Tradewinds Checkouts

We require our members to be “Checked Out” on every boat before they can reserve it. Some may view it as an extra chore or hurdle that is time consuming and annoying, but there are several reasons we do checkouts and several reasons that members benefit from us doing them the way we do. Here’s a list for you to ponder:

  1. Checkouts are FREE CLASSES! Only for members of course, but you get to spend 2 hours with an instructor, learning about boat systems and practicing some close quarters maneuvering and boat handling!
  2. Checkouts make you practice skills that you don’t always practice when you go sailing.
  3. Checkouts allow us to run the place with only two people on weekends! They make our members more self-sufficient and reduce the number of Saturday morning calls about boat systems as everyone is getting ready to leave. Reducing weekend staff keeps the cost down and is part of what allows us to continue to offer unlimited sailing plans to our members.
  4. Checkouts allow us to keep track of our members skill levels. By spending a couple of hours with each member each time they do a checkout, we get to evaluate ourselves and see how training is progressing.

Here are some tips for you, to make sure are getting the most out of checkouts (and that we are, too!):

  1. TAKE NOTES! We are constantly fielding phone calls asking whether a specific boat has a chart plotter, a bimini, a dodger, a BBQ, etc. If you have notes about each boat you’ve checked out on, you’ll have these answers on hand, even when we are closed and you have no one to ask!
  2. Print out the boat diagrams before you come to the checkout – or at least download them to your mobile device. They are all available on the members message board under “Technique/Boat Info”. If you print them, you can use them to take notes as well!
  3. Show up on time! There are other members in the checkout and you are taking up their time, not just your own, by being late or being in a hurry to leave.
  4. Check out on every boat you can – whether you think you want to sail it or whether it is in your fleet or not. Being checked out on more boats will make more last minute availability for you and give us more options when a boat is not working. It may mean the difference between getting out on the water or having to cancel.

Get checked out!

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2 Responses to Tradewinds Checkouts

  1. Jay Ward says:

    Excellent blog post. May I suggest putting in a hyperlink from the phrase “Technique/Boat Info” to the actual page? I’m trying to navigate to it and having some challenges.

    • TW-Matt says:

      Hi Jay,

      The reason we don’t do this is that the blog is on our public site and the place you are asking for a link to is members only on the message board.


      -Matt K

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