The Club aims to cater for all types of sailing activity from dinghy sailing to power boating. But if there's something missing, there's nothing to stop you getting things started! The Club is run by and for you so just get in touch with your ideas and we'll see if we can help.
Our South Coastis focused on the Solent area as many of our members keep their boats there. As the South Coast is our largest section of the Club our events are very well attended; there are also informal gatherings or cruises in company coordinated via our Facebook site. Our weekend events are organised in various venues along the South Coast and on The Isle of Wight with diverse crews meeting for lunches, picnics and barbecues on a beach or just drinks aboard. Another fabulous weekend is our annual Treasure Hunt; for many members this is a highlight of the calendar and is usually a talking point, both in preparation and for the rest of the season!
Members own a wide variety of sail and motor vessels moored between Poole and Brighton as well as on the Isle of Wight. Non boat owners can also easily charter from one of the many charter companies in the Solent area, including from those with whom we have negotiated special rates for Club Members. Skippers are often looking for crew and we try to match crew with the appropriate skipper/boat depending on experience and capability. We welcome all newcomers; whether complete novices, rusty returners or well seasoned sailors. Some of our more adventurous members also channel hop to France and the Channel Isles for longer holidays and often cruise in company. South coast events are coordinated by our Rear Commodore South Coast, who's always keen to hear from new members looking to get out on the water.
alternative to the often overcrowded waters of the South coast.
The S&CA has historically had a strong presence in the East and today a number of Club members keep a diverse selection of craft on the various rivers, ranging from dinghies through traditional river craft, sailing yachts of between 18 to 42 feet and power boats of all shapes and sizes up to a sea going tug – the crews are equally diverse; of all ages, sexes, shapes and sizes.
We aim arrange a number of meets and rallies on different rivers on the East Coast, which gives a chance for the fleet to gather and opportunities for others to experience the delights of this great cruising area. East Coast events are often more challenging to co-ordinate, the passages between ports are further and tides/navigation more challenging than the Solent; therefore events tend to be more ad hoc amongst the East Coast Skippers. If you're keen to sail explore the delights of the Thames Estuary, give our Rear Commodore East Coast a shout to find out more and be included in the ad hoc planning!
Whilst finding a drying sandbank to seaward of you when you are miles off shore may be off putting to some, it hones the navigational skills of the skippers. This area is continually developing and offers a complete range of marinas and services. The Medway alone has seven marinas and you can tie up literally right outside one of the two river front gay pubs.
The S&CA has a network of 'Port Reps' in marinas & towns around the UK, they can provide a hub for members in the various areas around the UK and help coordinate local events. If you're keen to become a Port Rep and/or organise a local event for members in your region, please contact the Secretary.
Chartering (hiring) boats is a great way to build experience amongst newly qualified skippers, and exploring new sailing areas overseas. We aim to organise an annual overseas group charter, have had several successful canal boat charters, and support Charter Skippers in finding crew to join club events. With links to LGBT+ sailing clubs around the world, we are exploring the possibility of organising joint charters in the Med and Caribbean. Visit the Charters page to find out more about hiring boats.
There are opportunities for racing within the Club. Some of our Skippers take part in organised races, such as the Round the Island Race, Cowes Week, JOG, Fastnet and other local club regattas around the country. Our Facebook group is a great way for Members to finding out if there are any racing crew places.
The S&CA merged with the Gay UK Sailing Team (GUST) and continue to support teams sailing under the GUST banner in the Gay Games, Euro Gay Cup and further activities in association with GLORY (Gay and Lesbian Organisation for Racing and Yachting).
The GUST sailing team has scooped Silver medal and the Sidney (2006) Cologne (2010) and France (2018) Gay Games... perhaps you could be part of the team that wins the illusive gold medal! The Club is keen to promote and encourage gay sailors in the racing field, so if you are a seasoned racer, local club one design or dinghy enthusiast or just want to dip your toe in and find out what its like then please read more about our Racing History, or get in contact with our Commodore to find out more.
About a fifth of the hundred or so boats owned by Club members are power driven vessels of one form or another and this percentage is continuing to grow. There is a wide assortment of power driven craft: rigid inflatables (RIBs), tugs, a narrowboat and a varied assortment of river and costal cruisers. On top of this there are a number of non-boat owning members with an interest in power-boating who are keen to get involved.
There is often a good mixture of power and sailing vessels at the Club events and there is no division between the different types of boating as is so often the case with other clubs. There is an ever-growing group of Club members who enjoy both sailing and power-boating.
So, whether your love is primarily for ‘wind power’ or ‘horsepower’ you will be guaranteed a friendly welcome. For more information feel free to come along to our monthly Club socials.
Our dinghy section was active for many years, meeting up for training in Canary Wharf, as well as events in Hollingworth Lake near Rochdale. Past events include dinghy racing in London, keelboat racing in the Solent, and annual gay sailing tournaments in Paris and Berlin.
We'd be very keen to get our Dinghy section back on the water, so if you've dingy sailing experience and would like to revive the dinghy section, please contact the Secretary.
The Club has a large number of yacht owners who sail regularly. Many skippers will take inexperienced crew and each year the Club tries to run a new members weekend if there is enough demand for it. Those joining the club with existing sailing experience are of course also welcomed as crew. It's always worth discussing your prior experience with the Skipper ahead of the event.
If you’re looking for crewing opportunities and are unable to get to the social meetings then another way is to use Facebook. Once you have joined, you will be able to access the Club’s Facebook page. Apart from being an excellent way to keep up to date with events and the usual informal chat between members it is a forum used by skippers looking for crew and crew looking for skippers.
Although the Club was originally established to provide a safe space of Gay men, we soon came to welcome women with a growing Lesbian community within the Club. More recently we've made clear we welcome all from the LGBT+ community, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. The fundamental purpose is to provide a club where nobody should feel they need to hide who they are. We have many female boat owners, which gives great opportunities for crewing. We've often got a healthy combination of mixed and single gender boats at club events. Skippers / Boat Owners generally make clear whether their boat is mixed or single gender crew (often due to the practicalities of sharing cabins!)
We have been cruising the inland waterways in the UK and abroad since the early days of the Club. Our Newsletter archive suggests the first canal charter voyage in 1991, and we've been going round in circles ever since! More recently, in 2015, we organised our a fantastic charter with one boat completing the Four Counties Ring in a week, whilst a second boat chose a more leisurely route. In 2016 we hired a longer 69ft narrowboat for 10 days to tackle the Warwickshire Ring (about 200 lock-miles). We had great fun manoeuvring this immense vessel around central Birmingham. In 2018, we took on another challenge, travelling round the Worcester ring, including an exciting section on the fast flowing River Severn.
Alongside the occasional chartering opportunity we have several members who own narrowboats and other craft on inland waterways, so you'll find a keen group of canal boaters in the Club!