Social sailing at your marina


Case study: Haslar Yacht Club

Haslar Yacht Club (HYC) club was formed to provide social interaction, friendship and club - like events in Haslar Marina and the local area.  It aims to broaden the knowledge and experience of its members, provide peer support to build sailor confidence, provide training through connecting with local RYA training centres and connect crew with boats.

A couple of berth holders thought that there must be many people within the 600 berth marina that do not know, many other berth holders and would enjoy a more social side to boating and the odd event. Following a meeting with the marina operators, Dean and Reddyhoff gave their full support of a club within the marina.

The marina bar agreed to display posters to advertise the initial meeting for all interested parties. The purpose of the meeting was to ask berth holders if a club was a good idea and if so, to find a group who would take it to the next stage.  Despite the horrendous weather, 28 people turned up to the meeting and several others express interest by email.

Following the meeting, a group of 10 people volunteered to move the idea forward. It was agreed that ‘Club’ facilities were not required and main communication would be via a website and through a monthly meet-up in the local bar.

A member’s website was developed for communication and to book and pay for events online.  A bank account was set up and a small Committee selected consisting of Commodore, Treasurer, Secretary and Events and Training coordinator.

One month on, the club had 40 members and after six months the membership stood at a healthy 70 and had organised talks at club nights, run a quiz night, sailed over to the IOW for a night at the proms and run boat handling sessions for the members.

The club has a strong emphasis on ‘après-sailing’ when not on the water and despite some members living far afield, the group meets every second Thursday in the month for a drink at the Mary Mouse Light Ship located within the marina.

To alleviate volunteer time, all communication and administration for the Club is done via the website. Sailors can book and pay for an event, email other members, find crew, apply for membership all via the website. The club is open to anyone who would like to have fun on the water more often, learn in a relaxed and friendly environment, and improve their seamanship with like minded people.

Learning points:

  • Establish a constitution early to save lots of time working out your own
  • Find a web platform that accepts payment of fees
  • Ensure that a motivator is in a key role
  • Ensure it is welcoming and friendly to newcomers