How do I join?
Full membership costs £25 per year, or you can join as an Associate for £15. Associate membership is for those who do not own a boat - you get most benefits, but cannot vote at the AGM.
While crews do not need to be members under the rules, regular crews are encouraged to become Associate members in order to support the association in its activities, from which they benefit.
In more detail...
The committee of Merlin Rocket Owners Association is the management team for the membership. Committee members are voted in at the AGM, and the committee elects a Chairman from their number. Under the class rules, the committee is charged with furthering the interests of the class, and governing the affairs of the class. The Merlin Rocket is a National Class, which means that the RYA has ultimate responsibility for the ensuring the class runs within the class rules; any changes to the rules have to be ratified by the RYA. The committee meets about 5 times each year, one of the meetings is an all day affair, called the 'Away Day', at which long term strategy for the class is planned.
'Furthering the interests of the class' is interpreted to mean activities that relate to:
Promotion of the class to the public with a view to - Growing the membership, Maintaining the strong profile of the class in the sailing press, Working to maintain residual boat values/ prices
Keeping members informed about the Associationís activities
Organising events for members
Arranging the Class presence at the Dinghy Exhibition
Promoting changes to the class rules that it feels will benefit the current members and help to secure the future of the class. The policy currently being pursued is to avoid any changes to the rules that could be divisive to the membership
'Governing the affairs of the class' is interpreted to mean:
Organising the requisite General Meetings
Ensuring that the Association complies with any legal requirements to which it is subject (Auditing, Data Protection etc)
Setting in place financial strategies that plan for the present and the future, and ensuring that the strategies are followed. Association income is primarily from subscriptions, but is enhanced significantly by revenue from sales of merchandise, advertising in class publications, and sponsorship for the National Championships. The Association plans to break even each year, but by good financial management and cost control over the years there is a healthy balance currently.
Minutes of the AGM and reports from the 'Away Day' are published in the magazine and website (in the library) for members to read.