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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Reminder: Safety Advice For Free Sailing

Members are reminded to review the Safety Advice For Free Sailing, particularly when sailing outside of club organised sailing activities. The advice can be found on the website, in the back of the club programme, or click more to read.

Safety Advice For Free Sailing
The club is open every day of the week for the use of members. Expert advice and support boats are only available during club organised sailing activities. Members are responsible for their own safety at all times. In the case of children and youths, parents or guardians are expected to exercise appropriate supervision.
The following suggestions are for guidance only:-
- Arrange to go out with another similar boat and watch out for each other.
- Check the weather forecast – ideally Inshore Waters special forecasts.
- Check times and heights of tides in your chosen area.
- Avoid sailing in a dying wind on an ebb tide
- Check your boat’s buoyancy and fixings
- Realistically assess yourself, your crew and your boat’s ability to cope.
- Ask experienced sailing people for a second opinion if possible.
- Dress warmly for the conditions – it is easier to take off a layer than put it on.
- Wear personal buoyancy, properly done up, at all times afloat.
- Sail within your ‘comfort zone’. Don’t take risks.
- Watch the sky upwind for black clouds, fog, rain or wind direction changes.
- Go ashore if you have doubts or get cold or tired – there’s always another day.
- Always sail in an area to the west of the harbour.
- If you capsize and can’t right it, stay with the boat. Never try to swim to shore.
- Carry a mobile phone in a plastic bag or waterproof container.
- Carry a compass and a waterproof watch. Practice sailing a compass course so you can cope with poor visibility.
- Tell a reliable person ashore where you are going and give them your mobile telephone number(s).
- Arrange a time for your shore mate either to contact you or to raise the alarm.
- Avoid shipping routes and fishing grounds if possible.
- Watch all around for shipping, other boats and obstacles.
- Tell your shore mate to stand down when you come ashore.
- Don’t stay out alone after your sailing partner comes in.
Additional advice for Dinghy Cruising
- Take drinking water, food or trail bars, extra clothing, paddles or oars, an anchor and warp, towrope, small flare kit, first aid kit and a small toolkit including; knife, pliers, wire cutter, shackles, cord, gaffer tape.
- Also consider; a marine radio, waterproof charts, waterproof torch, outboard motor with extra fuel and spare shear pin
- Ensure that you have the ability to reef or lower sails whilst afloat.