The Commodore's Newsletter April 2020

Covid-19 Bulletin: 9

Fri 8 May

Today will not be the way we had all envisaged celebrating the 75th Anniversary of VE day. Social distancing will dictate more subdued celebrations for us all, but I send our grateful thanks and best wishes to those members, present and who have since passed, who fought for our freedom!

The Covid-19 Management Group met, on-line, yesterday evening and we fully reviewed and discussed the recent pronouncements issued by HM Government.

As we all know, the Prime Minister will be making a televised announcement this Sunday evening and the Covid -19 Group will meet again that evening to assess what has been announced.

We are led to believe that there may be some relaxations in the strict lockdown laws, but we have no detail as yet. The Covid – 19 Group has been working on possible contingency plans, in anticipation, and as soon as we know any details from HM Government, we will, with your General Committee members, be finalising any plans that may be possible on the road to our getting back to normal.

Until we advise of arrangements for a return to the Club, you are asked to stay away. This will make the return process safer and fairer on everyone and, with careful planning and the continuing co-operation from you all, we will achieve the best possible outcome in the circumstances.

Thank you to all for the many many members that have written in or phoned and confirmed their support for the decisions taken. I do thank our staff members and General Committee members that have put in so many hours on Club business, on our behalves, during this lockdown period.

I will keep us all updated as next week unfolds. Thank you for your continuing support


John Yonwin


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687

Covid-19 Bulletin: 8

Fri 1 May

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:

  1. Contractors work in yard as authorized by owners and coordinated by the office.
  2. 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.
  3. Yard Staff Launch/Haul Out Boats. As owners notify the office that they are ready.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


John Yonwin


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687

Covid-19 Bulletin: 7

Tue 28 April

First and foremost, many thanks to everyone for the way you have all “got behind” these severe restrictions introduced last month here at the Club.

It has been (and is still) no joy to the members of the Covid-19 Management Group, nor to the members of General Committee to have to repeat, bulletin after bulletin, essentially the same message: “sorry, but no….”

We will need to see clear guidance on easing of the lockdown before we can think about moving towards the first steps of reopening the Club. The review by Government on Thursday 7th May 2020 may have something to say on this. We will, of course without delay, assess the implications for the Club and what may be possible in the amending of the current restrictions.

We are well into considering possible scenarios, so that as soon as we are able, we can react to any changes in the lockdown restrictions.

Our Night (and Day) Watch Volunteers (drawn for your General Committee), are owed a BIG VOTE OF THANKS from us, the berth holders. They continue to attend to a small number of routine tasks on boats in the Haven. Likewise, our team of staff members have been “as brilliant” in the handling of questions and getting about their day to day jobs. Thank you everyone.

The Terms of Reference allowing Contractors to work on boats has been well received by members. With some work being done by contractors to complete members haul out tasks some boats may be ready for re-launch. Lorna will be calling owners to find out if their boat is ready for re-launch and then we can begin gently and within the rules, to start to get boats in their right places.

The next bulletin, I know will be eagerly awaited! Can I mention again, if any member has concerns about fees, subscription and charges due, please let us know. We very much appreciate that these are challenging times for many of us and no end date is yet known. Any, and all such enquiries, will be handled confidentially and sympathetically.

Finally, thank you for all your patience and good wishes…..please stay safe and well.

Always happy to hear from you and receive your comments and suggestions.


John Yonwin


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687

Covid-19 Briefing Bulletin 6

11:00 AM
Fri 17 April

The Covid-19 Management Group has been reviewing the decisions taken during this emerging national situation. The continuing advices from HM Government remain absolutely clear, and now enshrined in law, and continue to be:
Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

We are required to maintain, at this time, the continuing lockdown level as detailed in Bulletins 4 and 5. With very much regret, your Club will have to remain closed, at this time. We have received many messages of support for the decisions taken to date and these are appreciated. Thank you. Your feedback is most welcome.

Police patrols are entering our premises from time to time and The Night and Day Watch Team (currently drawn from members of staff and General Committee) continue to keep a very intensive patrol cycle. We have now upgraded the security camera monitoring system, considering the current emergency, and this is proving a great asset. We remain checking the boats day and night. This whole exercise has been a real team effort. “Thank You” to everyone involved.

If you think there is a critical issue with your boat please contact Mark or Lorna on or 01202 672687. If it cannot be easily sorted, you will be contacted as a matter of urgency and we will consider, with you, the best course of action. (Of the 13 requests we have received, 11 have been handled easily. Of the remaining two, both needed referrals, but solutions were found.)

Now for more positive thoughts: Tracey Lee and a small team are beginning to think about all the tasks and process that will be needed, as and when we open up (even though that may be on a gradual, step by step approach, when the time arrives….)

