Development plan 2016-2021

This is the Development Plan for Shoreham Sailing Club (‘the Club’). It aims to chart the way forward over the next five years to ensure the Club continues to thrive in the future, and that the Committee is working to meet objectives that contribute to achieving the Club’s vision.

It is built on a number of discussions in the Committee, and consultation with the membership via an online questionnaire. The Plan is a live document and is reviewed and updated annually following the election of a new Committee.


The Shoreham Sailing Club Development Plan 2016-2021 can be downloaded as a Word document and should be read in association with the Action plan – Appendix 1.

The purpose is to:

  • Review the Club’s current situation.
  • Identify opportunities to further enhance the standing of the club.
  • Develop an overall strategy for the next five years
  • Establish a prioritised plan of action with identified resources.

The aim of the Club is to be a dinghy sailing club of choice for racing and recreational sailors, of all ages and membership categories, provided at an affordable price and in a friendly environment. The club aims to provide;

  • Safe and competitive dinghy racing and enjoyable recreational sailing.
  • Opportunities for club members to improve boating skills
  • An inclusive and thriving social calendar across all categories of membership.

The Club has an active programme and many members take responsibility for helping to run its operations and activities. This includes committee work, operating the bar and galley, maintaining and improving the club facilities, and running sailing and social events.

The membership of the club as of 31st December 2015 is as follows:

  • Single: 83
  • Family: 42 (21 include cadets)
  • Young person/Student: 3
  • Cadets: 1
  • Honorary: 5
  • Associate members: 12
  • Total: 146

Of these there are approximately 55 members regularly participating in racing activities.

After a period of growth between the late 90s and 2004, the membership is now stable with an annual turnover of around 15%. As an example in the 2015 season 29 members did not re-join but the Club gained 20 new members. However, the average age of membership is rising, which raises concerns about maintaining present membership levels and the related income.

Over recent years the club has invested in improved facilities and introduced some new activities:


  • Built a new balcony
  • Provided a longer term fix for the slipway
  • Secure storage for Scout activities


  • Opportunities for family and improvers
  • Updated the support boat fleet
  • Run open meetings for a variety of classes
  • Collaborated with Lancing Sailing Club to run joint racing events
  • Formed a mutually beneficial relationship with The Scouts

The first step to developing the plan:


  • Ideal place to sail (safe launching and challenging sea courses)
  • Attractive location for families, with sheltered bathing and a large lawned area for recreational activities on non-racing days
  • Active programme of class and handicap racing
  • Popular location for national open meetings
  • Good selection of class fleets
  • Enthusiastic core membership
  • Improver training programme and opportunities to develop boating skills
  • Affordable fees
  • Ample free car parking
  • Clubhouse and race support facilities in good shape
  • Secure lease
  • Stable membership


  • Only a minority of members participate in racing
  • Racing format fails to engage some younger or less experienced members.
  • No organised recreational sailing programme
  • Insufficient vision and direction from lack of development plan.
  • No real growth in membership
  • Low public profile


  • An ageing membership profile.
  • Fees would need to rise for a declining membership to fund further investment in facilities and maintenance of current standards.
  • Uncertainty over freehold of site.
  • Lack of volunteers to cover safety boat duties.
  • Poorly secured site allowing opportunities for theft and vandalism.


  • Increase skill levels of membership to increase involvement.
  • Increase membership to improve financial strength and activity level.
  • Engage better with membership and promote to potential new members.
  • New slipway and improved sea defences will vastly improve the facilities.
  • Develop sailing programme to encourage more youngsters and less experienced sailors to get involved.
  • Provide more opportunities for recreational sailors and watersports users.
  • Build stronger links with local youth and educational groups to provide a formal pathway from beginner to racer.
  • Active pursuit of grants to fund improvements.
  • Raise public profile of the club locally and nationally to attract members.
  • Increase security onsite to provide safe and secure boat storage.
  • Explore opportunities to purchase freehold from Shoreham Port Authority.

