Coastal Rowing At HBYC

Coastal Rowing Skiffs are a great way to stay fit, enjoy a competitive sport and bring communities together. In February 2019, we launched our first St Ayles coastal rowing skiff, built by club members. The launch of the skiff also marked the official start of a coastal rowing section at HBYC and a new category of membership (see below).

Based on the proven model in the United Kingdom, Skiff rowing is now enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, from 16 to 80 years of age! Hout Bay waters are ideal for these very seaworthy rowing skiffs.

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HBYC have now created a coastal rowing section at the club and we are able to offer rowing membership, which includes use of our newly constructed St Ayles Coastal Rowing Skiff; and full use of all the existing yacht club facilities.

This first skiff has been funded and constructed by existing HBYC members. As rowing membership grows, the plan is to build additional St Ayles Skiffs from club funds, with rowing members encouraged to participate in the construction process.

You are invited to join the rowing section by filling out the application form on the ‘Join’ page of this website.

The crew for a St Ayles Skiff consists of 4 rowers and a cox. Through our ‘HBYC Rowing Connector WhatsApp group you will be able to book a time slot to join other crew members, or set up your own time slot and invite others to join you.

The St Ayles Skiff is very easy to learn to row and tuition will happen mainly through a ‘learn-by-doing’ process. Through the WhatsApp group we match people’s experience levels and create rowing sessions with different crews … all women / all men / mixed / various age groupings.

Each rowing member will be expected to cox the skiff every fifth rowing outing he or she participates in.

The aim is to offer both social rowing and racing. Initially the latter will be through time trials, however as more St Ayles skiffs are built, crews will compete against each other.

Currently we have organised rowing sessions on Tuesday,  Thursday,  Saturday and Sundays, with time slots from early morning to late afternoon. However as a rowing member you are entitled to set up your own crews and time slots. Typically rowing sessions last for 1-1.5 hours.

Rowing membership is open to anyone 16 years of age or older, on an individual basis.

Family membership rates are not offered for the rowing section, as each member’s fees, help to fund the maintenance and construction of additional skiffs, plus staging of special events.

HBYC Coastal Rowing Section fees for 2022

New member

  • first 2 rowing sessions to try out rowing are free
  • No initial joining fee
  • R420 per month which includes club membership and rowing fees (including VAT)

Membership includes:

  • Full Membership of Hout Bay Yacht Club
  • Use of the club St Ayles Skiff(s)
 … including storage / maintenance / insurance
  • Club membership card
  • Security access tag (R200 one off payment for tag)
  • Member bar prices

Existing HBYC Member

  • R150 per month rowing fee, over and above current membership fee (including VAT).


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, they 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 3 months notice you will no longer need to pay the rowing fee. Thereafter, if you wish to row only occasionally, you can simply pay an ad hoc rowing fee of R150 and join an organised rowing 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 would pay an ad hoc rowing fee of R150 per rowing event.

Q. Why did existing members put up the funds for the first boat?  What’s in it for them?
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 do not pay the additional rowing membership fee, applicable to existing members.

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 will engage expert help, get quotes and manage the process.   A portion of each rowing membership, will be allocated to maintain the skiffs.7

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