“Becoming an experienced sailor isn’t an easy thing to do, partly because of the sheer amount of things to learn, and partly down to the fact that finding opportunities to sail on yachts is not easy. The introduction of Shotley Point Yacht Club’s Crew Pool scheme is fantastic as it focuses on turning young people like me into competent sailors who are confident in sailing yachts belonging to other people.”
This quote from a member of our Crew Pool scheme illustrates how we as a club are working to bring more people into sailing. It is a win-win idea for owners and would-be crew members, benefitting:
People who would like to sail in larger yachts or cruise in motor boats, but don’t own one;
Boat owners who need experienced crew who they know, get along with, and trust.
People who want to join the Crew Pool scheme can sign up for non-boat owning membership of SPYC at a modest cost.
Age, skills, qualifications, and experience are not important.
Potential members are invited out on short cruises to discover if it is what they think – “try before you buy”!
While Crew Pool is not a training scheme, novice members are expected to gain experience and qualifications to become good crew. SPYC endorses the RYA Yachtmaster Scheme and we will help people gain the necessary experience and skills as they embark on their boating journey. We have experienced owner members who are more than happy to help members “learn the ropes”, and a close relationship with the local sailing school.
Members of the Crew Pool scheme are actively encouraged to join social events and skills development workshops. In this way they start to become known and get to know the boat owners – the more people you know, the more likely you are to be invited to go sailing.
Club Cruising Days offer the opportunity for crew and skippers to meet and sail together, enabling skippers to get to know crew and their skills.
As skippers’ confidence and knowledge of members grows, the invitations to crew will increase; skippers and crew will feel comfortable enough to cruise further and on longer trips.
The Crew Pool Scheme is no free ride but provides opportunities for all members that can be hard to find elsewhere.