The views of the membership were sought through an on-line survey. This produced 42 responses which prioritised the areas members felt that the club should develop over future years. The feedback identified the following areas (in order of priority);

  1. Junior and youth sailing
  2. Securing the freehold of the club
  3. Increasing opportunities for less experienced racers
  4. General and race coaching
  5. Short course racing
  6. Developing links with local clubs
  7. Promoting recreation sailing and cruising
  8. Facility development
  9. Promotion and publicity
  10. Volunteer training

Looking at the top five points, with the exception of securing the freehold, the emphasis is on developing our juniors, coaching and racing, which is underpinned by developing links with local clubs, promotion and publicity and volunteer training. Promoting recreational sailing and cruising is a new concept for the club, but was keenly supported, and the positioning of facilities development below securing the freehold puts the emphasis on the latter when looking for funding.

Our communication with the membership was generally considered good with the majority of respondents using the website and membership emails to access news about the club.

Having identified the requirement to ensure the Club continues to thrive in the future, it is not enough to maintain the current situation. The club needs to develop to ensure that our current members’ needs are met, new members are recruited, and all are encouraged to fully participate in club activities.

By prioritising the areas for development identified by members, we hope to address our current weaknesses and alleviate the threats, and put us in a position where in 2021 we are;

  • Increasing membership through targeting junior and youth activities.
  • Using a racing format that engages more junior and less experienced members.
  • Offering training and coaching opportunities for members to improve their skills.
  • Secure in relation to the freehold position of the club.
  • Creating more opportunities for recreational sailors.
  • Providing vision and direction for the club through a development plan.
  • Raising the public profile of Shoreham SC.

The principal targets for the club over the next 5 years will be;

  1. Develop opportunities for junior and youth sailing
  2. Secure the freehold of the Club and develop facilities
  3. Increase opportunities for less experienced racers
  4. Provide skill development opportunities for members (incl. safety boat)
  5. Introduce recreational sailing and cruising opportunities
  6. Raise the Club profile and encourage member engagement

This is a summary of our action plan – the working document is available as Appendix 1.

  1. Freehold and facilities: Secure the freehold of the Club and develop facilities by;
    1. Approaching Shoreham Port regarding the club freehold (subject to funding)
    2. Exploring funding opportunities for facility development (including freehold)
    3. Oversee new slipway as part of the Environment Agencies tidal walls project.
    4. Looking at developing a training room and improved storage (subject to funding).
  2. Junior and youth sailing: Develop the opportunities for junior and youth sailing by;
    1. Building strong links with Adur Sailing Club, Sussex Yacht Club and the Scouts
    2. Nurturing our current junior and family members
    3. Creating and implementing a development pathway
    4. Investigating the benefits of becoming an RYA Championship club
  3. Racing: Increase opportunities for less experienced racers by;
    1. Reviewing the racing programme to include short course racing opportunities.
    2. Providing race training by introducing a buddy system and regular coaching.
    3. Introducing a junior club event targeting the Club juniors and linked clubs.
    4. Including a youth open event to the race programme.
  4. Skill development: Raise the skill levels of our volunteers and sailors by;
    1. Promoting crewing opportunities online.
    2. Offering safety boat volunteer training opportunities.
    3. Running race officer training sessions and buddy system.
    4. Encouraging and supporting members to get RYA qualified (especially PB2).
  5. Recreational: Introduce recreation and cruising opportunities by;
    1. Creating a mailing group for recreational sailors.
    2. Surveying recreational sailors about their requirements.
    3. Promoting the Club as a recreational sailing venue.
    4. Establish demand and explore opportunities for club cruises, recreational events
  6. Profile and engagement: Raise the club’s public profile and encourage member engagement by;
    1. Building relationship with local press to improve coverage of the Club.
    2. Organising and publishing a social programme including new member event.
    3. Work with Sussex Yacht Club to deliver their anniversary event.
    4. Run an Open day targeting local residents

Next steps

The next steps are outlined in Appendix 1 and include an annual evaluation of the Club’s progress against the Plan objectives and revise accordingly.