoming for newcomers.
DIYC also hosts two races that are part of the Lake Champlain Championship Series Races. The Diamond Island Regatta and the Split Rock Race are held on a single weekend in mid-August. With many guests participating in the event, we run the weekend activities as a fund-raiser for the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Activities include a raffle, a Saturday breakfast, a Saturday afternoon gathering under the tent with beverages and the annual Lobster Fest dinner.
The Cidertini Challenge is the final DIYC race of the season held in late September. It’s followed by a gathering under the tent with hot cider and snacks.
Cruise Week is a DIYC signature event that has historically been held starting the Friday before July Fourth weekend. This year the event has been moved to the end of July in the hope of increasing participation by avoiding conflict with family activities over the holiday weekend.
Both sail and power boats are welcome to participate. The route varies yearly and tends to be dynamic to adjust for wind forecasts. Activities are planned for most days including pot-luck dinners, cocktail hours, dinghy races, etc. Fifteen boats typically participate for all or part of the week. This is a great opportunity to get to know fellow cruisers and visit anchorages on the lake that you may not have experienced on your own.
There are also two Destination Weekends, with boaters heading to Burlington and Westport. The sailors will have a pursuit race either to or from the destination while cruisers often extend the weekend. There is always a Saturday night event usually on the docks.
The club maintains 10 moorings for use by members. These are located in Town Farm Bay (adjacent to the PBM mooring field), Kingsland Bay, Converse Bay, Porter Bay and North Bay (home of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum).
There are also a couple of cruise weekends on the schedule each year. Destinations are chosen late in the week once winds are known. In addition members often meet up in various destinations around the lake. The club uses a smartphone app (Slack) for communication among members to adjust cruising plans in real time and for members to share their plans to facilitate meeting up with other members. This is also used to share information about lake conditions, anchorages, restaurants and more.
The Commodore’s Breakfast is the first social event of the season. This is an opportunity to meet the new commodore and get reacquainted with friends from last season. A full breakfast is served by volunteers.
Saturday Morning Coffees are held on several Saturdays starting relatively early in the morning so folks can attend and still get out on their boats for the day/weekend, or for a Fast Sail event. A light breakfast (donuts or bagels) and coffee are served.
A Vessel Christening is held annually with the commodore performing the ceremony. A proper christening and the accompanying ceremony ensures good fortune to the lady and her crew throughout the life of the vessel. Tradition requires that champagne be part of the ceremony.
The Chicken Barbecue is a signature event for the club dating back to our beginning years and held in June. Half-chickens are cooked at the tent and served with a full suite of side dishes and desserts. This event is always a sellout.
The Lobster Fest is a great dinner for members and participants in the Diamond Island Regatta. Like the Chicken BBQ, this event is always a sellout.
The Change of Watch Dinner is held at the end of the season, typically in early November. The new board of directors is voted in, awards are given out and a great meal is served. Some choose to dress as yacht club tradition suggests. It’s always a fun night of camaraderie.
The Mid-Winter Raft Up is a pot-luck supper accompanied by a speaker on a topic of interest, typically held in late February or early March.
Pub Nights are informal gatherings at area pubs where members can gather to talk about the coming season, projects under way or simply to see our summer friends during the long Vermont winters. These are typically held once a month, January through early April.
Vessel Inspections: The Coast Guard Auxiliary comes to Point Bay Marina to conduct safety inspections of member boats. These are courtesy inspections with no tickets issued. This is a great way to make sure your boat meets today’s requirements, and to get ideas to make your boating safer.
Open Boats: Members open their boats for tours by other members. It’s a great chance to see other boats and get ideas for improvements to your own vessel. As well, it’s a great way to meet other members with similar interests.
The Education team engages experts from outside the area when there is a specific interest from membership. Race tactics/sail trim and boat handling training are recent examples.