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Article I – Name
Section 1. This organization shall be known as the West Michigan Ice Yacht Club. This organization shall hereinafter be referred to as "the Club".

Article II – Purpose
Section 1. Its purpose shall be to promote safety in ice yachting, good sportsmanship, the involvement and education of youth, cooperation with other Ice Yacht clubs and with other Ice Yachting Associations. Furthermore, its purpose shall be to organize ice yacht sailing and racing, and the observance of the right-of-way and racing rules of the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association (IDNIYRA) and the National Iceboat Authority. In addition, the Club shall advise and assist current and prospective members in the art and skill of the construction of ice yachts and their component parts. The Club shall accumulate and maintain suitable equipment assets to fulfill its purposes.

Article III – Geographical Scope
Section 1. The primary frozen lakes which the Club shall organize itself to scout for ice and to sail include but are not limited to Bear Lake, Black Lake, Mona Lake, Muskegon Lake and White Lake in Muskegon County; Fremont Lake and Hess Lake in Newago County; Reeds Lake in Kent County, and Spring Lake in Ottawa County.

Article IV – Membership
Section 1. Qualification. A prospective member may join the club by filling out an application form. Members of the Club shall be of active status and in good standing by paying dues annually by the date established.

Section 2. Classes of Membership. Active members are those who have paid the annual dues by the date established. Honorary members may be elected to the Club. Honorary members are not required to pay dues, but may not hold office or vote on Club proposals. Inactive members or lapsed active members are subject to being dropped from the mailing list.

Section 3. Application. Membership applications are to be directed to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Club.

Section 4. Meetings. The Club shall have an Annual Meeting during the second week of December as set by the Executive Board. Regular Meetings are also scheduled for any day during the fourth week of the month in the months of January, February, and March, but may be moved to a different date by the Board for any reason. Club members will be notified in advance of any scheduled meeting dates being changed. Other business meetings and social gathering may be scheduled as directed by the board. 

Section 5. Notice of Meetings. Notice may be given by WMIYC  Website, post office mail, Internet email, and/or the telephone hot line. Any or all may be deemed sufficient notice.

Article V – Officers
Section 1. Officers. The Club shall have a Commodore, Vice Commodore, Rear Commodore, Secretary/Treasurer, Immediate Past Commodore and a Board Member At Large. The number of offices and officers shall be changed only with unanimous consent of the officers then serving, with ratification by the membership. The officers shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Club. (amended Nov 10th, 2013)

Section 2. Election. The officers of the Club shall be chosen annually by the members voting at the annual meeting. The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes shall be considered elected. The Commodore and Vice Commodore shall be elected from members who have served as Rear Commodore, Secretary/Treasurer or as Committee members. Each shall hold office until a successor is duly elected, or until resignation or removal.

Section 3. Resignation and Removal. Resignations may be submitted in writing to the Secretary/Treasurer. An officer may be removed when all of the other officers then serving ask for a resignation in writing stating the cause(s) for removal. Removals must be ratified by the membership at a properly noticed special meeting.

Section 4. Term of Office. The term of office shall be one year: from July 1 to June 30 of the following year or until successors are elected.

Section 5. Vacancies. The remaining officers may fill a vacancy occurring in any office until the next election.

Section 6. Commodore. The Commodore shall be chief executive of the Club, and shall serve the members by promoting the purposes of the Club, especially to organize Club sailing and social events. In addition, the Commodore shall be responsible to find suitable ice to make Club sailing possible, and ice to recommend as venues to the IDNIYRA Central Region Rear Commodore for that season’s regional and continental regattas. The Commodore shall take command of the squadron on the ice at Club sailing events and shall preside at any meetings of Club officers and members.

Section 7. Vice Commodore. The Vice Commodore shall assist the Commodore to promote the purposes of the Club and help organize Club sailing and social events. The Vice Commodore officiates at meetings in the absence of the Commodore and shall assist in the administration of the Club. the Vice Commodore shall help the Commodore evaluate and select suitable ice for Club sailing and for regatta sites.

