Are you interested in diving deeper into the world of sailing and racing in Bermuda?
Many of the boat clubs and yacht clubs found in this part of the world are highly competitive and are focused around sailing from the May through late August season.
A membership to one of these clubs grants you access to their Bermuda Fitted Dinghy, plenty of events and luxurious locations and access to their extravagant amenities.
If you want to know which boat club is right for you, here is all the information you need to know about the top boat clubs in Bermuda.
Sandys Boat Club
Located in Somerset, Sandys Boat Club had humble beginnings as a group of men regularly organized races amongst themselves in Mangrove Bay. Eventually, they extended the invitation to others and officially formed what is now known as the Sandys Boat Club.
This boat club may not have a fancy country club atmosphere, but it does have several activities you can join in on. Newcomers to the water may want to sign up for Junior Sailing, where they can learn the fundamentals. More experienced sailors may want to come to the club to cheer on or race the Challenger 2.
They even sponsor junior racing events to satisfy your competitive spirit.
Other Events & Amenities
In addition to sailing, you can also join them for a great time with all the things non-sailing. They offer a wide array of sports, including cricket, darts, snooker, golf, and fishing.
They also have a non-mariners event that promises a great time each year. This gives you an opportunity to get out on the water and float around with others in a non-conventional way. Make a raft out of pool noodles or get creative for a fun time that is sponsored by Sandys Boat Club.
To be approved for membership, you must be sponsored by two current members.
The application costs $100 for full or joint membership and $50 for collegiate or senior membership.
Spanish Point Boat Club
The Spanish Point Boat Club has been growing tremendously since its initiation in 1943.
It has survived two location moves and boasts an increasing fleet with more than fourteen ships ranging in size from twelve feet to twenty-two feet.
One of the main advantages of signing up with the Spanish Point Boat Club is the amenities offered at their clubhouse. You can rent private slips and moorings right off of Spanish Point, play a few rounds of pool or snooker, or relax on the private members-only beach. Of course, you can also enjoy a delicious drink at their full-service bar.
Joining the Spanish Point Boat Club is an affordable investment compared to some boat clubs. Below are the rates you can expect:
- Junior (age ten to thirteen): $37.50 annually with an initiation fee of $60
- Intermediate (age fourteen to seventeen): $131.25 annually with an initiation fee of $130
- Senior (age eighteen and up): $375 annually with an initiation fee of $600
New members must be proposed and seconded by a current member who has been there for five or more years.
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is one of the oldest boat clubs in the history of the world. It was founded back in 1844 and received its charter as a royal yacht club just two years later. They have been an instrumental part of the development of regatta racing in Bermuda.
If you sign up for a membership with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, you are entitled to certain benefits. The club operates year-round and can provide a club berth to load or offload your boat. However, you will have to sign up on a waitlist to secure one of these coveted spots.
Along with access to the marina, you also gain access to the club vessel known as the Cleopatra. Members can also borrow their dinghies and other boats on a first-come-first-served basis. Day boat parking is also available.
Outside of sailing, you can enjoy the many amenities that are offered by the club. They host many international regattas where you can have a front-row seat to the action.
You also gain reciprocal benefits at any of the other Royal Yacht Clubs worldwide.
This is great if you plan to do a little bit of traveling.
Dining options are for members, guests, and reciprocal members only. They have open-air dining options with marina views so that you can enjoy a luxurious meal directly on the water. You can also rent out their private rooms and make use of in-house catering for any major events that you have coming up.
Pricing and full benefits are based on what type of membership you sign up for. There are four different levels with varying benefits:
- Youth membership
- Affiliate membership
- Non-resident membership
- Full resident membership
Both non-residents and full residents can vote in club affairs, propose membership, wear Club colors, rent a berth, and attend member-only events. Only a full-resident membership may hold office in the club and serve on a standing committee.
Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club
The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club is the only royal dinghy club in the world.
They are mostly focused on the sport of sailing and are highly interested in having junior participation in their events and around the club.
They are well-known for participating in and sponsoring sailing regattas throughout the year.
The marina hosts a couple of services that might appeal to berth holders and renters. First, they offer a vessel inspection concierge service monthly or upon request by the marina manager. It also offers a pump outstation.
This club is home to the Elizabeth II, their Bermuda Fitted Dinghy. They are also a host to the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Association that runs races from May to August each year. The competition is primarily between the four major clubs in the area:
- Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club
- Sandys Boat Club
- Royal Remuda Yacht Club
- George’s Dinghy and Sports Club
If you love the idea of a full-immersion experience in your yacht club, then you may want to take advantage of their restaurants and bars. On the lower level is their Lower Bar for more informal drinks and dining. They even have a separate branch with a fireplace to keep you warm during those chilly months.
Upstairs, they have rooms available for rent for private dinners or lunches. You get the same beautiful views of the water but from a higher elevation. There is also a second bar upstairs that you can partake in following a lovely meal prepared by their full-service kitchen.
There are varying levels of membership dues for the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club based on your age. Here are the rates that you can expect:
|Over 35 years||$2,190||$3,500|
|33 to 34 years||$1,435||$1,250|
|30 to 32 years||$865||$750|
|25 to 29 years||$295||$250|
St. George’s Dinghy and Sports Club
Compared to some of the other clubs that have a long and illustrious history, St. George’s Dinghy and Sports Club is relatively new. It formed in 1946 as an amalgamation of several different clubs who came together to create one beautiful group. They are known not just for sailing but for playing sports like rugby, football, cricket, golf, tennis, water polo, and rowing.
Like many of the other clubs on this ranking, the regatta and racing are an important part of the culture at St. George’s. The Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Victory IV sails under the club colors in competitions throughout the year.
The amenities at St. George’s are sure to rival any of the other boat clubs on this listing.
You can enjoy a sports bar with big-screen televisions, dart boards, pool tables, snooker tables, wireless internet, and more. You can even do your laundry here and take a quick shower. If the bar isn’t your scene, you can also use their outdoor barbecues or hang out on the balcony for a scenic sunset setting.
One of the perks of berthing at St. George’s Dinghy and Sports Club is that you can choose what kind of berthing suits you best. You can apply for long-term pricing or transient pricing. Long-term pricing is extremely affordable at $7.50 per foot and $30 maintenance per month. Transient pricing is slightly less expensive.
Keep in mind that membership rates will vary based on the type of membership you apply for. Here are the annual fees based on membership type:
- Full member: $500 with a $500 assessment fee
- Associate member: $300
- Overseas member: $500
- Junior member (ages eight to eighteen): $20
Many of the boat clubs in Bermuda are in direct competition with one another.
You should consider which one is conveniently located nearest to you and who you want to root for in the next regatta.
No matter which boat club you select, you are sure to enjoy yourself when you immerse yourself fully in all of the amenities that one of these clubs has to offer.
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Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.