Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need any previous experience in sailing or paddlesports?
No previous watersports is required to enjoy taking part in activities at Maidenhead Sailing Club.
What clothes or equipment do I need?
During the warmer months, just wear normal comfortable sports clothes. Synthetic non-absorbant fabrics are best as they are quick-drying. Add on layers or a windproof jacket if it is a bit colder. If you have one, you can use a summer wetsuit. Be mindful of the sun, wear a hat, suncream and sunglasses. You must wear old plimsoles/trainers or watersports shoes/boots while sailing to protect your feet, but bare feet are ok for paddling.
The club can provide a buoyancy aid or lifejacket if you do not have your own.
Is the club open and running during the COVID-19 situation?
It depends on the restrictions in place and guidelines set by the RYA. Please find more information on the current restrictions in the News section.
Can I bring guests to the club?
Every member can bring other friends or family up to 5 guests per year for free to the club. On top of that, any guests or friends are very welcome to come with a one-day membership pass.
Are dogs allowed at the club?
Yes, dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead at the club. Please clear up after your dog and be mindful of others.
Can I access the club any time?
Yes, you can access the water at any time during the day with your key.
Can I hire equipment at the club?
We have over 30 sailing dinghies, as well as paddleboards, kayaks and canoes.
Do you have safety cover?
Safety cover is provided during events and racing by members on duties who all possess the relevant RYA qualifications.
Can I store my equipment or boat at the club?
Yes, there is storage available to members for your boat, paddleboard or kayak/canoe, subject to availability for an additional annual fee. N.B. Member-owed boats must have third party insurance with at least £3m liability if they are sailed or stored at club.
Can I come to visit/look around the club?
You are welcome to visit the facilities to meet the members and see if you would like to join anytime during organised activities. Please check the calendar.
What are the opening hours for members?
Members with a key can access the club at any time.
I’m looking for a venue to host a wedding reception/birthday party/training course and wondered if it’s something that you offer?
Our club house and facilities can be hired for different events. Please contact us at email@example.com and we will discuss options and availability.
Can I sail on my own at the lake any time?
If you are a Gold or Silver member, you are entitled to a key to the club. You can access the club facilities and sail on your own whenever you want. For info regarding COVID-19, please check the news page.
Can I do a sailing taster session before joining the club?
Yes, this is a great way to try sailing for the first time! Please drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange for someone to take you out for a sail.
Do I need to have insurance on my own boat?
Yes, any boat or board used or stored at the club must have third party insurance with at least £3m liability.
Who can practise paddlesports?
Can I bring my own paddleboard or kayak, or are they available at the club?
The club has a number of paddleboards, kayaks (single and double) and a canadian canoe available to hire by members and one-day pass holders.
Everyone is welcome to bring their own paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, etc. Everything with a paddle can use the lake. However, you must have thrid-party insurance with at least £3m liability for your own craft.
Can I practice paddle boarding or kayaking outside the organised activities/events?
What equipment is required apart from the board or kayak?
Please remember to bring appropriate watersport clothing (bearing in mind in the summer the effect of the sun is very much stronger on water), plus change of clothing and towel. Buoyancy aids are recommended, and the club’s buoyancy aids will be available during organised activities as usual. The water can be cold between November and May and we recommend people wear wetsuits during this period.
Do I need any insurance for my paddle board or kayak?
Yes. Club rules state that any vessel on the water must carry a minimum of third party insurance in excess of £3m liability.
Is there any paddleboard storage on site?
Yes, if you want to store your paddle board or canoe on site, please contact email@example.com. Paddleboards can be stored inflated, but space is limited. There is an additional annual fee for board/boat storage.
How do I connect with other paddleboarders and kayakers to arrange meet-ups or get the latest information?
A WhatsApp group has been created among members for the paddleboard and kayak activities. If you want to join it, please ask for the Paddleboard and Kayak Representative for details. Communications will also be sent to all members on email and updated in the website and Facebook.
Can I pay my membership in cash?
We promote cashless payment when possible via BACS transfer, but if that is the only option for you, yes it can be arranged as an exception.
Who can be part of a Family membership?
We consider a Family a group of one or more parents and their children living together as a unit. Any other adults living in the same household should apply for a Single membership.
