Published 18:00 on 5 Nov 2020
The Club's Management Committee met on Wednesday 4 November and debated the implications of the Government direction and latest RYA advice regarding dinghy sailing during the current lockdown. Whilst there is not complete clarity and detailed advice may change in the coming days, the overall intent of the lockdown is straightforward. We are, sadly, left with no choice but to implement the law and close the Club until 2 December.
To quote from the Govt website, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, everyone must:
- Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
- Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
- Close certain businesses and venues.
The RYA current understanding of the situation is:
- Recreational boating from a public outdoor space for single households and support bubbles or with one other person (with social distancing) may be possible.
- Public waterways and beaches will remain open during the lockdown.
- Outdoor sports centres and amenities (which includes sailing clubs and watersports centres) will have to close.
- Members may be able to access boats for essential checks and maintenance, however, this will need to be agreed with their club/marina/harbour authority, with individuals taking personal responsibility for meeting Government guidance.
So, where does this leave Seafarers? Unfortunately the Club must close and remain so until 2 December. Members may access their boats for essential checks and maintenance only, whilst taking full responsibility for complying with the Govt rules and regulations. Routine 'tinkering' is not considered essential. Equally, if members can wait until after lockdown to take their boats home for the winter, they should do so. Members who have not paid for winter storage who would normally remove their boats by the end of November, should not worry. They now have until the end of December to do this without additional charge.
The public slipway is open and members of the public may use it to go boating. Should Club members have a boat, paddleboard, canoe, etc at home and wish to get afloat via the beach or a public slipway for recreational purposes then that is their decision and is permitted. The RYA interpretation of the law, however, is that members should not take their boats from a club that is mandated to be closed to launch from a public slipway even though, in case of Seafarers, it is adjacent. This feels hugely disappointing and some members may question the logic. The RYA legal team note that clubs' plans should reflect that the whole point of the lockdown is to limit activity to that deemed essential or for the specific purposes laid out in the legislation.
An email has been sent to all online members. Members may access a copy here.
Last updated 12:25 on 6 February 2021