The Cal Sailing Club is a nonprofit sailing cooperative which is open to the public.
This sailing club has a unique ragtag flair--the emphasis is on accessibility to sailing for everyone, and a push back against the traditionally elitist world of sailing. "Isn't sailing for rich people?" members might joke ironically. Socializing with the many interesting people make the club super fun and one is sure to run into hippie eccentrics who have sailed solo from California to Australia. The tall tales make lessons and group excursions all the more fun, and the older people are weirdly more immature and playful than the occasional serious child that joins to take lessons.
The windsurfers mix with the sailing crew but seem a little more staid and conservative. Everyone still gets along.
There isn't a more affordable and inclusive sailing club in the Bay Area, if not California or the world, and through volunteering and perseverance even the poorest member can acquire a sailing license and rent out sailboats.
Many teachers at the Cal Sailing Club teach similar courses for hundreds of dollars at more expensive yacht clubs. Some fun events include sailing under the fireworks during Fourth of July "next to all the rich people."
- Any community member may join for $200/year, or $60/quarter. (Students get a discount of $5/quarter.)
- All club activities (including sailing) are free to members.
It was started by a group of rebellious Berkeley students in the 1960s who raised hell. The official history on the website sounds much more serious than the mischievous retellings from older members. Nowadays Berkeley students are much more clean-cut and professional, but hanging out with the Cal Sailing Club members gives you a window into the craziness (and fun) of the past.
Rumor has it that some former members attempted to start a similar nonprofit flying club in the 1980's, but the high volume of air traffic in Oakland nixed that idea. Maybe someone might start one again.
|124 University Avenue, Berkeley, California|
|(at the Berkeley Marina)|
|Weekdays: Noon to sunset|
|Weekends: 9AM to sunset|
|Cooperatively owned by the membership|
|Cash, cheque, VISA, or Mastercard|