Originally established in 1979 as the British Gas Seafarers' Association, the Go Sailing Association is now a leading UK sailing association, run by our members for our members.
At first, membership was open to British Gas employees and their families only. Since becoming fully independent, we are able to offer a welcome to everyone and many of today's "leading lights" in the Association have never had any connection with the Company.
Although each of our yachts has its own base, that does not stop us doing other things. One year, several members organised a chain of charters to Portugal and back. Another year, members took one-week charters to sail clockwise around Britain (though we went through the Caledonian Canal rather than rounding Cape Wrath!) - this was known as the "Round Britain Crews". Most years, one or more boats will be relocated for a time - to the Scottish West Coast, the Channel Islands or Brest being recent examples. It all makes for varied cruising.
In a nod to our heritage, we have three yachts all with the word "Flame" in their name - Celtic Flame II, Hebridean Flame II and Solent Flame IV. Each boat has a volunteer bosun and there is a Fleet Manager to co-ordinate maintenance and so on.
The Association is managed by a National Committee, headed by a Commodore. Others on the Committee include Rear-Commodores with special responsibilities such as charter administration, skipper approval and finance, and the Trustees who are named on the ships documents on behalf of the members.
We have members in Scotland, England and Wales.
Normally cruises are based upon a charterer taking a yacht for a half or full week (or longer) on behalf of a crew but we also organise various "skippered cruises" where we provide a skipper and members join the cruise on a per berth basis.
Ocean Flame - the original. A Buchanan Red Admiral and something of a squeeze (36 foot and nine berths), but it was the first GSA experience for many of us.