Clubs within clubs


Case study:  The Royal Dart Yacht Club

The Royal Dart Yacht Club is located in Kingswear on the River Dart in Devon, UK.  The club has a rich history and sailing tradition but remains thoroughly modern and informal. The club runs a full programme of racing for Yachts from April to October, cruising events for both sailing & powerboat members and its junior sailing section is also RYA Recognised Training Centre. Formed ten years ago, Ladies Afloat has grown in size considerably over the years but has kept its original aims of providing a safe and enjoyable environment where women members of the Royal Dart Yacht Club can practise and develop sailing skills and sample other water-borne activities. It has a summer programme of boating on Thursdays (from dinghy sailing to cruise’s down the coast) and an all year-round social programme.

The Ladies Afloat does programme is run by its own inter-club co-ordinators and is a chance to try your hand at dinghies, keelboats, safety boats, Seine rowing boats, and general power boating and cruising.  It offers great opportunities to any woman who wants to discover the basics of sailing or to improve existing skills and understanding through theory workshops, practical exercises and social activities.

As well as providing a varied and enjoyable programme, a major objective of Ladies Afloat is to encourage the development of ladies' sailing skills within the Club and to support those members who are willing to train to become RYA instructors. This creates a body of expertise available to Ladies Afloat, to Junior Sailing and the broader activities of RDYC as a whole.  These activities can only be offered through the generosity and enthusiasm of those who give their time, expertise and use of boats, not just in sail training but in many other supporting activities. There is a very varied group in terms of age and experience, but the atmosphere is supportive, friendly and welcoming.

Learning points:

  • The safety and social aspects are two of the most important elements of the club.
  • Having key/lead volunteers of a club within the club is of vital importance.
  • Volunteer training programme in place to help support future club activities Is essential.