Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer introductory sailing with a member or trainer?

The answer is a qualified "Yes" depending on availability of a skipper. Contact our Membership Officer and ask.

I have never sailed. Can I join your Co-op?

Yes, absolutely! We will train you to sail our boats on Semiahmoo Bay.

On your membership application you offer full, associate and social memberships. Can I join as an associate my first year?

No. Associate membership is only for full members who would like to take a break, but do not want to undergo the full training and initiation again.

We are a couple. Do you offer a discount for couples?

No, sorry. Our goal is to keep our membership fees low and provide the best sailing experience in the Lower Mainland. C-operative sailing is the best deal you will find and you get the added bonus of 100 plus friends to call up and sail with you!

I'm a new member. Now what?

New members will be telephoned by our Membership Officer. You will be given website passwords to explore the members area of the website, which contains lots of good information about the operation of our club. You will also be contacted by a Training Officer to set up your training. This  requires classroom training as well as the on-the-water training.

When can I meet other members?

All guests and new members are welcome at our monthly meetings at the Rotary Field House in South Surrey Athletic Park, held every third Thursday of each month, except July, August and December. As a new member, the best way to meet others (and be offered opportunities to go sailing) is to come out and help with boat maintenance. The Preventative Maintenance day is scheduled every third Saturday of each month, from 08:00 to 11:00 hours at the end of the White Rock Pier.

When can I go sailing?

A new member will be given access to the members' area of the website, and the best way to go sailing is to contact other members on the membership list and ask! Most of us would rather go sailing for the afternoon than mow the grass or do other chores.  A trainer will be assigned to you, your new group will consist of 3 plus a trainer and between the four of you, you will make your trainig dates.  

When can I go see the boats?

New members will be given the code to the gatehouse, and are encouraged to go down on their own and look over the boats. They are also encouraged to book a boat and spend time exploring, opening hatches and lockers and spend some time reading the binder on board which will contain information about the club, the boat and sailing.

How do I book a boat?

New members will be given access to the Online Booking System, with their own password. Training on the booking system will be done as well in a classroom session.

Where can I find more information about sailing in the Co-op?

New members can explore the website. It is full of information and is being updated regularly. Ask another member, they will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Where do I find the information about training requirements?

There is a Traiining menu on the members page, with links to various aspects of training. This is a good place to start.

Who do I talk to about the training that I need?

Start by speaking to the Training Co-ordinator. He/she will be able to give you the times for classroom training and organize with you for on-the-water training with a training skipper.

What sort of courses should I be taking?

Even though we will train you to sail our boats, you will still need some basic courses. All sailors must have a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operators Card (PCOC). You should also consider taking either Canadian Yachting Association Basic Cruising or International Sail and Power Academy Day Skipper courses. Canadian Power and Sail Squadron "Basic Boating" is also a good course to take. You will also need to have a Restricted Radio Operators' Certificate (Maritime) for operating the VHF radio.  These certificates are not included in your membership fees and will cost extra.  

How much time do I have to do these courses?

Since we are only training you to sail our own boats, the minimum you must have before you begin is the PCOC. The rest should be done as soon as practicable. Our training usually take three to four months, depending on your experience and aptitude. Some people are done in weeks, others prefer a more laid back approach.

Is there a test to become a sailing skipper?

Yes. In order to be allowed to skipper one of our boats for day sailing in Semiahmoo Bay, you must have been recommended by your trainer as ready to be tested and then you must prove your ability by sailing with our Training Officer who will test you on your skills and knowledge.

When do I start practical training?

We usually try to have a few classroom sessions in March and early April. By then, the weather has warmed up and trainers will take you out for practical sailing experience.

What study should I do to prepare?

Learn your basic terminology of a sailboat structure, of the sails and of the lines involved. It is like a foreign language, and if you have already some idea of what things are called, you will progress much more quickily. Learn some basic knots and PRACTICE them! Reef knot, bowline, clove hitch, figure eight knot and belaying (securing) to a cleat are all necessary. Check our website links to other sites which help explain some of these things.

What should I wear sailing?

First, you need non-marking no slip shoes. It is a good idea to cover your toes on a sailboat, so open-toed sandals should be avoided. Wear a hat, bring a polarfleece jacket and a windbreaker. It's always colder on the water! Sunscreen is another must have. Use it!