If you’re wondering what we do, you’re in the right place….
The association was formed in 1965 and has around 180 members. Their maritime interests are extensive and relate to anything that floats of various genre, the related technology, history, places of interest and world wide destinations. Members may actively cruise, race, charter or simply potter on the river – others mostly enjoy the camaraderie of the weekly talks and social events.
What We Do
GXSA is an extremely friendly organisation, with a strong maritime theme. We run several types of event, with a friendly ethos:
- Wednesday Meetings: Meetings are held during the Autumn and Spring on Wednesday evenings at the Memorial Centre in Gerrards Cross. Typical attendances are between 70 and 90. Visitors are very welcome. The large modern hall and bar opens at 7:30pm to meet new friends for a drink, and a chat. Alcohol, Tea, and Coffee are available from our bar.
People roll up steadily over the next 45 minutes, until 8:15pm when our Evening Talk begins, delivered by a Speaker with specialist knowledge of their topic. If you use a hearing aid, our PA system includes an induction loop to improve audibility. Around 9:00pm, the Speaker will break for 20 minutes, for you to refresh your drinks, and have another chance to chat to friends. At 9:20, we all sit down again, to listen to the second half of the talk followed by Questions and Answers. At 10:00pm, the talk will end, and we will pack up and everyone goes home.
Each meeting is normally an illustrated talk presented either by an invited professional speaker or member. Topics are wide ranging and amongst others include yacht cruising, seamanship, navigation, meteorology and environmental issues. Past programmes can be seen on the programme page, or visit our Facebook page
- Zoom Meetings: We also stream Wednesday Meetings on Zoom, for online attendees to join in. We started doing this during the Covid Pandemic, and the Zoom sessions have been very popular with people who cannot attend Colston Hall in person. Zoom attendees meet together in an online chat room to discuss the time of day, or anything else, whilst the in-hall people are chatting.
- Sailing Rallies: During the Summer Season, we run a number of Rallies (typically three). These are non-competitive meet-ups at a marina in the Solent. Several GXSA members have their own boats (Sail and Motor) based around the Solent, and they frequntly invite other GXSA members to join them for a rally. Boats aim to arrive at the destination for 5:00pm, in time for the crew to join in with our first Social Activity – The Pontoon Party with snacks, drink, and friends to chat to in a happy pre-dinner atmosphere. Around 7:00pm, we usually wrap up, and move on to a local restaurant for a pre-booked meal of two or three courses. After dinner, people return to the boats, to sleep, or for more chat, depending on how they are feeling.
- Social Events: We also run a number of Walks, Trips, Picnics, and Pub Lunches through the year. Again, the ‘event’ seems to take second-place to the opportunity to chat to friends.
- Saturday Specials: These are either outings to a relevant place of interest or whole day instructional courses on topics such as radar, electrical and engine maintenance, sea survival and first aid. Some events are linked to RYA certification schemes and there are usually one or two each season.
- Social and Sailing Programme: In addition to the weekly winter meetings, the “Social and sailing programme” includes summer weekend rallies, usually one longer cruise in company and an annual dinner. The association facilitates contact between skippers looking for crew and members seeking crewing experience.
I hope you will recognise that we’re a very friendly organisation, and we hope you will enjoy joining in with our events. If you have any questions, please see our Contact Us page, or if you would like to join up, take a look at our Join Us page.
If you’re unsure, come along on a Wednesday evening as a Visitor, and see how you get along.
What Our Members Say About Us…
We recently ran a survey to find out what our members think about GXSA. We thought you may be interested in their responses….
What does GXSA offer that is totally unique ?
- “A great series of weekly nautical / adventure talks provided in a friendly, social environment.“
- “Wide ranging evening lectures of interest to anyone who is interested in sailing and the sea“
- “Excellent adventure lectures in a social atmosphere combined with the rallies in summer .Members are/have been active.“
- “Well organised, operating at a professional standard, but in a friendly and informal manner.“
- “An opportunity to meet and share and chat with sailors and motor-boaters living within a few hours sail of Gerrard’s Cross. Enjoy an excellent programme of talks during the winter seasons – many by well known figures in the world of boating – together with the opportunities to sail together in the summer on rallies and group get-togethers.“
Why do you come along on Wednesdays, and to our Social Events ?
- “To listen to the talks and meet up with like minded people.“
- “There’s just something very nice and re-assuring about it !“
- “I love the cosy atmosphere on the cold winter evenings of meeting fellow sailors and sharing yarns, coffee, tea and a pint whilst learning something new or interesting from a guest speaker live or via Zoom.“
What value does the membership offer to you ?
- “A connection with my passion for sailing and the sea.“
- “It’s a very friendly place. The members are very welcoming. An evening out and an opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances.“
- “It’s a great fraternity of people with similar interests from whom you can always learn something new or interesting either by attending the evening talks or going on a rally on your boat, sharing somebody else’s boat, or even going on a shore-based expedition to see something different.“
What would you say about GXSA to somebody that might be interested in finding out more about us ?
- “The talks are fascinating with incredible tales of adventure.“
- “The occasional GXSA courses on subjects valuable to boatowners. I remember particularly, diesel engine maintenance, fibreglass repair, first aid, Survival at Sea, and Inland waterway regulations.“
- “Friendly, informal group of men and women with shared interests. Talks are invariably of a high standard about a wide range of topics connected with the sea, boats, and shipping.“
Anything else you would like to say, that might persuade people to join!
- “GXSA is great value for money, provides a great opportunity to meet like minded people. Very friendly and welcoming.”
- “Boating is not all about ‘sailing’. Members also have Dinghies, Motorboats, and Narrowboats, and no boat at all. Topics are interesting to everybody.“
- “You do not have to own a sailing craft in order to enjoy the benefits of the club.“
- “What a lovely way to spend those dark, cold winter Wednesday evenings with people interested in sailing, the sea or just boating in general, but that’s not all, you can also join in our casual rallies in the summer or come on trips to interesting places connected to your sailing interests.“
- “GXSA has been an important part of life to me and my wife for about 40 years. The talks, courses, rallies and friendships with members have engaged us all this time. I will always be grateful to those who set up the organisation, and created such a successful operating system.“
Are You in the GXSA Catchment Area?
GXSA currently has 190 active members with a regular weekly attendance of 70-90 people. The map below shows the main places that our members travel from. Not surprisingly, there is a high concentration in our home town (Gerrards Cross), with most people travelling up to 30 miles on a Wednesday evening.
Members, Visitors, and Guests are always welcome.
Not in our Catchment Area? Join Us Online, with Zoom, from ANYWHERE
Since 2020 we’ve been operating extensively online, using Zoom, as well as in-person at Gerrards Cross. These Hybrid meetings have been extremely popular, with new members in Australia and South Africa.
GXSA is run by Officers and a Committee, who are all elected each year at the Annual General Meeting in March. We are a strong Committee, but always looking for more help. If you would like to help with running the Association, please contact one of the members below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.