If sailing clubs are designed to give you a means and a place to sail, they certainly do their job well. Not only do they provide the boat to sail on, they'll actually teach you how to sail it, too.
If you've never sailed a day in your life, clubs usually offer classes, from beginner to advanced. They'll teach you all about the different boats and their components, and how to tie knots, use hand signals, rig, tack, identify wind direction, dock the boat and much more. They'll also teach you rules and safety procedures, so you'll be well-equipped to handle any situation that arises [source: Coconut Grove Sailing Club]. Most clubs require you to take at least some classes before using their boats.
Many sailing clubs offer boat rentals, so you can reserve a boat either with your own crew or a crew made up of other club members. Depending on your skill level or membership level, you can serve as either the skipper or a crewmember. Clubs have a variety of sailboats to choose from, so you're sure to find something you like. If you own your own boat, many clubs even offer boat storage in their marina or on a rack. This can be a great solution if you want to keep your boat near where you plan to do your club sailing.
Sailing clubs are not just about leisurely sailing (which, of course, you can do); some also offer racing events where you can test your skills against other sailing enthusiasts. In club races you can compete against other members, and some clubs even host regattas where people from all around come to race.
One of the best parts of joining a sailing club is the socialization it offers. At most clubs, a boat's crew might be made up of several club members who may or may not know one another. You can arrange your own crew, of course, but if you just want to sail and don't have a crew, the club can team you up with other members. This offers a great opportunity to socialize and bond with other sailing lovers.
Most groups also have a clubhouse where you can hobnob with members at parties and events. Clubhouses can be simple or elaborate depending on the club, and can also be great places for events like weddings, banquets and family reunions.