This month, I have visited the brand new club house and facilities of Parkstone Yacht Club. I have been lucky enough to visit many sailing clubs around the UK, and abroad, so I was excited to see how the build had turned out as last time I had visited Parkstone, it was still a building site.
The building looked fantastic from the outside but I was keeping a open mind because it is very difficult to have a good internal layout for a sailing club. This is because one needs to achieve a balance between a smart, flashy restaurant / clubhouse area, which most clubs rely on for a source of income, and a practical area for sailors to change, and sit in wet kit.
Parkstone have achieved this brilliantly – the ground floor, which can be accessed directly from outside, or via the first floor entrance, is dedicated to sailors in wet kit. It incorporates a mixture of changing rooms, training rooms and offices, all of which can be accessed in wet clothes. The first floor can be accessed directly from a smart entrance and reception area – from here upwards it is dry clothes only to preserve the smart decor. Along with more offices, meeting and training rooms, the first floor opens up to a double height restaurant and bar with full height and width windows giving a fantastic view of Poole harbour. A set of stairs lead up to an upper cafe where an even better view can be enjoyed.
Many sea clubs suffer from a lack of space due to the high cost of waterfront land in the UK. However, Parkstone are lucky to have a large car park, dinghy park and marina. The car park still filled up on the Sunday I visited however which perhaps indicates the popularity of this club.
Overall I was very impressed by the quality of the new build and how well it was designed. I very much look forward to going back there in the future.
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