Like to Try Sailing in St Ives?
Here are some things we're often asked about.
Please bear in mind that we’re a small club run by and for our members. No-one gets paid for what we do – our only reward is that sometimes we get to go sailing. We all put in far more hours of work than we get hours on the water. We’d love you to come sailing with us but it’s not always so easy - here’s how we can :
You can come sailing with us whether you are Olympic class sailor, or a complete novice. Just come to the pen on a sailing day and say hello. The whole family can sail for a subscription of less than £2.00 per week.
You’ll need a boat to sail – two options here:
Club boats are available for members to borrow. Our insurance does not allow us to hire out boats, but we expect you to make a donation = £5 per boat per session.
Your own boat can be stored in the pen for £200 per year. (£100 if the space has restricted access.)
We’ll do our best to get you on the water, but some of the advice below will also apply.
Visiting St Ives? Please remember the current restrictions
Provided at least one of your party holds valid RYA 1 & 2 qualification, our Out Of County Membership is for you - you can join here. Then you can borrow one of our club boats (see above) & we’d also like you to buy a club shirt or two. Please bear in mind that whilst St Ives Bay may appear tranquil, it can catch out even the most experienced sailor. We ask you to only sail when our safety boat is on the water and if we think you are not up to the conditions, we’ll ask you to come in. (Sometimes we won’t sail ourselves – our sport is very weather dependent.) If you have your own boat we may be able to rent you a pen space short term & we have members with a little land out of town as well.
New to Sailing?
Sadly it’s a little harder. We’re not a sailing school and sadly you can’t book a lesson. (We have some friends nearby who can do that.) However come down to the pen about an hour before sailing starts (Races start 2.00 on Saturdays and 6.30 or 7.00 on Wednesdays) and introduce yourself. If there’s a space in a boat we’ll do our best to get you on the water. Many current members have learnt to sail that way.
What should I bring?
For anyone wanting to sail our advice is to come to the pen ready to sail but prepared to be disappointed. That’s how we all approach it. Here’s what you’ll need:
A sense of humour. Things often don’t go right – be it the safety boat not starting or a boat breaking.
An ability to swim. You might not capsize, but it does happen – regularly for those trying hard to win a race.
Suitable Clothing. You’ll get wet – even if it’s just wading out launching the boat. Many members wear some pretty fancy sailing gear, but you don’t need to spend lots of money – most of us don’t. Here’s what you need (but what will do).
A correctly fitting BS EN 393:1994 Buoyancy Aid – nobody goes afloat without one. (But the club can lend you one.)
A wetsuit – it will keep you warm and protect your knees and elbows from the hard & sharp bits of boat. (There are specific ones for sailing but whilst your surfing/diving/snorkeling one might not be most comfortable sitting in a dinghy, it will do.)
Wetsuit boots will protect your feet both in the boat and in and around the harbour. (But an old pair of trainers will do.)
A woolly hat will prevent a great deal of heat loss if you’re getting cold. (No alternative here – get a woolly hat! The Fishermans' Co-Op on The Wharf or RNLI shop have a good inexpensive range.)
It’s also nice to have:
A windproof top - remember that wetsuits work by being wet & double lined neoprene will actually cool you down in a breeze. (Any lightweight cagoule style top will do.)
Sunglasses - there’s quite a lot of glare out on the water & we don’t want you to have tanned in frown lines or more importantly damage your eyes. Don't buy cheap sunglasses - they should be from a reputable retailer! (Make sure they stay attached to you – we’ve all lost a pair in the bay.)
Sun block – see sunglasses above. Skin cancer is no fun. Most of us wear factor 50 plus a hat.
Your pocket money to buy a club T-Shirt. (But enough to buy your helm a pint of Doom Bar after sailing will do.)
Many members have old kit that they may well be persuaded to sell or lend. A good way to learn what you might want to buy, or if you need to at all.
Will Sailing Be On?
Keep an eye on your favourite weather site – Wind Guru is a good place to start. The race officer & committee members present will decide if it is safe to sail an hour before we’re due to start & we will go out if:
The Safety-boat Crew have got the boat onto its outer mooring & the engine starts.
There is enough wind. (Force 1 & most people will find a better option - canoeing round the bay is a current popular one.)
There is not too much wind & swell. Force 7 & a big swell will probably keep us at home or in The Sloop.
Enough people turn up wanting to sail. (Sometimes we just have other things that take priority, such as families, holidays, other hobbies etc.)