Top facebook2x Top email2x Email us Top webcam2x Webcam Top search2x Basket Login Join
Home / The Club / Frequently Asked Questions
Home / The Club / Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How may I contact someone to ask questions about Oxford Sailing Club (OSC)?

  • Website: The website is constantly being updated but already contains information that may answer your questions. You may use the website to join the club or renew your membership or please use the Contact Us page to ask questions not covered by the website.
  • Visit to the OSC office: There will be a Committee member on site in the OSC office every Sunday between 09:30 and 12:30 and Club members will be on duty at all organised sailing event times; the Officer of the Day (OOD) will wear a hi-vis tabard.
  • Email: (Contact Us Form) Committee members will respond to your emails as quickly as possible, normally within 48 hours.
  • Phone the OSC Office: (01865 863201) The office will only be routinely staffed on Sundays (see "Visit to the OSC office" above).
  • Facebook: Members may make use of Facebook to ask questions of other members and the OSC committee.

The Committee are all members with day jobs who have volunteered to be on the Committee. This means they are not available all of the time.

The people you may find particularly useful as a new member are:

  • Harbour master: Please contact Tess McKenney
  • Windsurfing Secretary: Russ Canning should be able to answer your windsurfing queries.
  • Sailing Secretary: contact Steve Gould with questions about racing.
  • Fleet Captains: Each racing fleet has a fleet captain, fleet details and contact email links are on the Dinghy Fleets.
  • Novice Fleet Captain: If you are new to sailing and feeling a bit apprehensive about racing we have a Novice Fleet. For more information about the fleet please see the Dinghy Fleets page or contact Tony Bell for more details and lots of encouragement!
  • New member information: To help you find your way around and understand how the Club 'works', take a look at our New Members Document. (member login required)

I see that there is a car park barrier, do I have to pay?

OSC members receive a car park swipe card in return for a £5 refundable deposit.

Members of the public pay £2.00 when exiting the car park barrier.

Visiting sailors for organised events should ask about arrangements when signing on for their event following arrival at the club house.

When may I sail?

The club is open all year round and members can sail between 9.00 am and sunset or 9.30 pm (whichever is earliest), subject to the two-boat rule - that is to say that there must be two boats or windsurfers on the water or one boat/windsurfer and a powerboat (safety cover). Between Easter and October, there are usually other users on the water most days but it is quieter in the winter. Also see When we sail at Farmoor.

How may I find out if the site is closed?

The reservoir site is managed by Thames Water. Normal site opening times are 08:00 - sunset or 10:00 pm (whichever is earliest), click here for the month by month times, for safety reasons the site is closed when it is dark. Thames Water will also close the site when poor weather conditions would make the site unsafe; such exceptional closures are first announced on Thames Water's Farmoor Fishing Facebook page.

Is there a cafe at the club?

Our caterers, The Waterside Cafe & Members Bar, provide food and soft drinks for all organised events (e.g. club racing and social events, open events and training events). They also aim to open 7 days a week from 09.00 to 16:00 and serve dinner until 20:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from April till October. They reserve the right to close if no one is around!

Is there a bar at the club?

The members only bar, is usually open to members during the day throughout the year, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings during the summer. Guests must be signed in by a member; proof of membership may be requested.

What is the definition of a 'family' membership?

A family membership is you, your partner or spouse and any children up to the age of 18 who are still living at home.

What age does youth membership go up to?

Youth membership is up to the age of 18. Young persons between ages 18-25 years are eligible for a young persons' discount on the adult membership.

What is the definition of 'student' membership?

For over 25 year olds in full time education, a student discount is available on production of a valid student ID card.

Do I have to pay a whole year's membership if I join part way through the membership year?

The membership year normally starts on 1st April. From mid-August, the more expensive memberships are pro-rated so 8/12 would be due if joining in August, 7/12 in September etc. Youth membership will not be pro-rated until mid-September. The exception is the "RYA Course Attendees" membership, designed for those adults who have recently completed an RYA Dinghy L1 or L2 or Start Windsurfing course: this first-season membership declines in price each month in recognition of the shorter sailing window for those who might not have acquired winter kit.

Can I join the club and sail on the same day?

As soon as you have paid your membership fees you may sail (see section above for When may I sail?). Until then you may sail if signed in as a guest by a member.

May I hire a boat or board?

OSC has equipment for members to hire at no charge. Please see the separate guide to equipment hire. Also see Pay & Play.

Can I bring a guest to the club?

Yes, members may sign in the same guest up to three times in any membership year and bring a maximum of three guests at a time. There is a guestbook or a guest sign in QR code in the hallway that must be completed.

Can under-18s be left at the club unattended?

Different supervision requirements apply to children (up to age 16) and young people (16-18).

Please see our Supervision Policy for details: Click here.

Is there a chandlery at the club?

We don't have a chandlery.

Will I be safe on the water?

Members are responsible for their own safety at all times, including when sailing whether or not safety boat cover is present. Unless you feel confident of your ability to go on the water without safety cover you should restrict your sailing to those days when safety cover is available.

The two-boat rule must always be observed you cannot be the only craft (boat or board) on the water (NB fishing boats do not count as a second craft). Safety boat cover is normally available only for organised sailing events.

How can I find out what the wind is like at Farmoor?

Visit the 'On the Water' sectiion of this website and visit the webcam or the weather station pages

How do I volunteer for duties?

We are a club run by members for members so we all take a part in that. Each adult member is expected to do at least two 'duties' per year, this may involve helping with racing on a Sunday, Wednesday evening or Saturday and other events we host including windsurfing. If you would like to help the club in some other way please speak with a member of the committee or use the Contact Us form

Racing teams are led by the Officer of the Day (OOD) with helpers to start, monitor and finish the race plus a Principal Rescue Officer (PRO) responsible for providing safety cover. The duties for this year may be already allocated but as part of the renewal process next year you will be asked for your preferences re days, dates to avoid etc. Please don't worry you won't be thrown in at the deep end, there are usually six in a team so there will be plenty of help and advice. If you would like to help out with racing this year please get in touch with Steve Gould (Sailing Secretary).

If something goes wrong and I want to complain?

Please contact David Oughton, the Commodore at

May I hire OSC rooms or facilities?

Rooms are available to hire, please contact us via the contact form on this site.

Last updated 11:17 on 4 February 2024

© 2024 Oxford Sailing Club powered by Sailing Club Manager