On the dock
We are based on a kilometre long dock, one of the few remaining parts of the old Surrey Docks in Rotherhithe. With views across the river to Canary Wharf, it is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. The Dock is a haven for wildlife; the Great Crested Grebes, Egyptian Geese & Cormorants are favourite sighting.
The waters are generally sheltered and the Dock walls mean you can’t get lost. We provide qualified safety boat cover at all times. Access to the water is via a gentle ramp and stable pontoons. We have hoists for those who need them.
Enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, trying to outsail other boats, improving your skills with help from our safety boat crew, the Dock is your sailing playground.
On Sundays we organise informal racing for those that want it; a great way to sharpen your skills. We can teach you the racing basics to allow you to take part in your first race, and then gradually learn the skills and tactics. Races are short (typically 20 mins) with 2 or 3 in a session giving the opportunity to learn rapidly from your mistakes and see how you improve.
Our sailors are regular visitors at race regattas around the country. We have trailers to take our boats, or you can sometimes arrange to borrow a boat from the host club. One of our sailors is the current world champion in the Hansa Liberty servo class.
We want our sailors and volunteers to extend their sailing skills with trips to other venues.
Our Hawk dayboats are perfect for open water day sails. With a comfortable cockpit for 4 or 5 adults, simple rig that is big enough to sail even when winds are light, but easy to reef (reduce) when the wind increases, and an engine to get you home on time.
We take the two Hawks (by road) to the River Medway in Kent for day sails and racing along this river full of wildlife; sharp eyes can spot Little Egrets and Avocets and you can hardly miss the Oystercatchers and black headed gulls.
We organise a longer weekend cruise on the south coast or east coast, perhaps in company with other Hawks. Staying in B&Bs, the trip is a proper adventure with a sense of reaching a destination. Reading charts, understanding the tides, planning the day and entering a new harbour are all skills you can develop or refresh, with the prospect of a jolly evening out with friends.
A weekend with the dinghies and instructors at UKSA in Cowes is another popular trip. Each October Tideway members arrange a weekend trip to the UKSA (UK Sailing Academy) in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the world centre of sailing. This gives us all an opportunity to sail in dinghies in the relatively sheltered waters of the Solent and throw off the shackles of Greenland Dock.
A wide range of boats is made available from Lasers to Dart catamarans and the sessions on the water provide the perfect opportunity to develop sailing skills. There is a modest charge to cover the weekend which includes all accommodation and food as well as instructors, wetsuits and the ferry crossing. The only requirement is for sailing ability to be equivalent to RYA2.
The Thames is on our doorstep. The Hawks are perfect for river trips. A short evening sail up to Tower Bridge makes a lovely first step into open water; see the City from a new angle and at a speed which allows you take it all in, then see it again on the way back.
For a longer day we sail down to Erith on the ebb tide and return on the flood, passing through the Thames Barrier.
We have volunteers who are qualified powerboat, dinghy and keelboat instructors who want to develop the skills of other volunteers and sailors. We need sailors with PowerBoat and RYA safety boat qualifications to support our activities every day, as well as dinghy and keelboat sailors ensuring that the Hawks have competent helms and crew. We also encourage everyone to improve their skills by completing RYA courses. We run regular sessions on the RYA syllabus and use the staff of the Surrey Docks Watersports Centre to provide an end of course assessment. For those wanting a more intensive course, Surrey Docks Watersports Centre provide a comprehensive range over the year.