All the dinghies on our stretch of the beach used to be privately owned by members. In 2018 we started a fleet of club-owned boats to give more opportunities for members who do not own a boat. We call these our "pool boats" as they are a shared resource for all the members. With the approval of a pool-boat manager (who will require suitable conditions and rescue cover) any member may use a pool boat in one of our group sailing sessions, either as helm or crew, for the princely sum of £6.01 per person.
You should request a pool boat in advance using this simple online form, and at the start of the session, available boats will be allocated to those who have booked on a "first-come, first-served" basis.
The fee is a contribution to the maintenance of the pool boats, but we also encourage you to make the very important contribution of helping to look after the boats. All of the administration and maintenance of these boats is carried out by members of the club, who are volunteering their time to help you get on the water. If you are a regular user of the pool boats, please do get involved. At the minimum you can help take the boats out, show others how to rig them, and put things away at the end. We always need people to help with running repairs. Please let the pool boat manager know if you want to be added to the ‘pool boat team’ WhatsApp group.
Our pool-boat fleet currently consists of:
8 Topper Topaz
7 Laser 1 (with seven full rigs and three radial [smaller] rigs)
5 Laser Picos
1 Topper Magno
1 Topper 16/CX Catamaran
When can I sail?
Less experienced sailors and new members can sail whenever conditions are suitable, provided a pool boat managers is available and the club safety boat is out. It is currently launched on Sunday mornings and for our regular Saturday afternoon coaching sessions. However, if there is sufficient interest plus volunteers to crew, the club will launch a rescue boat at other times – such as Wednesday evenings or Saturday afternoons during the summer.
Experienced sailors may also take the boats for one of our group sailing sessions during the summer if conditions are benign and with the agreement of a pool boat manager.
Agreement must be sought before every instance of taking out a pool boat. As with all sailing, this is dependent on the weather.
How do I take out a pool boat?
The first step is to have a chat with one of our pool-boat managers. They will assess your experience level and ask you to sign the on-line form, which includes a pool boat rental agreement. We will also talk through everything you need to know to take out a pool boat including all safety measures.
Now you are ready to take out a boat!
First, you need to sign and date the sign-up sheet. It hangs on a clip board in the hut on the beach. The Pool Boat Manager MUST countersign.
Unlock a boat using the keys that are stored on a hook under the sign-up sheet. The boats are stored in a rack beside the hut. The dagger boards and rudders are in a storage bin behind the rack.
The Topaz and Pico masts are stored with their sails on in the storage arch under the road, which you can open with your key fob. You will need to carry these over to the boat with some care to avoid clobbering the general public! Everything else is in the hut.
Rig your boat and pay using the QR code (see below).
Launch your boat and enjoy the freedom of the sea.
When you are finished return everything to where it came from, with ropes tied up neatly (the pool boat manager can show you how) and please remember to lock up!
Rigging and Launching
We are producing a set of videos about how to rig and launch the pool boats. The first, on the right, is on getting a Topaz rigged and ready to sail.
More videos are coming - watch this space. You should ask one of the poolboat managers will help if you are unsure about anything.
What about the Topper Catamaran?
The catamaran is managed separately by a couple of club volunteers. A pool-boat manager will put you in contact with them.
How do I pay?
Easy - there are QR codes in various places around the club (safety hut, changing rooms, bar) with a link to make your payment for the session. All you need to do is scan the code with your phone, enter the amount (£6.01) and pay using your smart phone's built in payment system or a debit card.
Can I help with the pool boats?
Yes! We're always looking for volunteers to help with pool boat management and maintenance. Talk to the pool boat team on the beach to find out how to get involved.