The main advantage of joining sailing clubs is that, as a member, you can experience the sport without actually owning a boat. Normally, members of these organizations do own a boat but for beginners, people who choose to rent instead of owning a boat, or for people who like to crew, becoming a member of a sailing club still has its advantages. Most sailing clubs also offer professional training so this fits well for those wanting to learn the sport of sailing. Simply put, joining a sailing club not only allows you to try sailing and get some great experience, you can also enjoy the use of sailboats without having to buy one.
People have different reasons for joining a sailing club, but one thing in common is that they are all looking for ways of enhancing their experience in sailing. Clubs organize a lot of great and exciting activities to cater to their members’ sailing and social needs. Activities and membership costs may vary from club to club so it is best to look around and ask to find out which club best caters to your lifestyle and social expectations.
If you are planning to join a club and not quite sure if it’s worth it, here are some things you might want to consider…
Why do sailors join sailing clubs?
- Being in a sailing club expands your horizon. In a sailing club, you’ll not only be exposed to sailing events, but you will also meet new friends and acquaintances who share the same passion you have. You will learn from their rich experiences and expertise. Do you really want to be a sailor? Then hang out with like-minded people. The excitement, attitude and experience is sure to rub off.
- If you want to pursue sailing as a racing sport, joining a racing club is a necessity. Most races that are conducted require its participants to be members of sailing clubs.
- Sailing clubs hold inter-club race meetings, regattas and activities. “Cruise outs” or “cruise ins” are fun ways of meeting your friendly counterparts from other clubs. When your club is cruising out, it means you visit another club as a fleet. On the other hand when other boaters come visiting your club, it is sometimes referred to as “cruise ins”. Boaters take this opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and best practices. This is a good time for comparing notes.
- Cruising is not limited to home waters alone. Some clubs organize cruises for members wanting to travel to the best cruising sites in the world. The travel experience becomes more exciting simply because it shared with people all passionate with sailing.
- Sailing clubs gives you friends in every port. Most clubs have reciprocity agreements with other clubs around the world. It is always great to know that you can contact these friends each time you travel.
- Are you passionate about training the youth in sailing? Sailors say that sailing is best learned while one is still young, although you can learn at any age. Most community sailing clubs have youth programs that teach sailing not only to the privileged who can afford the fees but also to the disadvantaged youth. Sailing can become a way of helping other people too.
Joining a sailing club is an exciting prospect. It is a great way of enhancing your boating experience and a good source of valuable learning. Most people consider being with others who share the same interest with them is reason enough to join a sailing club. Others join clubs because quite often they offer not only sailing related activities but also social activities such as BBQ’s, dinners, entertainment, balls and the like.
So what’s stopping you from checking out some local sailing clubs?
When you are busy with other things like a job, family, and other concerns, sailing club activities might add pressure to your already heavy schedule. Not only that, membership fees at some of the more exclusive sailing clubs can also be prohibitive. Although most sailors say that the value far outweighs the cost spent on becoming a member, joining sailing clubs is a worthwhile decision and often a necessity if you want to progress in your sailing journey.
Please share your experiences and thoughts? If you haven’t joined, what has stopped you? Do you think joining sailing clubs is worth it?