Adult Sailing - Frequently Asked Questions

We’d like to thank you for booking a course for us and realise that you will probably have lots of questions about the course and the arrangements. We’ve tried to answer as many of the most commonly asked questions as possible in this document but please don’t hesitate to contact us if your questions aren't answered here! 

Do I need to be a club member to book a place on a training course?

No, you don’t have to be a member. Adult training courses are available to members and non-members alike. For non-members a significant discount is available towards the first year's members if purchased at the same time as the course.

What are the advantages of membership?

The club has a wide variety of activities and facilities for members and their guests. These include the possibility to use the club sailing dinghies for races as well as crew on the cruising yachts. There are also social events such as BBQs, together with winter activities such as talks and courses. Our bar is also open every Friday and Sunday as well as after sailing and during events and members are welcome to sign in guests.                

How do I make a booking?

Download the booking form from the website, fill it in and send it to the club with your payment. 

When should I book?

As soon as possible! The numbers that we can take on each course are limited as there are strict ratios of trainees to instructors for safety reasons. Bookings will be allocated in the order in which they are received. If a course is fully booked, we will usually offer you a place on the same course in a different week.    

How do I decide which course is the most suitable for me?

The ISA Small Boat Scheme is a progressive scheme, so it’s usually a matter of progressing level by level. Take a look at the Which Course? guide on the training page of our website. If you’re still not sure, ask us for guidance!

How can I pay?

By cheque, direct bank transfer or cash. Unfortunately, due to high bank charges, we do not accept credit or debit cards. If you’d like to pay by bank transfer, please ask for our bank account details. If you want to pay by cash, please contact us first so that we can arrange to receive payment in person rather than posting it in the letter box.

What happens if my plans change and I'm unable to attend after I have booked and paid?

We regret that are unable to issue refunds after your booking has been accepted and a place allocated. 

What equipment do I need to provide?

Dinghy sailing involves getting wet ! All trainees should have their own wetsuit (a “shortie” wetsuit is usually adequate for summer sailing), buoyancy aid, dinghy boots (old runners will do or maybe buy the cheapest pair of runners you can get), swimming costume, and kagoule (lightweight waterproof top) and towel. Footwear is important – bare feet are not allowed! We also recommend that sailors wear a pair of board shorts over their wetsuit to protect the wetsuit from snagging on the sharp bits of boats and getting ripped or torn.  The club has a number of wetsuits and buoyancy aids available for loan on a first come, first served basis but we cannot guarantee availability of these during busy weeks. All personal property should be securely stored as the club accepts no liability for loss or damage of equipment. Hot showers are available in the changing rooms after sailing. Don’t forget sunscreen - even on cool, overcast days the sun reflects off the water and serious sun burn can result.

Should I bring my sailing gear home each day?

We do not encourage people to leave their gear in the changing rooms as the club takes no responsibility for personal property left lying around. Also, this will give you a chance to make sure that everything is still intact and give it a rinse before the next day’s sailing. 

Do I need to supply my own boat?

No. The club has a number of boats for use by trainees. If you do have your own boat, naturally we encourage you to use it. Many trainees will want to buy their own boat after a year or two of training and we strongly encourage this  – please ask our instructors for advice if you are thinking of doing this.      

I have my own boat – can I store it at the sailing club?

Yes, subject to certain conditions and as long as you are a fully paid-up member. The boat must be insured and must be registered with the club. Click here for the boat registration form. Please note that we do not normally give storage permission for member owned powerboats. 

What time does the course start and end at each day?

Normal course times are 0900hrs to 1700hrs. However, as Bray Harbour is tidal, there are times when courses may start and finish later in order to make the launching and retrieval of boats easier. If his happens, you will be notified in advance. 

What shall I do for lunch?

We typically have a one hour lunch break from approximately 1300 to 1400hrs. Trainees can bring a packed lunch or there is a cafe and bar in the harbour which serve food.   

Is there a tuck shop to buy drinks and snacks?

Yes. There will be drinks and snacks  available for purchase.

How many weeks should I book myself in for?

Different trainees progress at different speeds so it is hard to be definitive. Also, it is sometimes possible to move on from one level to the next in the same season. For most courses, we feel that a minimum of two weeks is required to learn the skills required and to become accomplished at putting them into practice. We will accept bookings for shorter periods but feel that it is only fair to warn you that it is highly unlikely that trainees will gain sufficient experience in one week to achieve their level (particularly at more advanced levels).

What happens if the weather is unsuitable for sailing?

There are always fall-back plans! These will include shore-based theory classes, games and activities or water-based activities inside the harbour, depending on conditions. In the worst case, we will do our best to reschedule any lost sailing days for a future date.

Do I need to be able to swim?

No, although ideally you should feel comfortable in the water and be able to swim 25 meters (wearing a buoyancy  aid) and be able to tread water for at least two minutes. 

How do I find out more about club activities and events?

You can look at the sailing events and social events pages or find us on Facebook. However, the most important communications are sent out by email to members only so the best way of finding out what’s going on is to become a member!

I have a disability and I’m not quite sure if this will work for me.

Please come and talk to us! Our Senior Instructors are very flexible and will often have previous experience of working with trainees with disabilities and we want to make sailing as accessible as possible to everyone. However, we have some infrastructural limitations which limit our ability to accept everyone.