Howth Yacht Club (HYC), Ireland’s largest yacht club, embraced modern technology to boost members’ satisfaction.

Many people might view yacht clubs as exclusive places, steeped in tradition, where modern times drift past with the tide. Howth proved that it not only cares deeply for its members, it also used online technology to survey its members, getting a 21% response rate, guided by the 3R, a leading Irish Consultancy that thrives on results.

The successes HYC had achieved and the aspiration for even higher excellence encouraged the HYC Committee to outline a five year plan that would help them move forward in providing full and active support to all members of the club. The bottom line of the plan was that it should reflect views of the members. That was the first motion towards constructing a detailed questionnaire for the whole membership.

The survey was performed in cooperation with 3R Sales and Marketing, a consultancy founded by Peter Lawless, which arranged the whole process of designing the survey as an online questionnaire. With the help of Simona Rusnakova from 3R they managed to ensure full survey confidentiality as well as data storage and filtering.

The HYC Future Planning Committee approached 3R Sales and Marketing as one of the top marketing agencies in Ireland working with services and technology sectors. Their vast experience and understanding of the club’s needs was an excellent asset they managed to employ fully in order to contribute effectively to the Committee’s research.

The process of the responses collection guaranteed total confidentiality and was widened to all club members. The way of organising the survey enabled both online and offline (paper based) questioning, which was synchronised so that maximal authenticity of the responses was accomplished.

All Members Given Opportunity to Express Views

The survey achieved an outstanding response rate of 21% and HYC thanks to all members who contributed to this excellent result.

Members’ feedback has been considerate, honest and extremely helpful, they want Howth Yacht Club to remain the premier sailing club in Ireland and the Committee’s job now is to get on with these requirements and to account fully to the members in twelve months on progress towards achieving the priorities they have set.

To sum up, HYC members have requested changes in the following areas:

  • More investment in club’s junior members.
  • Coaching at all levels.
  • Improved service to and from moorings and pontoon on race evenings.
  • Later start time for Autumn League races to tie in with Sunday Dart service.
  • Winter lectures on sailing-related matters.

Members called for action on the issues that really matter to them and now the Committee can concentrate on these matters knowing that they are crucial in providing complete satisfaction to the members.

Now HYC is ready to take the next step to assure that they fully meet the expectations of all their members which will ensure that it continues to be one of the premier sailing clubs in the UK and Ireland.

To conclude, Howth Yacht Club has approached the challenge in a highly considered and inclusive manner by listening to all their members. This should act as momentum and a positive example for other sports clubs in Ireland to follow.


“We achieved a 21% response rate in our overall membership survey which exceeded our expectations. This enabled us to understand our members’ issues and requirements so that we could put in place actions to increase our value to them. Thanks to 3R Sales and Marketing, we were able to accomplish this faster than we could have ever managed ourselves, without unnecessary hassle, using the proven resources and an excellent support you provided.” Ian Byrne and Conor Holmes, Membership Committee, Howth Yacht Club