How do I join Downs Sailing Club?

Before you get involved with form filling, come down to the Club when there is sailing organised, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday evenings May to August  or Sunday mornings April to December to see what is going on  and meet some of the members.

Then complete the application form, sign it, and send it to the Membership Secretary. Your application will be submitted to the Exec Committee, which meets monthly, for approval.

Is there a waiting list and if so what is the waiting time?

New members are always welcome; we do not have a waiting list.

Do I need to own my own dinghy before I can join the club?

Downs SC encourages all members to own their own dinghy, or crew for members who do, however the club does have some boats available for members to hire. It is possibly more important to establish the type of sailing one wants to undertake before purchasing your dinghy.

What is the minimum/maximum age for a junior seeking membership of the club?

Young sailors are most welcome and the Club encourages their participation in sailing and social events. Cadet membership is available to those 18 years or under. Anyone wishing to join under the age of 16 must however also have a responsible adult in the family as a member although they can be a social member.

Do I need to know how to sail before I can make application to join?

The simple answer is no.

Are the club facilities and sailing available to the general public?

No, we are a members only club; however members are allowed to bring sailing and non-sailing guests to the club (the club rules cover the frequency of this).

Am I expected to undertake any duties at the club?

The Club does not employ staff and is run by entirely volunteers. Members are expected to contribute and will normally take on a maximum of six evening or morning duties over the whole sailing season, such as Rescue Boat Helm/Crew, Race Officer/Assistant. The duty will depend upon the individual’s skills before being called to undertake Rescue Boat or Race Officer Duties. Appropriate Training is provided where necessary.

What facilities are there in the clubhouse?

The Clubhouse is purpose built with a galley (kitchen), bar, male and female changing rooms complete with hot showers as well as changing, toilet and shower facilities for the disabled. The seating area has views over the sea.

What catering facilities are available?

The club runs its own galley (kitchen) on sailing days and likewise runs its own bar with beer, wine and soft drinks sold at very competitive prices. Galley and bar duties are on a voluntary basis and members participate on a club rota.

Are there any restrictions on the type of dinghy I can sail at the Club?

All classes of dinghies and catamarans are normally accepted providing they can be moved by our club winches. (Lighter boats are much easier to launch from our beach) Popular classes include Streaker, Laser, Laser 2000. RS200, RS400 and Topper.

Does any safety cover have to be in place before any sailing can commence?

Whether to go afloat is the responsibility of the individual. Safety cover is only available during club organised events. This does not prevent members going afloat at other times.

When does the club hold races?

Racing is held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and on Sunday mornings. Members can still sail at these times if they don’t wish to race. Informal sailing takes place on a Friday evening during the summer.

Where could I store a boat?

The boat park has plenty of room for new members’ boats.

Launching is from the beach. Most boats are kept on sledges that act as launching trolleys and are pulled back up the beach by electric winch.

Does the club own its own training dinghies?

Club owned boats include Toppers, Lasers, 2000’s, Feva’s, Hartley 12’s and Dart16’s, which are available for hire by competent club members as well as available for training.

Do you run sailing courses for beginners?

We are a registered, RYA training centre but are not a commercial training centre. However we do run courses for beginners. We run a series of children’s and adult sailing days during the summer. This is to introduce people to sailing, enabling them to have fun afloat and will work with them towards the RYA Start Sailing Level 1 & 2 Award. This is open to adult members and child members who should be at least 7 years old.