Frequently asked Questions

Frequently asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about the club and its facilities (v1 – Aug 21)

Is your membership for 12 months?

Our membership runs from January through to December each year, not from when you joined. We do welcome memberships throughout the year though, contact membership@ncsc.org.uk for current details. 

Do we have to book to gain access to the facilities or use the water?

No, as a member you will be provided with a gate key and barrier code so you can come on to the club at any time throughout the year.  Access to the lake (and using the water) depends on the time of year (see below)

Can we use the water throughout the year?

No, not exactly, due to our Lease agreement with Trinity College, Cambridge there are some restrictions. From February until end of Sept we can use the water on any day. In October it is Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays and school half term. From November through to the end of January it is Wednesday and Sunday only, but there are plenty of days when you can access the water. 

Membership Duties – what does they mean and what are they?

We are a volunteer club and, as such, all water users over the age of 16 are expected to undertake sailing related duties during the year. This is usually about three per person and will initially be as a safety crew on a safety boat or a race clerk on a boat on the water when racing is taking place. This is a great way to meet other members of the Club, see racing close up and learn new skills. Members who do not use the water do not have to offer any duties. 

Can I volunteer to help the club in other ways as well?

Yes, as well as our Works and Ways events we are always looking for members to help repair or improve the grounds or Club house. There is also help needed for running the bar and with our social events programme. Many club members also help with our training courses and the popular junior Saturday Club. Just let us know what help you can offer.

Can we swim at NCSC?

Our Lease does not allow anyone to swim in the Lakes, except through organised swimming run by Love Open Water Swimming who have scheduled lifeguarded sessions. As a member of NCSC you can have reduced open water swimming rates. See our website for details.

Can we bring friends and relatives to the Club when we are members?

Yes, as a member this is great way to show friends and relatives the Club and might even encourage them to join us.  We ask that this is to a maximum of 4 people at a time, they need to be signed in and can attend for only 3 occasions a year as shore visitors. We do facilitate the use of the water, with a launch fee, for their own equipment (The rate for 2021 is £15 on each occasion for a board or dinghy and limits on casual or racing). All the details and current fees can be found posted at the bar or the website 

Can we hire the club room?

Yes. Members can hire the Club house for parties and functions. Speak to the Rear Commodore about availability and costs

As a member can we use our stand-up paddleboard (SUP)/kayak or canoe?

Yes. We have seen an increase in ownership of these since 2020 and members who are sailing category members can access the Lake to SUP and kayak. See SUP group

Do you offer a social membership as I don’t want to sail or use the water?

Yes. We have social membership categories see Fees and joining

Can I amend my category of membership once I join?

Yes. Please contact the membership secretary (email: membership@ncsc.org.uk) who can advise on any additional fees

Is there any help for purchasing a boat and can I keep it at the Club?

Yes. Most members will be only too happy to provide advice about all things boating. We also have a new members representative who can assist. The club has over 550 boat parks spaces, you will need to request a berth before bringing your dinghy to the Club. For further details see the boat park page or contact: boatpark@ncsc.org.uk

Do you offer RYA accredited sailing courses?

Yes. We offer a comprehensive range of dinghy and windsurfing courses.  Look at our dates and apply from our web site Learn to sail and courses

Can we bring dogs on to the Site?

Yes. Many members are dog owners and enjoy the opportunity of walking their dogs around the lakes. Dogs are expected to be on leads and under control. They are not allowed into the Club house (unless a guide dog). And, please remember to clear up after your dog.

As members can we camp at the Club?

As part of our Lease, Club members can only camp (under canvas, caravan or motor home) when a pre-arranged event or activity is taking place. This is advised via our club newsletter. We are not a registered camp site and there are no electric power points or waste disposal facilities. Camping is not allowed at any other time.

I have heard about your junior Saturday Club, when does it operate  and can we take part?

Club volunteers run a very popular junior Saturday Club between 10 and 12.30 usually from early May until end of August. It is run as an activity for novice juniors (from around the age of five or six). The aim is to have fun, get wet and meet other junior members. It is free because it is solely run by parents, as volunteers, assisted by competent group leads. As a parent you are expected to be on-site at all times and help.  It is not a free activity club to drop children off and collect. It is a non-accredited RYA programme of activity. Club boats are used for the sessions so there is no need to buy a boat to take part, it is a stepping stone to meet other members and get juniors (and parents) engaged in sailing.

I have juniors who I think will want to do RYA courses and also might want to race or gain sailing qualifications, does the Club offer anything?

The simple answer is YES.  The back-bone of the Club is made up of members who joined the Club and attended our popular junior Saturday Club, moved on to the junior youth development squad and then went on to obtain RYA qualifications.  Similarly, adults can undertake a transition sailing programme as well as our accredited RYA courses. Racing is the mainstay of our Club and there is plenty of opportunity to race and improve skills. Chat to a member of the Executive or Training Committees. They will be more than happy to provide you with more information

Can I store my boat at the Club and do I need insurance?

We have limited number of boat berths. It is not intended as a storage facility. Boat berths are allocated to sailing category members with the appropriate membership and berth fee attached, payable each year.  There are limits (based on Portsmouth Yardstick (PY)) on boats which can be sailed or berthed at the Club. Insurance is required for any boat at the Club even if not sailing.

Is there catering at the Club?

We are very fortunate to have Pauline and her team who have provided catering at the Club for over 25 years. Hot and cold food is available when there is scheduled racing. As a guide catering is available: Tuesday evening (basic cobs), Thursday evening, Saturday and Sunday until around 14.00 depending on demand. This includes a cooked breakfast on Sunday morning. There is an honesty box for members to make hot drinks at the Galley.

The Bar is open when volunteers are available.

Are there changing facilities?

There are changing rooms and hot showers available for all including an accessibility changing area. 

How do I obtain a gate key and keypad barrier code?

As a new member you will be provided with one key for the two track gates and club house along with the current keypad code.  Additional keys can be purchased from the bar at £5 each. Members need to ensure they are familiar with checking the club house and making sure all is locked and secure.

Can I sail any type of boat at the Club and can I keep my road base at the Club?

We have an upper limit on boats which is based on the Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) and size of craft. A good guide is the PY of a 505/K6. We have no room for yachts or motorboats. Road bases can be kept in the coppice area (not in boat berth spaces) but will need tagging for identification. 

I have more questions, who can I ask? 

Brilliant, ask any member, all are very approachable or contact Kathryn the membership secretary at membership@ncsc.org.uk