Safety Advice and Requirements for Members

Identified as a result of carrying out risk assessments on activities at the club


  • Always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid
  • Wear a wetsuit or dry suit between October and April, also recommended in May
  • Consider wearing a helmet: strongly recommended for children and recommended for novice adults in windy conditions
  • Fit or carry a painter (tow rope) in the boat
  • You are advised to carry an anchor and radio and/or flares if sailing up or down channel without a patrol boat
  • Sign the book before you launch

Boat Park

  • Don’t leave boat unattended in windy conditions with sails up
  • Watch for booms and sails flapping
  • Warn any members of the public who wander in of the hazards
  • Closely supervise your young children and keep them away from hazards
  • Keep the gates shut so members of the public and dogs don’t wander in and get hurt
  • Remove cars from the boat park asap if you tow your boat in
  • When you put your boat away make sure it is secured so it doesn’t blow over


  • Watch out for members of the public on the footpath and top of the slipway and wait until they are clear before proceeding out of the compound
  • Keep clear of people on the slipway and/or warn them to keep clear of the sails and boom. Keep to the side of the slipway where the sail blows. Communicate your intentions
  • Be aware of the drop off the edge of the slipway and keep clear
  • Boats must not be left unattended on the slip with sails up
  • Always try to help those in front – especially single-handers – with their boats and trolleys
  • Beware of wind changes as you go down the slip
  • Don’t underestimate the waves – launch bows first and hold the bow into the wave; don’t stand between the boat and the shore. Waves will be worse within an hour of high tide
  • Sail off quickly


  • Be aware of wind, waves and tide
  • Wind is normally stronger beyond 100-200m from the shore
  • Waves are larger beyond the island and waves/tide can be fierce around the island (give it a wide berth)
  • Always go up-tide so that the tide will bring you back if the wind drops
  • be aware and vigilant of other people using the beach, shore and water such as jet skis, kayaks, fishermen and swimmers

Coming In

  • Always plan to come in to the slipway (not off the edge), with the wind ahead or to the side
  • Don’t come in if someone is standing with their boat on the slipway unless it is very calm or you are coming in to help that person
  • In a strong onshore wind, drop the mainsail if you can and come in on the jib alone
  • Remember to raise the rudder and centreboard/remove the daggerboard and head up into the wind just before arriving at the shore
  • Help the next boats coming in with their trolleys and help catch the boats, before taking your boat to the compound
  • While helping, avoid standing in water deeper than chest height (if possible no deeper than waist height), be aware of where the edge of the slipway is (don’t stand too close) and advise people getting out of their boats of underwater hazards
  • In case you are not able to reach the slipway due to a problem, make sure you are aware of the nature of the shoreline and its hazards (have a look at low tide)

Patrol Boat

  • Don’t set off down the slipway unless there are at least 6 people holding the boat back, except when whoever is in charge is confident of the strength of the people or a rope or equivalent is used to brake the descent
  • Don’t use the boat without having been instructed by someone who is experienced.
  • Use the Kill-Cord
  • Take care lifting buoys and anchors/chain; they can be heavier and more awkward than they look
  • Watch that you don’t catch ropes around the propeller
  • Don’t take small children in the patrol boat
  • Corner slowly until you are used to how the boat handles
  • Watch that you don’t catch ropes around the propeller