Section 8 Rear Commodore. The Rear Commodore shall assist the Commodore to promote the purpose of the Club and help organize Club social events. The Rear Commodore officiates at meetings in the absence of the Commodore and Vice Commodore and shall assist in the administration of the Club.

Section 9. Secretary/Treasurer. The Secretary/Treasurer shall maintain an electronic database of e-mail addresses of Club members, shall conduct the correspondence of the Club, and issue any publications and communications on behalf of the Club, including a newsletter at least once annually. Secretary/Treasurer shall collect and disseminate information about ice conditions and sailing, by members of the Club via the Internet and/or telephone hot line. Secretary/Treasurer shall account for and steward Club funds and equipment assets and If there are any meetings and shall record and keep the minutes.

Section 10 Immediate Past Commodore. The Immediate Past Commodore shall serve on the executive board with the other officers. This office shall be held by the person whom held the office of Commodore last.

Section 10.5 Board Member at Large. The Board Member at Large shall serve on the Executive Committee with the other officers. This office, which has no specific duties, shall be held by a club member elected or appointed by the officers to represent the whole membership of the club. (amended Nov 10th, 2013)

Section 11. Compensation. No officer of this organization shall receive compensation for services in such capacity. An officer may upon resolution of the Executive officers, be reimbursed for any reasonable and necessary expenditures incurred by that officer in connection with the conduct of the business of the Club.

Article VI – Committees
Section 1. There shall be the following standing committees appointed annually by the Commodore and composed of three or more members.
A. Membership Committee. It shall be the function and responsibility of the Membership Committee to promote the sport of ice yachting, and to diligently seek and maintain new members.
B. Juniors Committee. It shall be the function and responsibility of the Juniors Committee to draw and seek the interest of young people to adopt the sport of ice yachting, and to encourage and assist their participation in Club sailing and at ice yachting regattas.
C. Ice Scouting Committee. It shall be the function and responsibility of the Ice Scouting Committee to develop contacts at or travel to each lake in West Michigan suitable for Club sailing and ice yachting regattas. The Committee shall report in a timely fashion on the suitability and race ability of ice conditions as directed by the Commodore.
D. Race Committee. At the Club’s organizational meeting of November 16, 2001, the charter members decided to only race informally and to not have a season series of scheduled races. Nevertheless, when two or more ice boats are sailing at the same time, racing inevitably occurs. It shall be the function and responsibility of the Race Committee to oversee and administer all of the ice yacht racing activities engaged in by the Club. They shall set and maintain the turning marks. The Race Committee shall provide support to the IDNIYRA and other Ice Yachting Associations if it is decided to host an ice yacht regatta on Club ice.
E. Safety Committee. It shall be the function and responsibility of the Safety Committee to especially teach new members and to propagate knowledge to all members about the standards of ice deemed safe for ice sailing. Furthermore, they shall teach and promote proper ice sailing etiquette, good sportsmanship, and the right-of-way and racing rules. The Committee shall assist in the selection of ice for club sailing. They shall determine the presence of ice hazards, and mark them accordingly. The Committee shall be responsible for the Club’s hazard marking equipment. They shall assist sailors involved in collisions, or who have broken down. The Safety Committee shall maintain and be responsible for the Club’s First Aid Kits. Committee members shall render First Aid. They shall remove hazard markers at the conclusion of Club sailing.
F. Social Committee. To be headed by the Rear Commodore. It shall be the function and responsibility of the Social Committee to arrange and promote fellowship and hospitality at Club sailing and social functions.
G. Nominating Committee. It shall be the function and responsibility of the Nominating Committee to propose for service to the Club a sufficient number of qualified persons to fill all vacancies in the officer seats and committees. The Nominating Committee shall include the most recent past Commodore, and at least three other current members of the Club.
H. Executive Committee. The officers shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Club, in whom shall be vested the entire executive power of the organization. The Executive Committee shall approve all activities of the Treasury. It shall be the responsibility of each outgoing officer to update and advise his successor as to the duties of their office, and to turn over all necessary material relating to these duties.

