IOS Sailing Club logo
Arrow The Club
Arrow Advantages
Arrow Membership
Arrow Location
Arrow Facilities
Arrow Sailing waters
Arrow Training
Arrow Classes of boat
Arrow Officers
Arrow Commodores
Arrow FAQ
Arrow History
Arrow 2nd Crossing
Arrow The Island
Arrow Community

IOS Sailing Club's Clubhouse
IOS Sailing Club's purpose-buillt clubhouse and primary boat park set off Marine Parade, Sheerness.

IOS Sailing Club is the friendly, family-orientated sailing club you've been searching for! Situated at Sheerness on Kent's Isle Of Sheppey offering superb sailing waters, excellent facilities and easy road access from most of the South East, the Club's primary objective is to encourage amateur dinghy & catamaran sailing with membership open to all. Annually, the club hosts the famous IOS Round the Island Race — Europe's longest dinghy, cat & board race!

As a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) membership is available to all and new members assured a warm welcome — please see the membership page for more.

The Club is run by and for the benefit of members, with no full time staff, which helps keep fees low and is managed on a self-help / not-for-profit basis by volunteer committees annually elected with a history tracing back as far as this 1896 programme!

The Club is affiliated to the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) - the sport's governing body and was one of the South East's first sailing clubs to become an RYA Training Centre - able to offer training to members in both dinghies and powerboats.

Ideally situated & easily accessible

IOS Sailing Club is ideally situated, with access at all states of tide via wide concrete ramps and a gently shelving shingle beach to the best dinghy and catamaran sailing waters in the South East, if not the UK.

By road it's easily accessible, even more so since the new Sheppey Crossing opened in 2006 which is just 30 minutes from the M25!

The club itself is a half hour from Maidstone, less than an hour from London & much of the South East, and under 90 minutes from central London. A large car park is just 3 minutes walk to the east of the clubhouse, opposite the Ship on Shore pub. The train station at Sheerness is one mile away, with regular trains to/from London via Sittingbourne (1 hour from Victoria).

Clubhouse & compounds

There's a large, modern, spacious, purpose-built clubhouse, originally described as probably the most modern in Europe, and still one of the largest and most unique clubhouses in the UK today.

In 2011, the changing rooms were significantly improved with multiple new hot showers, new floors, new boilers, and a new disabled toilet/shower/changing room, plus a new hall floor all added thanks to a grant from the People's Millions / Big Lottery Fund.

Space for dinghies in the primary compound (with launching at all tides) is unfortunately limited due to a historical oversight (and prioritised for the most active boats), but the club now also has a large satellite compound 1km to the east at Minster with its own slipway (usable 3 hours either side of high water), and hopes to further improve boat parking facilities in the future. Space for new or active members can usually always be found in the primary compound.

IOS Sailing Club logo RYA Affiliated Club logo RYA Training Centre logo The People's Millions logo
PRIMARY compound and clubhouse, Sheerness
Slipway: launching at all tides.
SECONDARY compound, Minster on Sea
Slipway: launching HW +/- 3hrs.
Satellite image of IOS Sailing Club, Sheerness. Satellite image of IOS Sailing Club's second compound at Minster on Sea.

Racing & Cruising

Most Sundays, two races are run during the sailing season - April to October - starting at 11.00 and 13.30, with the luxury of a short break for lunch in between. Racing's organised on handicap using the average lap time system which suits all boat types, with races of 45 minutes duration for the leading boat and everyone else finished after that.

The flagship event is the annual IOS Round the Island Race, a 40 mile sailing marathon comprising a full clockwise circumnavigation of the island, run since 1959!

Most years a popular cruise & camping weekend to Harty Ferry is held, one of Kent's top beauty spots. Cruises are also organised to Southend and other locations depending on demand.

All are welcomed whether their interest lies in racing, cruising, leisure sailing or just being part of a sailing club.


A range of social events are held during the year, usually around key events in the sailing calendar.

The Club Today & Future Prospects

Due to its not widely recognised location, for a long time the Club has often been, surprisingly - given its considerable natural advantages - overlooked. This in part is due to misplaced assumptions: Sheerness and Isle Of Sheppey sound like they could be located in Scotland rather than Kent, and/or difficult to get to - neither of which could be further from the truth!

Despite this, the Club has an impressive history having hosted Regional, National and World qualifying events. Within its current membership, it can boast several sailors able to compete at the top level, including a World Champion. Although, it must be emphasised, all abilities - including complete beginner to intermediate are equally welcome - and form the main membership. The Club has been working hard to build on its strengths, overcome historically imposed limitations, and looks likely to develop into one of the premier places to sail small boats...

... and not for the first time! Prior to years of severe disruption caused by the construction of a heavily engineered sea wall around Sheerness - built in the late 1970s to protect the town from increased water levels downstream in the event of the Thames Barrier being raised - the two clubs at Sheerness could boast a combined membership of more than 800, making it for a brief period one of the most popular places to sail in the country, with CYC's world famous International Catamaran Week consistently attracting top sailors from around the globe!

Boats sailing off Sheerness seafront in the 1960s
Sheerness 1960s, prior to the new wall with perhaps 60 - 100 boats on the water. Photographer: unknown.

Come and join us!

Come and join a club that has exceptional sailing waters, excellent road access, great facilities and great long-term prospects, whilst you still can - you may be surprised at how well we compare with some of the biggest and many better known venues!

The author can say this with some confidence having sailed at a wide range of sea & inland venues, big & small, professional & amateur including: Salcombe, Grafham, Medway, Bewl, Thorpe Bay, Whitstable, Wilsonian, Redcar, South Cerney, Blue Circle, Silver Wing, Sandwich Bay, Downs (Deal), Dover, Hythe & Saltwood and Redoubt.

IOS is completely unique in managing to combine the feel of sea & inland sailing in one venue. With Southend only 5 miles away on the opposite side, and the Isle of Grain providing shelter to the west, the main sailing area looks & feels like one huge reservoir, but with the open sea to the east, which makes it feel considering less intimidating than most coastal venues.

Sheerness Sunset
All photos: J.Bell. IOS Sailing Club clubhouse

Dart 18 Open Meeting at IOS Sailing Club
Launching ramps and beach (Dart 18 Open).