Membership FAQ

Can you teach me or my child to sail?

We are a recreational club, not a school, so unfortunately we do not sell training courses. However, there are several RYA Dinghy sailing schools in London. To learn to sail, you should look for anywhere selling “RYA Dinghy Level 1” or if confident, “Level 2”.

What time does the club open?

It varies with the tide, please see

Can I try out sailing at a “Taster Day”?

Yes, we have regular taster days for the public to come and try out sailing and meet the club before signing up. Please contact us at to find a date and time!

Can I join as a novice?

As above, novices are welcome to come for a “Taster Day”, when we will arrange for an experienced volunteer to take you out as their crew.

You cannot hire an instructor or charter a skipper here, but as a member, it’s usually possible to make some friends at the club and agree to share a boat with someone more experienced.

Do you teach Powerboat 2 courses?

We occasionally teach it, and encourage our members to take it, at favourable prices. However, if you are not intending to join as a sailor and just need the training, there are commercial powerboat training centres in London, try searching online for “RYA Powerboat Level 2”

What should I wear for sailing?

Assume that your feet and legs will get wet, and of course you need to be safe in the extremely unlikely event that you fall into the water. 

✔️ Any lightweight clothes (in layers if cold): sailing/surfing/watersports gear, normal sportswear, shorts, waterproof coats.

✔️ Wetsuits, drysuits, as appropriate for the day’s temperature

✔️ Waterproof low sailing boots, wetsuit-shoes, lightweight shoes. (e.g. canvas)

❓ Running trainers only if you are happy to wear them soaked!

❌ Fleeces, thick jumpers, tracksuits, anything very heavy when wet (except inside a drysuit, in which case these can be good for very cold weather)

❌ Jeans, denim & other fabrics that leak dye when wet and/or are heavily absorbent (again, unless inside a drysuit)

❌ Flip-flops, sandals, wellington boots, bare feet.

Expect a lot of UV exposure on sunny days, due to the water’s reflectivity and the lack of shade!

Can I borrow sailing clothes?

You can use a club buoyancy aid for free.

There are a few spare boots, gloves, wet- and dry-suits you can borrow if they fit.

Safety boat crews on duty in cold weather may use the club’s extremely warm foul-weather suits and wellington boots.

Can I come when the weather is bad?

The officer of the day will decide whether the weather is safe; but it is up to you to decide for yourself whether the weather will be fun!

Am I too old / too young?

Our boats have accommodated crews from 2 to 90. If you can sail, you are the right age. Legal minors must be accompanied, under our safeguarding policy.

What club boats do you have?

Lasers, Solos, Enterprises, GP 14s, Xenons, a Laser 13’, a Supernova. Members can rent these boats for the day for £7 (one-person boats) or £10 (2+ people) per day.

How much is membership?

Please see

Do you sail through the winter?

We sail all year round, though we only sail during daylight, so in midwinter there are fewer viable sailing days, due to high tide falling after sunset more often.

I’d like to store my boat at the club. Do you have space?

It’s possible to store a boat for a fee, but you would need to be a member and negotiate space for it with the harbourmaster, as we do not have unlimited space. We do not offer a boat storage service for non-members.

Do you have social events that I would be able to come to if I’m a member?

Yes! Some incorporate sailing, and some do not. Please see and browse our photo gallery and our YouTube page.

Do you run mid-week sailing?

We ran mid-week sailing in summer before the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately have not been able to do so since. We hope to bring it back, but as we can only sail in daylight, this is likely to be in summer.

Are there conditions of continued membership?

We have a membership policy; the most important responsibility for members is that because we do not employ staff to run our sailing events, members must volunteer to help run the sailing events (e.g. help coordinate the race, assist on, or drive the safety boat) three times each year.

Where are you?

South Bank Sailing Club, (300 metres northwest along the Putney towpath), Putney Embankment, London SW15 1LB. [Google Maps]

Ready to try?

To request an opportunity to join a Taster Day, please enquire at If you’ve already visited the club and we’re right for you, you can apply to Join the Club!