Chapter 10

Club Etiquette: Ensuring Smooth Sailing for All

In the world of model yachting, just as in life, etiquette is the gentle wind that steers the sails of interaction. While we are in a digital age and operating within a remote framework, the human touchpoints remain the same. Good manners, respect, and understanding form the bedrock of any successful club. As the adage goes, a ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built; similarly, a club without a proper code of conduct might be free of conflict, but that’s not why clubs are formed.

Understanding the Importance of Etiquette

Before diving into the specifics, let’s grasp why etiquette is indispensable:

  1. Harmonious Interaction: Etiquette ensures smooth, respectful interactions, even when differences arise.
  2. Professional Image: For potential members, sponsors, and collaborators, a club with strong etiquette principles appears more professional and appealing.
  3. Conflict Resolution: Clear guidelines help preempt conflicts and provide a roadmap for resolution if they arise.

Online Interaction and Communication

The digital sphere has its nuances, and members need guidance on how to navigate them.

  1. Be Respectful: Just because one is behind a screen doesn’t give license to be rude or dismissive. Treat virtual interactions as you would face-to-face ones.
  2. Mind the Caps: TYPING IN ALL CAPS is perceived as shouting. Avoid unless emphasizing a specific point.
  3. Active Participation: Encourage members to actively participate in discussions, ensuring all voices are heard.

Race Etiquette

Racing, while competitive, should be governed by fair play and respect.

  1. Understand the Rules: Every member should be well-versed with race rules to avoid inadvertent violations.
  2. Acknowledge Mistakes: If a member commits a foul, they should promptly acknowledge it and take any necessary penalties.
  3. Respect Officials: Decisions made by appointed race officials should be respected, even if one disagrees.

Meeting Decorum

Virtual meetings are a core part of a remote club, and their success is underpinned by etiquette.

  1. Punctuality: Value others’ time by being punctual. If a member is running late, a quick message can prevent undue waiting.
  2. Minimize Distractions: Mute microphones when not speaking, choose neutral backgrounds, and avoid multitasking during meetings.
  3. Active Listening: Give speakers undivided attention, ensuring discussions are productive and meaningful.

Feedback and Constructive Criticism

Feedback is vital for club growth, but its delivery matters.

  1. Be Constructive: Avoid mere criticism. Offer solutions or alternatives to pinpointed issues.
  2. Private Discussions: If feedback is sensitive, approach the concerned individual privately rather than in a public forum.
  3. Acceptance: While giving feedback is important, receiving it gracefully, even if it’s tough, is equally crucial.

Conflict Management and Resolution

Disagreements might arise, but it’s the approach to resolution that defines club culture.

  1. Open Dialogue: Encourage open conversations between conflicting parties, fostering understanding.
  2. Mediation: If parties can’t resolve issues independently, introduce a neutral mediator to help guide the conversation.
  3. No Tolerance for Toxic Behavior: Bullying, harassment, or any form of toxic behavior should be promptly addressed and, if necessary, lead to sanctions.

Inclusivity and Diversity

An inclusive club is a thriving club. Ensure every member, irrespective of their background, feels at home.

  1. Celebrate Differences: Embrace and celebrate the diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences members bring.
  2. Zero Discrimination: Actively discourage any form of discrimination or bias, ensuring a level playing field for all.
  3. Cultural Sensitivity: Recognize and respect cultural nuances, especially since the remote nature might draw members from across the globe.

Commitment and Responsibility

Each member’s commitment ensures the club’s collective success.

  1. Honor Commitments: If a member commits to a task, responsibility, or event, they should see it through.
  2. Accountability: Taking responsibility for one’s actions, especially in mistakes or oversights, fosters trust.


Etiquette isn’t just about rules; it’s about crafting a club culture rooted in respect, understanding, and mutual growth. It’s the invisible thread binding members together, ensuring the club isn’t just a group of individuals but a cohesive, harmonious community.

Remember, smooth seas never made a skilled sailor. But in a sea where respect and etiquette guide the winds, every member becomes not just a sailor but a guardian of the club’s legacy. So, as your club charts its course, let the compass of etiquette guide it towards horizons where every member feels valued, heard, and cherished.