- Why do we have a Club Boat Scheme?
The purpose of the Club Boat Scheme is to make sailing and other watersports equipment available to Club members without them having to pay the full cost of purchasing and maintaining it themselves. Think of it as a ‘pay-to-use’ model rather than an ownership model.
- Are the club boats just for new members or are they for existing members too?
For both. The boats will provide existing members with the opportunity of trying something new (whether that be spinnaker sailing, trapezing (helm and crew) or just trying a new boat class). Current members who no longer have their own boat can continue to sail and be a part of the Club and its activities. And we also hope to attract new members to ensure that the Club remains viable and can thrive in future.
- Are the boats more complicated to sail than say a Dart 18 or a Hobie 16?
The boats have spinnakers and mast rotation control (and an extra trapeze compared to the Dart), so yes there are more bits of string to pull if you wish. But you don’t have to use the spinnaker or trapeze if you don’t want to, and the mast rotation can be a ‘set and forget’, so really it’s as complicated as you want to make it. The SL16 tacks really easily and the rig is easier to de-power than some classic designs so you should find it easier to sail.
- Is this going to be a ‘free-for-all’ or is there a set of rules for use of the club boats?
The ‘HFSC Club Boat Scheme Rules’ have been written to ensure that our boats can be managed effectively, fairly and safely. A copy is available from the Club website.
- Can anyone use the club boats? Can I just turn up and take one out?
To ensure that the boats are allocated fairly and a boat is available to people driving some distance to the Club, they will be booked through an online system. Also, you have to become a member of the Club Boat Scheme (the ’CBS’) before you can book a boat. But anyone can sail on a club boat with a CBS member.
- Can anyone join the CBS? Do I need any previous experience?
You have to be an individual or family member of HFSC to join the CBS. You also need to be a good enough sailor that you can take a boat out safely and without damaging the boat (or other people’s boats).
You do not need a formal sailing qualification but you will need to have relevant experience. If you have owned your own boat for 2 seasons, or have relevant experience in high performance boats, or you have an RYA level 2 multihull qualification then you should be ok - please refer to the HFSC Club Boat Scheme Rules for details.
- If I don’t have enough experience to join the CBS what can I do?
The best option would be to do an RYA level 2 multihull course. We are not currently able to offer this from the Club but we are investigating a partnering arrangement with a local training centre to provide this at a reduced rate. Remember you can still sail on a Club boat with a CBS member, you just can’t book it yourself.
- How are the boats funded?
The capital and fit-out cost of the boats was paid for out of Club funds, but the CBS is intended to be cost-neutral over the long term (so the CBS membership fees are intended to balance the cost of running and eventually replacing the boats).
- How does HFSC collect the fees for the CBS?
Membership of the CBS is free, you only pay to use the boats.
You can either pay a fixed annual fee, or to pay-as-you-go (‘PAYG’). Pay annually will work out cheaper if you use the boats more than a few times (and is aimed mainly at members who don’t have their own boat), but PAYG gives you the option of occasional use and is aimed more at Club members with their own boats who want to ‘give it a go’. PAYG fees are collected online when you book a boat.
- If I damage a club boat will it cost me anything?
Yes. The scheme is intended to be financially self-sufficient and it won’t be if it racks up big repair bills. The boats are insured but insurance is not free money and multiple claims will just defer the cost of the damage until the next insurance renewal. Also it is important that people have some ‘skin in the game’ when it comes to being careful and avoiding damage.
The CBS is a shared boat scheme and your individual liability for damage will be capped. But to keep things fair for other members the value of an individual’s liability cap will increase significantly with each repair bill so it will definitely pay to be careful. The CBS will not require members to pay a deposit against damage.
- Who will maintain the club boats?
Like the rest of the Sailing Club the CBS is run by members for members - we do not employ anyone and neither do we have a tame boat fairy available. It is a condition of CBS membership that people give some of their time to maintaining the boats. The Committee will nominate a Club Boat Officer who will be responsible for day-to-day operation of the CBS and coordination of maintenance (but will not do all the work).
- Who pays for routine maintenance costs?
The Club will pay for ‘wear and tear’ from CBS membership fees.
- Are there any guides to rigging and using the club boats?
Yes - the HFSC Club Boat Sailing Guide, available from the Club website. When we get a chance (post COVID 19) we will also produce a video on how to rig the boats.
- Can I use a club boat for club races?
Yes the boats are insured for racing under the Club’s policy.
- I have decided to join the CBS - what is the joining process?
Firstly you fill out a CBS membership form and give it to the Club Boat Officer who will review your experience against the predefined criteria in the HFSC Club Boat Scheme Rules and if adequate, you will be invited to a mandatory boat rigging session. If you are a new member you will also get a briefing on the sailing area and hazards. Once these are complete your name will be added to the online booking system and you will be able to book a boat.