I don’t think any of us thought when we were initially asked to stay at home on 24th March that 5 weeks later there would have been little sign of easing of restrictions to movement that prevent the Club opening and allowing members access to their boats. Equally, few of us could have imagined the discipline that the British public and you, our members, have shown to stick with the advice “stay at home” to ultimately save lives.
During this time, we on the Covid-19 Management Group and the General Committee have continually looked at how we will start to reopen the Club, when the time is right.
The glimmers of encouragement coming from the Prime Minister’s briefing on Thursday 30th April suggest that time might not now be too far away. So, we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the steps we plan to take. This is caveated with the premise that no step will be taken until it is clear that we are working within the law and have the agreement of authorities including the Dorset Marine Police that any relaxation of a restriction is within the spirit of helping to maintain a tight hold on the spread of the virus and so protect the NHS and save lives in our community.
The key steps are:
- Contractors work in yard as authorized by owners and coordinated by the office.
- Prepare to restart haul-out program. Office to contact owners of boats in the yard and yet-to-be hauled out to prepare to restart the haul-out program.
- Yard Staff Launch/Haul Out Boats. As owners notify the office that they are ready.
- Members work on hauled-out boats. Applying strict rules on social distancing and numbers within the Club, members will be allowed to work on boats to get the haul-out program running again.
- Members visit their boats for checks. Once journeys to the Club are possible within government guidance, encourage members to visit their boats, in a controlled way, for long enough to conduct checks on essential machinery and maintenance.
- Dinghies to the Dinghy Park. The space is clear and awaiting easing of restrictions to allow members to trail their dinghies safely to the Club.
- Remove the barrier protecting the Haven entrance. To allow recreational sailing.
These steps may not happen in this precise order, but you will note that we are already in action on steps 1, 2 and 3 and hope that the rest are not far away now.
The objective of all this is to get the Yard working again to minimize the time it will take for members to be able to get back to using their boats once recreational sailing is possible. But we must continue to balance this against looking after the safety and health of our 1800 or so members as well as doing our bit to protect the local community with the virus still out there.
Of course, the difficulties of organized activities including opening of the Clubhouse and racing are more complex: we must adhere to social distancing in bars, restaurants and changing rooms not to mention in the Race Hut, safety boats and in the racing boats themselves. But rest assured we are working on that and have some creative ideas to put into practice when the time is right.
Meanwhile stay safe and please keep your ideas coming in through me or one of your GC members so we can develop the best plan we can to get sailing again. We will continue to communicate to you to provide detail whenever it is possible to take each next step, so watch out for Bulletin 9.