Although there is no enclosed harbour at Hastings, the English Channel along this part of the south coast has always attracted sailors in all type of craft.
In the golden age of smuggling, a Hastings boat built to put up a good performance in the local
conditions, was always a treasure. Many a successful raid was completed because a locally built boat could drive into Rye Harbour on a strong south-westerly wind before the Customs Officers could arrive at the scene. One of the most famous craft built in Hastings was the Ann Bonaventure which, manned by local men, distinguished itself against the Spanish Armada. Until 2001 the Clubs main safety vessel proudly boasted this famous name.

The original Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club suffered a great loss and was disbanded in 1935 when a severe gale smashed most of the boats, which at the time were housed on the beach at Warrior Square. The present Club, formed in 1953, is situated on the Lower Promenade near the Marina Sun Lounge and offers a totally enclosed Boathouse for the dinghies. This is an asset appreciated by their owners who not only can work on their craft at any time but also realise that craft do not depreciate under cover in the same way as they do when they are out in all elements.