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Frequently asked questions

What does the joining fee cover?

The once-only joining fee of £4000 pays for continuous membership of the club and an equal share in the boat and other club assets.

Brighton Belle has been purchased by a combination of these membership fees and loans from some of our members. When all 64 membership shares are sold, all the loans will have been paid back. 

All members have equal rights to speak and to vote at general meetings and to select the committee that takes care of the day-to-day running of the club.

What happens if I don’t want to continue being a member?

A resigning member may sell or transfer their share to a third party - subject to the consent of the Steering Committee to the proposed purchase/acquisition. 

Ultimately, if a majority of members no longer wish to be members, they can vote to sell the boat and dissolve the club, in which case each member will receive an equal share in all assets of the club including proceeds of sale of Brighton Belle. This may be less than the original joining fee.

Can I bring guests on day sails or on cruises?

Yes, if there is space available. Each guest must first complete a provisional membership form and will pay the provisional member sailing rate. Full Members wishing to sail have priority.

Can I sail Brighton Belle without a skipper?

No, each day sail or cruise on Brighton Belle must include a club skipper and mate who have sufficient sailing experience and familiarity with the vessel to ensure she is safely managed. However, if you are suitably experienced, you could become a club skipper yourself if you join.

One of the objectives of the club is to encourage members to develop their sailing skills. So, no matter what level you are now, membership of the club would give you the opportunity to develop your skills and build your experience to the point that you could become one of the club mates or skippers yourself.

What clothes/equipment do I need to bring with me?

Some life-jackets are available on board for guests and members, though many members prefer to have their own. You will need to bring clothing appropriate for the conditions. Warm clothing and waterproofs will be required. If you don't have purpose-made sailing waterproofs, normal outdoor activities waterproof clothing is a reasonable substitute. Soft soled footwear that will not mark our lovely timber interior and teak decks is a must. If in doubt, ask the skipper of your trip.

Are there any additional costs over and above the joining fee and sailing fees?

The sailing fees are paid by all members and guests while they are on board. These fees go back to the club to pay for the ongoing costs of yacht ownership including marina fees, maintenance, insurance etc. There are no other ongoing costs to members. (See also FAQ 13).

When you are on a cruise or a day sail, other expenses are shared equally by all those on-board. These expenses typically comprise marina fees, fuel used, food and drink purchased to be shared on board, etc.

What happens if I book a trip and can’t make it?

It may be possible to negotiate a refund or partial refund, especially if someone else can be found to take your place, but this is not guaranteed.

I have never sailed before – is joining the club right for me?

Club members span the whole range of experience from novice up to skippers with experience of many ocean crossings and many thousands of miles sailed. The club provides a unique opportunity for the less experienced to learn from other club members and develop their skills. If you really have never sailed at all, it would be sensible to come along for an introductory day sail first. If you enjoy that, then try a few more day sails or a longer cruise as a guest. You can take the time to make sure it really is the thing for you before making the commitment to become a member.

If I have special dietary requirements is that a problem?

No. You will have complete access to the galley so can bring what you need or discuss your requirements with the skipper well in advance, and agree with him or her how best to accommodate your needs.

Do I need any additional insurances if I come sailing?

Not specifically for the club. However, we do encourage you to take out appropriate personal insurance to cover loss or damage of possessions, medical emergencies, repatriation, flight cancellations etc. Just make sure that it is a policy that covers sailing.

Is someone on the boat a qualified first aider?

No, we do not guarantee that a qualified first aider will be on board. However many of our members and skippers have been trained in first aid and we do carry a good first aid kit on board. Sailing, like many other outdoor activities, can be hazardous.

Where can I park if we are going for a day sail?

There is plenty of parking in the multi-storey car park by the entrance to Brighton Marina.

Brighton Belle Sailing Club 2022

The club maintains a contingency fund sufficient for even quite major repairs.  However, our club constitution does grant the steering committee the power to ask for additional money if absolutely necessary.

What is the maximum number of members in Brighton Belle Sailing Club?

There will not be more than 64 full members at any one time.

How does an extended ‘chain’ cruise work?

An extended cruise taking several weeks where typically one or two week consecutive sections are sailed by changing skippers and crews.

At the end of their cruise a skipper and crew will take Brighton Belle to a pre-determined changeover point, planned to be convenient for travel to and from the yacht. Here they hand over Brighton Belle to the on-coming skipper and crew for the next leg, and return home themselves.

Some legs will be well-suited to those wanting to build up sea miles with a long delivery leg to get Brighton Belle to that season's cruising grounds. Other legs might consist of a number of short day sails from one lovely port or anchorage to another, with the odd day for rest and sight-seeing.

Only the handover points are fixed in advance. The precise itinerary of an individual leg is decided by consensus of the crew, with the proviso that the skipper always has the final say.

The aim is for everyone to get the most out of the cruise while ensuring that the next handover point can be reached in a safe and timely manner.

What happens if Brighton Belle is sold while I am a member?

If the membership votes to sell Brighton Belle or dissolve the club, then proceeds of the sale along with all other club assets will be distributed equally amongst the members. This may be less than the membership fee originally paid. However, sale of Brighton Belle does not necessarily imply dissolution of the club. The constitution allows for the possibility of purchasing another boat in order to continue the club.

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