We have been members since our qualifying trip in 1981. The OCC is a virtual club in the sense that it doesn't have a clubhouse and its 2000 odd members ( maybe more now) are scattered across the globe. It produces a newsletter every 6 months or so and a 200 odd page journal twice a year with cruising stories from members.
The choice of 1,000 miles between points is obviously an arbitrary one, as is the size of the boat, but they were chosen by the originator of the club over 50 years ago and have served well. It puts the O in OCC.
You will now find port officers in most countries, a voluntary role often filled by someone who has swallowed the hook but still wants to be involved in the cruising world. We have used them to good effect in finding stores, reliable technicians etc in new ports.
Like any club member, when you see an OCC burgee in an anchorage it's irresistible to meet them for a beer and in contrast to almost every other club they might come from one of 20 or more different countries.
I am sorry that the rules suggested to you that the OCC is bureaucratic---it's very far from that. Amongst its members you will find some of the most adventurous and free spirited folk afloat, some of whose whose achievements will amaze you. Rallies where boats sail together are a rare feature in the club. Normally an OCC rally has meant meeting in an anchorage for a drink, rather than a cruise in company. I suspect that a significant majority of OCC members prefer to do their own thing , occasionally meeting to share their experiences.
Sharing experiences is what the OCC is all about. There is a small number of dinners or BBQ's or whatever held each year in different countries, particularly but not only the UK and US East coast, but I suspect that most members only ever meet other members in a cockpit somewhere. On one extraordinary day we were one of 4 OCC boats who met in Caleta Beaulieu in the Beagle Channel. We all knew each other but it was pure chance that we all happened to be close by at the same time.
Arguably, OCC membership really comes into its own not in the Med or Caribbean , which are socially crowded places, but in some far flung anchorage where you least expect to see another boat , but there is yacht with an OCC burgee at her port spreaders. You make friends for life like that--just as you would if you came across another Amel in such circumstances.
Ian and Judy, Pen Azen, SM 302, Greece
From: amelyachtowners@... on behalf of 'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@... [amelyachtowners]
Sent: 03 August 2018 12:33:46
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] OCC
Interesting to see you are OCC Port Officers.
A couple of months ago I looked into joining the OCC but really struggled to see the value. The forum seem light and I assumed it was because of lack of members. Some of the subjects hadn’t been posted in since last year.
I had a hard time with the qualifications that sort of appeared a bit snobby to me such as “must have completed a non-stop ocean passage between two ports, where the distance between the ports is not less than 1,000 nautical miles measured by the shortest practical Great Circle route, as skipper or member of the crew in a vessel of not more than 70ft (21.3 m) LOA” I scratched my head and wondered why you couldn’t join if you had done a 999 mile passage on a 71’ yacht J - or - An Associate Member must have made a clear commitment to achieve the qualifying passage in a realistic and reasonable time-scale. The time allowed is at the discretion of the General Committee and shall take account of all the circumstances of each individual applicant, but it shall not normally exceed three years. Anyway this really sort of put me off.
We reconsidered joining when we looked at joining the Suzie Too OCC rally. But our golden rule of sailing on our own schedule prevented us from doing so. We are heading in the same direction as the Suzie Too but will not go as far north of Panama.
Sorry for the long-winded note but I am wondering if you have found the membership beneficial and to what extent do you use it? Any other OCC members, please chime in.
With best regards,
Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275
Currently cruising - Bonaire
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
I want to thank everyone who helped diagnose our steering problems, and let you all know the final outcome. After our complete steering failure from Panama to Hawaii due to broken teeth in both steering racks, we assumed that replacement of both racks and
pinion/steering shaft would resolve the problem, but that proved not to be the case. We have now replaced both steering cables, and our steering perfect.