Another post on the topic of retaining members of sailing clubs
I sail to compete. It is what I enjoy most about sailing. I very, very rarely go out just to sail - I am normally racing or practising a skill, and it takes unusual circumstances to get me sailing just for fun.
But I know that not everyone is like me. A few years ago, I suggested an idea to my committee to make Friday evenings in the summer a non-competitive opportunity to sail. My original document on it is here.
And the committee was very supportive and went ahead with the idea, and it is still very successful now.
I still get grief from a few of the committee for hardly ever being there on a Friday, even though I came up with the idea. But, as I always tell them, there's no racing on Float Your Boat Friday, so why would I turn up?
Of course, hardly any of the (over) ambitious ideas I had for the night came to fruition.
Normally the club is opened in the late afternoon and people turn up, have a chat and go for a sail. And then they go home.
None of the fancy, fun races that I suggested; none of the intricate training sessions that I devised; none of the "bring a bowl" evenings; but:
- It is a great chance for new sailors and new members to sail and meet older members.
- It is a chance for parents to sail with kids.
- It is a chance to do some boat maintenance (and if you're lucky, the guy that can do boat maintenance is there to help you).
But most of all, it is the chance to go sailing with like-minded people who like sailing just for fun.