Survey reveals yachting offers a low cost access to an up market life style
Results revealed in first ever Victorian wide club sailing survey
A traditional sport fights back for increased participation
A state wide survey of yacht clubs just completed by Yachting Victoria blows out of the water the old worn perception that to go sailing you need to be wealthy enough to buy a boat.
The study conducted as a major part of stage one of the $400,000 Go Sailing and Boating funded by the Victorian Government, reveals that 75% of nearly 20,000 people at Victorian clubs are not boat owners.
And that most (45%) of the boats on club registers are low cost off the beach craft, that cost less than those hi tech road bikes seen ridden by thousands of cyclists along Beach Road each week.
Of 15,000 people who crewed on someone else’s boat, many who belonged to clubs paid fees as low as $200 a year to enjoy the excitement of an up market on water lifestyle. This is about the same cost as a month of return train trips to work in city from Sandringham station.
And for those thousands who crewed on the more than 1,500 club registered keel boats over summer, many enjoyed highly social mid week races and weren’t required to pay membership fees for their first few weeks.
The average cost of a trailable yacht that can be towed behind a family car is about half the cost of a four person caravan whilst the average cost of a keelboat is about the same as an Australian made 4WD.
The field survey which is the first of its kind in the state was conducted between March and June2007 with 52 clubs who have signed on to undertake the new Go Sailing and Boating program that is being managed by Yachting Victoria.
CEO of Yachting Victoria, Ross Kilborn (left) says, "The Survey set out to establish for the first time our sport’s key metrics and to establish what are the clubs’ key issues and most critical needs are.
"It confirms that sailing isn’t for the rich and famous and that clubs want to significantly grow participation."
Survey’s key findings
- Most clubs want to attract a large number of new and retain existing members
- Majority of club members don’t own a boat
- The average cost of an entry level boat is about the same as a good bike
- Most clubs provide shared public access
- Sailing is very accessible to the public
- Non boat owning crewing is very affordable way to enjoy the on water lifestyle
- Most clubs conduct open days to encourage new members
- Clubs say they need to attract 350 more officials who will need training
Nearly half of the clubs surveyed have disabled access and facilities.
Weekly on water lifestyle participation over summer is 6,700 people a week, whilst traditional weekend racing (excluding winter) remains the predominant activity for all club members attracting 3,900 or 58.2% sailors. Twilight midweek racing during daylight saving months continues to grow attracting 1,800 people or 27% of participants, whilst social sailing and cruising attracts over 1000 people a week. There are nearly 600 officials involved with on the water activity, including race management, instructing (training) and coaching and clubs want to increase these numbers. Johnny Rodgers, the Program Manager who conducted the survey says, "Clubs say they need an extra 350 volunteers to help cope with next season’s race programs and to grow the sport." Two thirds of Clubs have shared public access to the water and over 60% run open days to encourage public involvement. On November 11th this year most city based clubs are opening their door on mass.
Go Sailing and Boating Open Sunday November 11th
A free Go Sailing Day on Sunday November 11th gives the public a unique opportunity to step inside the yacht club of their choice and soak up its unique atmosphere.
Visitors will be introduced to the members, can try out a range of members boats for a test sail, speak to experts first hand about sailing and boating opportunities, learn about coaching and training courses, find out about the fun social scene and the tangible benefits of becoming a yacht club member.
Clubs will stage activities that are safe and fully supervised that are suitable for people aged six to seventy, especially for those who have had no previous boating experience.
Victorian Go Sailing & Boating program at a glance
The $400,000 State Government funded Go Sailing & Boating program is available to all clubs at no cost and it is designed to establish a stronger grass roots base for the future growth of member clubs and the sport through state wide training of race officers, instructors and coaches.
It is being managed by Yachting Victoria and it is about growing grass roots capacity first to develop sailing for planned future success through an expanded foundation of increased participation, increased skills and attracting more qualified volunteers.
Ross Kilborn CEO Yachting Victoria Ph 03 9597 0066 - Button 8
Media: Mike Sabey – Sabey & Associates Ph 9533 8030 Mob 0418 354 732