Since the start of the club’s activities it has been found necessary to make remarkably few special rules, thanks to the general good sense of the membership. However, as in any small community of a couple of hundred people, some pointers are needed as to what is or is not permissible within the Club.  The purpose of these notes is to present for the information of new members in particular, some of the club Rules and Committee decisions affecting membership and behaviour  together with items of general information which might be found useful. This is not a comprehensive “Rule Book” but a guide to members which will minimise any necessity for officious intervention by Club Officials.




The club is open to all boats with a Portsmouth Yardstick and also to sailboards. Other boats without a Portsmouth Yardstick may only be used from club premises with the prior approval of the Committee.


Apart from the Club’s rescue craft, Power craft  may not be operated from the Club premises without written authority of the Committee. This is given only in special circumstances. Water ski-ing from the Club is forbidden.


For the safety of members’ boats and Club premises, all boats should be removed from the site out-with the sailing season. Where boats are left over the closed season they must be secured to prevent them from either being damaged or causing damage to other boats during the winter storms.


Racing may be arranged, with separate starts, for Dinghies and Keelboats. Any boat included in the current RYA Portsmouth Number List under "Dinghy", "Experimental", and "Multi" categories will be included in the "Dinghy" start. Any boat included in the current RYA Portsmouth Number List in the "Keel" category or in the RYA National Handicap for Cruisers (NHC) list will be included in the "Keelboat" start. Where any boat, not included in any of the above lists, wishes to race, the Sailing Secretary (after consultation with the General Committee where necessary) shall determine in which start that boat will compete.


1.       Safety


The waters of Loch Earn are deep, cold and can be treacherous, and with increasing use by the public the risk of tragedy is never to be discounted. It is a club ruling that buoyancy aids must be worn at all times during sailing, and failure to comply with this requirement when racing will result in disqualification.


1.1     Life Jackets or buoyancy aids shall be worn at all times when racing, sailing dinghies and when using the club’s powerboats & sailboats.

1.2     Children shall always wear life jackets or buoyancy aids when afloat and when on the foreshore and jetties.

1.3     Boat Class rules define the minimum buoyancy and safety equipment requirements and the owner shall ensure that their boat complies.

1.4     The owners shall insure their boats for at least third party liability to a minimum extent of £1,000,000 and ensure they are in a seaworthy condition.

1.5     The skipper is responsible for making their own assessment of the competence of their crew and on the weather conditions to determine whether it’s safe for them to launch or sail.

1.6     The skipper is responsible for ensuring their rescue provision is adequate.

1.7     Jetties & pontoons are dangerous places; adult supervision is required for children  when they are on them.

1.8     A responsible adult shall supervise campfires on the club grounds.

1.9     The maximum driving speed limit is 5 mph within the club grounds. However, there are often children playing therefore extra vigilance is necessary at all times.

1.10   Members are required to report defects or breakages in the records book. This is displayed in the clubhouse near the phone. Also report it to a committee member if present.

1.11   The club first aid box is situated in the clubhouse beside the phone.



2.       Safety Boats


The Club has two types of powered craft available for the safety boat cover during Club racing and on-water events.  Firstly there are two displacement boats powered by inboard diesel engines which are used in support of general on water activities. In addition the club also has two Rigid Inflatable Boats, RIB’S, which are more commonly used for the purposes of providing safety boat cover for dinghies during racing due to their ease of manoeuvrability and low freeboard.


The Club safety boats are in attendance during Club racing. At all times however, and particularly during weekdays, members sail at their own risk, and the responsibility of deciding whether or not the prevailing conditions are too much for them is their decision alone. This applies even during racing, when the decision to sail or not, to continue or return, rests only with the individual helmsman and not with the race officer


The club endorses the RYA Powerboat scheme and can provide this training within the club to ensure that wherever possible we can meet the requirements as laid out in RYA guidance. To ensure that we meet our obligations we have set the following rules.


2.1     Only persons authorised can drive the club RIB safety boats. This also requires a level 2 or higher RYA certificate in the powerboat scheme.

2.2     Nobody under the age of sixteen years can operate the club’s powerboats unsupervised.

2.3     The slow rescue boats can be used only by authorised persons after training in starting and handling or to level 2 or higher in the RYA powerboat scheme.

2.4     All rescue boats are limited to a maximum of 8 persons.

2.5     Smoking is not permitted in any safety boats.



3.       Club Sailing Dinghies


The club owns a number of boats that are available to members to use.  The Toppers are normally stored on their transportation trailer in the dinghy park and during the week are secured by a padlock. The key for the trailer is available from the Committee room. A signing out book is placed on the table next to the office and must be filled in each time one of the club boats is used. Any defects or damage to the boats must also be recorded here so that they can be repaired.  Members may be liable for repair of damage.


3.1     The club’s Toppers are primarily for training & learning purposes of junior members.

3.2     The Toppers are restricted to an area within the club’s inner racing area. See Topper rules.

3.3     The maximum wind speed limit for club Toppers is 15 knots (Force 4).

3.4     Juniors are not permitted to take out Toppers unless they are supervised by a competent adult and safety boat cover is available.

3.5     The club’s Wayfarers may be used by members for general sailing who have gained a minimum of RYA stage 2 certificate or equivalent experience. This will allow new members the opportunity to sail whilst choosing a boat to purchase.

3.6     A maximum of two persons are allowed in each Topper.

3.7     The maximum ratio of students to instructors when training is 6 to 1 and up to six boats.

3.8     Toppers shall be prepared for sailing with the rudders and centreboards secured / tied to the boat.

3.9     The club has three 420’s. These are used for advanced training in the use of spinnakers and trapezing techniques. These boats should only be used under the approval and supervision of the Training Principal or his deputy due to the increased risks of entrapment in the event of a capsize whilst using the trapeze. 

