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Home / Sailing / Dinghies / Dinghy FAQs, including children U18 info
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Home / Sailing / Dinghies / Dinghy FAQs, including children U18 info

Dinghy FAQs, including children U18 info

These Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) are aimed at new members to the club who would like to know how we operate.

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Q: Can I come sailing if I am not a member?

A: LCSC is a member's club, but we welcome new members who might be interested in joining. You will need to become a temporary member which costs £5 and allows you can take part in two outings before you will need to become a full member to continue sailing at the club. To become a temporary member:

1. Create an account here:

2. Read the relevant T&Cs for your event

3. Book on to a dinghy event here:

4. Pay the relevant fees (by card only) at the start of your event. Note: Outings are subject to the conditions of the day and the Officer of the Day will make a decision on the day, also taking into account your experience.

Q: How do I become a member?

A: Please go to how to join the club for more details

Q: How much does it cost to hire a boat?

A: It costs £15 per person to hire a boat. Payment is by card only and is collected on the day if you go sailing. LCSC provide a free buoyancy aid.

Q: What boats/dinghies are available for hire?

Dinghy design Suitable for beginners Suitable for intermediates Suitable for advanced Capacity (Crew & Helm) Club boats available for hire
Visions Yes Yes No 2-3 5
Fusions Yes Yes No 1 8
Enterprises Yes Yes Yes 2-3 4
Lasers No Yes Yes 1 10

Q: How can I go sailing?

A: You can only sail club boats when there is an organised event on, these events are listed here. This is to ensure the safety of you and the boat as we will always have at least one safety boat to provide assistance to you if you need it. You must book before you come to the club. You book a sailing slot rather than a particular dinghy. Dinghies are allocated on the day in booking order, so book early to get your first choice boat.

Q: How old do I have to be to sail a dinghy on the Thames as the club.

A: LCSC offers occasional water activities, including sailing, to Members' children under the age of 16. The events take place 3 or 4 times a year in the warmer months.

The sessions aim to develop water confidence and an understanding of the tidal river. Depending on interest activities are planned in half terms and school holiday.

Thames Turtles (age 2-9): One to one child/adult ratio. Children under 4 years ride in the safety boat. Children over 4 years may sail in dinghies or use paddleboards on agreed low water sessions.

Thames Tens (age 10-15): Child/adult ratios depend on experience and abilities. Thames Tens are encouraged to try out all craft on offer at the club on agreed low water sessions.

16 + 17 year olds with an RYA level 2 or equivalent experience, once assessed, can take part in club events but will need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian (the adult does not necessarily have to be sailing with them, but needs to be on the premises)

18 years and older can sail without a parent or a guardian in club events

The strong tidal streams and frequent river traffic on our reach limits the opportunities for younger children to take to the water at our club. For more regular sailing and training we recommend you try the following local sailing clubs (not affiliated with us).

These clubs are based on lakes and reservoirs making it a safer environment for children to learn.

Queen Mary Reservoir

Wimbledon Park

Q: Are there any physical requirements for me to come dinghy sailing.

A: You need the ability to swim unassisted for 100 meters. If you capsize or turtle your dinghy you are expected to be able to right it unassisted. Dinghy sailing is a physical activity, so a general level of fitness is required.

Q: Do I have to have any qualifications to helm a dinghy at the club?

A: Sailing on the River Thames is a unique environment that not all dinghy sailors may have experienced before. It has additional dangers that you won't find in many other sailing clubs. These include, fast flowing tidal streams, river traffic that is limited in its ability to manoeuvre and fixed obstacles such as barges and pontoons that can be hazards when capsized. To helm a boat you should have completed at least RYA dinghy level 1 & 2 and understand how the tide and wind affects sailing on the river. The Officer Of the Day (OOD) will be an experienced member of the club who will judge if the conditions on the day are suitable for your skill level.

Q: Do I have to have any qualifications to crew a dinghy at the club?

A: No, we welcome everyone to be a member of the crew on a dinghy. If you're new to sailing then we would recommend you attend a 'Riverbanking' event where you can sail with an experienced helm. These events are listed here.

Q: Is there anything I must wear when dinghy sailing?

A: All members must wear a buoyancy aid at all times whilst on the ramps, pontoons and on the river. The club has a variety of sizes available for members to use for free whilst at the club. Your gear will be dependant on the weather, however it is strongly recommended you consider investing in a wetsuit over the winter months from October - March.

Q: What should I wear when Dinghy sailing?

All Year Round Summer Spring/Autumn Winter
  • Sailing gloves
  • Water/windproof jacket
  • Dinghy boots (or a pair of old trainers)
  • Quick drying short/ trousers
  • T-Shirt
  • Light Fleece
  • Sunglasses
  • Suncream
  • A Wetsuit
  • Thicker jumpers/fleeces
  • Thick Wetsuit
  • Thermal underlayers
  • Woolly hat
Optional Shorty/lightweight Wetsuit may be suitable for cooler days Drysuit

You should consider bringing a change of clothes and a towel to change into afterwards, especially if you capsize and need to warm up afterwards (a must in winter)

Q: Can I borrow or hire any of the kit listed above?

A: Yes, you can hire a club wetsuit for £5 a session. There are a variety of sailing gloves and a limited number of water/windproof jackets that you can borrow for free. All kit is available on a first come basis.

Q: What happens if there is no wind?

A: The Office Of the Day (OOD) will normally decide on the day if there is enough wind to go sailing. If there isn't enough wind the session will be cancelled. If you have completed the clubs Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) safety course you will be able to go out on one of these instead. It is always advisable to check the weather conditions before you head down. Weather and Tides at Hammersmith

Q: What happens if there is too much wind?

A: The Office Of the Day (OOD) will normally decide on the day if there's too much wind to go sailing. If there is too much wind the session will be cancelled. It is always advisable to check the weather conditions before you head down. Weather and Tides at Hammersmith

Q: How can I take part in racing at the club?

A: If you have learnt how to sail a dinghy and have had some practice sailing on the river but have not raced before, we recommend you take part in a wacky racing session. These informal racing sessions help you practice race starts and get a feel for sailing in close quarters without having to worry about the formalities of proper races. If you think you're ready for the more serious and competitive racing then the club hosts a variety of racing events throughout the year. For more details on the different types of racing we offer go to here.

Q: I have my own dinghy, can I store it at the club?

A: Yes, the club has plenty of space to store member's dinghies. To check availability, get the latest prices and storage please contact Priority is given to club classes - laser, enterprises, fusions and X1's.

Q: What if I have a question that isn't answered here?

A: Use the search function on the very top bar of the site to see if the question is already answered elsewhere. If you still can't find the answer email

Last updated 09:39 on 8 May 2024

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