Coastal Rowing at HBYC

Coastal Rowing Skiffs are a great way to stay fit, enjoy a competitive sport and bring communities together. A few months back HBYC began exploring the potential to introduce the St Ayles 22’ as part of the club’s activities, and help develop coastal rowing as a sport throughout South Africa. We are now ready to begin building St Ayles Skiffs in Hout Bay.

Based on the proven model in the United Kingdom, Skiff rowing is now enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, from 8 to 80 years of age! Hout Bay waters are ideal for these very seaworthy rowing skiffs and HBYC is ready to welcome rowers as members of the club and to provide boat building and storage facilities.

Take a look at the St Ayles video and full details of how rowing membership works, below.


The good news is that you don’t have buy your own skiff, to begin rowing.
It has been decided that HBYC will now build a fleet of club owned St Ayles Skiffs, and make these boats available to all rowing members!  To kick start funding of the construction of the boats, a number of existing members have agreed to put up the funds needed for the first boat. Thereafter, as we attract new Rowing Members, the funds we generate (through membership fees), will be ploughed immediately back into building additional boats. The plan is to build another boat for every 15 new Rowing Members.

Rowing Membership will be offered on the same basis as Sailing Membership.
Rowing members will have full use of all the club’s facilities, at the same rates. The only difference is that Rowing Members will pay a small monthly rowing fund levy of R300 (ex VAT) per Individual or R400 (ex VAT) per Family Member.

This is to cover, insurance, storage, maintenance and general up keep of the boats. We will also create a fund to one day replace the boats.  The rowing fund levy, will be reviewed annually and may in fact be able to drop (once we know the actual costs of keeping the fleet in great shape for rowing).

Think of this like the “Green Fee” to play a round of golf … (isn’t Golf usually a lot more?)  Sailing members who keep yachts in the Marina also pay a levy for the upkeep of the facilities … this is currently R1500pm.

With this approach, the first St Ayles Skiff, will be built in time for new Rowing Members joining, plus it looks like we have at least one other skiff that will be built privately, so you will have another boat to row with, straight away.

This means that the first 14 Rowing Members joining, will have their own boat; and as the15th person joins, we will then immediately start to build the next boat … and so on.  The idea being that we keep the ratio of Rowers per Boat, at a level of less than 15:1 This is less than the ratio many of the UK clubs operate with.

With club racing and events, we envisage crews swopping over. You will be able to row, spectate, get your breath back; and then compete again. Each club event will have several different categories of rowing, covering different age groups …  all men / all women / sprints / round the buoys, etc. At the moment, our thinking is that in Summer, club rowing could be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday / Sunday Mornings. In Winter,  Saturday / Sunday Mornings. And of course you will be able to book a boat to go out with others for a social row at any other times.

Here’s the current HBYC membership fees that will also apply to Rowing Members joining (Fees include VAT)

Individual Membership
– Initial membership fee (first year only) R3 972.50
– annual subscription thereafter  R2 648
– monthly rowing fund R345

Family Membership
– Initial membership fee (first year only) R5 272.50
– annual subscription thereafter R3 515
– monthly rowing fund levy R460


Q. Who will build the boats?
A. A number of our existing members have volunteered, plus we will have expert help. It is hoped that as new Rowing Members come on board, you will also want to get involved … all part of the rowing community spirit we aim to build.

Q. What if I stop rowing after a while, but want to continue to be a member of the club?
A. No problem, With a season’s notice you will no longer need to pay the rowing fund levy. Thereafter, if you wish to row only occasionally, you can simply pay an ad hoc rowing fee of R150 (ex VAT) per rowing event (either a social row or club event)

Q. What if I have a visitor to the club, who I would like to row with?
A. Simply sign them in (including an indemnity form), and they too would just pay an ad hoc rowing fee of R150 (ex VAT) per rowing event.

Q. Why are the existing members putting up the funds for the first boat?  what’s in it for them?  Will they also be rowers?
A. HBYC members are very keen to get this project off the ground, because it brings new people into the club. To compensate these members for making funds available, they will not need to pay the rowing fund levy. This offer will be restricted to 10 individuals / families. As sailors, it’s likely they will only row very occasionally.

Q. Who will be responsible for managing the boats?
A. This will be handled in the same way as other club assets. Minor repairs are often tackled by members and the club re-imburses any materials / equipment purchases required. For more major work, the HBYC Committee engage expert help, get quotes and manage the process.  The Rowing Fund levy will be ring-fenced from other club funds to ensure that funds are always available to maintain the boats.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Hout Bay Yacht Club


You have Successfully Subscribed!