Why should I join the NAR?

Vance in AK

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Jan 6, 2003
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First off let me say I'm playing the devil's advocate here(is a pastor supposed to do that?). I will be joining the NAR in the next couple of days.
I know I get a magazine, & that's cool. I get insurance that as I understand it no one has ever filed a claim against. Means I probably won't either, so that's of little value to me. There is no section in my state(Alaska) so i don't get any benefits of being able to launch with others.
I guess I just want to know where it(the money) goes, what good it does the common guy in this sport. I mean $62.00 is a lot for an individual membership in this type of group.
I can join the NRA for about half that & get a nice monthly mag.
I can join national archery orginazations for about half that.
I'm sure the list goes on. I'm also sure there are groups of this type that cost as much or more.
But someone please sell me on the NAR. I'm sure there are many others with the same question.


Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2002
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I certainly can relate to that type of a situation though not in Rocketry.
In your case I think you have to look at the less tangible benefits you are getting. For instance look at all of the resources like the educator program which would be great for your church youth program! They will provide a CD that has all of the necessary info to help run the program along with a list of helpful resources.

Ah heck, let's just paste in the info right from the NAR site!

Explore These Additional NAR Resources!

Make NAR Technical Services (NARTS) your personal source of rocket plans, scale data and photos, technical reports and more!
Find a complete list of NAR-Certified rocket motors.
Interested in attending or flying rocketry contests?
Read the most recent message from the NAR President.
Want to purchase back issues of Sport Rocketry magazine?
Need to report a malfunctioning rocket motor?
Become a trained safety officer.
Check out the current Top Ten national competitors list.
Try to beat our current national rocketry records.
Find dozens of useful documents in our Forms Filing Cabinet.
Not a US Resident? Search for National Rocketry Organizations Outside the US.

Join Today!


Well-Known Member
May 25, 2002
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all good questions...
my take on it is this: approx 20% of that $62 is going to a contract with a professional lobbyist to represent the NAR in legislative endeavors, ie trying to get laws passed so we don't have to get LEUP's from the ATF to purchase motors greater than 62.5g..ie HPR.....

This is separare and distinct from any voluntary contributions that people have and are giving for the lawsuit against the ATF about LEUP's and the 62.5 g limit...

SO the NAR is fighting on 2 fronts to make sure we don't have get LEUP's to purchase and use HPR products....

I will be the 1st person to admit that I have criticized the NAR severely over the past year, publicy and privately, and will continue to do so ,but I also believe that they do more good than harm for the hobby

Last years rate was $47.....the $15 increase was passed just this past September and NAR members at that time were told that the $15 is going to the NAR Lobbyist and for increased insurance premium costs...

Now whether any of the above is worth it to you only you can decide that....

NAR 16158 SR


Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2003
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I'm in the same position...I'm in North Eastern Ohio - centralized 2 hours or so from any club field ( at least ), and I've been toying with the NAR membership. Yes, I'm trying to get a club started locally - already got the only Hobby shop in town backing this venture, with the long term goal of joining the NAR and being a sanctioned club. But I have to be realistic and say that the odds of this happening are slim, so I have to look at it from the same standpoint of being a solo rocketeer as you are Vance.

*personal opinion follows*

Mind you, its cheaper to join NAR than it is TRA, but looking at a few of the items that Flying Silverad posted:

Make NAR Technical Services (NARTS) your personal source of rocket plans, scale data and photos, technical reports and more!

Nice, but :

Plans cost a total of $ 78 bucks
Scale data a total of $ 115 bucks - OR pay $29.95 for all 16 scale drawings on CD-rom

Its easier to get Rockets of the World and save on all of the above - RoTW is 35

Find a complete list of NAR-Certified rocket motors.

Thrustcurve.com has that info, and all your top selling companies/dealers have certified engines. Unless your into experimental or other forms of engine design, this isn't a problem.

Interested in attending or flying rocketry contests?

Again, this data is available on their website free of charge, and if your close to someone who has a site/field etc, you can always get the info straight from the horses mouth - so to speak. lol

The only reasons I can see to be a member are:

1) Insurance for me.

2) A club can get insurance with at least 5 current NAR members, and pay an extra 15 bucks a year to insure EACH land owner - on top of the 25 dollar charter fee.

