They had seen a banner advertising a free taster session at Delph Sailing Club organised as part of the RYA's Push the Boat Out initiative to increase participation.
Six years later, Ian is Vice Commodore of the club, in charge of running their 2018 Push the Boat Out event (that takes place on 5 May) and with a daughter who loves the trophy she got along the way.
"I had seen the boats bobbing around on the waters of Delph reservoir (near Bolton) all my life but had never known how to get involved. We decided to pop along to see what sailing was all about. On that day, after a successful taster session, we decided to become members," says Ian.
The family didn't sail straight away as their number was increased by the arrival of twins, but the following year Ian and his son James enrolled for RYA training. They were also gifted an old Miracle dinghy that had been sat for 10 years in a garage.
The winter was spent on restoration and pimping the boat - he boasts it is probably the only racing dinghy with an integral sound system!
After a season of racing, winning the Novice Championship, it was time for a newer boat, a change of crew, competition in Open meetings throughout the country and even their first Nationals at Pwllheli.
In 2017 Ian was voted as Rear Commodore as the club began to attract more families. The club reinstated the kids Christmas party and he helped to organise and run that.
On the water at the Nationals, daughter Lilly, at the age of 8, won the biggest trophy on the table for being the youngest crew. "
She slept that night with her arms wrapped tightly around it and every guest to our house gets to hold it and hear her story. She has taken it in to school and talked about her sailing adventure and we have gained a few new family members at Delph from her school."
In February 2018 at a very cold Hollingworth Lake, Ian took another RYA course and is now a Dinghy Instructor, able to train up new members at the club.
"Now we are preparing for this years Push The Boat Out event. The journey has come full circle and for every bit I have put in, I have taken out so much more. Joining our local sailing club has been one of the best decisions our family has ever made, we have made dozens of new friends and it has given us a friendly but competitive hobby."
Delph Sailing Club can be contacted via their website: delphsailingclub.com
Push the Boat Out is running at clubs and centres across the North West during May. If you’d like to find out more about how to get out on the water and start your sailing adventure visit www.rya.org.uk/PTBO