The Ash Breeze
Best magazine on the waterfront.
John Gardener Fund
We give money to organizations and individuals for small-boat projects.
Event liability insurance coverage nationwide.
Dues and contributions to TSCA are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
We encourage all TSCA Chapter Members to belong to the national association. Dues for individual or family memberships are currently $25.00 per year. We also have Sponsor Memberships for individuals who wish to support the organization at a higher level that start at $50.00. Member businesses support the publication of The Ash Breeze with dues tied to advertising space. We offer the best value on the waterfront for reaching the hands-on TSCA audience. Contact Mike Wick for more information on sponsorship privileges and rates.
So, what DOES the national TSCA do?
Great question! John Weiss, Membership Coordinator writes: Primarily, we provide a center point for organizing local small-craft clubs and organizations and providing them with a national identity. The community we represent is small by any measure, and without a national identity the various local groups would likely drift into isolation rather than provide mutual support. I believe our relative influence in the small-boat community will become increasingly important as large museums like Mystic Seaport and other commercial organizations are less willing and able to provide financial support to small-craft programs.
The TSCA offers organized, INSURED on-the-water boating activities for members and their guests. We have contracted with The Gowrie Group for event liability insurance for all TSCA chapter activities. As part of that effort, we have become organizational members of US Sailing, through which the Gowrie Group offers this exclusive, affordable insurance. While the cost is a significant part of our dues–approximately $5 per member per year, it has not caused any dues increase to date.
As a recognized non-profit educational organization, TSCA provides local chapters with the IRS 501(c)(3) “umbrella” to keep the taxman at bay when it comes to donations and dues. Because of the diversity of chapters, (some have their own non-profit umbrellas) it has been VERY important in supporting the community-focused efforts where prospective donors want the tax deduction for their donations, and at least incidental in other chapters.
Visibility of the national organization is provided to our members via TSCA.net, Facebook and our quarterly journal, The Ash Breeze, published by volunteers from material sent in by our membership and friends. Our editors have ALWAYS kept the members’ voice in submitted articles, supporting our “member driven” philosophy.
TSCA.net provides a national calendar of events and Chapter Pages, maintained by chapter webmasters without interference from the national organization. Our Facebook page and Yahoo Groups forums provide a wide range of membership knowledge and experience.
The TSCA is and has always been a TOTALLY volunteer-staffed and member-driven organization. We have NO paid staff. The officers and Council who do all the grunt work in membership fulfillment, magazine publishing, and Gardner Grant reviews are unpaid and still pay their regular dues to boot! Since it is a volunteer-staffed organization, we are limited by the willingness of our members to do all the required work and any other perceived, desired or “needed” work.
As long as I have been in TSCA, the national organization has left local governance to the individual chapters, and has not tried to direct them in how to develop or administer their programs. As a result, the chapters are very diversified, ranging from informal, messabout-only chapters like Puget Sound and Oregon Coots, to those with significant local youth-development and community-boat-building projects like the John Gardner and Crystal River, to those closely associated with larger organizations like Buffalo Maritime Center and Michigan Maritime Museum.
Our website (and our link exchanges with other similar organizations) brings in MANY questions from people outside TSCA, who are potential TSCA members. I field phone calls from around the country and e-mail inquiries from around the world on a weekly basis. A significant number of them come from our link on the ACBS (Antique & Classic Boat Society, the powerboaters’ analog to TSCA) website. Apparently it is easier to get good and timely information from TSCA members than from the MUCH larger ACBS membership! I redirect most of those inquiries to other TSCA members via the forums and/or e-mail. I cannot remember a single inquiry in 15+ years about some little-known boat (including some classic powerboats) that has not brought at least one valuable piece of information to the requester via TSCA.
TSCA was born in response to concerns over adverse legislative proposals in the 1970s that would have effectively legislated homebuilt boats out of existence. Our IRS 501(c)(3) status makes it difficult to do any overt lobbying, but our members have been able to respond to several local legislative challenges on the chapter level. Among our relationships with other organizations is a Cooperative Agreement with Boat/US, the national boating lobby. That agreement gives our members a 50% reduction in Boat/US dues (simply cite Cooperating Group #GA84393B in your application/renewal) and access to several services such as their speakers’ bureau, which can be useful for chapter meetings.
Last, but certainly not least, we administer the John Gardner Fund which grants money to [usually] smaller organizations and individuals for small-boat projects, who might not otherwise be able to get funding for projects of historical significance and/or community value. Our grant money is only limited by the willingness and ability of our members and friends to donate to the Gardner Grant Fund (professionally, independently, and efficiently administered by the Maine Community Foundation); and the ability of grant requesters to present a reasonable case for their projects.
I hope this answers the question for you and for people you know. If not, just ask us, and we can provide more detail.