28 December 2022
Sailing is an excellent activity to introduce your children to. It is a way to foster responsibility and self-sufficiency while also encouraging teamwork toward a common goal.
Before signing up for sailing lessons though, there are obviously some prerequisites like ensuring they can swim, for their own safety. This is a basic safety precaution before taking on this or any other water sport. You should also look at the clothing recommendations provided by individual clubs to ensure that the children are warm enough when out on the water.
We have looked at some of the best sailing clubs for children in Kent and our top five are below.
Wilsonian Sailing Club hosts a dedicated club for young people called Saturday Skimmers, designed to give under 16s the opportunity to practice, no matter their level of experience. All equipment including wetsuits and suitable boats is provided and the session is overseen by instructors and rescue boat crews for maximum safety.
The group is split into three based on experience level: beginner, intermediate and advanced, in order that everyone can learn the maximum useful information and find their place within the group, as well as have fun on the water.
Priding themselves on welcoming children of all ages, Whitstable Yacht Club runs a Yacht Cadets group famed for allowing children and their families to take part and get out on the water together. The club provides boats and there is free sailing or instructor-led sailing, depending on the experience and ability levels of the children and their families.
They also have links with Kent Schools Sailing Association (KSSA) and signpost children to them.
This club has an active juniors section and sets out in detail that it expects all members to treat the children who frequent the club with respect, no matter their age or experience level. They have a publicly available safeguarding policy as well that covers how adults should interact with the children.
In terms of equipment, club boats are available and can be pre-booked ahead of the session. There are also three fully equipped safety boats on-site.
During the sailing season, activities are provided most Sundays for junior members with “Pirates and Buccaneers” being those aged 8 and up and the separate “Raiders and Squad” group for the older children. No certification takes place during these sessions, they are just for enjoyment and experience building. Club boats are available to hire for these sessions.
They also run a youth sailing competition called the Emma Nettleship Trophy and prizes are awarded in various different age categories.
Situated on the lake at Haysden, which is near the River Medway, this club has been going since 1972. It is particularly family-friendly and welcomes interest from all ages. They cater to different ability and interest levels, from those with a casual interest right up to those who compete in races.
The club is a Royal Yachting Association accredited training centre and offers courses for both children and adults. A wide variety of boats are sailed here and they provide useful information on where to find a good second hand one of your own.