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DSC Return to Water!

Following the NI Executive announcement last week which allows an increase in group numbers from 6 to10 & Ards and North Down Borough Council installing moorings into and opening the harbour for use again, DSC will now be able to provide support to sailors on the water. We welcome this further easing of restrictions and appreciate our members support in following the guidelines but would stress again that all members must use the booking system if planning to sail from DSC. A lot of work has gone on in the background to get this far, interpretations of rules and guidelines, developing our own risk assessments and protocols to allow use to operate in a restricted manor during these unprecedented times. We need to adjust to the ‘new normal’ so please bear with us. The online booking system is an important part of the club being able to return to the water as it allows us to manage numbers and provides track & trace records if required. We would remind you again that the group numbers are restricted to 10 persons on the water at any time. Social distancing must be maintained at all times. We will keep these procedures under review and may have to make changes to ensure compliance with Government restrictions. Please note double handed boats can only be sailed by crew from the same household and the guidance on shared hard surfaces remains unchanged. Full safety boat cover will not be available, support boats will be provided for club organized recreational sailing, to provide towing and support on the water due to DSC’s operating area. Please read and follow the guidance, we appreciate your patience during these challenging times, thank you .


Guidelines for Observing COVID-19 Restrictions when visiting Donaghadee Sailing Club (DSC) In order to safely reopen the club dinghy parks and access to the slipway we have had to implement a booking system to limit the number of sailors at the club. We would ask that ALL members planning to visit the club, read these guidelines carefully before booking or arriving at DSC and check them before making future visits as they will be periodically updated with the latest information. *Please note limited support boat cover will be available for these initial stages. We will have sailing available for small groups in sessions, up to 10 can book per session. This is required in accordance with NI Executive guidelines. Sessions currently available to book on the following dates/times:  **Please ensure you adhere to the guidelines below at all times when visiting the club. The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on the frontline services. We all have a role to play in adhering to the Government guidelines and therefore we ask you to observe the following:

  • Are you fit to visit? Please do not attend DSC if you, or anyone in your household, are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Book your visit: Please book your visit on the club website, completing one form for each visit you intend to make. The time you book is your time to arrive at the club and you must be away by your session end time.
  • Before travelling: Please check the club website and Facebook for the latest information; if changes in Government guidelines require the Club to be closed again, this will be communicated by these methods. We will also send email notification of any changes.


General Guidance Be considerate of others. Be conservative in your activity.

  • At all times please show consideration for others by respecting the social distancing requirement of 2 metres.
  • At this initial stage only DSC members with their own boat or under a current hire agreement can sail. This is currently under review – but currently any other club vessel cannot be used at this time except for support / safety boats, primarily due to the ‘Shared surfaces guidelines”, and competency rules.
  • Those coming to the Club may engage in single handed sailing or double handed sailing but only with members of your own household. Members may also visit the boat parks to carry out maintenance work on their boats.
  • Please be aware of inherent risks and minimise contact with shared hard surfaces. Ensure hands are thoroughly washed before your arrival and bring hand sanitiser for personal use. Hand sanitiser will also be available at clearly marked areas around the club.
  • Please bring your own equipment when working on your boats and if you have to use club equipment for any reason, please bring cleaning products and cloths and clean any hard surfaces before and after use.
  • DSC Junior member sailing – as full safety cover will not be available at this time we would recommend that Juniors give full consideration to their abilities and the conditions before considering to go afloat. For Juniors under the age of 16 we require a parent or adult family member to remain within the vicinity of the club whilst the junior member is on the water.
  • If you suspect any equipment has been exposed to the virus, clean thoroughly and immediately advise the club duty flag officer or RYA Principal. This equipment must not be used for a period of 72 hours.
  • Water hoses will not be available to rinse boats.
  • Members visiting DSC must not gather in groups of more than 10 (with social distancing maintained), unless it is with members of your own household.
  • Please observe and follow guidance any signage on site. The dinghy park has a clockwise one way system in operation , and the slip way similar traffic management in place to control flow of boats and trollies, please allow room to social distance whilst rigging. 
  • Restrictions are in place to ensure overcrowding does not take place, this will be managed via the booking system, please note that advance booking is in line with government guidance.
  • The club house facilities and changing rooms will remain closed, please arrive ready to sail and note toilet facilities will not be available. Be prepared to travel home if you get wet!
  • Please bring your own drinks with you, especially if the weather is warm and do not share water bottles or food.
  • Please give careful consideration to prevailing conditions, your own competancy and the condition of your equipment, when taking the decision to go afloat. DSC flag officers and or the RYA principal have the overriding authority to cancel or postpone ‘club organized sailing activity’ or to restrict participation to those members deemed competent for the prevailing conditions during the planned ‘session’.
  • ‘Support boat’s’ may be crewed by a member individually (with RYA Safety Boat Qualification & RYA First Aid), or as a pair from the same household (the helm with RYA Powerboat Level 2 & RYA First Aid). Support boats have been moored in Donaghadee Harbour to avoid launching and recovery opeartions, additional water resistant containors have been provided with ppe and cleaning material.
  • Support / Safety crews should adhere to the published rota and also use the online booking system.

Sessions are available to book here…