Tops’l is a friendly and inclusive club and there's always someone to sail with.
Other than the availability of a boat there's no restriction on how many days we can sail each season. Availability is generally good as utilisation is fairly evenly spread. Generally speaking, it suits our retired members to do most of their sailing mid week which takes the pressure off weekends. There is always someone to sail with; we can get together with members or sail exclusively with our own family and friends.
Although no sailing qualifications are required on joining, members are encouraged to attend RYA courses. In addition, crew members can increase their sailing skills to a high standard whilst on the water with our experienced skippers. Club boat handling days are useful for crew members to practice such things as, man overboard, sail trimming, boat handling under sail and power and much more. The more social club sails held regularly throughout the season are a great way for a new member to make friends and arrange future sails.
To begin with everyone joins the club as a crew member but for those who wish to progress to skipper,this can be facilitated quite quickly. Competency for a Tops'l 'local' skipper is somewhere between the RYA 'day and coastal skipper' standard. During an assessment sail over one or two days with a nominated training member, the crew member demonstrates suitability to be upgraded.
The new skipper will then spend some time getting used to both the boat he/she has been checked out on and club procedures but when confident may request to be familiarised with the next boat.... After gaining some experience a skipper's permitted sailing area will be extended. A look at the club training site (Roles) will give an idea of how in the first instance crew can progress to local skipper and from then onwards to offshore unrestricted category.
Periodically we run an in-house radar course, which includes all the core elements of the RYA radar course with the additional benefit of practice at sea. We are also a recognised test centre ICC this being for the benefit of Tops'l members only. Club members regularly get together to attend other RYA run courses, such as First Aid and Survival.