The Club runs a range of social events throughout the year, including the Commodore’s Drinks Party, Trafalgar Night, and Cruising Dinners as well as New Year’s Eve, Fitting-Out and Laying-Up parties, and theme nights. Every Tuesday during winter, the Club runs a series of talks followed by a ‘Hatch Supper’. The Dining Room and Bar, which are open daily, overlook the Cowes Fairway with views from the New Forest eastwards to Portsmouth.
The Beken Room, Conservatory, Dining Room and Lounge Bar are all located on the Member’s floor. Large sliding windows provide access to the Conservatory, which offers stunning views of the eastern Solent – ideal for spectating and entertaining. The Beken Room allows for a quiet retreat on busy days or an area to meet friends for a pre-dinner drink. The Bar serves a range of beers, cocktails, wines, and spirits, as well as soft drinks, teas and coffees. The Dining Room is open daily and serves everything from a bite-on-the-go, through to a formal celebratory meal. The smaller Centenary Room bar is located on the second floor and regularly used for private functions. The lobby gives access to the Roof Terrace, which also offers 700 square foot views over the Solent. During the summer, a marquee is erected for social events. The ground floor contains a second marquee, apron, slipway, and Club pontoons that can be used for ‘short stay’ Member’s mooring. The ground floor provides access to the changing rooms, while access to the Club Offices is from the entrance hall or through the lower marquee on the seaward side of the Club. To seaward of the marquee is the Foredeck, another outdoor area with picnic tables, and favoured location for children and sun-worshipers. The Boathouse is alongside the Club Offices, with access directly through to the men’s changing room. The Pontoons are reached along a connecting bridge from the Foredeck.
Club accommodation is available to Members and visitors all year round. Reservations can be made via the Admin Office. The accommodation house is adjacent to the Club and provides excellent value for money. The main entrance and disabled access are conveniently located off the High Street. A full breakfast is included and available from Eegon’s of Cowes, located above Cowes Combined Services Club on the High Street. Visitors can enjoy use of the Club facilities, and lunches and evening meals are available.
The Island Sailing Club has an incredible collection of 400 burgees, given by visitors and Members over many years. They adorn the ceiling of the Beken Room in the Clubhouse.
The collection began, unexpectedly, after the Club gave H.R.H. The Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh a Dragon class yacht called ‘Bluebottle’ as a wedding present in 1948. Bluebottle sailed across North America and wherever she went, her crew, consisting of members of the RNSA, were given burgees as mementos. When Bluebottle returned to England, with a pile of unnamed burgees, they were sent to the Club. The American burgees were exhibited in the Club, without any name tallies. Over time, visiting sailors were encouraged to contribute to the collection, while the racing flags of a few distinguished members were also added. By the late 1980s, however, technology had rendered the flying of burgees unnecessary. Club Committee Member John Power initiated a project to catalogue the burgees and reached out to various clubs across the UK, North America, and elsewhere. As part of this process, more burgees were gifted to the Club.
Thanks to John, and others, the burgees have been photographed and catalogued, and are proudly displayed with name tallies.