Cody Daysailing Guidelines

Sailing guidelines

These guidelines are provided to assist you in ensuring that your boat and experience match the kind of daysail that we are planning.

These guidelines are drawn from best practice and practical experience of our members and other similar organisations undertaking activities as our own. They have been drawn together in this document to assist members in ensuring that boats, equipment and crew experience, match the kind of day sail that the club is planning. Due to other mitigating circumstances, it is most likely that some of the recommendations and suggestions below will not be practical to implement and the document is intended for use as a set of guidelines only.

If you are new to sailing, please do not be put off by this document, as there is always a requirement to balance the strengths of our boat crews. This ensures new sailors or those new to sailing on tidal waters have the opportunity to sail with and learn from our more experienced members.

The essentials

We don’t plan to sail if there is a force 6 in the Met Office Inland Waters Forecast for the area where we plan to sail.

An Important note, the skipper of a sailing dinghy has a legal responsibilityfor the safety of their boat, their crew and other mariners and nothing here changes that legal responsibility. It is therefore an essential requirement, that boat skippers are competent to make impromptu decisions regarding the safety of their boat and crew, outside of the planned Cody event, should the need arise due to any extenuating circumstances. 

It should also be noted, the areas that are designated in the three categories below are segregated for guidance and relevant to sailing those areas in benign summer conditions. Weather and tidal state, will play a big part in the conditions that a crew will be faced with on any given day and can and will change in an instant and which could make a fairly benign sail into a more demanding experience, even when sailing on inland waters and shall always be significant factors in what you will experience on tidal waters.

Remember the Solent is busy with commercial shipping from Portsmouth and Southampton through defined shipping lanes. A keen lookout while crossing shipping lanes and avoidance of all commercial shipping vessels is essential. If you are not sure you are able to cross a shipping lane in time to be well clear of an approaching vessel, then alter course to go behind the vessel and skippers should be aware at all times where these shipping lanes and associated restrictions impact their passage plans.


Local sailing (in high winds) at Plymouth

CATEGORY 1 – Eg, Inland, beach days, local sailing at camp.

If skippering a club boat, a minimum expected competency of RYA Level 2 or a qualification of equivalent standard, plus regular skippering to maintain skills and with a tidal endorsement if sailing on tidal waters.

Boat

  • Should have suitable buoyancy so that it will float in the event of a capsize
  • £3,000,000 liability insurance

Helm and crew

  • Should be able to maneuver a boat in forecast conditions without risk of collision. – Be aware of collision avoidance rules – ‘rights of way’.
  • Skipper be familiar with sailing area proposed, understand the potential hazards within that area and be competent to mitigate those hazards.
  • Be able to right boat after capsizing.
  • Be able to reef a boat ashore to balance the sail plan to the strengths of the helm and crew.
  • Your personal fitness, the fitness of your crew, the quality of your equipment and vessel need to be proportionate to the risks likely to be experienced in the activity you are about to undertake. 

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT

  • Basic First Aid Kit including survival bag
  • Buoyancy aids, bailer, and suitable clothing, (note the sea temperature on our southern shores is very cold, even in the summer, so a minimum of a wetsuit, wet boots and wind resistant waterproofs to put over the suit is recommended, given that launching, recovering and sailing dinghies is almost guaranteed to be a wet experience.
  • Compass and chartlet to navigate in low visibility conditions (recommended for tidal waters)
  • Tow rope and at least two good paddles – so you can propel the boat to safety or towed to safety in the event of no wind or halyard etc failure.
  • Whistle – So that you can raise an alarm
  • Knife (Preferably a safety knife) – So you can cut ropes in an emergency, also cake and cheese.
  • Water / hot drinks – maintain morale, energy levels and hydration.
  • Sun cream.

Sailing while reefed on the Solent – Stokes Bay

CATEGORY 2 – Day Sailing

E.g. Day sailing (anything that involves going somewhere for lunch and then sailing back), inside the bar at Chichester, Salcombe, Helford and the Solent 

However, it should be noted weather and tidal state, will play a big part in the conditions that a crew will be faced with on any given day and can and will change in an instance and which could make a fairly benign sail into a more hair raising experience and shall always be significant factors in what you will experience on tidal waters.

If skippering a club boat on Category 2 and more adventurous day-sailing, you will need a minimum required competency of a recently taken RYA Seamanship Certificate or qualification of equivalent standard, plus regular sailing to keep the experience fresh.

Boat

  • An ability to be reefed easily whilst afloat, so that should conditions underway change for the worse, you can alter the sail area easily to match those conditions. If this is not possible, your passage plan should include escape points, so that you can easily make changes and get yourself to shore and to suitable recovery.

Skipper with the help of the crew should be able to

  • Safely handle the boat in F5 winds and moderate sea conditions
  • Have the knowledge and confidence to reef the boat quickly whilst afloat.
  • Have the ability to navigate using charts, tidal data and compass, so you can independently figure out the way home if there is an emergency or you get separated from the fleet
  • Know where on the water to sail to take the most advantage of and to avoid difficulties caused by tides.
  • Can keep the vessel safe and away from the shore by the proper use of an anchor.
  • Passage plan– In order to know where you are going independently of the OOD briefing, in case an emergency occurs, or you find yourself separated from the rest of the fleet
  • Ensue your personal fitness, the fitness of your crew, the quality of your equipment and vessel is proportionate to the risks identified in your passage plan. 

