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Welcome to the BBC Yacht Club


Where do I start?
What Do I Need To Bring?
How Do I Get To The Boats?
What if I can't swim?
What About Insurance?
How Do I Join?
What Does It Cost ? What About Food ? How Do I Book Sailing ?
What If I Have To Cancel ? What Training is Available? What other events does the club offer besides sailing ?

Where Do I Start?

New to the club? - If you are new to sailing or new to the club then the best way to start sailing is to join a weekend or mid-week trip. Most of our trips are open to anyone new to sailing or the club and crews are made up of people with a range of experience and/or abilities. We also offer Guest trips where you can try out a few trips as our guest before deciding to join the club. Also, don't forget that we are a (RYA recognised) training school so skippers and mates are keen to help new sailors to learn and develop.  

There are a few trips for which new beginners may not be able to join; these are usually racing events (like the Spring Series or Cowes week) for which some racing experience may be required. 

How to join a trip - if you are new to the club and want to join your first trip, or try out a guest trip, then you can contact any of the yacht club's committee members to find out which trips are coming up and how to join in. The best initial contacts are:-

Crewing secretary -  Ian Deeley

Membership Secretary -  Bill Joyce

Club Commodore  -  Commodore

Joining a trip - Crews join weekend trips on Friday evening usually and mid-week trips on Monday evening. If you are new to the club then you can  arrange to meet the skipper and crew at the boatyard or you can travel down to Bursledon, where the boats are kept, with other crew. Sometimes it's possible to arrange a lift to the boatyard with other crew travelling down from London or other parts of the country (check with the skipper beforehand). 

For every trip, the skipper briefs everyone before setting off and will cover any important safety information. Everyone is encouraged - and expected - to join in sailing the boat and to share the chores. You won't be 'bossed around' although you must obey the skipper because he/she is responsible for your safety and that of the boat, but we sail for relaxation and pleasure. The rest of this FAQ section covers the most common questions asked about sailing with the club - if you still have any questions afterwards then please feel free to contact the above committee members. If you would like to join the club before your first trip or after sailing with us then see -  Join us 

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What Do I Need To Bring?

You'll need to bring your own sleeping bag. You will also need a pair of soft-soled shoes - that is, soles that will not mark the boat decks. 

Layers are good for warmth

Outer wet weather gear (tops & bottoms) and lifejackets are available on Ariel and Prospero in a variety of sizes should conditions dictate.  The 'foulies' are worn over your normal clothes.  Of course, you are welcome to bring your own foul-weather gear including your own lifejacket, if you have one.   

There is an old saying, that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!  Here is a guide to what clothing to bring if you're new to sailing: 
Top: Multi layering is the best approach as layers can be added or removed depending on conditions.  Always use good quality, breathable, non absorbent fabrics that are flexible and easy to remove.  As a rule of thumb, use;

  • Base layer - Cotton, mixed fabric t-shirts or modern polar type base layers.
  • Mid Layer - Mixed fabric Jumper or fleece.
  • Outer layer – Breathable waterproof jacket.
Trousers: Jeans are not generally recommended as they tend to absorb water and are not very flexible.  Try to avoid anything with too many studs or exposed zippers etc., as these can scratch the yacht, catch on ropes and let in water.  Shorts are fine in hot weather.
Footwear: Always wear footwear on deck as toes are very vulnerable!  Deck shoes, sailing boots or white soled trainers are ideal as they don't mark the deck .  Bare feet, flip flips and high heels will not be allowed. In cold weather remember the thick socks.
Headwear: Wear a beanie / woolly hat in cold weather and a cap in hot, but make sure it is fastened into your other clothing because the wind will take it! 
Eyewear: Sunglasses are also very important if you can wear them.  But again make sure they are fastened securely. 
Gloves: Although not essential, you will be pulling ropes, so if you feel your hands need some form of protection, then, consider using gloves.  Sailing gloves come in a variety of styles, from the fingerless gloves of dinghy sailors to the thick insulated gloves of offshore sailors.  Woollen gloves are not recommended. There will be some sailing gloves on board to borrow.

There are warm days, so bring your swim wear if the forecast is good!

Also, don't forget to bring:
  • Suntan lotion
  • Sleeping bag
  • Towel
  • Toiletries and any medication you may be taking.

There is limited storage on the boats so please bring clothes in a soft overnight bag rather than a suitcase or framed rucksack.

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How Do I Get To The Boats?

The location of the boats is shown on this page Contact


By car - about 80 miles from London (it's often possible to arrange lifts with other members of the crew). Access to the boat yard is via Lands End Road next to the Jolly Sailor public house if using a SAT nav the post code is SO31 8DN.

By train - from Waterloo to Bursledon via Southampton or Portsmouth. Exit Bursledon station and turn left into the station car park. At the far end of the car park, on the right hand side, there is a track leading up and over the railway tracks.  Follow the road around to the left at the top of the track and look out for the entrance to Elephant Boatyard on the left hand side of the road (before the Jolly Sailor pub sign). 

The boats are moored on a pontoon at the far end of the Elephant Boatyard in Bursledon. We normally meet up either at the boat or in the Jolly Sailor pub, which is a short walk from the boatyard.

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What if I can't Swim?

Jump inYou don't have to be able to swim. However, if you can't then tell the skipper and they will see that you wear a lifejacket when necessary.

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What About Insurance?

Please note that personal accident insurance cover is not included, neither is 'travel insurance' nor insurance for personal belongings nor any liabilities to third parties.

It is recommended that club member or regular sailors arrange insurance cover themselves if they don't already have it. 

