Return to Boating

Lough Neagh Sailing Club Return to Sailing Guidelines

In order to permit the controlled and safe return to sailing, LNSC is implementing guidelines and procedures to facilitate the safe and gradual return to sailing. We would ask that ALL members planning to visit the club, read these guidelines carefully before considering their decision to sail. *Please note safety boat cover will not be available for these initial stages.

Guidelines below are based on the assessment of risk available here.


  • Coaching of Youth Sailors requires close contact hence social distancing will not be possible. Youth Sailing coaching sessions will not be permitted.
  • Cruiser racing currently is not permitted due to the inability to social distance members from different households. Cruisers are however permitted to sail while meeting the current guidelines.
  • Follow government guidance at all times with respect to hand washing/sanitising guidance. Members should be encouraged to bring their own hand sanitiser.
  • Follow Government guidance with respect to social distancing at all times.
  • Members may visit the Jetties and Boat Park to carry out maintenance work on their boats or to retrieve boats. All social distancing measures should be adhered to.
  • Local Councils (ABC Kinnego Marina) will be authorised to act as an enforcement body with regards the safe operation of the Marina – so Council instruction must be adhered to AT ALL TIMES. Please refer to ABC Council website for specific guidelines to the facility.
  • Individuals with COVID symptoms are not to enter or participate in activities/ club facilities. Follow government guidelines for self isolation.
  • The Clubhouse will be open to keyholders wishing to use the toilet facilities. The toilets should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Clubhouse is to remain closed to all members excluding committee for urgent maintenance requirements and use of the toilet facilities. No relaxation of restrictions is yet in place for group indoor activity and as a result no activity is permitted at this time.
    Before you arrive


  • Do not travel or sail with someone outside your household.
  • The clubhouse and council changing rooms remain closed, please arrive ready to sail.
  • Club buoyancy aids and wetsuits will not be provided for sharing. However, we will consider a designated loan of equipment that must not be shared and returned at the end of the season. All loaned items must be recorded.
  • Social distancing of 2m must be observed. Given that this is not feasible sailing with someone from another household is not permitted at the moment.
  • Groups of up to 10 are now permitted to take part in socially distanced outdoor training. To manage an increase in numbers booking of a launch slot is required. To book a slot please visit
  • Greater restrictions should be placed on youth sailors wishing to sail. Only those youth sailors deemed competent to sail in restricted wind conditions will be permitted. This advice applies to use of club boats and recommended to privately owned boats
  • As long as social distancing is maintained and sailing conditions are within each sailor’s ability there is no requirement for restriction on club racing.
  • Use of club boats must be approved by the dinghy secretary or club committee. The decision will be based on previous experience and ability
    Preparing to launch.


  • Please adhere to your launching and recovery time slots to facilitate management of numbers.
  • The rigging of boats should take place outside the Boat Park to facilitate social distancing requirements.
  • Sailors should be able to launch and recover their boat to the compound by themselves, with the help of members of your own household or 2m apart from one other person from another household.
  • All members are to attempt to eliminate close proximity situations with public/passers-by. Critical areas include gates, roads, pontoon, and slipway. Social distancing is to be maintained.
  • A recommended limit of 20 knots is applied to experienced sailors. Be considerate and conservative when deciding to go afloat. Know your limits.
  • A recommended limit of 15 knots is applied to competent sailors. Be considerate and conservative when deciding to go afloat Know your limits.
  • Only one person is permitted at any given time in the equipment container.
  • Take additional time to check likely failure points whilst rigging. Carry out repairs, and replace kit, that is identified as a likely failure point.


  • Safety cover will not be provided. We may have an inflatable rib on the water to facilitate sailing activities but towing by safety boat rope will be the only action provided in rescue cover.
  • In extreme circumstances where life may be in danger fellow sailors or safety boat may intervene as required – subject to minimising covid-19 infection risk. Consideration should be given to using the emergency services.
  • Access to club first aid kits are restricted. Bring your own first kit.
  • CALL 999 and ask for ‘Coastguard’ or VHF CH16 and call a ‘mayday or panpan’ . Carry a mobile phone with the numbers of a suitable onshore contact/onshore buddy.
  • Safety cover is not provided on the basis that sailors can sail within their means and within guidelines provided. However a safety boat may be present to facilitate sailing activities while keeping to restrictions outlined in this assessment.
  • Individuals should sail well within their capabilities. Follow RYA advice to Sail Conservatively and Be Considerate.


  • Sailors should be able to launch and recover their boat to the compound by themselves, with the help of members of your own household or 2m apart from one other person from another household.
  • Use of club boats will be permitted on the basis of control measures outlined in this risk assessment is implemented i.e. Potential infection from shared surfaces.
  • All potentially contaminated materials/surfaces are to be disinfected immediately prior and after use with disinfectant spray provided. This includes club boats, marks, gate locks etc. Club equipment should be left 72 hours before reuse.
  • Boats and equipment used in sailing sessions are to be only used on Saturdays and Wednesday PM – this is to facilitate a recommended 72hrs between use of hard surfaces.
  • Use of club equipment outside Wed PM and Saturday is not recommended. Should equipment be required in between sessions, all equipment must be disinfected thoroughly prior to use by the user.

For further information or clarification please email: and we will do our best to clarify.

