When you become a TCA member, you’ll get:

  • Access to great one-design racing with fun people and stiff competition (some of the most fun weekends and weeks you’ll ever have!)
  • A free subscription to the Bagpipe, a bi-monthly magazine with racing tips, restoration help, rigging information and class news
  • Discounts on your US Sailing membership
  • And more!

The Thistle Class Association provides the structure for Thistle racing around the country. Through its strong commitment to the integrity of the one-design concept, the class:

  • Maintains the value of your boat by regulating class rules and strict one-design practices.
  • Attracts top-notch sailors.
  • Upholds high racing standards.
  • Connects you to your sailing friends.

What level of TCA membership is right for me?

Active member – $50 per year

If you’re a skipper (boat-owner or not), you’ll need an active-level TCA membership to be eligible to drive a Thistle in TCA-sanctioned events (anywhere a Thistle is sailed as a one-design boat). 

Family member – $60 per year

If you own a Thistle and your immediate family enjoys sailing, a family membership is a great option. It includes you, your spouse and your children under 21 years old. Any family member can skipper in TCA-sanctioned events with this membership.

Junior member – $25 per year

If you’re under 21 and aren’t part of a family membership, this one’s for you. As a junior member, you’re allowed to skipper a Thistle (your boat or a borrowed one) in TCA-sanctioned events.

Associate member – $35 per year

If you’d like to receive the Bagpipe and don’t need to be eligible to skipper a Thistle, the associate member level is a good option. Some people refer to this as a crew membership, but if you’re an active Thistle crew, we encourage you to go for the active membership! 

Contributing member or Sustaining member – $75 or $150 per year

If the active membership is right for you but you’d like to do more to support the Thistle Class, we encourage you to become a contributing or sustaining member. You’ll get all the benefits of being an active member, and your additional contribution to the class will help sustain and grow the TCA.

“Should I be a member if...?”

 You might not know if TCA membership is necessary or relevant for you. Here are some guidelines: 

Unlike some other classes, we don’t restrict crew participation to members only. However, joining the TCA helps make the Thistle events you love possible!

You don’t have to own a Thistle to drive a Thistle. As long as you’re an active-level member, you’ll be eligible to skipper a Thistle for races or regattas. 

That’s up to you, but one of the best ways to get more active in the Thistle Class is to become a member. You’ll stay up to date with regattas, results, news and more with the Bagpipe. Plus, you’ll get tips on how to do even better in the boat the next time you sail it. 

Not everyone is lucky enough to live near an active Thistle fleet. But just because you can’t sail in fleet races doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a member. If you participate in the regatta circuit, you’ll need an active membership to drive the boat. And even if you don’t, your support of the Thistle Class helps maintain the value of your boat. 

The TCA isn’t only for racers. The Bagpipe has stories of people who get married on a Thistle or use them for sail-camping! Plus, supporting the class helps maintain the value of your boat. 

Have questions about TCA membership?

We’ll be happy to talk you through what membership level is right for you. If you need more information about joining the class, email our TCA secretary, Joy Martin, at ThistleClassAssociation@gmail.com.