Recommended Equipment

  • Mobile smart phone in waterproof bag – in order to contact emergency services if required – navigation app
  • Basic First aid kit including survival bag
  • Proper anchor, (preferably not grapnel), of a suitable size with 2m chain and 30m of rode, (leaded rode is a very viable alternative to chain for easier stowage on a dinghy) – So you can deploy and hold the vessel away from the shore should the need arise.
  • Whistle – So that you can raise an alarm.
  • Throw-over-the-side Orange Smoke to guide the approach of emergency services if needed.
  • Safety Knife – So you can cut ropes in an emergency, also cake and cheese.
  • Compass and chartlet to navigate in low visibility conditions.
  • Wet suit or dry suit with waterproofs and spare clothing in dry bag – to stay safe and comfortable in variety of changing weather conditions.
  • Food, Water / hot drinks– maintain morale, energy levels and hydration.
  • Sun cream.
  • Oars and rowlocks and / or outboard and / or at least two good paddles and a tow rope – so you can propel the boat to safety or be towed to safety, in the event of no wind or gear failure.
  • Sturdy bucket or bailer attached to boat on lanyard – So you can empty the boat of water in the event of capsize (applies to all vessels).

Consider additional equipment

  • Navigation App
  • Basic spares for boat – So the boat can remain seaworthy if something breaks or goes wrong
  • Map/chart – So you know where you are, and can avoid hazards
  • Basic outboard spares and tools, so you can repair the outboard if it stops working.

An adventurous sail to Whitecliffe Bay from Stokes Bay

CATEGORY 3 – Open Waters

e.g. Open water sailing, e.g. beyond Hurst point and Bembridge, outside the bar at Chichester, Salcombe, Helford and the Solent in general in anything beyond benign summer weather conditions and multiple day cruising.

If skippering a club boat on Category 3 and more adventurous day-sailing, a minimum expected competency of a recently taken RYA Seamanship Certificate or qualification of equivalent standard, plus regular sailing to keep the experience fresh.

Everything for Category 1 and 2 plus:

Boat

  • Be able to sail at the same speed or faster than a well helmed Wanderer (PY1190) – So that you can keep up with the fleet OR the cruise shall have a passage plan that considers all the craft planned to take part in an event.

Skipper

  • Ability to navigate using charts and compass – So you can independently figure out the way home if there is an emergency or you get separated from the fleet

Recommend Additional Equipment to categories 1 & 2

  • Basic spares for boat – So the boat can remain seaworthy if something breaks or goes wrong
  • Map/chart– So you know where you are, and can avoid hazards

Consider Additional equipment

  • Waterproof VHF – So you can contact maritime emergency services
  • Proper Fenders and Mooring warps, two long and two short – So you can moor against a pontoon
  • Second anchor, chain and rode – So you can hold the vessel securely in position
  • Comprehensive spares/repair kit – So you can mend common issues with equipment
  • Waterproof torch – So you can show a light if the cruise runs over the expected time
  • Emergency Services Guides – Flares / LED Flare – So you can guide emergency services to the scene of an emergency
  • Emergency rations – So you can survive an emergency for 12 hours
  • Sufficient funds to be able to leave your vessel elsewhere, and take public transport back to your towing vehicle to be able to recover your vessel in the event of an incident that renders your vessel unusable.

Your personal fitness, the fitness of your crew, the quality of your equipment and vessel need to be proportionate to the risk on your passage plan, and you would be following best practices for multi-day dinghy cruises that are beyond the scope of this document.

Recent Posts

Mind the laundry – adventures on the Exe.

A last minute decision to take a trip to Exmouth on the evening of Friday 5th October saw Mel and Steve travel to Exmouth to join Nick and others on a daysail in the estuary on Saturday.

The forecast had been for F4-5 from the East and Topsham would have been an easy destination, but as the week progressed the forecast abruptly changed to zero for Saturday morning.

The millpond of the estuary – paddling only…

And it is onto a millpond of reflection that four boats began the paddle; Nick and his crew in his beautiful Trio, two people in the Wayfarer and two in an RS Vision (I apologise, I am useless at remembering names). After an hour, and with 20 minutes left of the flood tide it was clear that Topsham was not a likely destination, and we diverted to the unbelievably picturesque Lympstone. This is where the laundry comes into the story – the dwellings in Lympstone have no gardens, and the locals have taken to hanging their washing on the shoreline on ropes strung between great wooden poles to dry.

Foreshore laundry.

We avoided the laundry as we made land and shortly afterwards enjoyed the hospitality of Susannah’s Tea Room, a lovely traditional coffee-shop cum centre-of-village-life walkers cafe with yummy cake and drinks.
While we were enjoying the good company and coffee, the wind built to a F3 from the SW. The other boats headed back, and we followed the navigation marks to Topsham. As it happens, the twists and turns of the navigable river forced us to enjoy some lovely spinnaker broad reaches.
The water gets shallow in Topsham, and without local knowledge we chose not to land, because it looked like it would be easy to get stranded; at one point it looked as if we were in the middle of the channel and were in only in 70cm of water with 40m to the shore…

The beat back to Exe SC was in F3-4 was with the ebb tide under us. We briefly stopped at a secluded beach just north of Lympstone, nestled between the red Triassic rocks of the area, and mused that a Cody SC expedition to this estuary should include a stop here for lunch. In total, we sailed about 14 miles.

Triassic Rocks and Trio.

Thanks to Nick for arranging the facility at Exe SC, and pies, Laura for helping us drop the boat at the sailing club late on Friday, the skippers and crew of the other boats (I should have taken a pad and paper with me) for their engaging and knowledgable company at the coffee stop, and apologies again to Annie for shying a soft drink all over her just after she’d provided it to me at the bar.

The wind on Sunday was forecast F4-6, and when we got to the club, also blowing a F4-6 so we left the racers to it.

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