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Home / Club Terms and Policies / Club Rules & By-laws
Home / Club Terms and Policies / Club Rules & By-laws

Club Rules & By-laws

Datchet Water Sailing Club is a Company limited by Guarantee. A copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association may be seen by asking the General Manager or a Flag Officer.

A copy of these Club Rules are also available for download.

1.Club Opening Times

Sailing can only take place when the Club is open for sailing; this is indicated by the Club Burgee being flown from the Club flagpole. (See 2. Sailing Regulations)

The water will open 1-hour after the gates open and close 1-hour before the gates close. This will be signalled by flags.

If you require access to the boat park outside of these times you can hire a gate key from the office.

2.Sailing Regulations

Members, their guests and day sailors must:

(a) Adhere at all times when sailing (and not just when racing) to the Datchet Water Sailing Club Sailing Instructions. This regulation overrules the non-racing exclusion in the introduction to 'Part 2 - When Boats Meet' of the International Sailing Federation Racing Rules of Sailing, which form the basis of the Club's Sailing Instructions.

(b) Comply with the flags flown from the pole outside the office. These indicate the state of patrol cover and whether the water is open or not. The flagpole signals are:

(c)Make every effort to keep clear of boats/board sailors that are actively engaged in a formal race or Junior & Youth Squad members undergoing formal training.

(d) Wear adequate personal buoyancy whilst afloat, on the pontoons, or on the steep slopes, or 1 meter from the waters edge (The following do not constitute adequate personal buoyancy: Wetsuits, Dry suits)

Windsurfing Personal Buoyancy

As an exception to the above rule, Intermediate and Advanced windsurfers with sufficient experience in the use of a harness may, at their own discretion, choose not to wear any additional buoyancy whilst wearing a harness. The club strongly recommend the use of buoyancy aids for all windsurfers.

(e) From 1st May until 31st October the following minimum clothing requirements are mandatory:

Board Sailors a dry suit or a wet suit that covers the legs, trunk and chest. Shoulders and arms shall also be covered, but this need not be in wet suit material.

From November 1st until April 30th, or at any other time when International Code Flag 'Y' is flown from the Clubhouse Flagpole, the following minimum clothing requirements are mandatory:

Board sailors - a winter 'Steamer' or Dry Suit with appropriate thermal undergarments

Dinghy/multi-hull Sailors - a full Wetsuit or Dry Suit with appropriate thermal undergarments

Keelboat Sailors - a Full Wetsuit or Dry Suit with appropriate thermal undergarments.

3.Organisation of Sailing

A member of the Club will be nominated as Officer of the Day (OOD) for each day or part of a day on which sailing takes place. The instructions of the OOD shall be obeyed without demur.

4.Boats that may be Sailed

(a)Only approved craft may be sailed on the reservoir.

(b)The Club may prohibit any individual or item of equipment at any time.

(c)No outboard motor driven or power driven boats other than Club Boats or boats authorised by a club official are permitted.

(d)Every boat shall be steered by a member, temporary member or the guest of a member holding a crew/helm pass provided that the member is in the boat at the time. and participants on a training course. Every boat entered in a race shall be the property of a member or temporary member, or of the Club.

(e)Club Safety Boats shall only be driven by those who are in possession of an RYA Level 2 Power Boat certificate or equivalent as determined by the Club Principal, Chief Powerboat Instructor or Safety Boat Officer. Non-qualified members may drive Club boats if under the supervision of a Club Power Boat Instructor.


Every member is required to undertake a minimum of two club duties per annum.

The club duties are:

Race Management

Safety Boat coxswain (for qualified members only)

Safety Boat crew (must be aged 18 and over or qualified to PB2)

Work Party

Officer of the Day

a) Buyout Provision

Any member who is either unable or unwilling to fulfil their commitment to undertake duties may buy out their duties by paying the current buy out fee, at the beginning of the Club year. N.B. if both adults of a Family Membership wish to buy out, the fee will be double.

b)Failure to attend for Duties

Any member who fails to attend for a duty may, at the discretion of the Club Flag Officers, have their membership suspended and their membership card revoked. Such members shall be reinstated upon the payment of such a sum of money as may be set by Council from time to time.

c)Duty Swap

It is the responsibility of the individual member to obtain a replacement should they be unable to undertake a duty. If, however, they are unable to do so they may, on payment of a fee, request the General Manager to obtain a replacement.

