You may have heard of car co-ops, housing co-ops, gardening co-ops. Now, perhaps because of our easy proximity to the sea, some people in Sooke are in the process of putting together a sailing co-op.
The directors of the Sooke Sailing Association have done some groundwork to start up a Sailing Co-op in Sooke, and they would be happy to hand it over to a group of people interested in co-op sailing.
“We started Thursday night sails last year and got overwhelmed with people that wanted to learn or practice sailing,” indicated Gord Fulcher, the Commodore and one of the Directors of Sooke Sailing. “Also being a non-profit association with a focus on youth Sailing we have been offered keel boats to use or sell to help make our sailing camps for kids continue.”
The main goal would be cooperative ownership of boats for the purpose of training, day sailing and cruising, for adults as well as families.
Fulcher said there would be a booking calendar available, and each co-op member would get 300 hours a year. More time would be available by purchase, based on availability.
Experience is not necessary, said Fulcher.
“In order to skipper, there are courses and orientation procedures that must be followed. The only thing you must do is contribute 25 hours of work a year towards the club either administrating or maintaining our booth.”
Each co-op member would pay an annual fee and contribute their time towards maintenance, administration or social events (whatever your strengths or what you want to learn).
The costs like maintenance, insurance, moorage etc. would be covered by the yearly fees.
“In any case,” summed up Fulcher, it would cost “way less than owning your own boat.”
There are two boats available for the co-op. A 2007, Catalina 22 Mk II and a Catalina 27 which was generously donated this spring to help get a co-op started in Sooke by the Van Isle Sailing Co-op (Nanaimo). A minimum of two people are required to take out a boat, and the maximum capacity is five.
There will be an open house on June 1 starting at noon and running until 3:00 p.m. at Mariners Village docks. More information is available at sookesailing.com.
The Sooke Sailing Association a non-profit association in Sooke will be doing Thursday night sails again this year starting in June.
With notes from Gord Fulcher