The Club tries 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.
Below is information on some of the activities and interests to which the Club caters. Hit a button to go to the relevant section:
Our South Coasthas been centred on the Solent area as many of our members keep their boats there, although we now have a thriving sub section in the Brighton area with regular social meetings. 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 on a beach or just drinks aboard. Another fabulous weekend is our annual Treasure Hunt; this is one of our gala events and is usually a talking point for months to come.
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.
The eleven navigable rivers of the lower East Coast, from the Swale in Kent to the Ore in Suffolk offer an unspoilt 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.
As well as participating fully in all the other Club events, every year we 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.
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 an active Northern group, who do regular dinghy
sailing at Hollingworth Lake, Rochdale (between Manchester and Leeds).
Hollingworth has a good range of boats available for hire and suitable
for all levels of ability, including Wayfarers, Laser 1s, Laser Stratos,
Laser 2000 and Laser Vago. The Club can arrange dinghy sailing training
for beginners and more advanced instruction for improvers. There is
also some interest in organising yacht charters.
There is a club presence on lake Windermere with regular racing and cruising.
S&CA has a strong chartering provision and actively supports Members who charter boats, whether it is the annual overseas group charter, a canal boat charter or Members chartering a boat for a weekend trip or to join a club event. Members also get involved with other groups that charter in the Med and Caribbean. There is more information on the Charters page.
There are many opportunities for racing within the Club, including taking part in the Round the Island Race, Cowes Week, JOG and many local club regattas around the country. The Club promotes participation in the Gay Games, Euro Gay Cup and further activities in association with GLORY (Gay and Lesbian Organisation for Racing and Yachting), has hosted intra-club racing events in matching keel boats and encourages informal pursuit races throughout the season especially during annual flotilla events.
Opportunities for racing on individual boats are regularly posted in the Members Area and on the Club Facebook pages.
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 contact us using the button below.
You can read the full story of S&CA Racing on a separate page here.
In 2018, the Sailing and Cruising Association, the UK's dedicated sailing club for LGBT+ people and friends, entered three teams into the Gay Games under the banner of GUST, the Gay UK Sailing Team. Paris hosted the tenth Gay Games 6-8 August 2018and the sailing events took place in Le Havre, racing J80s keelboats.
David, our Rear Commodore Racing, was part of the triumphant crew that scooped the Silver Medal
Nearly 20% 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.
We have had an active Dinghy section for many years but recently interest has dwindled. Our last events were 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 lead the section, please get in touch with the committee.
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.
The number of women in the Club is growing year on year with over 65 members. We have a growing number of 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!)
In 2015 we organised our first Narrowboat, as part of the Charters section. One boat completed the Four Counties Ring in a week, another 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 great 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've several members who own narrowboats and other craft on inland waterways, so there's now a growing group of canal boaters in the club!