Day-sailing de­light

Practical Boat Owner - - Letters - Den­nis Hag­gerty Vice Com­modore Up River Yacht Club

■ An RYA sur­vey re­vealed a mea­sur­able in­crease in day boats and peo­ple us­ing dinghies for day-sailing rather than rac­ing. Seek­ing to re­ju­ve­nate our mem­ber­ship, Up River Yacht Club at Hull­bridge, Essex took this on board for 2017, and or­gan­ised a very pop­u­lar se­ries of fun sails.

The club is now ac­tively en­cour­ag­ing day-sailors. This in­cludes of­fer­ing fa­cil­i­ties to mem­bers who want to trail and sail, with se­cure park­ing for tow­ing ve­hi­cles and trail­ers, etc.

We found the ma­jor­ity of our fun- and day-sailors are peo­ple new to sailing or get­ting afloat again after years ashore. New sailors are grav­i­tat­ing to­ward dinghies, while those with pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence pre­fer day­boats/sta­ble dinghies. How­ever, it’s the fun el­e­ment that has proven to have the great­est ap­peal: there is a real ‘buzz’ about the club on fun sail days.

With the ex­cep­tion of the start and fin­ish of dinghy races, mem­bers can launch and re­cover a day­boat for easy ac­cess to the River Crouch. For those who pre­fer to es­cape this chore, there are swing­ing moor­ings.

We put a mas­sive ef­fort into the RYA’s Push The Boat Out sailing pro­mo­tion. Our mem­bers took more than 130 peo­ple sailing: this was all about the sim­ple en­joy­ment of sailing a boat.

Our mem­ber­ship has grown, and our sailing tu­ition pro­gramme has a wait­ing list stretch­ing into 2018. To help folk who like the idea of day­boat own­er­ship or trail­ing and sailing, we now have a ded­i­cated sec­tion on the club’s web­site, http://up­river. org.uk/sailing/day-boat­sand-trailer-sailors.

Up River Yacht Club may be small, and our cruis­ers and moored day­boats have to take the ground be­tween tides: how­ever, there is a new dy­namic about the club, and the fun el­e­ment has driven this trans­for­ma­tion.

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