Is there an age limit?
Participants must be over 18 for legal reasons and there is no upper age limit.
Can I come on my own?
Of course - most crews are made up of people who don't know each other on day one and judging by the number of hugs in the car park on a Sunday evening, they are usually friends by the end of it! Sign up and your skipper will be in touch with the whole crew, helping you get to know one another.
Can I bring a friend, or other half?
If you've got a group of Partners who would like to come, please contact Alison, our Sailing Secretary and she'll help find a trip that will fit you all aboard. You can book a spouse/civil partner or someone living as a couple at the same time as you book yourself. If you'd like to bring a non-Partner friend or family friend along (as a guest), that's only possible in the last couple of weeks before the trip to give Partners first choice.
Who’s in charge of the boat?
Each of the sailing trips is led by one of the Club’s sixty volunteer skippers, who are all working or retired Partners or their spouses. As well as having the relevant sailing and first aid qualifications, Club skippers have demonstrated the ability to lead a crew of any level of experience and ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Do I need to know how to do anything? My only experience is being on a ferry!
No - you just need to be willing to have a go. Your skipper (and other more experienced crew) will encourage you to get involved and show you the ropes (quite literally in some cases!). In fact, most people already have their first sailing skill before they come aboard; if you can make a decent cup of tea, you're already a useful crew member! If you do want to practice something before you come aboard, then perhaps try to learn how to tie a cow hitch or a bowline which are our most used knots on board.
I just want to have fun and try it out. I'm not sure I want to learn to sail.
That's fine. You can come along and try things out. We'll encourage you to have a go of most things on board - from steering to helping us moor up - but you can learn as much or as little as you like. We offer some one-day taster sails if you don't want to commit to a full weekend.
I really want to learn to sail. How do I do this?
If you decide that you'd like to learn more then the Sailing Club is a Royal Yachting Association Recognised Training Centre and runs both practical and theory courses at different levels. Talk to your skipper or the Sailing Secretary and let them know that you're keen and they'll help you get more involved.
Do you do any single day trips?
Yes, we run a few one-day trips during the year which are just for one day rather than overnight. Full details are on the Sailing Club page on PartnerChoice.co.uk
I can't swim. Will this be a problem?
Not at all - we all aim to stay on board unless we choose to go swimming! We take great care to ensure that our crew members do not fall in the water and a full safety briefing will be given at the start of your sail. We wear lifejackets when we're underway which would keep you afloat with your head above water just in case. And we have harnesses on board that we can use to attach ourselves to the board if we want or need to.
How do I book?
Full details about how to apply and book are to be found on the Sailing Club page on PartnerChoice.co.uk
Can I cancel once I've booked?
Yes, you just let to need the Sailing Secretary (and your skipper if it's close to the time) know. If you cancel more than four weeks ahead of the booking there is no charge. Within four weeks of the trip, the cancellation fee is 25% of the cost of the trip. Within seven days it is 50% of the cost of the trip, and within 24 hours of the trip it is 100% of the cost.
What will it cost?
A day's sailing costs £26 so a typical two day trip is £52. That includes use of the yacht, equipment and the basic food aboard. You can apply to claim back some of your travel costs - 50% of standard class public transport, or social mileage if your journey is more than 50 miles each way and there's been no way to share transport - the journey must be to expressly join a sailing trip and the first 50 miles in each direction is excluded from mileage claims. We have expenses forms on board. If we moor overnight in another marina, it's usually £30-£35 which we split between everyone on board. We have food on board but sometimes we choose to have a meal onshore in a local pub or cafe. All our skippers are aware that not everyone has spare funds so please let them know if you're uncomfortable spending more than the basic cost of the weekend. There are places we can go which are free to spend a night and make it easy to encourage eating from what's on
How do I pay?
Simply choose whether you want to sail for one, two or three days and click through to currently available dates on PartnerChoice. Select your date, click on buy now, and pay with the card of your choice via the
Partnerships' secure payment portal. Your purchase will then show up in the ‘My ballots’ section of your PartnerChoice profile. It's as simple as that.