2021 – Summer Sailing Continues.  Residential Sailing Resumes from 19 July

(Update 15 July 2021)

We have been fortunate to enjoy the last 3 months of sailing and motor courses and events and, despite the covid measures, we have succeeded in delivering an effective training programme.  The summer and the successful vaccine campaign have opened the door to a great sailing season and we are working flat out to meet a huge demand. We are particularly happy that we can provide the sailing that loyal customers have awaited for so long.

Step 4 of the government roadmap on 19 July allows us to resume residential sailing courses with sailing away overnight and communal meals aboard.  This brings more welcome freedom.  But of course its not over yet and with uncertain trends in infection rates we have to be cautious and do our best to keep things as safe as possible.  So we are moving closer to ‘normality’ but we will keep most of our covid measures in place.  Read on for more detail.

Risk Assessments, Measures and Terms and Conditions

In compliance with government regulation and guidance we completed Risk Assessments for each type of activity and formulated detailed measures to minimize risks and comply with Covid-Secure guidelines.  Our Covid 19 risk assessment valid up until November 2020 is available here.  Most of the assessment is still valid but we are reviewing the document to bring it up to date with government policy at 19 July.  Covid Safety Measures for each type of course or activity are set out in separate documents and links to these are shown at the foot of this page.  As circumstances change we are reviewing the risk assessments and measures for all activities.

All bookings are subject to our Additional T&Cs During Covid.   If you pay a deposit in the normal way you can secure a place and know that, if we are compelled to postpone an event due to covid or if you cannot attend due to covid, you can postpone freely to any later available and acceptable date.

Practical Training

Standard practical (sail) courses will continue to run every week and every weekend with a mix of 5 day courses (Mon – Fri), 2-day and 3-day weekends and also some 2 and 3 day mid-week opportunities.  But from 19 July all standard 5-day and weekend sailing courses will run on a residential basis with overnight stays away from base and communal meals aboard permitted.

Motor Cruising courses resumed at the beginning of May aboard our newly commissioned vessel ‘DRUMMER’ and we have a comprehensive schedule of courses for all levels from beginner to yachtmaster.   Some practical courses such as Helmsman the first day or two of day skipper and coastal skipper courses have always been non-residential.  So the recent restriction of ‘day sailing’ only has not been a big limitation.  Nevertheless the relaxation to allow communal overnight stays is welcome.

The following revised rules and procedures apply to practical training courses:

  1. All practical training courses will begin at 0900 on Day 1 and finish at 1600 on the last day.
  2. Practical courses for sail will include provisions for meals from lunchtime on Day 1 to lunchtime on the last day.  Practical courses for motor will include provisions for a sandwich lunch.  If the course requires the yacht to be at sea overnight, provisions for an evening meals and breakfast will be provided.
  3. Wet weather clothing hire is available with sanitisation measures between users but on a strict advance booking basis.
  4. Cabins allocations for residential courses may involve sharing and will be directed by the instructor.
  5. Customers will be required to self declare their covid health status beforehand and will be temperature tested on arrival.  No other Covid testing is planned for courses of 5 days duration or less.

Milebuilders

Traditional 2-day milebuilders including overnight stays etc can now resume from 19 July.  However, the heavy demand for weekend sailing means that it is unlikely that we will have capacity to schedule them before September.  In the meantime high quality experience-building sailing is available on our adventure sailing programme.

When 2-day milebuilders do resume we will normally start at 1800 in the evening before Day 1 and finish at 1600 on the last day.

For Covid safety measures see the links at the foot of this page.

Shorebased Training

Classroom courses for VHF, First Aid, Diesel Engine and Radar are all available now.  Dates are on the relevant web pages.

Day Skipper and Yachtmaster Shore-based courses have not yet resumed in the classroom.  The reason is that home study and hybrid courses with video classes using the Zoom platform have been very popular, are a very effective replacement for the classroom and they have almost zero Covid risk.  Nevertheless people do value the human contact and unique quality of a classroom course so we will re-introduce classes for small groups from September 2021

For Covid safety measures see the links at the foot of this page.

 Adventure Sailing and Around Britain

Adventure Sailing resumed on 16 May and TONIC is currently en-route to Penzance on her second circumnavigation of UK – due back in Chatham on 18 August.  The final complete circumnavigations of the UK is scheduled to start on 20 August.  Current travel restrictions between UK and Ireland, France and Belgium are affecting details of some itineraries.  We continue to monitor developments and, in case restrictions still apply, we have alternative plans to operate within UK waters.  The new Around Britain programmes are here:

Sail around Britain with Elite Sailing

Elite Sailing Adventures

With places already taken by people who postponed from 2020 and lots of new bookings these trips could quickly sell out.  So if you are thinking of joining one of these amazing adventures in 2021 don’t prevaricate!

For Covid safety measures see the links at the foot of this page.

Fast Track Yachtmaster Courses

All scheduled fast track courses in 2020 were postponed and all students have now agreed with us other arrangements to complete courses.  A full programme of 3 YM Fast Track (Sail) courses for 2021 has been scheduled.  Details are here:  Fast Track

Bookings Postponed Due to Covid

From the outset of the pandemic we contacted all customers progressively and informed them of the postponement of their courses and the options that were available.  We are very grateful for the patience and forbearance of our customers as we worked through this process at an extremely difficult time for the business.  We appreciate the disruption and inconvenience that the whole episode has caused – not least because the stop – start situation has caused second and third postponements.  We have now reached a stage where almost all customers with postponed bookings have either already completed their courses or events or have agreed new dates later in 2021 (or even in 2022!).  We are aware of a very small number of people (eg some who booked milebuilders) where we have so far been unable to schedule substitute dates.  We will now focus on these remaining outstanding requirements and contact the individuals concerned.  If you had a booking with us and feel that we have not yet addressed the problem yet please do get in touch to make sure that we have you on the list.

We will continue to review the position and update this notice regularly.

We hope you stay safe!

Dave Allan

15 July 2021

Useful Links:

Additional T&Cs During Covid

Covid Measures – Practical Training

Covid Measures – Milebuilders

Packing List for Day Sailing

Packing List – Milebuilders

Covid Measures – Classroom Courses

Covid Measures – Adventure Sailing