what is a sailing club

What is a Sailing Club? Facilities, Benefits & Membership

A sailing club has a delimited part of the beach or shore marked by buoys(floating devices) as off-limits for swimmers and for safe anchorage of boats/yachts. They have an excluded area on the shore for the exclusive use of their members for various recreation activities like hanging out, enjoying food and drinks. Most sailing clubs are located on the sea, lake, or riverside.

These clubs are engaged in promoting sailing as a sports and recreation activity. They hold various races, & competitions, sailing classes & training, provide space for member gatherings, restaurants, bars, boat storage space, hotel/motel for accommodation, and many more.

Difference Between a Sailing and Yacht Club

If you go down history then the Yacht clubs were formed for owners of yachts and motorboats. It used to be a sign of aristocracy and this left the small boat owners out of the picture. Sailing clubs were meant for small boats like sailboats, dinghies, and kayaks.

Facilities at a Sailing Club

Sailing clubs provide a lot of facilities for their members and others. These are,

  • Boat Hire: You can hire houseboats, dinghies, canoes, kayaks, ship boats, sailboats, yachts for sailing, cruising, or any recreation activity.
  • Anchorage: Sailing clubs are mostly built along the shorelines and provide storage for boats, yachts, trailers, and all types of floating vessels. They charge you an amount for providing safe anchorage for your vessels. You can also hire houseboats for private functions.
  • Accommodation: Sailing clubs provide accommodation to sailors or groups of sailors. You can hire camps, caravans, motels, hotels, pub rooms, apartments, luxury villas for a good night’s stay and relax. 
  • Food & Drinks: Most sailing clubs have restaurants, pubs, and bars for serving local delicacies, seafood, and drinks to the members. These establishments also can be hired by a group of members or a social community for private functions and parties.
  • Marine Chandlery: Sailing clubs also have marine chandlery that keeps nautical items for ships and boats. They also repair boat motors and diesel engines.
  • Events and Activities: Sailing clubs organize sailing competitions and boat races. They also host some sailing and cruising championships organized by the state or other clubs.
  • Training: If you want to learn sailing then Sailing clubs are a great option. They conduct training and classes on the water for beginners.
  • Other Services: apart from these major facilities you also get one of these in any sailing club
    • Availability of Bait & Ice
    • Marine Fuel
    • Medical and Dental facility
    • Shopping facility(gift shops, marts)
    • Coastguard
    • Bakery
    • Pharmacy
    • Salon
    • Mechanics and More

You Might Like, Tin Can Bay Sailing Club

Benefits of Sailing Club

When you become a member of a sailing club you enjoy a lot of privileges that other non-members can’t. These are

  • You get free access and discount rates in sailing club’s restaurants, pubs, and bars
  • Discounted rates for safe storage of boats and yachts
  • Junior members get access to training programs and classes
  • Get social with your community on the club premises
  • Enjoy reciprocal rights with partnered clubs as if you are a member of their club
  • Take part in various annual events like sailing races, cruises, championships, boat races from time to time
  • Also, get access to participate in the events of affiliated clubs
  • Club members are invited to function and parties organized by the club

Membership in a Sailing Club

There are various types of members in a sailing club according to their participation and purpose of joining the club. Some clubs require their members to actively participate in the maintenance of facilities and various equipment. 

The  Members of a sailing club can be broadly divided into 7 different categories,

  • Full Membership– They are the core members of the club and come with voting rights
    • Individual Members
    • Family Members
    • Sporting Members
    • Life Members & Honorary Life Members
    • Non-competitive Members
    • Storage Members
  • Junior Membership– Kids whose age is below 18 are given junior membership and do not have voting rights. They take part in youth/junior sailing competitions and events.
  • Social Membership– those who want to be a part of the sailing community but will not take part in competitive sports.
  • Temporary Membership– Those members who are not part of the club but want to compete in the races are given temporary membership.

Different clubs have their way of defining membership but these are the most common memberships offered.

Organizational Structure

Every club is run like any other organization and they have elected individuals who run the day-to-day operations. The members of the sailing clubs each year nominate and elect the office bearers who would run the operations.

The organizational hierarchy can be explained by this

Sailing Club Organisational Hierarchy

The Admiral is at the top heading the club followed by the Commodore. The land activities are taken care of by the Vice-Commodore and the on-water activities are taken care of by the Rear-Commodore.

Vice-Commodore has two helping hands to take care of the operations, a Secretary/Treasurer and Executive Committee Members. Rear-Commodore takes the help of the Port Captain and Fleet Captain for running the port operations, water sports, fleet management, and more.

In some clubs, the Port captain is referred to as Cruising captain and the fleet captain as racing Captains.

Financials of Sailing Clubs

The revenue source of a Sailing club is many. They earn from

  • Selling Membership
  • Boat & Yacht Storage(Long Term and Short Term)
  • Post Race Parties
  • Restaurants, Bars, Pubs(Selling Food and Drinks)
  • Selling accommodations through rooms, camps, caravans, motels
  • Hosting Events, Boat Races, Competitions, Champ[ionships
  • Selling Training Classes to Students and members

How Much Does It Cost To Join A Sailing Club?

Typically the cost of membership ranges from $15-$140 depending upon the club and type of membership. There are many types of membership in s sailing club like

  • Full Membership 
  • Non-competitive Membership
  • Storage Membership
  • Junior membership
  • Temporary membership and
  • Social Membership

The cost of joining a sailing club depends upon the type of membership and the rules of the club.


A sailing club is a great place and a member can benefit a lot from it. If you like to add something to the article, please write it in the comments section.

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