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How Do I Join?

See our Join us  section 

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What Does It Cost?

Members pay an annual membership fee and a crewing fee each time they go sailing.

Non-members can come sailing as guests and pay an additional guest fee (see below).

Other costs will be travel to & from the boat, food and moorings for the trip (which vary from zero in an anchorage to about £10 per head in a marina).

The membership fee for 2023 is £50 - See ‘How to join’ for details of how to pay. The Membership fee for children under 16 is £10. There is no joint membership: all members must pay the membership fee.

Crewing fees for members are:



Weekend/Bank Holiday Cruising per day



Midweek Cruising per day



Week of Cruising



Racing per day (includes race entry)



Two day Weekend Boat Handling Course (£50 deposit required)



Two day mid-week Boat Handling Course (£50 deposit required)



Midweek RYA Practical  Course per day (£50 deposit required)



Weekend RYA Practical Course per day (£50 deposit required)



Guest fees are an additional £17 per day for a weekend or mid-week and £85 for the week for a week long cruise. (NB it may be cheaper for regular guests to join the BBC Club as a family and friend member, and then join the yacht club – see How Do I Join ? for details.)

Children Sailing: Children under 16 can go sailing for half price on all mid-week trips (though not the week long cruises) and on specifically identified family trips.

Paying for trips: It is the skipper’s responsibility to ensure that all crew members have paid for the trip.

It is now possible to pay by credit or debit card directly on this website. When you book on a trip on this website you will be given two options:

1. Invoice me for the cost of the trip.

2. Pay immediately.

When you book the trip, you may ask for an invoice to be generated. When you look at the “Invoices and payments” tab of your profile, you will see the invoice for payment and you can then pay the invoice with a credit/debit card. This must be done four weeks prior to the start of the cruise at the latest. A general reminder email will be sent five weeks prior to the start of the cruise and this will include a reminder to pay if payment has not already been made.

If you select Pay Immediately then the system will request payment for all unpaid sailing that you have booked. If you have no other unpaid sailing booked then you can select this choice and pay when booking, otherwise ask to be invoiced and pay as above.

Please note, to prevent trips being cancelled, you are only able to remove yourself from a trip up to 4 weeks before departure. If you cancel after this point, you are liable for payment for the trip.

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What About Food?

Eating on boardSkippers will make arrangements for provisioning the boat for each trip at the beginning of the weekend/cruise, as well as clearing the boat of ALL provisions (including dry stores) at the end of the trip.  

Usually breakfasts and lunches are taken on board and then the evening meal can either be cooked on board or crew often eat ashore at the end of a long day.

The cost of provisioning is normally split between the crew at the end of the trip. Before going on a trip the skipper will usually check if any crew have special dietary requirements; if you do have some then please let the skipper or person organising the shopping know before the trip. Crew are encouraged to help out with cooking and making drinks so feel free to volunteer.

Drinking is allowed as long as the skipper thinks it is safe to do so.

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How Do I Book Sailing?

You must be a paid up member or a guest to go sailing; members can add their names to trips via their own accounts on the website. Guests can be added to trips by the Crewing Secretary, who is in charge of all bookings for racing, cruising and training courses. If you don't have an account and want to go sailing, or alter your booking, then email the Crewing Secretary at Crewing Sec email or call on: 07832 227592

Even if a trip looks full you can always put your name down on the waiting list as a standby - berths do become vacant at short notice and the Crewing Secretary will contact you if a space becomes available.

For more information on bookings check out Booking Rules

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What If I Have To Cancel?

Please treat your booking as you would any other holiday or event booking such as a theatre trip. Cancelling at short notice may put a trip at risk of not going out. 

You will be liable to pay once the trip is within 4 weeks of the planned start date.  

If for some reason you can no longer honour the booking you have made then please email the Crewing Secretary as soon as possible or call him on: 07832 227592

There are lots of people keen to go sailing and it is very important that if you have to cancel you let the Crewing Secretary know at the earliest opportunity.

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What Training Do you offer ?

New on the helm

The BBC Yacht Club is a recognised Royal Yachting Association (RYA) teaching establishment, which means that you can receive the necessary training to gain RYA qualifications through the club. We can run practical courses up to and including Yachtmaster level. 

We have RYA qualified instructors for Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and YM Certificates. 

As we are a training school, every skipper is happy to show new starters the ropes and explain how to get the best out of sailing. Most of our present skippers had little or no experience when they joined the Club, and have gained Yachtmaster Certificates and official recognition as Club Skippers by sailing on Ariel and Prospero.

We also run theory and practical courses during the winter months, including Sea Survival.  For more information on our training courses, check out our Training pages 

Contact our Rear Commodore, Frank Roche, who is in charge of Training.

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What other events does the club offer besides sailing?

Start of Season party 2017

We organise a number of events off the water throughout the year. These event will normally be advertised on the Events Page

The Start of Season Party usually takes place in in March in London; this is very popular as it's usually the first opportunity to start booking your sailing for the coming season. There is also the Chart Correction Evening in March, when the boats' charts are updated with any changes or corrections. 

The Laying Up Party, which marks the end of the sailing season, takes place in October at a London location and is often combined with the club's AGM, when you can hear how the club has done over the season. We also arrange a number of social get-togethers throughout the year to catch up with club officers and other members. 

Over winter, we arrange shore-based training courses - recent subjects have included navigation, racing techniques, first aid and diesel courses. If you're thinking of joining, do try and come to the next gathering, whatever it is, and meet the people you could be sailing with. We always welcome new joiners or anyone interested in sailing. 

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