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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is the club open?

Most Sundays 9.30 - 4pm from April to November (providing the weather is good), as well as many Saturdays during the Summer months. Members are free to sail at any time at their own risk (a key to the changing rooms can be arranged for a small fee).

The bar is open most Friday evenings 7pm-10pm.

Q. The dinghy compound looks full, is there still space?

Yes! The compound may look full, but space can usually be made for active boats. Space is at a premium in the main boat park, however plans are in place to significantly increase boat parking in both the short and medium term. For example, the club has now secured use of a large satellite boat compound just 1 km east from our main site with its own slipway.

Q. What types of boat are sailed?

IOS Sailing Club is a dinghy and catamaran sailing club welcoming all classes of boat, not a 'yacht' club. For yachts (boats requiring a mooring), please see the Queenborough Yacht Club and Queenborough Harbour Trust (moorings) websites.

The most dominant classes at the club at the moment (2024) are: Blaze, Dart 18 and Laser.

Other classses currently being sailed by members include: Pico, Topper, Mirror, 420, 29er, Solo, Scorpion, Sprint 15, Hurricane, Challenger, Nacra 6, 505, Osprey and 49er to name but a few.

Q. What are the main differences between dinghy & catamaran sailing?

Sailing dinghies (ie. boats with one hull, also known as monohulls) are capable of manoevering quickly and respond quickly to changes of the rudder, sail or balance of the crew. Catamarans can accelerate incredibly quickly, and are considerably faster than most dinghies, they are also more stable and tend to capsize less, but can be harder to right when they do capsize. The downside is at slow speeds they take longer to maneouver and tack and are much less nimble around other boats or obstacles. The club is about equally split between dinghies and catamarans. There are members who would be happy to take you out in either.

Q. Is there a waiting list?

Not at present - but the club has undertaken a significant amount of work to improve its facilities and position and is likely to grow quickly, with limited space in the main compound.

Q. Did the club used to be Sheppey Yacht Club?

Yes - the club used to be known as Sheppey Yacht Club - but at the 2002 AGM the decision was taken to 'rebrand' to the Isle Of Sheppey Sailing Club, (a) to help clarify the club's location (Isle Of Sheppey which is the proper place name - 'Sheppey' being a local abbreviation and not easy to locate on a map!), (b) to highlight the club is based on an island which makes it a naturally good environment for sailing, and (c) to better describe its current purpose: small boat (ie. dinghies & catamarans), rather than big boat sailing. The big boats split from the club in 1978 to form Queenborough Yacht Club, so the yacht part had become misleading and was no longer really relevant. It was also thought the term 'Sailing Club' to be more welcoming to newcomers to the sport of dinghy sailing rather than 'Yacht Club', which some consider to be old fashioned and offputting.

Q. Is the club a commerical organisation?

No. IOS Sailing Club is a not-for-profit Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), run on an entirely voluntary basis, supported soley by members' subscriptions and their voluntary help. With the exception of cleaner and occasional bar staff for functions, the club does not have any paid staff.

Q. What happened to the Catamaran Yacht Club?

After enjoying considerable success since the 1960s, CYC's membership was adversely affected by sea defense work at the end of the '90s, which involved large granite rocks being placed in front of their clubhouse, making it difficult for sailors to come ashore at lunchtime, leading to its decline.

After pooling resources for a number of years, a handful of the last remaining CYC sailors were encouraged to join IOS Sailing Club in 2002 & 2003, which had suceeded in rebuilding an active and regular racing programme and which also had the facility to launch at all states of tide.

IOS Sailing Club continued to work in partnership with CYC for a number of years before eventually taking over CYC's old boat compound at Minster in 2010 in conjunction with Minster Windsurf Academy. As it had gradually turned into a private chalet site, the Catamaran Yacht Club changed its name to 'CYC Coastal Club Ltd' in order to be able to better meet the needs of the chalet owners.

Q. Do any boats need crews?

Yes, several helms need crews for both dinghies and cats.
Please visit the club on a Sunday to find out more.

Q. Do you have boats for hire?

Picos are usually available to hire by members on an ad hoc basis at weekends only.

Q. Do I have to go racing?

No - all are welcome whether their interest is cruising
or racing.

Q. When's the sailing season? / What's the racing format?

The sailing season currently runs from April to the end of November.
Two or three handicap races are run on Sundays starting at 11am and 1.30pm. See the Sailing Programme for more.

Q. How do I join? / How much does it cost?

Simply fill out an online application form or visit the club in person.
Please see the membership page for this and the club's fees.

Q. I have another question?

Please email IOS Sailing Club: