SOS Burgee

Membership Frequently Asked Questions


New Member Information:; (410) 798-4098


How many members does the club have? Currently, SOS has over 600 members.


Where do the members live?  Members live predominantly in Maryland, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania.


Are all club members single and unattached?  No. The majority of SOS members are single and you must be single when you join. However, some members subsequently marry or are in a long term, committed relationships and are still members of the club. SOS is a sailing club, not a dating club.


How is the club organized and run?  Entirely by volunteer effort. There is an elected 9-member Board of Directors led by our Commodore. The Board of Directors appoint a Chair for each of the clubs 16 Standing Committees.  The respective Chair staffs his/her committee and conducts business as appropriate for that committee.


What sailing skills do I need to join the club?  None. Anyone who is agile, has good balance, is in good health and is interested in actively participating in sailing is welcome.


Will the club teach me how to sail?   The Club provides each member with an Orientation Packet.  In addition, the club provides a Basic Skill Program – Level I, II, and III.  This program is an orientation requirement for all our members, who must complete Level I before or during a member’s first sailing experience.  This program is not intended to teach sailing, but rather provide information needed for a safe and enjoyable sail, as well as, for the well-being and safety of all crew members.  In addition, educational opportunities are offered by the club and its skippers, that are intended to enhance your sailing skills.


How many boats does the club have?  The club does not own any boats; member skippers volunteer to take crew on their boats for day sails and weekend cruises.  No compensation is offered to skippers.  During the cruising season, there were over 100 active boats in the SOS fleet.


How does a club member become a club skipper?  A club member with an appropriate sailboat submits an application to the Safety Committee who qualifies the boat as Active. Once a boat becomes Active, the skipper can sign up for cruises and participate in the Cruising Committee's coordination process which will offer them crew.


What kind of boats does the club use?  The boats are as varied as the members. Most boats are cruising monohull sloops ranging from 26 to 50 feet. The majority of boats are between 32 and 42 feet.


Where are the cruising grounds?  Most trips take place on the Chesapeake Bay, where the boats are located. The club's Bareboat Cruising Committee offers charter trips once or twice a year to a variety of destinations such as Greece, Tonga, the Caribbean, Maine and the Pacific Northwest.


How much does it cost to sail with SOS?  The club collects an administrative fee from each crew member. Currently, that fee is $17/day; the fee is subject to change.  Skippers supply their boats, at their expense. Crew members provision (bring food) for the trip.


How can I get more information?  Come to an unofficial Happy Hour and meet some members.  Or, email:; (410) 798-4098


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