What is CRAM?


CRAM is a group of catamaran sailors ranging from first-year beginners to National Champions. We are geared towards having fun through racing. Our organization consists of two primary fleets (groups of 4 or more of the same boat) as of 2024 – Hobie 16s and Formula 18s. However! As an open club, we invite and encourage any beach catamaran to race with us! Much can be learned by simply showing up. And your first regatta is free, so what do you have to lose? We are a family-oriented club. We have mixed crew, father-daughter, husband-wife teams, teenagers to senior sailors. Kids and dogs on the beach are in no short supply.

We are a non-profit club that organizes 8 to 10 weekend regattas a year. We don't have a brick-and-mortar clubhouse or any of the furnishings, but we do own all the gear required (including a Boston Whaler committee boat) to run a top-notch regatta. We sail in some of the most beautiful areas of Michigan; the sand dune shores of Manistee, just north of the Mackinac Straights in the UP, crystal-clear Higgins Lake just to name a few. We normally sail out of campgrounds and State Parks for easy camping, but hotels and motels are normally nearby. Motorhomes are popular with the club.

The atmosphere is conducive to fun for the whole family. If you are new to racing, come on out. We have plenty of members who are more than happy to help you through the learning process. You will cut years off the learning curve. Our regattas are typically two-day (weekend) events, though a couple of larger 3-day regattas are on the schedule. On Saturday nights the group gets together for some sort of meal and camaraderie.

Do I need a membership?

A CRAM membership includes reduced regatta fees and voting rights for club decisions. Please consider joining! We think you'll find that we are a very laid back, but competitive, group of people who gather to enjoy racing and the social aspects of catamaran sailing. If you need more detailed information, our officers can be emailed at any time. Our Facebook link can be found on the homepage.

What kind of boat do I need?

If you have a beach catamaran, you can race. If there are less than four boats of the same type, they race in our Open Fleet. In this fleet, all boats start together and are timed for each race. Your score is corrected using a correction factor established by the Small Catamaran Handicap Rating System (SCHRS). Using this system, a Hobie 14 can race against an A-Cat and win. It may sound complicated, but it is quite simple. You don't do anything but show up and race. Our scoring team does the rest.

Okay, so you're coming to a regatta!

Hopefully you have made a few connections within the group. If not, it’s important to email the Commodore, let him/her know it’s your first event, so you can be put in touch with a few folks to help answer any questions you might have.

As you can see from our Regatta schedule, we travel throughout Michigan for most of our events.  We’ve been doing this for a while, so we’ve pretty much nailed down the best spots.  If you have decided to stay at the recommended campground, a different one, or even a motel/hotel, the first thing you will probably want to do is find out where to drop off your boat.  Don’t rely on the campground personnel to know this.

What do I bring?
  • A lifejacket/PFD is mandatory
  • Sailing gear - wet suits, dry suits, whatever keeps you comfortable
  • Beach wheels if you have them. It’s a really good idea to invest in a set, it makes it much easier for you and your crew to maneuver your boat around. But if you don’t have them, don’t worry, people will be around to help.
  • A VHF Radio. This is a good idea so keep tabs on schedule changes, early or late starts for a fleet. This is also good for safety reasons. A floating one is a good idea...
  • Extra parts, tools and electrical tape. You never know what you might need, and it doesn't hurt to be prepared.
  • Righting line rigged on your boat. If you haven’t added a righting line, it’s a good idea to do so. If for whatever reason you capsize, the CRAM Race Committee will try to help you, but it may take some time. Having your own righting system will guarantee you stay in the race.
  • Water! Water! Water! Stay hydrated!
  • Sunscreen!
When you get there:

Usually, on Friday, a few of us will already be there and have rigged our boats for an afternoon sail.  Unless you’re an early riser, it’s probably a good idea for you to do the same. This is a good opportunity to meet people so don’t be surprised if someone stops by to say hello and lend a hand. Everyone is very friendly and helpful.

The Competitors Meeting is a great time to ask questions. The Commodore will conduct the briefing, so it’s important that you and your crew be there to find out race details and any other important information about the conditions or venue.   See you on the water!