Section 2. Commodore Ex-Officio. The Commodore shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.

Article VII – Conduct of Meetings
Section 1. Order of Business, call to order, review of minutes of previous meeting, correspondence, treasurers report, report of committees, old business, new business, adjournment.

Section 2. Meetings shall be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order.

Article VIII – Financial Support
The Club shall be supported by annual dues as set by the Executive Committee and ratified by the membership, and by donations from businesses and individuals.

Article IX- Miscellaneous
Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Club shall commence on July 1 and end on June 30 unless some other fiscal year is fixed by resolution of the Executive Officers.

Section 2. Amendment to By-Laws. Proposed amendments, alterations or deletions to these By-Laws maybe raised by any active member. Proposals for changes shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee, and shall be published without exception by the Secretary/Treasurer in the Club newsletter prior to the annual meeting. Changes shall be ratified by a majority vote of the members present at the annual meeting.

Article X Club Rules
Members are required to abide by the policies incorporated by reference in the club rule book concerning the use of Club property and equipment.

Revised 12/08/14 EDR


adopted 12/22/04

The WMIYC cannot guarantee your safety when on the ice or riding in an iceboat. Ice boats can travel fast. The ice can be very hard and Iceboating accidents can and do occur. There is a risk of suffering injuries, such as cuts, bruises, broken bones and hypothermia. There is a remote danger of death resulting from collisions or drowning. Know the RIGHT-OF-WAY rules and use common sense. In exchange for the privilege of sailing aboard boats owned by the WMIYC, you hereby indemnify and hold harmless from financial liability the WMIYC, its officers and members.


Enjoy the thrill and have fun, a vast majority of the time one can participate in ice boating and enjoy a reasonable and acceptable safety margin.

You should always adhere to the following SAFETY Principles:

1. Check the ice and ask questions of others who have previously sailed it to find potential hazards on the ice.

2. Keep a sharp lookout for open water and pressure ridges. They are hazards. Remember, the ice is never uniformly thick. Ask ice fisherman and other ice sailors about the conditions.

3. Know the right of way rules for ice sailing and review them often. They are published on our website:

4. Use the buddy system. Watch out for each other and be sure you both come in together.

5. Always be sure to carry appropriate equipment to get yourself out of the water, including life jacket, ice claws, ice screw and a rope. This is important especially early and late in the season.

6. Dress appropriately. Wear warm clothes, gloves and a crash helmet. Use ice creepers on your footwear.

7. It is suggested that you stay with your boat after any accident until help arrives.

8. Check your boat and make sure all the pins and cables are in the correct place. Replace worn items before they need replacing.

9. You must avoid collisions at all costs. You can be disqualified from a race if you did not avoid a collision even if you were in the right.

10. If overpowered, let out the sheet that controls the sail. When sailing downwind, bear away from the wind. When sailing upwind, head up.

11. Sail smart at all times, and always use common sense and good judgment.


When using Club boats or equipment you are required to follow these rules & sign this waiver:

1. Club boats and equipment are to be used by Club members or immediate family members only

2. An immediate family is defined as husband, wife, son or daughter only.

3. You are responsible for any equipment used and must notify an officer of the club as soon as practical of any damage to club equipment. Then you must arrange to get it replaced or repaired at your expense in a timely fashion.

4. All members using club boats must sign this waiver of liability to use the club boats.

5. If more than one member wishes to sail club boat, please share time equally.

I have read the above Disclaimer and the Rules and Safety Principles I accept these as printed . My signature below means that I agree to follow these rules and will not hold the WMIYC responsible should there be an accident of any kind.


Member signature _______________________________________________________


Date __________________

Click here for a printable version of this document. 

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