Many of us are now using the “Poole Yacht Club Social and Sailing” Facebook group as a way of keeping in touch. We have been using the group to share photos, do quizzes and take part in challenges like building model boats, and making Easter themed decorations. If you have not discovered this group yet, now is the perfect time to join and get involved with the camaraderie and feel part of our Club community of friends. You can find the Facebook group here:

Join the Poole Yacht Club Social and Sailing Facebook group

The Covid-19 Management Group will continue to meet and review on a very regular basis and report to General Committee. In light of the Government's extension of the lockdown for the next 3 weeks announced yesterday (16/4/2020), we will aim to update you as soon as there is something new to share with you.

Finally, thank you for all your patience and good wishes….please stay safe and well. Always happy to hear from you and receive your comments and suggestions.

Stay Safe and well


John Yonwin


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687

Covid-19 Briefing Bulletin 5

4:00 PM
Tues 31 Mar

Dear Members

Since the last Bulleting (26th March 2020), we will all have been reading the reports of the continuing and advancing spread of the Coronavirus. This is clearly having a major impact on the way we run our lives and our day to day affairs.

As we are all aware, that this is the severest imposition of restrictions, during peace time, that is now upon us. The continuing advices from HM Government are absolutely clear and now enshrined in law. The advice remains Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

Against that background, the Covid-19 Management Group have been meeting (on-line) daily to consider, review and make decisions on how the Club should respond to this current situation.

To date, four Bulletins have been issued and these have, regretfully, detailed a ratcheting up of the restrictions needed to be imposed.

Based on the current HM Government written announcements, following the Covid-19 Management meeting early this morning, we are maintaining, at this time, the lockdown level as detailed in Bulletin 4.

At our General Committee last night, the Covid-19 Group reported on the actions taken to date. Members of General Committee endorsed these decisions and extended the current mandate of the Covid-19 group to continue its work during these critical times.

Thanks goes to the vast majority of members that have sent messages of support for the actions taken.

The Night and Day Watch team (drawn for members of General Committee) have been keeping a very intensive patrol cycle, night in, night out and during days. The security boom is in place across the Haven entrance to protect our boats. See picture below and the website under “weather.”

We are checking the boats day and night. If you think there is a critical issue with your boat please contact Mark or Lorna on or 01202 672687.

We much regret, that the Club has to remain closed at this time.

The Covid-19 Management Group will continue to meet / review on a very regular basis and I anticipate a further Bulletin will be issued in the next 10 days or so, or sooner if required.

Stay Safe and well


John Yonwin


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687

Covid-19 Briefing Bulletin 4

9:00 AM
Thur 26 Mar

Dear Members

Thank you for the feedback we have received, your questions and issues will all be addressed. You will receive answers and updates via the regular Bulletins. The advice and rules we are required to follow are being updated almost daily. Your Covid 19 Management Team meet daily (by Video Conference). We review our decisions, review member feedback, review the latest announcements.

The message is clear, the rules are, stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives. Only leave your house if you need essential supplies, medical emergency, exercise walking running, cycling, essential travel to work.

These rules have guided our decision making and we trust our members believe in behaving responsibly within our community.

A number of members have expressed their concern over security at the club. We have been considering and addressing what we can and cannot do. One of our main potential weak spots is the Haven entrance. To stop potential thieves entering we are in discussions to erect a boom across the entrance. We have received permission to do this from the Poole Harbour Commissioners. This will certainly help protect this potentially vulnerable area.

We have in the last few months upgraded our CCTV and we are planning to use this more effectively.

We have plans to have a presence at the club in the evenings undertaking patrols but staying within the rules we are required to follow.

Members are rightly concerned about the welfare of their boats on their berths. The initial request for members to stay away from the club will be reviewed in two weeks. Please bear with us until then. We hope to be much clearer on the situation. We are planning that a member of the yard team will walk all the pontoons daily looking for potential issues, loose mooring lines, obvious problem with a boat.

The General Committee will meet in full on the 30th of this month (by VC) and review the management group decisions.

I have attached a link to the RYA web site advising on recreational boating.
RYA Recreational Boating Advice

Our very best wishes, stay safe.

Nye Davies


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687

Covid-19 Briefing - Bulletin 3

12:00 PM
Tue 24 Mar

Dear Members

As always, we hope you are keeping well, the safety of all our staff and members is absolutely at the foremost of our minds, when we discuss and agree the actions that need to be in place to ensure that safety.

Clearly last night’s announcements mean very significant changes to the actions so far taken to try to protect you and our NHS.

With immediate effect:

  • No member shall visit the club.
  • The haul out programme is suspended as are all boat movements of members. You cannot return your dinghy to the club.
  • No contractors are allowed on site.
  • Mark Fulton will be on site during working hours as will, where possible, our yard staff. Their immediate role is to secure the club assets and carry out any “mothballing” that is necessary. This will ensure that when we reopen, our club will have been well cared for and an absolute pleasure to visit and enjoy once more.
  • If there is a critical issue with your boat, then please contact Mark and the yard staff will try to resolve the issue where they can.
  • We are reviewing site security and examining the options available to us. From today the double front gates and the side gate to Hamworthy Park will be locked shut

Your management team are reviewing the information we are receiving daily, and I know you are fully aware of the fast-moving situation that confronts us. We will continue to post bulletins as frequently as we need to. We are determined to keep you as well informed as possible as to the actions we need to take.