Boats should always be put away in a manner that you would expect to find them.



4.       Clubhouse and Grounds


The Clubhouse facilities and the Club grounds are open to use by all members and it is each individuals’ responsibility to help with the upkeep of these grounds and facilities. Housekeeping is an ongoing task at the Club and your support in helping keep the Clubhouse and grounds to a standard that we all enjoy would be appreciated. 

Remember, the first impressions that any prospective member gets when entering the club grounds are important.


4.1     The clubhouse shall be open to members at such times as the committee     shall direct. The present normal hours of opening are as follows: 0600hrs to 2400hrs.

4.2     NO SMOKING is allowed the Clubhouse

4.3     The clubhouse galley is available for use by members but they are required to    clean up afterwards and to respect the ownership of food and drink placed in fridges by those who own them.

4.4     The clubhouse workshop is available for use by members but they are required to clean up afterwards.

4.5     The clubhouse lockers are available for an annual fee but fuel and paint are not permitted to be stored inside them. These are required to be stored in the fuel store.

4.6     Sleeping overnight in the clubhouse is prohibited.

4.7     Our Clubhouse and grounds are vulnerable to intruders. Therefore to ensure that security is maintained please ensure that you close and lock the gate and if you are last to leave check that all the buildings are closed and locked.

4.8     Park cars so that they do not to cause obstruction to other cars or to approaches to the clubhouse or slipways.

4.9     Members should respect the disabled parking areas and ensure that they are not used for boat or car parking. In addition members should respect the needs of members who have special needs and therefore should ensure that access ways to and from the Sailability pontoon are kept clear and free of tripping hazards. Remember we do have an additional duty of care to those with special needs.

4.10   Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and their owners are responsible for clearing up and disposing of any fouling immediately.

4.11   Members are not permitted to dispose of equipment, oil, fuel, antifouling, solvents or rubbish in the club grounds or in the loch.

4.12   Members shall behave with consideration and courtesy both to one another and visitors at all times.

4.13   Members should ensure noise levels are kept to a minimum after 2300hrs to minimise the disturbance to other members.

4.14   Members with Keel boats must make provision to have their boats either launched or moved from the dinghy park area prior to the First Fling at the start of the season.

4.15   At all times the launching areas should be kept clear to allow ease of access to and from the water for those trailers that require to use the launching bar. 



5.       Limitation of Club Liability and Guests


Members are encouraged to bring new members to the Club and to accommodate this visitors are allowed to sail at the club for up to six visits before we would expect them to apply for membership. The only conditions that the Committee would like to draw your attention to in this respect are:


5.1     Members are permitted to invite their friends to the club while the member escorts them.

5.2     Guests are bound by the Bye-Laws and club rules. The club will not accept any liability for any damage to or loss of property belonging to the members, guest or visitors.

5.3     The club will not accept liability for personal injury arising out of the use of the club premises and any other facilities of the club either sustained by members, their guest or visitors or caused by said members, guests or visitors whether or not such damage or injury could have been attributed to or was occasioned by neglect, default or negligence of any Officers, Committee or Servants of the club.



6.       Moorings


Due to the restricted areas that the club can use for Moorings there is a limit on the number of keelboats that can be accommodated during the sailing season. To cope with this limitation and the ever increasing demand, a Moorings convenor sits on the Main Committee to represent the needs of the Keel boats.


6.1     The moorings are managed annually through the committee and the mooring rules are displayed in the clubhouse.



7.       Caravan Site


The Caravan Site is currently full and there is a waiting list. Members are required to complete a full year’s membership before they can request a place on the waiting list. The main Committee allocate vacant sites to members who sail regularly and take an active role within the club. Members can camp in the field overnight  (there will be a charge for this) but due to restricted space they are required to make prior arrangements with the Caravan Site Convenor who sits on the main Committee and represents the needs of the Caravan Site users.


7.1     The caravan site & caravans are managed annually through the committee and the caravan rules are displayed in the clubhouse.



8.       Abandoned boats & Equipment


Boat parking is always at a premium at the Club and a continuous effort is made to ensure that active sailors are parked within reasonable proximity to the slipways. Boats that the Committee consider to be unused or unlikely to be used during the season may be moved to a more suitable storage location in consideration of those who sail regularly.


8.1     Abandoned boats & equipment shall be disposed of by following the RYA’s recommended procedure in appendix 1 of “An RYA handbook of law and administration for sailing and motor-boating clubs & schools”.


8.2 Trailers and trolleys must be marked up with a means of identifying ownership. This can be achieved by tagging the trailer / trolley  with the Members name and membership number.


These rules have been generated over many years by individual members of the club who have represented the Club membership on the Main Committee. The rules have been introduced to the Club to ensure that wherever practicable the safety and well being of the membership is at the forefront of any activity that is undertaken.


Should any member feel that there are areas of safety or welfare that could be improved upon then please make your concerns known to the Main Committee, whose photographs appear on the Club notice-board, so that they can be considered and addressed for the good of the Club membership as a whole.


The Main Committee meet monthly, normally the first Sunday of the month, to discuss and progress the overall management of the Club. Contact details for all Committee members can be found on the Club Website,


9.       Members’ Involvement


New members will complete a Probationary period of one Calendar year from the date of their election, during which a commitment to sailing or racing is required with participation in club events both on and off shore including Regattas, racing and work parties. (AGM 2008)


The continuing good health of a small club such as ours is dependent upon the contributions of its membership whether through serving on the Club Committee, making skills or resources available, taking part in the work parties, and taking turns on the OOD/Safety Boat driving roster. Relevant training is available: just ask a Committee member.


Please ensure that you participate, rather than leaving everything to “someone else”.



Club Rules Handbook Version 1.0

23 November 2014