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Home / Sailing / Dinghies / Dinghy FAQs
Home / Sailing / Dinghies / Dinghy FAQs

Dinghy FAQs

FAQs below:

- Getting started - Top 10 Tips

- Dinghy storage

- Club safety equipment

- What to wear

Getting Started!

Here are our Top 10 tips to getting started in dinghy sailing at LCSC

1) Head along to a Tuesday Night Social – every week from 8pm brave the member's bar and get talking to other members about their experiences and whether you can join them sailing. It's a truly friendly club and here you can ask your questions about how to get started.

2) Cruising and Riverbanking - turn up to Wacky Racing/Riverbanking on the day and you'll be allocated a boat. Details are communicated by email and on the club calendar. This is always great fun and a superb way to meet other sailors who are more than happy to talk about their experiences.

3) Points/Cup Races – respond to organisers sending emails for Points Series or Cup Races and ask them to help link you up with a laser or join up with another sailor. No experience is necessary for competitive races and the more frequent you are the more likely you are to get a place in the points series. It can be useful to diarise dates with fellow sailors so you're all confirmed and committed to sailing together. You can turn up on the day and find out if anyone wants to sail with you as well. When you arrive, ask for the Officer of the Day and they will be able to help you.

4) Look out for Coaching/Training Opportunities – regular training sessions are scheduled either at the club or in places like Weymouth National Sailing Academy each with varying costs tailored to different skills. These are communicated by email and on the club calendar.

5) Lend a Hand – Come along and watch a race so you can see what's involved and help out with the jobs that need doing round the club. You can help members rig before sailing or help pack up the boats after a race. It's a good way to learn about the different boats and to find other sailors to sail with in future. Or grab a buoyancy jacket and head down to the pontoon before a race to help get the boats off their trolley and into the water. Race starts seem less daunting after you've been helping out on the pontoon.

6) Deputy Race Officer* – this is a great way to meet other sailors and learn how to races are organised from the comfort of the Crows Nest race box. Good in any condition!

7) Deputy Safety Boat Driver * – get out onto the water to help set up the race course at LCSC and watch other participant's sailing techniques. Drivers will be happy to share their knowledge about race courses and will talk you through the parts of the safety boat.

8)Social Events - head along to the balls, barbecues and bashes run by the club to help you meet other sailors and ask them questions. Always feel free to bring a friend along to events or open days and nominate them as a new member.

9) Communicate –Share your contact details with the other sailors you meet throughout 1 to 8 above! And begin to build your own contact list of people to go to when you're looking for a sailing companion.

10) Don't be put off by the weather – It's usually not as bad as you think I will but. But if you really can't face winter weather or even low winds there's always need for deputy race officers and deputy safety boat drivers - Also read What to wear? see below:

*Deputy roles do not require experience and provide an opportunity to spend time with sailors who are experienced contact to find out more

Dinghy Storage

The Club has space to store approximately 60 dinghies. These "moorings" are in a modern purpose build building or "undercroft" next to the clubhouse. Preference is given to members who regularly sail their boats at Hammersmith. Mooring is at the discretion of class captains and only dinghy classes sailed at the club will be offered moorings.

The following is a summary of the arrangements:

  • Moorings. The annual charge for mooring a dinghy in the undercrofts is currently £360.00 and is discounted to £110 to all owners who use their boats on at least 10 occasions during the year on club events (races, cruises or open meetings). The moorings year runs from 1st April to 31st March. (Mooring rates may be increased from time to time as approved by the club)
  • New Boat rate. A member bringing a boat to the undercrofts for the first time is charged at the annual rate of £110.00 for the first year. This charge is pro-ratered from the 1st of the month following the boat being stored.
  • Road Trailers. Limited storage of road trailers is available at the discretion of the Bosun. An annual charge of £25.00.
  • Dinghy Insurance. It is a club rule that members should have current insurance certificates including an adequate 3rd party cover (typically £3m).
  • The Bosun is responsible for physical storage of dinghies and undercrofts.

Enquiries. All enquiries about storage of boats from existing and new members are directed in the first instance to the club administrator.

The priority for allocating moorings are:
1. Must be club members
2. Preference given to classes supported by the club e.g. Enterprises, Lasers, RS Visions.
3. Priority of space allocation will be given to regular sailors. e.g. those not sailing regularly will be stored on racks.
4. The Class Captains have the decision on whether to offer mooring.

Mooring space cannot be sold or transferred to another member. A member bringing in a new boat also cannot be guaranteed mooring space. The club will always try to find storage space as requested by members but it is not guaranteed or a right of membership.

Club Safety Equipment

Buoyancy Aids

A selection of small, medium and large buoyancy aids are available for members to use. These are stored in the undercroft. All members are required to wear buoyancy aids anywhere near the river - on ramps, pontoons, in dinghies and safety boats.

Safety Boats

The club currently has 3 safety boats (Jaffa, Robbie and the Orkney Dory) that are used to support any club organised activities on the Thames ( Dinghy sailing, dinghy courses, power boat courses) and, sometimes, other local river events by prior arrangement.

What to Wear?

There is generally no need to spend vast amounts of money on equipment to go dinghy sailing.

Pieces that will serve you all year round are:

  • Sailing gloves
  • Any water/windproof jacket
  • Dinghy boots (although old trainers are also fine)

Buoyancy aids are supplied by the club.

You can then supplement this to match conditions throughout the year. Please see Read More below for suggestions.


  • Quick drying short/ trousers
  • T-Shirt
  • Light Fleece
  • Sunglasses
  • Suncream
  • Shorty/lightweight Wetsuit is also suitable on cooler days but not essential

You might also want to bring a change of clothes/towel to have a shower afterwards if you capsize


  • A Wetsuit is useful but not essential
  • Thicker jumpers/fleeces

You will definitely need to bring a change of clothing. If you capsize without a wetsuit on you may want to take an early exit to the hot showers


  • Thick Wetsuit or Drysuit
  • Thermal underlayers
  • Woolly hat

Last updated 09:29 on 3 June 2020

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