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Safety and Suitable Clothing

The minimum safety requirements for yachts sailing at Worser Bay Boating Club are described in the YNZ Safety Regulations (Part 1).

The following are abbreviated key points:


  • Crew members must wear correctly sized life jackets or buoyancy vests which are in good condition,

  • Suitable clothing shall be worn. See below.

  • A yacht shall have sufficient buoyancy so that when capsized or swamped shall support its own weight plus crew,

  • A yacht shall have a towing eye at or near the bow,

  • Yachts shall carry a tow line. A removable mainsheet is sufficient,

  • The mainsail halyard shall be fitted with a quick release mechanism, so the mainsail can be lowered at sea.

  • Hollow masts shall be either completely sealed or fitted with a drain hole,

  • Centreboards shall be secured to the hull so they stay in when capsized and shall be strong enough to support at least one crew member during righting,

  • Rudders shall be secured so they remain in position when capsized.

  • Tillers and rudder blades, if not permanently attached, shall be secured by a pin.

  • Yachts must carry an adequate bailer, unless the yacht has a false floor.

  • Yachts shall carry on their hull their class insignia and registered number.

  • A personal flotation device shall be worn at all times.

  • Where possible, the mainsail should be able to be quickly released from both the masthead and from deck level.

  • Crews should be capable of swimming at least 50 metres in open water and capable of supporting themselves without a personal flotation device for at least 15 minutes,.

  • Crews should check their own gear and rigging to ensure breakage is unlikely.

  • Crews should exercise caution in boisterous conditions,

  • In the event of a capsize or in conditions beyond the capability of the crew, crew should at all times stay with the boat until assistance arrives.

  • The correct signals to indicate assistance required are:

    • (a) Crew in boat - Raise hands above head and lower to sides cyclically at 5 second intervals, or a flag or other object moved from side to side through an arc of 30 degrees either side of vertical at 30 second intervals, or

    • (b) Crew in the water- One hand raised above head for 3 to 5 second intervals.

    • Crews should signal for assistance immediately and not wait until they are exhausted.

  • Yachts should not be left unattended with sails hoisted on a public beach.

  • AII beach trailers shall be clearly marked with the sail number and , ideally,  the yacht name too.

  • lf you do not return your boat to the trailer, for whatever reason, you should telephone the club at the earliest opportunity and inform the Race Officer.


Whether you are young or old, a serious sailor, or just out for a bit of fun, it is essential that you give consideration to what you are wearing.

A general rule of thumb is that it is always colder out on the water and even colder in the water!

Don't underestimate the wind chill effect or how cold you will get if you have to be in the water for any length of time.


Some advice about what to wear:

  • You must wear an appropriate life jacket or buoyancy vest (of the correct size) when sailing or out on a rescue boat.

    • This is a strictly enforced rule for all club members and a sailor will be disqualified from a race if he/she is found not wearing a life jacket or buoyancy aid.

  • Layering.  The idea is to add insulation layers as the windchill increases.

  • Most sailors wear a wetsuit (usually up to 3mm  neoprene) often with a woolen or polypropylene singlet underneath to add insulation.

  • Over the wetsuit, wear either an old woolen jersey or an additional wetsuit top..

  • Then a parka or spray jacket to further reduce windchill.

  • Finally a Life Jacket goes over everything.

  • Booties (neoprene or rubber) that cannot be kicked off if you have to swim, or old sneakers.

  • A hat ( or helmet or beanie ) is very important for head warmth and protection from knocks. With a strap or you will loose it.

  • Sunglasses with a headband to keep them on if you capsize.

  • Sunscreen (water-resistant SPF-15 or higher) - essential even on cloudy days.

Suitable clothing
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