Frequently asked questions... and answers
Q. Is there a joining fee?
A. No. There is no joining fee this year. Indeed, there has been no joining fee at Weston Sailing Club for a number of years. We try to encourage people to enjoy sailing, not price them out of the sport!
Q. Is there a waiting list?
A. Sometimes. Please e-mail the membership secretary if you require info for either membership or pound space. Our facilities are more than adequate for our current membership and the dinghy pound has space for up to 350 boats.
Q. Can I sail at Weston without becoming a member?
A. Yes. If you don't want to commit yourself to full membership of Weston, there are two possibilities: You can sail on a daily basis for £5 per person, per day,although you won't be able to leave your boat at the club. You can apply for temporary membership on a month basis (up to 3 months). This is more expensive than full membership, but if you wish to sail for less than six months, it's worth considering.
Q. Can I be a member of Weston without owning a boat?
A. Yes. You don't have to be a boat owner to enjoy sailing at WSC. We have a number of members who are always on the lookout for willing crews. We have a 'crew finder' option on our Sailing Club Manager portal so we should be able to find you a sail.
Q. I want to delay joining WSC until later in the year. Will I still have to pay the full annual fees?
A. Not necessarily. Because our sailing calendar runs from the beginning of February right through to the end of December, a great deal of sailing is available to members who join later in the year. Nevertheless, we do recognise that people wish to get value for money so we start to discount membership from 1st August. Members joining in August pay 5/6 of annual membership, those joining in September pay 4/6, October 3/6 and so on.
Q. Can I sail any boat at Weston?
A. Pretty much. There is no restriction on types of boats at WSC other than your ability to launch and recover them safely. All types of boat are currently sailed at the club from established classes such as Mirrors and Enterprises to the latest asymmetric boats such as Laser 4000 & 5000, RS 700 & 800 and 49er.
Q. Can I bring my friends to the club?
A. Yes. You are welcome to brings friends to sail at the club or just enjoy the facilities. However, if they are regular visitors, we would encourage them to become full members.
Q. When can I launch?
A. Because of the unique double tide in Southampton Water (more details), launching and recovery is always possible two hours before the first high water and up to four hours after. When there are spring tides, the water can recede 100m offshore but, during neaps, the tide sometimes never leaves the end of the longer of the three slipways. However, if you are really keen, with two or three people to help, you can launch and recover across the mud at any time.
Q. Can I use the facilities when there is no racing?
A. Yes. Access to the dinghy pound, changing rooms, and hose cupboard is always available provided you have a key. These are available from the membership secretary on payment of a £20 non-returnable deposit. Hot water is always available for showers. However, when there is no club racing, the club room area is locked and alarmed. Therefore you will not have access to the galley or bar.
Q. How is club racing organised?
A. Club racing is organised on a handicap basis and all results are computerised. There are starts for fast (incl cats), medium, and slow boats. However, if you can organise enough boats of one class to race on a regular basis, the sailing committee will consider giving you your own start.
Q. Do I have to enter club racing?
A. No. 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.
Q. What safety cover is available?
A. During club races, there is always at least one Patrol boat on the water. This is in radio contact with the Race Officer on the shore. The Race Officer is constantly on the lookout for boats in difficulty and will direct the patrol boat(s) accordingly. This safety cover is available to all sailors in the vicinity of the club, whether racing or cruising.
Q. When is the galley open?
A. The galley is open to coincide with club racing so would normally be open when sailing is possible. It is not available if you sail at other times.
Q. Is volunteering required?
A. Yes. The smooth running of most sailing clubs depends on members volunteering to support the club during the year. All members aged 16+, other than Honorary members, are expected to participate.