Do you have sailboats that we can rent?
Unfortunately we do NOT have sailboats for rent. We really wish we did, but the insurance costs and lack of a location for making them available for on-the-water use eliminates our ability to offer this service. Additionally, we are not aware of any local organizations in the Houston-Galveston area that offer small sailboat rentals to the general public.
Where is your facility located?
The Clear Lake Sailing Club is a “virtual club” which has no physical facilities that we must maintain. This allows us to keep our costs down. Additionally, this means that we don't need to lean on our membership to spend their free time overseeing a facility.
We generally meet for our social sailing and racing activities at the public boat ramp on Clear Lake just off of NASA parkway. See the “Map of Clear Lake” on our homepage. Clear Lake is located adjacent to the Johnson Space Center. From the Gulf Freeway (Interstate 45), exit NASA Parkway. Then simply drive past NASA on the NASA parkway and just beyond the Hilton on the right side, you will see Clear Lake. The boat ramp is approximately 0.2 miles from the Hilton, just across the low bridge, on your right.
How big is your club and what is it's purpose?
Our club has been around for 40+ years and the size has varied from dozens to over a hundred people. Our current membership roster has about 30 people. Our purpose is to introduce new people to the sport of sailing and “show them the ropes” so to speak. We also sometimes have small sailboats donated to us which we in turn make available to club members.
How can I learn how to sail?
Our club offers sailing lessons every Spring. We are in the Clear Lake area and people come to our classes from all over the Houston / Galveston area. Generally we keep the class sizes to less than a dozen students. The cost is essentially free: we require you to join our club for a year (annual dues are $75) and then you get the class for free. The class occurs over 3 consecutive Saturdays and finishes with an on-the-water demonstration in one of our sailboats.
Where do I buy a cheap sailboat for a beginner?
Sometimes we have boats that have been donated to us and we turn around and sell them to people like you who are interested in learning how to sail. Check our website for any current opportunities. Also, we've found www.craigslist.org to be helpful. Also you might check into http://www.sailingtexas.com/cboats.html Of course, there are local newspapers, publications, and retail dealers in the Houston/Galveston area.
I have a boat. Can you help me learn how to sail?
Absolutely. Our goal is to get as many small sailboats out there sailing as possible. Just contact us. We'll be glad to check over your boat, help you rig it, and even crew for you for a few times until you get the hang of it. All at no charge.
Do you have a club email group that I can join to find out about club activities?
Yes. Join our meetup.com group if you want to get email about upcoming events or if you are seeking crewing opportunities. It's easy. Go to www.meetup.com/clear-lake-sailing-club-houston.
I have a small sailboat I want to donate to your tax deductible charitable organization. What do I do?
Contact us via email (see homepage). We can only accept boats that are in reasonably sail-able condition. For sailboats over 14 feet in size, they must be titled in Texas. Sailboats under 14 feet (e.g.; Sunfish, Laser, Lido 14) are exempt from titling. The sailboats should come with trailers. Our reason for this is that we want to turn these boats around and sell them to interested people in the local area in order to promote our sport. We have found that people generally are not interested in buying a sailboat without having a means to transport it to the local lakes. Trailers for small sailboats are generally not required to be titled since they are less than a couple thousand pounds of weight. They are however required to be registered in the State of Texas. People donating trailers need to provide us with copies of their trailer registration and the current license. Additionally, you should provide us with a letter of donation describing your donation (e.g; 1996 Sunfish sailboat with hull number XYZ and Dilly Boat Trailer with ID ABC). We will in turn provide you with a letter noting our acceptance of your donation. We will work through the process of transferring titles, registration, etc, and then we will provide you with any relevant IRS forms that you may need for your tax purposes.
I appreciate your efforts as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization promoting sailing. Is there something simple I can do to “help the cause”?
Actually, there is something you can do FOR FREE that really helps us and only takes 10 minutes of your time! If you shop at Kroger, you can do us a big favor and help us get financial donations from Kroger. If you have a Kroger's PLUS card, click on this Kroger Link and sign in or create an online user ID and then sign in. At the bottom of your account information sheet, select Clear Lake Sailing Club for your community awards. From then on, a small portion of your Kroger spending will be routed to us as a tax-free donation! In the past, we've been able to get more than $100 per year from Kroger which we use to fix up donated boats, keep our committee boat motor tuned up, etc. To you, it's no hassle at all except for tagging your PLUS card to our Clear Lake Sailing Club that one time.