Is it the world's largest Owners Association?

The UK’s Westerly Owners Association has announced its 3,000th member and claims to be the biggest owners associaton in the UK if not the world.

Eighty-four-year-old Westerly Konsort owner Guenther Prinz from Berlin has become the 3,000th member of the association that has been a going concern for 44 years.

Membership is open to all current owners of Westerly Yachts. Associate membership is open to past owners and potential future owners, and the active membership offers camaraderie and great technical support.

Commodore Brian Easteal commented: ‘In 2009 we reached the milestone of 3000 annual memberships for the first time in our history, making us almost without doubt the largest yacht owners’ association in the world.’

The 3,000th member is Guenther Prinz who joined with his wife Renate. Guenther has been sailing since 1960 and bought a Westerly Konsort, his 6th sailboat, in 1997.

He generally sails in Berlin and when he has time on the Baltic, which, he says “is the best place to sail.”

In 1966, there were 103 members recorded in the first Year Book.

The 1,000 mark was reached in 1993, and then rather more quickly reached the 2,000 mark at the turn of the millennium.

Westerly built about 12,000 boats and a quarter of those owners are now members of the Westerly Owners’ Association.

The membership is truly international, with the majority in the UK but also in 21 other countries, including USA, Canada, Ireland, Middle and Far East and the Caribbean.

Benefits include:

* A twice yearly comprehensive magazine – including logs, reviews and technical articles.

* An annual Year Book with register of members.

* Local area groups organising rallies, races, visits and cruises, winter meetings and social events.

* Annual AGM with guest speakers.

* The WOA insurance scheme.

* The ‘Boatline’ scheme – advice on technical issues from existing owners.

* Harbour representatives in many ports.

* Boat Show stand – a meeting place for owners and new members.

* Westerly Bulletin Board (‘Forum’).

* Westerly email Discussion List.

* Free advertising on the Westerly Owners Association web site.