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    Helderberg Model Boat Club
    10 Posts ยท 2 Followers ยท 4 Photos ยท 30 Likes
    Began 17 days ago by
    Midshipman
    South Africa
    Latest Post 17 days ago by
    Midshipman
    South Africa
    Rudy-M
    Midshipman
    ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Country: ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
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    @ Hermank
    Yes, that is the sad reality of our greed-infested world. I suppose there are many sad tales akin to yours and it's perhaps a blessing as someone mentioned elsewhere that we won't live to see that day when the RC hobby takes its final bow.
    When there is a commercial intent behind the activity, it's always a safer option, but it does not sit well with the RC Boaters, especially if they have been used to a decade or more of "free water". Taking the legal route to challenge these pencil-pusher decisions is not always feasible, and relying on promises they make is even a worse horse to bet on. We experienced it here with our local council too. Pushing full astern on the construction of a concrete plinth at the launching area at a local pond, and then coming up with a new bucket-list of hoops we need to jump through to do it ourselves at our expense for the benefit of all other clubs. Two years of paper wars and one meeting after the next, went belly-up in one email. It's like an Alfred Hitchcock romance. Someone always gets killed in the end.
    Talking about "specially designed" ponds, we had a place called Ratanga Junction. It was a rollercoaster park for a few years, but only open during summer. Then they closed down and decided to redevelop the park. In the design, they created an RC Boat pond. And we were all very excited about it. Until we saw the size. Not even a toy shop speedboat will reach full speed before it hits the opposite wall. It was totally too small and not nearly RC ready, but the designers were the sharp pencils and did not consult any of the RC clubs. Today it's a mosquito breeding tank. It looks nice, until you disturb the surface. The larger ponds are much better but the property owner is still looking for the "reply to email" button after two years of enquiry.
    It's always a blessing when you find a property owner with a business brain; one who an see the potential model boating has in increasing foot traffic to his/her venue. Unfortunately the trade off is an increase in membership fees.
    Rudy
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    hermank
    Captain
    ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Rudy M
    our pond was ESPECIALLY built by a company that developed the left bank of the river in Antwerp. Our pond is situated 2m lower than the groundlevel to avoid to much wind to disturb our boating. The whole pond is in concrete and about 110 cm deep. If you have a problem with your model you can walk around the pond.We exist 124 years and the pond was delivered in the early 1950 ties. Now comes the best:
    next to us is the yachting harbour. The company that built our pond is taken over by the government and they re-develop the left bank of the river with new cycling paths for bycicles and e-bike, and spedelecs. Now we have to disappear and the government promised us to help find another pond. Never ever we have received a call to inform us about a "free" pond.
    THis is how things work today
    Rudy-M
    Midshipman
    ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Roy, this is exactly why we formed the MBA. Ponds are threatened all over the world. Conflicting hobbies as well as urban development constantly fails to consider the RC Boating community and not having a voice, makes it worse.
    I recently saw an article of a pond that was ruined in the UK by the local municipality. The club used it for more than 40 years. Then they decided to put a fountain in the middle. No more boating and despite the objections, the city officials thought they were the sharpest pencils. Another club dies!

    And then you get clubs that say they don't need an association. They are doing just fine. Until...

    Cheers for now!
    Rudy
    roycv
    Rear Admiral
    ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Hello again Rudy all very interesting. Looks a lovely venue, places like this in the UK have all been taken over for fishing and subs for fishing clubs can be astronomical, like golf clubs!

    Nice to see the photo of your group I hope you all get to enjoy your hobby for many years to come and if I were there it would be 'Gold' for me!
    regards
    Roy
    Rudy-M
    Midshipman
    ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Hi Roy

    Yes an NPC has perpetuity in the same way as a charity has. In SA we also have two forms of "charities". The normal NPC and then we have what is called a PBO or Public Benefit Organisation. An NPC can be a PBO, but a BPO does not need to be an NPC.
    Both are regulated by an Act of Parliament (Not the common law)

    In the case of an NPC, there are no "owners" as in shareholders and profits may not be distributed to the members in the form of dividends like a normal company (PLC or LLC). Although its a not-for-profit company, it does not have to operate without profit. It can even have employees, but the directors and officers may only be paid a fair fee for costs incurred in running the NPC.
    And yes, it does open the doors to grants, but only if registered for donor tax deductions. It's not the ideal model for a group of 4 RC boaters wanting to play in a puddle, but if you want to generate money to invest in improvement and development of RC ponds and dams, it's the only viable option. SA is well-known for it's astute ability to misappropriate public funds. Having a NPC adds a layer of protection for the public, and then members too.

    As for exclusive rights, the answer is two-fold. If it's a municipal pond, no. The state cannot give exclusive rights to any organisation unless it's allowed for by an Act of Parliament.
    If it's a privately owned pond, exclusivity needs to be negotiated and agreed on with the property owner. Not all are open to the idea without a couple of trial runs to determine the impact.

    The wine estate we use, has been operating for a few centuries. The restaurant is well known and overlooks the dam. Below the restaurant is a bar and hall, and this is the area we use when we have events. have a look at www.webersburg.co.za - it's a stunning place.
    It will also explain the reason we have a Gold membership. This is not for the faint-of-wallet.
    Rudy
    roycv
    Rear Admiral
    ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Hi Rudy, further reading of your post. Does the management team 'own' the club? What happens if the Manager simply moves away for every day reasons?
    A registered non-profit making company has similarities to a Charity. I would think that a charity might attract grants where a not for profit company is there to supply a service.