d)Duty Rosters

I. Club officials may, at their request, opt out of all other duties.

ii. Safety coxswains will not normally be rostered for any other duties unless they elect otherwise.

iii. The General Manager will manage the OOD and race duty rosters, after preparation by the relevant officials.

iv. The Club operates an online rostering system, details of which are available from the Club office or on the website.

v. Rostered members wishing to exchange a duty must make their own arrangements and this can be done through the online system.

vi. Members reporting for duty are responsible for ensuring that their attendance is recorded, by the OOD, on that day's duty list, which the OOD will forward to the General Manager.

vii. The General Manager will deal with genuine hardship cases sympathetically.


All boats must be insured to cover third party liability of at least £2,000,000 and all boat-owning members will be required to sign a declaration to this effect each year.

7.Boat Identification

All boats shall bear a current boat sticker. This shall be stuck to the mast or transom so that it is visible even when the cover is on. Without the sticker in place the member's right to use the water will be challenged and any boat without a visible sticker may be removed from the dinghy park or from the water. (see paragraph 12)

8.Limitation of Club's Liability

Members of the Club, their guests and visitors, may use the Club Premises, and any other facilities of the Club, entirely at their own risk and impliedly accept that:

(a)The Club will not accept any liability for any damage to or loss of property belonging to members, their guests or visitors to the Club.

(b) The Club will not accept any liability for personal injury arising out of the use of the Club premises, and any other facilities of the Club, or out of participation in any race organised by the Club, whether sustained by members, their guests 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 the neglect, default or negligence of any of the Officers, Committee or servants of the Club.


(a)All children under the age of 12 must wear life jackets or personal buoyancy at all times when out on the beach and launching areas as well as whilst on the water.

(b)Parents or Guardians of persons under the age of 16 shall be responsible for their safety, actions and behaviour whilst at the Club.

(c)Any person under the age of 16 wishing to sail may do so provided that they have

(1)Achieved an RYA stage 3 certificate

(2)Are sailing with a cadet sailor who has achieve an RYA stage 4 certificate

(3)Under training by the person authorised by the club

Any person under the age of 8 wishing to sail may do so provided:

(1) The parent/guardian assumes full responsibility for the child

10. Parking

(a)Cars shall be parked only in authorised car parking areas.

(b)Boat trailers shall not be left in car parking areas.

(c) When the water is low, cars and trailers may be taken to the water's edge for launching and recovery but shall not be left on the beach area.

11. Berthing/Mooring

(a)No boat shall be left in the Boat Park or on a mooring without the prior permission of the General Manager, or the OOD may permit parking in temporary storage area.

(b)All boats must be securely tied down and locked when left in the Boat Park. Halyards are to be made fast in such a manner as to prevent them flapping on masts.

(c)Boats must be berthed/moored only in the berth/mooring allocated by the General Manager.

(d)The General Manager must be notified in writing of any change in boat ownership.

(e) When deemed necessary for any of the following reasons:

(i) the safety of the boat or any other boat

(ii) the proper secure and efficient running of the Club

(iii) non-payment of fees

(iv) failure to display a current membership sticker

The Club at any time and without prior notice to the member may move any boat and any piece of equipment and or any trolley or trailer associated therewith from its authorised berth or mooring or from any other part of the Club's premises.

Any such boat, piece of equipment, trolley or trailer may be moved at the Club's discretion to another berth/mooring or another part of the Club's premises or to a compound designated for such a purpose.

The General Manager will make every endeavour to notify the boat owner, as soon as possible, that his boat has been moved.

The Club accepts no responsibility for the security or safety of any boat that it was necessary to move.

12. Day Sailing

Day sailors shall adhere to the Club Rules and shall not sail before first buying a Day Sailing ticket.

13. Abandoned Boats

If at any time any boat fees payable to the Club by any member or former member shall be three months or more in arrears:

(a)The Council shall be entitled to move the boat to any other part of the Club's premises without being liable for any loss or damage to the boat howsoever caused.

(b)The Council shall be entitled upon giving one month's notice in writing to the member or former member, at their last known address shown in the register of members, to sell the boat and to deduct any monies due to the Club (whether by way of arrears of subscription or boat fees or otherwise) from the net proceeds of sale before accounting for the balance (if any) to the member or former member.