On behalf of your management team please keep safe, work with us, look after each other. We all have a responsibility to follow the government’s guidance and accept that nothing we do with our boats can be classified as “essential”.

I wish you all the very best

Nye Davies


Covid-19 Briefing - Bulletin 2

9:00 AM
Fri 20 Mar

We hope that everyone is keeping well and positive. We will be coming out of this situation. Please enjoy your boats and go sailing, great for personal wellbeing!

The information below is in addition to our last bulletin, Bulletin 1.

All club organised sailing activities on and off the water, youth events, social events and meetings are suspended with immediate effect and until further notice. There are no exceptions and the Sunday series will not be completed.

The club safety boats will not be available for use until further notice.

The changing rooms remain open but please do not use the communal showers in the men’s changing room.

The scheduled haul out continues, please keep your distance from the yard team. If you are anticipating going into self-isolation, please advise the Club Office by phone or email and cancel any haul outs scheduled during this period.

We will be making a decision early next week about dinghies coming back to the yard and this will be communicated in our next bulletin.

We are also considering what service, if any, we might offer members who are on swinging moorings. Again, advice will follow.

All the above decisions have been taken by your Flag Officers and General Manager. We talk regularly, currently daily, using video conferencing. Your General Committee will continue to meet and function using the same method.

The Postal vote for the election of Flag Officers and General Committee members has exceeded the quorum required and I can confirm that the new Commodore, Flag Officers and General Committee Members will take up their posts on the 28th March 2020.

Stay safe, stay well. Very best wishes.

Nye Davies


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687

Covid-19 Briefing - Bulletin 1

3:00 PM
Tue 17 Mar
  • Postal vote for election of Flag Officers and General Committee members.
  • Bar and Catering to close from this afternoon
  • Clubhouse to close but office remains manned
  • Changing rooms to remain open
  • Haul out schedule continues as per normal
  • Owners have access to work on boats and go sailing as they wish
  • Youth: The preseason meeting of March 25th will be cancelled and further advices re Youth activity will be made as soon as possible
  • Club organised non youth training activities: decisions on hold and advices will follow
  • Advices to members will be made through social media, email and the Club website

Last night your General Committee met to discuss and agree how we best manage the very difficult situation which we are all facing and which we are told will rapidly become more serious.

The Committee voted unanimously to ratify the Flag Officers decision to postpone the Club AGM.

The Committee voted unanimously to agree to give members a postal vote in order to elect the new Flag Officers and General Committee members. This is necessary in our rules in order that the proposed Flag Officers and vacant General Committee members can take up their posts from the 28th March 2020.

You will receive by email shortly with a request to agree to the unopposed election of the Committee members and Officers as listed. Please respond to the email asap so that Club business can continue and that we can ensure our rules are correctly followed.

The third agenda item related to how we manage the Covid-19 epidemic as a Club; best protecting both our employees and our members. We must show a community responsibility to the crisis and take decisions based on facts and informed guidance.

The General Committee has set up a “Covid-19 Response Group” This initially consists of the Flag Officers and the General Manager, Chaired by the Commodore. This will be the decision-making team. It will be advised by additional members who have expertise and skills to help inform the decision-making process and help implement decisions reached.

This morning I took specific advice from medical practitioners in our area as to what actions we should be taking now.

This team will also be responsible for keeping members informed on a regular basis of all decisions and actions regarding our Club.

Some decisions have already been taken:

  • From tonight Tuesday 17th March 2020 the Bar and Catering will be closed and the staff have been sent home. Some staff will be attending the Club to ensure that both areas are well maintained and kept cleaned and sterile for when we will reopen.
  • The Office staff, where possible, will work from home. The Office will be manned and Mark will manage the Office to ensure continuity of business and maintain a point of contact for membership.
  • The main Clubhouse will be closed but the changing rooms will remain open and kept as well cleaned as possible.
  • Members will continue to be able to work on their boats, visit their berths and go sailing.
  • Club Organised racing is under review
  • Decisions on this Sunday’s Cruiser Racing will be taken by Saturday 21/03/20.
  • The Yard Staff will continue their work.
  • The haul out will continue as per normal for the time being. Please do not contact the Office and try to change your haul out schedule.
  • Bringing dinghies down to the Club on 28/03/20; this decision will be reviewed in the light of the changing circumstances over the next two weeks and members advised.

All the decisions taken are under review and will be changed/amended as we receive further information. We will keep you informed with any and all information as it becomes necessary. The decisions taken so far should have very little impact on members as no member should be planning to visit the bar or catering facilities.

Please bear with us as we try to manage our staff and members wellbeing; I am sorry if there is some inconvenience, but we are all in this and need to work together for the benefit of the Club.

Stay healthy, stay positive

Kind Regards

Nye Davies


Please remember to use the Club Office as your point of contact for any queries and questions you may have; if Mark/Lorna cannot answer them, they will find someone who can. 01202 672687



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