EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SAILING, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK.....
How do I learn to sail?
There are various options available to you:
- You could join our training programs as listed in our Sailing Programme;
- You could book a boat and go out with a 'tindal'; who is a fully trained and qualified seaman;
- You could merely show up on race days, and we would put you on a racing boat where you would learn the ropes.
Are children permitted to sail?
Certainly! You may sail as a family, but please do remember to pick up buoyancy aids from Reception. In fact - we have a special category of boats called Optimist; which is designed to accommodate children between the ages of 8 to 15. If your child shows an interest in sailing, we have an Optimist Training Program in place.
RBYC primarily has what's classified as Seabird Class of boats, as also the Optimist for children; while our sister club, Colaba Sailing Club has the Lightning Class of boats.
Is sailing expensive?
Not in the least? Charges are levied for boats and not on number of people going sailing. For example - an afternoon sail from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm would cost Rs. 100/- on a weekday, and Rs. 200/- on a weekend (rates subject to taxes and changes).
May I invite friends to sail?
Yes. The maximum complement, including tindal’s and kids (whatever age), is four on a Lightning and five on a Seabird. All categories of Members or Associates may invite guests for a sail.
Is it mandatory for me to know how to swim?
Not essential. You can always wear a buoyancy aid/life jacket for your safety. Buoyancy aids are provided on board our boats - in any event, it is recommended these are worn for your safety. For children sailing on an Optimist; proficiency in swimming is compulsory, as are wearing of buoyancy aids.
Is it compulsory to sail with a tindal?
On a Seabird - yes. On a Lightning - also yes, until you pass the Qualified Helmsman Test.
How and when can I book a boat?
The three clubs (RBYC, BSA and CSC) have pooled their boats. Booking Register lies with the Sailing Supervisor, Mr. Rajan (Telephone number: (022 - 22882788) during office hours and with the receptionist of the Royal Bombay Yacht Club after office hours. You may book a boat up to four days in advance, if you book before 7:00 pm. If you are at the Club after 7:00 pm, you are able to make a booking for the fifth day, for a morning or afternoon sail (for example: if you wish to sail on Sunday afternoon, the earliest you may book is on the previous Tuesday - 7:00 pm onwards, and so on). Please be sure to put down the time you plan to go sailing.
You may also make a provisional booking as well, in advance. In case you cannot come on the preceding fifth day, you may fill in a Boat Requisition Form and hand it over to Reception any number of days earlier; the Sailing Supervisor will action your booking at the appropriate time. In case, the number of requisitions exceeds the number of boats there would be a draw, so do please check the register, or you may telephone to confirm your booking (all other terms and conditions of booking and cancellation are printed in the booking rules book, also available with the Receptionist. Do kindly read these?). In addition, Boat Requisitions may also be made online.
How do I get into my booked boat?
Arrive (at the booked time) at the top of the slipway (the sloping pier) which is across from the heritage wing of the Taj Mahal Hotel. You will see some tindal’s sporting a dark blue uniform; they have already read booking register the previous day and will usually be waiting for you. If this seems hopeless, yell the boat's name in all directions - he will materialize out of thin air or probably be in a little dinghy waiting to row you out! Leave the rest to him, and please tread carefully on the slipway!
What do I wear?
Anything goes.....shorts, jeans - but a cap, sunglasses and shoes or sandals with a good grip are recommended. For a race, a water resistant stopwatch and a small multipurpose penknife are handy. Gold chains, etc. - usually fall into the sea.
What is the best time to sail? How far can I go?
The morning land breeze provides an excellent sail during the first part of the season until February. The late afternoon wind guarantees you a sail throughout the season - do pay heed to the tindal's advice of how far you should go and when you should begin your return, until you know the harbour well enough. Tindal's are watchful over various conditions like strong ebb tides and out of bounds areas between Middle Ground and the Naval Dockyard; dangerous reefs extending south of Oyster Rock etc. Do carry sufficient drinking water.
What if I come on a race day and no one takes me on their boat?
This hasn't happened yet! Without enthusiastic new comers - it is unlikely this would ever happen, if at all?
DRAWING OF BOAT BOOKINGS: When booking of boats opens for a race day (at 7:00 pm, five days before the race day) all Members who have made bookings to either sail or casually sail are informed of the outcome of their request; there is no priority afforded to Members who wish to race over Members who wish to go out for a casual sail.