Buddy Sailing

Buddy Sailing Introduction

Buddy sailing covers a situation where two craft are afloat but the sailing club is closed and no safety boat is on the water.

Such sailing by club members can only be done during the sailing season (currently March 1st to mid-November), and in daylight hours.

At all other times (i.e. published sailing times) the sailing is covered by the club bye-laws.


The primary responsibility for safety in boating and windsurfing activities lies with the individual participant.  Personal competence, developed through training and experience in a variety of conditions, is the most important single factor in the achievement of adequate safety standards. There is no common yardstick by which competence can be measured but it is seen to encompass the following:

  1. Awareness of weather and water conditions and the limitations these impose on the individual’s ability to cope.
  2. Technical competence in boat & windsurf equipment handling.
  3. The ability to recognise and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Buoyancy Aids:

Adequate personal buoyancy as defined in the bye-laws shall be worn by all sailors at all times while afloat.

Protective Clothing:

No person shall be afloat without the appropriate protective clothing suitable for the prevailing and forecast weather and water conditions. Compliance with this rule is the responsibility of the individual.


Any craft used shall have its designed buoyancy maintained in satisfactory working order.


Other than at scheduled sailing times, the clubhouse is closed and locked. Buddy sailing means there is no access to changing, catering or toilet facilities. No-one wanting to ‘Buddy-sail’ should ask for club-house keys or to gain access to club facilities. This is to cover the club for insurance purposes.


For insurance purposes and to prevent unauthorised access, Buddy sailing is for club members only. Guests may not be introduced and boats not owned by club members cannot be sailed.

Restrictions on Sailing:

  1. There shall always be at least two craft on the water at any one time so that one is available to stand by and give assistance if the other should get into difficulties.
  2. Those craft shall stay within sight of each other at all times and should keep a lookout for other craft.
  3. Sailors going afloat do so entirely at their own risk.
  4. Sailing may only take place during daylight hours.

Junior Members:

Junior members (under the age of 16) shall only be allowed on the water when ‘buddy’ sailing is in operation if they are qualified to RYA Windsurfing Certificate Level 2 or RYA Level 2 or above and are sailing as part of a group comprising at least two adults, one of which shall be a supervising parent or guardian in attendance at all times.

Third Party Insurance:

All members afloat shall abide by the clubs existing rules on 3rd Party Insurance cover.

Distress Signalling:

During buddy sailing times, all must be aware of the recognised signal of distress. This is illustrated on a poster under the balcony. All craft shall carry spare line with which a boat can be towed or be used as a replacement inhaul/outhaul.

Remember:      If in doubt, don’t go out!

SDSC Main Committee