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Home / Sailing / Club Safety Boats
Home / Sailing / Club Safety Boats

Club Safety Boats

The Safety Boat Team

The Safety Boat Team (SBT) plays a low profile but vital role servicing all the classes of the Clubs racing fleet. Every time dinghies, classics and yachts cross the Clubs start line a pair of orange RIBs is out there on the water keeping a wary eye on them right through til the last competitor crosses the finish line and the Race Officer gives the SBT crews permission to stand down.

Team members come in all shapes and sizes and their ages range from 80-year-olds down to those just about to join the teenage ranks. Despite this unlikely mix they all share at least three common factors. One, they are confidently comfortable out on an open boat for a least a couple of hours in rain or shine and on flat or lumpy water. Two, they are neither frail nor feeble and three, they have no shortage of common sense.

Each safety boat is manned by a pair; the driver and the crew. Although it is not essential for the crew the teams RIB drivers must have the Powerboat Level 2 qualification. If the qualified driver is also over 16 years old he or she may allow an unqualified crew to drive under the drivers supervision. This enable us to familiarise newbie team members so that they pass the Level 2 course with ease when they come to take the test.

While some of our drivers and crew are racing sailors themselves they are in the minority. And because the Club does not want to take racing sailors off the water to man the the safety boats as many clubs do, SBT members do get paid for their time and effort. For most of our younger members who are at school or university the money is worth having. They get £35 for a single race and £60 for multi-race event, which usually takes up most of the day. Needless to say, that money can add up to serious pocket money when it is paid out at the end of each of the 6 calendar months of the racing season. Bidding for driver and crew placements on the two RIBs can be pretty enthusiastic at high points in the season, especially when term time ends!

All that said however, we are always on the hunt for more drivers and crew. Although drivers must be qualified with that Powerboat Level 2 licence they can qualify aged just 12 and then be at the wheel of a Club safety boat under command of a skipper/driver aged 16+ who also holds a Level 2 licence. Our Bosun is able to qualify new SBT drivers and we run a scheme whereby the normal RYA £200+ course fee is waived providing the candidate commits to at least 3 roster duties during the season. Given that they also get paid for those duties this deal has to be a golden opportunity for youngsters to gain water skills and experience at zero cost to themselves or their parents!

If you or any of your family members would like to join our Safety Boat Team please contact:

Mike Garside on 07810 124324 or


Of all ages, come rain or shine, the SBT crews make sure the racing sailors are close at hand if disaster strikes!


Last updated 15:16 on 20 May 2024

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