    All very interesting, I was Secretary to a club for many years, when I decided to retire I found a successor and we worked in parallel for a while and then I left him to it and he was voted in at the following AGM.
    Roy
    roycv
    Rear Admiral
    ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Thanks Rudy for your clear and interesting response. I can see the differences, which are not so frequently seen here.
    Tell me, when you open for 'business' i.e. members come to sail models, do you have the exclusive rights to the water that you use? Is it in a private area, it sounds like it is, just checking.
    The catering facilities / restaurant, does that already exist? I know that having travelled to visit many winegrowers over the years that they often have their own excellent restaurants.
    regards
    Roy
    Rudy-M
    Midshipman
    ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    @ Roy
    You raise a number of valid points, which is all aligned to traditional mbc's. In South Africa we have two main options to forming a club. The one is the UK based model in common law, also referred to as a "universitas" where a club has a constitution and a committee. The other is a statutory registered non-profit company (NPC) with a registration number, tax number and a board of directors. The latter is our "entity" as you mentioned. But the titles are club manager and assistant manager. Not Chairperson or Vice chairperson. The club is managed and the activities are organised by the management team. Members join to participate in the activities. (Same as a night club, where the owners opens the doors and people enter to have fun). The managers have no say about what the members do, but set the basic rules of conduct and the hours and fees. A third party auditor is appointed to ensure the club operates within the law. (It's a much more regulated form of a club). And as an NPC, people get paid for the work they do; although it's not a salary as such.
    Yes we have different levels of membership. We are all equal too, but our needs are different. Some just want to sail, while others wants to bring their family together and have a meal while we have our boats out on the water. So, a traditional club using a municipal pond without public toilets are selling "municipal water and companionship". This is the "bronze level". If you want toilets too, you buy the silver membership, and if you want to have lunch as well, you buy the Gold membership.๐Ÿ˜Ž
    We are also the only club using more than one pond at various venues. If bronze level is too expensive, we also have the Free option. One pond, no toilets, and go when you want - companionship is an optional extra.๐Ÿ˜‰
    I specifically used the word "black-out" and not ban. We won't ban racing yachts. We just don't cater for it. There's enough racing yacht clubs around. We focus on scale models, and your scale model happens to be the HMS Victory or the RRS Discovery, it's a far cry from a IOM or a 10 Rater.
    And yes, I agree on the bath tub racers. We have a club called Orion ERC Ocean Racing for the speed boats. From the ruler length Chinese wind-me-ups, to the Traxxas M41.
    On your final question, we don't have to "approve" a member, but we do require a Membership Agreement and adherence to a Code of Conduct and Ethics. Our "invitation to join" is sent out selectively, but our media campaigns and advertising leaves the door open to anyone. We do however make it very clear that sailing regattas is not in our service offering.
    Our focus is on service delivery and not to be a bunch of willy waggers ruining the fun for everyone except the committee.
    You have to experience club politics to understand where this "new generation" concept comes from.
    SA is a very small community of RC boaters. If there are 500 people actively involved it's a lot. Specifically in Cape Town, when an opportunity arises to promote the club, the answer is a simple "No". We saw this happen three times since the beginning of 2024. Hence our view that committees don't run clubs; they ruin it.
    Count yourselves blessed. I recently communicated with 35 clubs in the UK. You are spoiled for choice over there. The UK is almost twice the size of the Western Cape Province (53%) and we had 2 functional clubs in the past 20 years.๐Ÿ‘
    Rudy
    roycv
    Rear Admiral
    ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    Stellenbosch, reminds me of Pinot Noir and Pinotage and takes me back to fond past memories!
    Sounds like you have a nice new home for sailing.

    Perhaps it is horses for courses but in UK clubs have to have a recognised 'entity' and contact person and inevitably public liability insurance otherwise public bodies will not talk to you.

    With no committee do you not have anyone who can speak for the club? If as you say you have a club subscription who brings the money together for accounting?

    There must be tasks and jobs and resposibilities involved in the club, how are these allocated or do just one or two of you do all the work?

    If you have Gold membership does that mean there is also a bronze and silver level?
    In the UK we regard ourselves as equal and have come together for common purpose and interest.

    I find it difficult to agree to banning yachts, for myself I only have scale ones and one old style pond yacht. I would definitely ban the fast electric cheap boats as the owners have little idea on controlling them and can be a danger to other models.

    As a last question do you have to 'approve' a new member or is it by invitation only?

    Roy
    Rudy-M
    Midshipman
    ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa
    ๐Ÿ“ Helderberg Model Boat Club
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    The Helderberg Model Boat Club is the second of the "new generation" clubs founded by the Model Boating Association of South Africa. The club meets at a dam located on a private wine estate in Stellenbosch known as Webersburg Estate. It is so far the only club in the Western Cape of South Africa that has managed to secure a venue of this level of quality and style to call home. As a Chapter of the Cape Town Scale Model Boat Club, the Helderberg Model Boat Club also does not have a "committee" that ruins it. The "Newgen" business model of the MBA places clubs under a management structure where members have a direct input in the decisions that affects them.
    The Gold Membership at the Helderberg Model Boat Club is just over ยฃ100 per year and includes free lunches at the 6 Themed events held throughout the year.
    It is also the first club to put a black-out on Racing yachts, and focus strictly on scale model boats.
    Rudy



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