The Sailing Survey is history now and thanks to Bruce Harmer for fielding all of the entries. Thank you to all who took the time to give us your thoughts. A number of facts came out of the survey which will be used to organizing our racing program in the future.
Reference to BYSC is the Beaufort Yacht & Sailing Club and BCSB is the former Junior Sailing of Beaufort, now known as Beaufort Community Sailing & Boating, still a 501C3.
In summarizing the results we find the following facts:
- Of the 31 respondents two-third owned boats. That’s 21 sailors, but they own 38 boats. Huh? Yes, many of us have more than one. Of the 38 boats most were dinghies but we also had 7 catboats and 7 keelboats.
- We have 24 sailors who race and they participated in Spring Series, Fall Series, local regattas and a good number went to away regattas. That is an important for the turnout for our own regattas since reciprocity is the key to building regatta attendance. When you go to an away regatta other sailors tend to come to your regatta.
- Unfortunately our sailors are aging and most are over the age of 60. We kind of knew this but the survey validated that. We need more younger sailors to come out.
- Most were males but I hear that there are a group of female Sunfish sailors planning to get organized this spring. That would be great.
- There was support for hiring a Sailing Director who would split his/her time between the Beaufort Yacht & Sailing Club program and the Beaufort Community Sailing & Boating program. This would be a positive change to our sailing program but we just have to find a way to fund this director. Ideas?
- We missed some demographics in the survey, like the 30-50 year olds and our junior sailors were also not well represented in the survey but in the case of the latter the Duer’s have a good handle on that group. There are at least 10 youngsters that are active in the Opti and Bic classes and they are constantly off to regattas around the southeast. When we don’t see them on Sunday’s it is because the Duer’s are travelling again.
- It was interesting that a lot of boaters would like some organized cruises, both day trips and weekend jaunts to locations up and down the Atlantic shore. This will probably be officially organized in the near future.
- Most of the active sailors also participate in race committee in all of the various roles.
Some specific suggestions for improvements.
- In regard to fleet racing we need to devise a way to encourage the less experienced sailors so that they don’t get discouraged by finishing behind the more experienced every time. Spend time mentoring them, have chalk talks, recognize improvement/accomplishments.
- We need class leaders-those who are always selling fleet racing, taking people for rides, communicating. Our Friday nights are good example of an opportunity to talk sailing with prospective members. Take juniors out or have them crew for an MC. Be proactive in promoting out sport.
- Consider selling the JY15 fleet and start a program to buy a larger family type boat such as a Sonar or another stable boat, probably a keelboat that will hold 6-8 persons for training.
- Upgrade the Sunfish fleet. Sunfish are being used for Summer Camp and some series racing. A lady’s group is interested in sailing and it is a great beginner type boat. It is a good senior boat as well and there is an active senior circuit in the southeast. Make a concerted effort to convince the board to start budgeting for a new boat or two each year.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. We have to keep correct information flowing regarding the sailing program. Again, it’s selling our sport.
- In my personal opinion we need to have a close alliance with BCSB and help them with their programs. Cooperation between BYSC and BCSB is the future of sailing in Beaufort. They may need volunteer help to accomplish their goals.
Sailing has always been a major part of BYSC and we have one of the best sailing venues around. With continued club support and member participation we can make it even better.
See you on the water,