So, even if your interested in low power " official sanctioned events "..you will spend 25 bucks a year for your club + plus 15 a year for the land, plus 62 for each member.

The caveat to this is, ONLY NAR members in your club are covered. This taken directly from their website:

Although your club may choose to accept "associate" members who are not NAR members, these members cannot officially belong to your Section, and they gain no insurance benefits through your club.

2) Ability to certify, which leads to using higher Impulse engines - IF you wish. The caveat to this - again if you have no one close by whom is already certified - OR at least 1 level above you - then you need to travel to the closest sanctioned event and have witnesses sign/verify your successful flight. This of course means you need to make arrangements to get the higher impulse engines taken to the event for you so you can be within the " regulations" and then hopefully certify. OR if going for level 2, take the test, and follow the same procedures as outlined above - rinse and repeat for Level 3

3) Ability to gain a waiver for your field - which would give you an hour or two to launch within this window - thus avoiding any problems with air-traffic, given that its routed away from your designated area.

I've considered writing a letter to NAR about their reasons for forcing a magazine subscription on a new member - or any member for that matter. Drop the subscription and pay 50 bucks, and make the magazine and optional add-on. Facts are, I've never seen an issue of the NAR magazine - as they state its only available to schools and libraries - so, give me the choice to own a subscription or not.

Your in a tough position Vance, and I feel for you. We have to decide whether we can justify 62 bucks a year for something that might not be used for anything more than" Hi - I'm a NAR member ".

62 bucks buys a lot of rocket parts, and I can still launch on my own land without hesitation. No, my property isn't big enough for the monsters, but you know though I can launch D's and E's without any problem, I really love the lower impulse stuff and nice to see it stage, or come back quick - instead of wondering - did I send it to the moon ? I'd be lying if I said the big stuff doesn't beckon to me, but low power, and specifically Black Powder rocks ! *weg*

*End personal opinion*

Sorry if this came off in a negative manner, as that certainly wasn't my intention, if so my sincere apologies in advance.



Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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I joined the NAR for the first time in the early 80's but let it lapse in the 90's...

I rejoined shortly before starting FlisKits.

I am glad that I rejoined and here are some of the reasons I would encourage others to join (and where some of your dues go):

The NAR website. A wealth of information for old and new alike

Sport Rocketry. It's a good magazine and one of the few organizational rocketry magazines that actually gets published when promised.

The *organization*, helping to look out for the good of rocketry. This new ATF issue is just the most recent (and largest) effort of the NAR. I was also involved in the effort to prevent local license requirements in the state of MA back in the 80's (i beleive) and the support from the NAR and the legitimacy the brought to the table was a big part of winning that so that we can fly without restriction there

The history. Sure, you can say that the *history* is there even if the NAR goes away today, but what you need to understand is that *WE*, you and I, are making the history of tomorrow with the NAR.

TARC, nuff said


Insurance. You can say it is of little value as you are confident that, like the rest of the world, you probably won't ever make a claim against it, but that is not its primary purpose (regardless of what anyone says). You want a good, legitimate use of the insurance? Gets you onto fields to fly. Gets you into schools to teach and fly, helps you to bring rocketry to the youth of America




Motor Certification, if for no other reason than to be able to show the powers that be that we have been a successful self regulated hobby for over 40 years.

well, that's just off the cuff, but it';s a good list start.. :)


Vance in AK

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2003
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Well as a low power kind of a guy with no aspirations beyond mid power, I have to admit I'm kinda with Silverleaf.
Now, that said I guess I'm joining anyway.
It just seems strange that the national trapping, firearms, handgun, & archery orginizations or assosiations I've belonged to or known of have all been about half the price with approx the same benefits.
Anyway, like I said, I'm just playing devil's advocate & will be joining soon.


Papa Elf
Jan 21, 2009
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Penns Creek, PA
I was a NAR member since July 1989.... I got my Level 1 in 1999.... don't let the "I am not interested in High Power" feeling stop you from joining... Back when I joined... G's were scarry... and anything above that was BAD!!!. The Magazine is worth the cost... and honestly, if it wasn't for my NAR membership, which I renewed every year, I would not be here today on this forum, flying J motors in my MegaBlast and Magnum...