LNSC Committee

Previous Statements

Advice Pre 3rd July 2020

STEP 1 – Guidelines for Observing COVID-19 Restrictions

Current Situation

  • Sailing activities are permitted during which social distancing can be maintained for individuals who do not share a household contact and where there is no shared contact with hard surfaces
  • Outdoor gatherings of up to six people not from the same household will be allowed but everyone must adhere to social distancing and public health guidelines.
  • Local Councils (ABC Kinnego Marina) will be authorised to act as an enforcement body with regards the safe operation of the Marina – so Council instruction must be adhered to AT ALL TIMES
  • The NI Executive is also encouraging people to ‘stay local’.

Return to Boating

We will, as a boating community, encourage a considerate and conservative approach to our sailing activities

  • Be considerate: be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and do not place unnecessary extra strain on Lough Neagh rescue and the emergency services.
  • Be conservative: help to minimise risk by taking an extra conservative approach to your boating.

Before Visiting

Are you fit to visit? Please do not attend Lough Neagh Sailing Club if you, or anyone in your household, are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Before travelling: Please check the Club website and Facebook for the latest information; if changes in Government guidelines require activities to be restricted again, this information will be communicated by these methods.

STEP 2 – Guidelines for Observing LNSC Restrictions

Use of Club and Marina Facilities

The following guidelines are to be observed by ALL club members considering boating activities.

  • Groups actively sailing should not exceed 6 boats (this will be reviewed as updates are provided)
  • The Club House remains closed and should not be used
  • Do not travel or sail with someone outside your household
  • Individuals should sail well within their capabilities. Higher risk water-based activities are discouraged as they may lead to increased pressure on emergency services
  • Personal buoyancy aids should not be shared
  • Club buoyancy aids will not be provided for sharing
  • Wetsuits will not be provided by the Club
  • Shared contact with equipment is not permitted
  • Club equipment and surfaces should be disinfected after each session (including boats, storage facilities etc.)
  • The clubhouse and changing rooms will remain closed, please arrive ready to sail and note toilet facilities will not be available
  • At all times please show consideration for others by respecting the social distancing requirement of 2 metres
  • Those coming to the Club may engage in cruiser sailing, single-handed sailing or double-handed sailing but only with members of your own household
  • Youth sailing – as safety cover will not be available at this time we would recommend that Youth Sailors request permission to sail club boats. Access will be granted to those who have demonstrated a level of competence in previous sessions. We will require a parent or adult family member to remain within the vicinity of the club whilst on the water
  • Ensure hands are thoroughly washed and bring hand sanitiser for personal use
  • The rigging of boats should take place outside the Boat Park to facilitate social distancing
  • Members may also visit the Jetties and Boat Park to carry out maintenance work on their boats
  • Club Boats may only be used by those who have previous experience and coaching during previous sailing sessions

If you suspect any equipment has been exposed to the virus, clean thoroughly and immediately advise Kevin Cushnahan on club communication channels. This equipment must not be used for a period of 72 hours. Please bring your own drinks with you, especially if the weather is warm and do not share water bottles or food. Please do not spend any longer on site than is necessary. Please give careful consideration to prevailing conditions and the condition of your equipment, when taking the decision to go afloat.

STEP 3 – Guidance for On-the-Water Activities

On the Water Guidelines

The following advice is recommended as we start on our return to water programme:

  • If possible, arrange to go out with another similar boat and watch out for each other and for other boats afloat.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Avoid sailing in a dying wind – you may have to paddle back.
  • Double-check your boat’s buoyancy, equipment, rigging and fixings.
  • Dress appropriately for the conditions – it is easier to take off a layer than put it on.
  • Ensure you are wearing a personal buoyancy aid or lifejacket when afloat.
  • Consider wearing head protection.
  • Carry a mobile phone in a waterproof bag/container or a VHF radio. Tell your contact ashore that you are going out on the water and when you should be expected back.
  • Dinghies that cannot be self-propelled should carry a paddle for self-rescue.
  • Make sure you have long painters, righting lines and masthead floats if necessary.
  • Realistically (and honestly) assess your ability, your crew and your boat’s capability to sail in the conditions. Sail well within your comfort zone and don’t take unnecessary risks.
  • Don’t go out or return to shore if you have any doubts!
  • Have a plan B for the unexpected.
  • If you capsize and are unable to right the boat, always remain with the boat. Never try to swim to shore.
  • Contact someone ashore if you or another sailor get into difficulties. Provide them with information as to your status and location, and, if available an alternative means of contact.
  • Be vigilant of your surroundings, particularly for other vessels/craft and obstacles.
  • Don’t stay out alone after your sailing partner/s come in.

Advice Pre 17th Mar 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Update – 17 Mar

Dear all,

In line with recommended guidelines and advice, we will be suspending LNSC organised activity until 30th April.

This includes all organised sailing activities including the Ice Breaker Series, Discover Sailing Taster Sessions and any proposed club social activities. We will directly contact all individuals already signed up to these events.

We will of course be monitoring developments and updating our members as necessary. We remain engaged with local statutory organisations and will share any relevant information with our members.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at

Initial statement

Dear members,

Lough Neagh Sailing Club as an affiliated member of the RYA and are following guidelines issued as the situation regarding Cornavirus (Covid-19) arises. It is a developing situation and we recommend seeking updated advice as the situation changes (see links below).

RYA Northern Ireland is following the official guidelines set by the Northern Ireland Assembly and UK Governments and advice provided by Public Health Agency Northern Ireland. Clubs and Training Centres should refer to the advice below and continue to encourage individuals to be diligent with personal hygiene and especially hand washing.

Advice from the Public Health Agence can be found at:

All the latest advice from RYA can be found at:

Prevent infection where possible

Recognise the symptoms

Based on current evidence, the main symptoms of COVID-19 are a cough, a high temperature and, in severe cases, shortness of breath.