There are absolutely no reasons why you couldn't. We are open to everyone at Cambridge University - Students, Fellows, and Staff. We also occasionally admit affiliate members from other universities and educational establishments - Application in these circumstances should be to the Commodore.
CUYC adheres to a sign-up preference policy to ensure that Junior Members (current students) get priority when signing up for trips and events. You can read more about this in CUYC regulations, at the bottom of section 'C. Membership'.
Not a problem at all. Beginners and complete novices are very welcome on all trips unless stated otherwise (some adventurous excursions are restricted to experienced sailors only).
If you don't have any experience at all, don't worry, we'll teach you (almost) everything! Training is an integral part of all CUYC trips and there are always people on board who are happy to show novices what to do and how to sail. Most skippers usually fill up their cabin with a whole library of books if you want to know more!
Everyone learns whilst having fun and having a nice holiday.
If you're very keen, you'll find many opportunities to get qualifications with us. We are an RYA accredited sailing school, and do theory and practical training courses. We use the RYA scheme: Competent Crew, Day Skipper etc. and 5-day courses for these run typically at the beginning and end of Michaelmas Term. When you are ready we will also coach you for the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal exam and once you have passed this you will be a CUYC Skipper and able to skipper yachts on CUYC trips. After that, you could continue to RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore and RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Ocean as part of the RYA Training Scheme, as well as gaining other qualifications in instruction and technical competence. Informal preparation and training are done as part of a standard trip, and you should notify the Training Officer of your wish to take one of the formal courses. The RYA/MCA skipper qualifications are trained for on specific trips and including skills weekends and exam weekends.
More about the qualifications on the CUYC Training Scheme page
Affordable and safe sailing is our constitutional promise to you, and we are making every effort to fulfil it!
Each crew has an officially qualified skipper, and club-approved first mate and watch leader. The latter two should, in the event of any difficulty, be able to get the boat back to a safe haven with little or no assistance - see CUYC Training Scheme for a full description of their skills and responsibilities. Skipper and first mate hold a First Aid Certificate and a VHF/SRC License.
We also have an official safety policy.
In the website page for every trip, there is a button 'Kit' that will tell you what you need to bring as clothes, footware and a sleeping bag. In addition, you'll need waterproofs and sea boots to fully enjoy the sailing. If you have some, bring them along. If you don't we have new and good quality Club Waterproofs and boots for which there is a tiny hire charge of £5 and £2 per trip respectively.
Our waterproofs are the MPX range from Musto. Here's a copy of their sizing guide:
If you like sailing, but you are seasick to the point that it spoils the fun, don't despair, it is possible to get rid of it! Different people are seasick in different ways. Some are never seasick. Good for them (bastards!). Some only become seasick when the weather and the sea are a bit rough. The unlucky ones are seasick as soon as the boat hits the 10th small wave. In every case, it should be possible for you to get rid of the problem, but the treatment would be different in every case. The simplest is to get 'travel calm tablets' over the counter. There are many different sorts but it's not guaranteed that all will be satisfactory for everyone. Our experience (and other sailors') seems to show that the best ones contain Hyoscine Hydrobromide or Scopolamine. They usually last 6 hours and have few side effects (sometimes drowsiness) if any. If you need more, you should talk to your GP and ask him to prescribe you something stronger. One type of drug that has proved to work very well is transdermal Scopolamine or Hyoscine, either in patches (lasting 72 hours) or in gel. You won't get them over the counter and their side effects can be quite strong the first time you use them (drowsiness, dryness in the mouth). It shouldn't take you long to get your 'sea legs', and you should then be able to sail without any medication.
The boat is insured which covers third party, and usually medical evacuation.
If you are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or of Switzerland, possession of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (This has replaced the E111 form), entitles you to free acute health care in any of the EEA countries & Switzerland. To check whether you are entitled to this form, or to see a list of the countries covered, go to the NHS/EHIC website. If possible a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should definitely be obtained before coming on a trip with us abroad, to the EEA or Switzerland. You can get a EHIC by applying online.
Details of reciprocal healthcare agreements that the UK holds with countries outside the EEA/Switzerland are available here.
The only thing you are not covered for is repatriation from a foreign country to the UK in case of medical problems. If you want that you need travel insurance which covers sailing which can be got for ~£20 per trip.
If you would like more information for a particular trip, please email the trip organiser.