Well, hopefully you're now fully confident to sail in all sorts of weathers, are mad keen to buy a boat and start racing seriously, and want to join the club. Great, sign here!
If you're not quite so confident, and feel that you need to take things a bit further before splashing out then, firstly, you'll be very welcome to come back next year, though we'll encourage you to join the club anyway. You could also consider a sailing holiday. You should have enough of a feel for things to be able to get on well at any place that caters for all ranges of experience, be it in Britain or in warmer climes. You can also take RYA certificates on holidays at Sailing schools. You'll find the syllabus looks remarkably familiar.
Buying a Boat
There are about three hundred different classes of boat out there. What you should get depends totally on what you want to do. Here are some observations on boats found at the Club. For a first boat its as well to get something that's sailed in reasonable numbers at your chosen club, so here are six choices found at Island Barn. If you're going to buy a secondhand boat you might find it useful to talk to one of us first - we can probably put you in contact with someone who knows the class and can let you know what to look out for.
3 Choices: Dry, Wet (larger) and wet (smaller).
- The dry choice is the Solo. Its a much deeper boat than the other two, and consequently you can sail in shorts on a calm day without getting a soggy posterior. Being wider and deeper its less strenuous on the knee muscles than the other two. Many Solos are wood and will need varnishing and painting from time to time. Some people enjoy these odd jobs, others don't.
- Small and wet is the Topper. You never really avoid getting damp in such a shallow boat, but its practically bullet proof, very easy to rig and very simple. Best choice for 8 stone sailors and below, fine up to about 10 or 11.
- Larger and wet is the Laser. A bigger boat, it is available with a variety of different size sails for people of different weight, although in practice most people at Island Barn have the biggest size sail anyway, because its not very often very windy here.
3 Choices again, all drier than the singlehanders.
- For the small team the Mirror is probably a good choice, even though you don't see them sailed two handed at Island Barn much. It has a little spinnaker when you're ready for that, but really the crew shouldn't weigh much more than about 18 stones between them.
- Larger sailors who don't want to use a spinnaker regularly should consider an Enterprise. Its got room for three at a pinch, although raced with two. One of our club members, Glen Cole, is probably as good a source of information on the Enterprise as any man alive. A Spinnaker is an optional extra for handicap racing, but isn't used when they're raced as a class.
- The third is the RS 200, 400, 600. They are an option for the more adventurous who don't mind the occasional swim and are reasonably experienced and confident. Probably best if you've done a season in something else though. You can hire boats from the club and its a good way to try them out.
Note though that just about any two hander is a fine provided that one person aboard, whether crew or helm, has good racing experience.