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Home > How to Join > FAQs about membership

FAQs about membership


Q: I am a single handed sailor, (Laser, solo or sailboard). What membership category do I need?
A: Individual Associate will be fine.

Q: I want to sail a double handed boat (eg. Enterprise, Lark, Merlin Rocket, Mirror). What membership category do I need?
A: Individual associate membership will suffice if you want an existing club member to be your crew. This membership also allows the partner of an individual member to crew for them up to four times in a year. If you want your partner to crew regularly you will need family membership, otherwise your partner would also need to join personally as a crewing member (this total would be more expensive). If your partner wants to helm at all, you should take out family membership.

Q: I want to sail and I want my child to sail too. What membership category do I need?
A: You should take out family membership. This will allow you, your partner and any number of children living with you up to the age of 23 to sail at the club.

Q: I don't want to sail but my child does. What membership category do I need?
A: Junior membership – BUT – are you sure this is best for you and your child? For child protection reasons, we do insist that an adult with parental responsibility is present at the club at all times when their child is at the club (we are not a crèche). We find that those children who really make a go of sailing are those whose parents also get involved. Many parents find that sailing becomes something that the whole family can do together and that when the children become late teenagers, they still love to go on holiday with their parents because they have so much that they can share. As a non-sailing parent you will still be expected to take part in the duty rota and in working parties.

Q: I want to sail but I don't want to take part in the duty rota nor the work parties.
A: We would ask you to reconsider. Duties and working parties are really quite enjoyable and you get to meet other members that you may otherwise not meet. You will not be asked to do anything that you are not capable of doing. If you are adamant about not doing duties, this is not the club for you.The club has no paid staff and the work has to be done by the members themselves. Club members who do not take their share of the work are not being fair to the others. As far as we are aware, there is only one club in the country (near London) that uses professional staff to run all club activities (and members pay handsomely for it!).


Q: I want my child to learn to sail but don't understand about sailing so don't think I shall be any use on the duty rota.
A: Even if you are novice to sailing you are still very helpful.You will not be given a job that you are not capable of doing.You will be shown and helped by members who do know. This is a very important way to learn and you will understand what your child is talking about and be more able to help your child.

Q: I want my child to learn to sail but I am not willing to take any part in the rota
A: Sorry, this is not the right place for you.You need to find a commercial sailing school. However we would ask you to re-consider because having learned to sail, your child will more than likely want to continue to sail and you will need a stretch of water and this virtually inevitably means joining a club and doing duties. Imagine if your child gets into difficulties on the water you would certainly want someone to assist but if you are not willing to take your turn at helping, why should you expect other club members, who are also volunteers, to do so?

Q: What do I have to pay as a joining fee and what about boat parking?
A: Unlike most other clubs we do not charge a joining fee.There is a registration fee of £50 for each of the first two craft you wish to keep at the club - so the maximum fee that you will pay is £100. There is no further charge for additional craft.

Q: Why are you so keen on racing? I simply want to potter round.
A: The racing does give an extra dimension to sailing. Once you have learned the basics, it is very tempting just to do what you find easy, reaching backwards and forwards across the wind and in this way you never progress.In a race, the Officer of the Day (OOD) will set a course that makes you do all points of sailing, a beat (zig zag tacks towards the wind), a run (sailing with the wind from behind), a reach sailing at right angles to the wind) etc and uses the whole lake; this really encourages improvement. Also, racing allows us all to meet on a regular basis when we all know when the others will be sailing and we organise rescue cover for this time. When you have pottered for a bit on your own, try following the race course a minute later than the others, you will soon find that you are catching up with another boat and that the excitement starts to grow. Most of us don't particularly mind whatever place we come, we do it for the enjoyment. Others take it very seriously and can progress rapidly into open meetings at other clubs and National racing. We have juniors who are in the National training squads and we are very proud of them.

Q: Can I sail at times other than during organised racing?
A: Yes, but you have to ensure that you provide your own rescue cover that is suitable to the conditions at the time. The absolute minimum acceptable is to have someone on the shore who is able to notice that you are in trouble and rescue you if needs be.This will mean that the watcher should be able to drive a power boat if needed. A good starting principle is "rescue the people and leave the boats till later". More experienced sailors and sailboarders can operate a "buddy system" – two boats on the water looking out for each other. (This is not acceptable for juniors). The club safety instructions make all this clear if you decide to join. Club members can get a key (for a returnable deposit) that will access the changing rooms and rescue boats.


Q: I would like to learn to sail from scratch. Can I do this at Barnt Green Sailing Club?
A: Yes. The usual route is to do a course (RYA Level One and perhaps Level Two) at the club. These tend to be arranged early in the summer at the club for small groups and take a weekend or two. Alternatively you can come down to the club on racing days and offer your services as a crew in the Enterprise or Lark class. Do not worry that you don't know what to do as your helm will tell you and look after you. Although there may not always be crewing places available, this way one can learn a lot from an experienced helm and speed up the learning process dramatically.

Q: Can I join the club and sail the club's boats or do I have to have my own?
A: If you can sail, you may borrow the club's Laser, Picos or Larks subject to availability with the understanding that the club would expect you to get your own boat in due course. We ask a £10 a time donation for the use of club boats towards upkeep and expect you to avoid damage and put them away carefully after use. There are Optimists and Picos available for children learning to sail at training sessions.

Q: What clothing do I need?
A: This depends on what you intend to do and how much of the year you intend to sail.Also the type of boat comes into it, a Laser for instance is much closer to the water and much wetter than an Enterprise but the following is a good guide:

  • A buoyancy aid is essential for a dinghy sailor - you will not be allowed on the water without one. Make sure it fits well and is suitable for your weight.For young children who have less shape in their bodies, tapes under the crotch help to stop it floating up around their head. Sailboarders are allowed to dispense with the buoyancy aid as this is considered to be a full immersion sport. Beginners are advised to wear one anyway.
  • Footwear will almost inevitably get wet. Although old trainers or pumps can be used for a start, it is much more comfortable and a lot warmer to have wet-boots that are made of neoprene. Wearing thin socks inside them makes them warmer and easier to take off.
  • A waterproof and windproof trousers and top are pretty well essential
  • If you are sailing only in summer and are confident that you will not capsize much, you could wear shorts, tracksters, tee shirt and fleeces.
  • Next up the comfort ladder is a wet suit long john – this leaves the arms free and unencumbered and a wet suit jacket can be added if needed.Warmth can be added by wearing thermal underwear or a "rash vest" under the wet suit and fleece over it and under your waterproof top.
  • A full steamer wet suit is pretty well essential if you are going to do windsurfing or winter sailing but you need to wear a waterproof top over it if you are sailing a dinghy or it will be snagged by fittings on the boat.
  • A dry suit with suitable warm undergarments is top of the comfort range and many members say that it was only when they got such a garment that sailing really became most enjoyable. This would be too hot in summer.
  • A hat makes a huge difference to your general warmth – fleece with a gore-tex membrane would be top of the comfort range for warmth. A cap or sun hat is often invaluable in summer.
  • Sailing gloves make for fewer blisters on the hands from pulling the sheets (Ropes used to control the sails) but are not immediately necessary. For winter sailing, special waterproof gloves make all the difference to comfort.
  • High Factor Sun Cream – don't forget to use it on your nose and ears!
  • Last updated 19:53 on 23 October 2017

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