When can I join? From when does the membership run?
The membership year runs from April to March. Many new members join later, and that is perfectly fine as well.
During Summer/Easter, do I need to pre-book a one-day-pass?
One-day passes are only available during certain weeks in the spring and summer when we have site facilitators to supprt you. (They are available all year round it you are visiting with a current member). We prefer it if you can book in advance and this will also ensure that equipment is available for you. However, but you can pop by on the day and our facilitators will take the payment from you by card or in cash.
How does the one-day pass works? What happens on the day?
One-day passes allow you to spend a day at the club. They are only available during certain weeks during the spring and summer when we have site facilitators available to support you. (They are available all year round if you are visiting with a current member).
Youth and Juniors
Can I leave my children at the club during activities and go home?
Every children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or designated adult who is present at the club at all times. The responsible adult does not need to be on the water and can remain on shore.
Can my child go on the water on his/her own? Can the parent stay on shore?
Yes, during organised activities with safety cover the parent does not have to be on the water. However, being a club run by volunteers, help from parents to support the activity is appreciated. When safety cover is available, children can sail or paddle on their own.
What age can children join the Youth and Juniors group?
Children can join the Youth and Juniors sailing sessions from around 8 years of age.
What are members' sailing duties?
What is DutyMan and why am I receiving emails?
How will I know when I am on duty?
What will I be doing during a duty?
You will be given tasks that you are qualified for, so do not worry if you do not have much experience. Each team has someone in charge as well as members that are qualified to drive powerboats. On Saturdays, you will either be crewing on the rescue boat or generally helping other members to rig/launch their boats. On Sundays, if you are on ‘race duty’ this means that you will be either crewing on the rescue boats or helping on the committee boat where the race officer will be and they will let you know what needs to be done. It may involve some hooter hooting or flag waving!!
What should I do on the day of my duty?
You may wish to bring a flask of drink and a snack for Sunday race duties, as you will not be able to return to shore.
Can I help when I am not rostered on duty?
Absolutely! In our club newsletter you will see when we need volunteers, or this can be found on DutyMan. Simply put your name down for what you can help with. During the warmer months we have Thursday evening sailing 18:30 to 20:00, which relies solely on members volunteering to run the race.
What information does DutyMan hold about me?
Along with your name, DutyMan stores your email and phone number for your team leader to contact you should the need arise. If you have any problem with this then please let us know so that we can find another solution.
Where can I ask more questions about club duties?
Where can I check the weather forecast?
Check out the link below to check the weather before you come down the club.
Windguru - https://www.windguru.cz/114559
Windy - https://windyapp.co/forecast/spot/407503/Maidenhead%20Sailing%20Club
Where can I buy chandlery, clothes and supplies?
VR Rigger www.v-rigger.com
Purple Marine www.purplemarine.co.uk
Pinnel and Bax www.pinbax.co.uk
Rooster Sailing www.roostersailing.com
The club does not have any links to these companies / individuals and does not take any responsibility for members who use their services.
Where can I get my boat repaired?
Roger Gates - All forms of GRP or wooden boat repair
Tel - 07919 156918 Email - RGDinghies@tiscali.co.uk
Based from his home in Datchet - is recognised by a number of insurance companies
Paul Sleeman - Repair and refurb of dinghies
CS Boats and Rondar Tel - 07918600211 Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Will come and work at the club - lives the other side of Newbury
Espar Marine / Jason Brasier - Repair for GRP (main business is riverboats/cruisers)
Espar Marine has a chandlery at the marina catering mainly for rivercraft
Harleyford Marina South East Agent for Hyde Sails and offer MSC members some great discounts.
Tel - 01628 471368 http://www.espar.co.uk/EsparMarlow.htm
Chris Somner - Repair and refurb of dinghies
Poole Tel - 07941 301742 Email - email@example.com
Based in Poole. Chris has been taking care of our Bar Managers Albacore this year.
Adrian Gilkes - Repair for fibreglass, epoxy, GRP, etc.
Glass Fibre Solutions Tel - 07791 370863
Middleton Cheney, Banbury. Check out his website @ www.glassfibresolutions.co.uk
Where can I buy or sell a second hand dinghy boat?
What insurance companies can I use to insure my boat/kayak/paddleboard?