Frequently asked questions

How do I get started?
Call in and see us for a chat.

How much does it cost?
Dinghy sailing is not as expensive as you might think. As a Club we try to make sailing accessible to all with a fee structure that offers discounted membership for students, senior citizens, couples and families. As a guideline an annual family membership costs about the same as a one day family entry to a theme park. See Joining for more information.

What if I can’t sail?
No problem. We are a recognised RYA training establishment offering training at a reasonable cost for both members and non-members. See Learn to Sail for further information

What kit do I need?
You will need a buoyancy aid. If you are on a Club training course a buoyancy aid will be provided.

What clothing do you recommend?
Wear clothing to suit the weather conditions. Always have a change of clothing with you just in case you go for a swim!

As for proper sailing gear, a pair of gloves, dinghy boots and a spray top are a good starting point. If you want to be out in all weather, salopettes, a wet suit or dry suit are a good idea. For hot sunny days a rash vest providing UV protection is a good idea.

If you wear glasses or will be wearing sunglasses a retaining strap will prevent them being lost overboard.

Do I need to buy a boat?
The Club owns some boats that can be used by members to learn to sail. We do expect members to buy their own boats after a reasonable period. An alternative to owning a boat outright is joint ownership with another member, or crewing in a double-handed dinghy.

How much would it cost me to buy a boat?
Not necessarily a lot. Depending on what you wanted, a boat can be acquired for £300.

Which types of boat do you recommend?
It is best to get a class of boat that is already sailed at the Club. See Dinghy Fleets for more information. As we are a river based Club we have some restrictions on boat classes sailed. The basic rule is monohull dinghies without trapeze up to 4.6 metres (15ft) in length.

Can I store a boat at the Club?
Yes. The Club has a secure dinghy compound where members can store their dinghies for a small yearly fee.

Do I have to do Club duties?
The Club is run by the members for the members so everyone is expected to assist in the smooth running of the Club. As racing is the life blood of the Club, all adult members are required to carry out race officer duties during the year. Duties are allocated on a rota basis and should not exceed three times a year (this may vary however as is the case during the Covid pandemic).

When can I sail?
If you have your own boat you can sail anytime at the Club. We do however winterise the Clubhouse from January until March each year so there are no shower facilities etc. during these months.

How racing at the Club organised? 
Club racing is organised on a handicap basis and all results are published online and on view in the Clubhouse foyer. Most races follow a general handicap format where all boats start together up to a maximum of 15 boats. If there are more than 15 boats entering a race, the entries are divided into separate starts (flights) according to the ribbon colour picked by each boat. In addition we also run pursuit races where boats start according to their handicap (PY) number with the slowest boats starting first. These races are a fixed length of typically 60 minutes, and boats are finished in the order they are on the water at the time of the end signal.

Do I have to enter club racing? 
It is a commonly held belief that we are only interested in members who race. This is not true. We welcome anyone who enjoys sailing no matter whether their preference is for racing or cruising. We do believe that the best way to improve your sailing abilities is to sail in a fleet with other boats and club racing gives you the ideal opportunity to do this. You can also be a ‘social’, non-sailing member.

What safety cover is available? 
During Club races and on a Tuesday evening, there is always at least one safety boat available. This safety cover is available to all sailors in the vicinity of the Club, whether racing or cruising.