(c) Alternatively, any boat which in the opinion of the Council cannot be sold may, upon such notice as before said, be disposed of in any manner the Council may think fit and the expenses recovered from the member or former member, any arrears as aforesaid shall be deemed to be a debt owed to the Club by the member or former member.

Further the Club shall, at all times, have a lien over all members or former members' boats parked or moored on the Club's premises or Club moorings in respect of all moneys due to the Club, whether in respect of arrears of subscriptions or boat fees or otherwise.

If a boat found berthed on the Club premises, is not bearing a current Club sticker, and cannot be identified as belonging to a member, the Club will take all reasonable steps to trace the owner. If the Club is unsuccessful in tracing the owner it may sell or dispose of the boat as it deems fit.

14. Bar Rules

(a)The purchase by the Club and supply by the Club of intoxicating liquor shall be expressly controlled by Council.

(b)Intoxicating liquor may be sold for consumption on the premises only to members over the age of 18 who are entitled to use the premises of the Club and who have been members for at least 48 hours. In addition, any person who is a competitor in any race sponsored or organised by or on behalf of the Club and any person who is a member of the crew of such a competitor for the purpose of the race is entitled to the use of the Club premises and its facilities, (subject to paragraphs (e) (i) and (e) (ii) hereof) within a period of 24 hours before and after the race in which they are competing.

(c) Guests

(i)Any member may introduce as his guest any person provided that the member so introducing enters the name and address of said guest and his own name in a book for such purpose and at no time leaves the Club premises while said guest is thereon. No member may introduce any guests more than six times in any calendar year. No member may introduce more than four adult guests in any one day and no one guest may use the amenities of the reservoir more than once in any calendar year, irrespective of who introduces such guest.

(ii)Any member introducing a guest shall ensure that the guest complies with the rules and by-laws of the Club and the regulations of the Council for the time being in force.

(iii)All members and guests shall conduct themselves at all times, ashore and afloat, in a manner such that they will not detract from the enjoyment of the Club's facilities by other members or guests or give offence thereto.

(d) Intoxicating liquor may be sold to persons attending the Club premises for social or other functions organised or authorised by the Club provided always:

that the number of such functions shall not exceed twelve in any one year

no function shall be permitted to which admission may be obtained by payment of money at the door whether for a ticket or otherwise.

(e) Under age drinking

(i)No person under the age of 18 may purchase or attempt to purchase or consume intoxicating liquor within the Club premises.

(ii)No person may purchase or attempt to purchase intoxicating liquor for consumption by a person under the age of 18 within the Club premises.

(f)No intoxicating liquor shall be sold for consumption off the Club premises except to a member, over 18 years of age, in person.

(g)The sale of intoxicating liquor will normally be restricted to the following periods; times will be amended in accordance with legislation as necessary:

September to April

Monday to Friday


Saturday & Sunday

12 noon to 16.00

May to August

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday



18.30 to 22.30

Saturday & Sunday

12 noon to 16.00

(h) A register containing the names and addresses of all members shall be kept on the premises at all times.

15. Safety, Health & Environment

The Club has a Safety, Health and Environment Policy endorsed by Council and approved by the Commodore. To implement this policy the Club has set up a risk based SHE Management System to safeguard the welfare of the Club's employees, members and visitors. A copy of the policy and system manual is available for reference in the office and via the Club website.

Members can greatly assist the Club in living up to its policy by compliance with the Club Rules and by taking sensible measures when at the Club - such as being careful on the beach which is often slippery, by avoiding the creation of litter, by obeying speed limits etc.

In the event of an incident or accident a First Aid kit is maintained in the Office. In the event of any incident or accident please report this by means of the report book in the General Manager's office.

16. Rule Compliance

Every member, upon election and thereafter, is deemed to have notice of, and impliedly undertakes to comply with, the Club Rules and the current Bylaws and Regulations of the Club. Any refusal or neglect to do so, or any conduct that, in the opinion of the Council, is either unworthy of a member or otherwise injurious to the interests of the Club, shall render a member liable to expulsion by Council.

Explanatory note, not forming part of the Club Rules.

These rules are made for the good of the membership. Adherence to them is expected and necessary for the smooth running of Datchet Water Sailing Club.

As circumstances change the rules may be up-dated, added to or amended. A current copy is always available from the General Manager.


Last updated 12:46 on 8 February 2024

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