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  • #4270

    My club, Weir Wood Sailing Club, has an active racing set, who come out every Sunday morning, a very active Yoof set, who come out on Sunday afternoons and generally act like kids (well they’re allowed to ‘cos they are kids – magic). And there are a very few who come out at any time to just enjoy sailing and the scenery.

    But there are an awful lot of boats that never seem to move, even though their membership stickers are up to date. So these are boats that belong to people that don’t sail.

    The problem for any club is getting the membership involved and we are starting a Cruising Section which I hope will tempt some of these “dry boaters” out of the woods, but getting people to respond has been like pulling hen’s teeth.

    Does anyone who is a member of a sailing club have any suggestions how to get the club-members who don’t race to come down to the club and participate actively?

    Our membership Secretary is running out of hair to pull out.



    Hi Mike,

    what an interesting post – I see that kind of issue in all the clubs I have visited. You tend to see boats that clearly are just rotting away. I found it irritating, because, at the time, I wanted to buy one, and it seemed a shame to see so many unused ones, left turning slowly green, under decaying covers. Before you know it, you have a three year renovation on your hands… 😉

    I wonder if the first step, is to decide if these people are really that interested in sailing at all? What is the reason they don’t do it, given they hold a boat and remain a club member? Finding out might be tricky, but asking them might be a good place to start. If you could come up with a questionnaire that might provide something interesting to work with. Focus on the “why” over the “what” and see if you get any good feedback. If you think the club has enough of an on-line community, then that might offer a way to find out (e.g. forums or you could try survey monkey etc.). Otherwise, on paper and included with a news letter perhaps.

    I guess that time (or the inclination to find it) seems the most obvious barrier, but often the real reasons are not clear unless you ask. Some people may have issues that a club might be able to help with, such as finding like minded crew. A sense of involvement and commitment seems easier to get in racing, given it attracts a competitive result, but what of cruising? I would chose to cruise to avoid competition…

    I would be interested in anything you find out…




    I think that too many non-sailors find it a cheap way to store their boats. That coupled with the English disease (laziness) will inevitably lead to rotting boats. If it is a problem for clubs, should they charge non-sailors more for the proviledge?


    There are those that want to be able to say, in all honesty, “I am a member of the Yacht Club” (actually it’s a sailing club, but who cares). You don’t see them often, they show up once a year, fashionably dressed, on a hot and sunny Sunday afternoon. They like to show of their non existing sailing skills (there is no wind so nobody will be harmed). Where we try to avoid it, for them swimming is as much part of the experience as actual sailing. I consider them most valued members because they pay for all the fun we, the active members, enjoy all year around. And they are never around when there is wind! :mrgreen:

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