Neptune Sailing Club Rules

Neptune Sailing Club Rules 03142016

The following Club Rules have been adopted by the Board of Directors of the Neptune Sailing Club to achieve the following purposes: 1) to ensure the safety of club members, 2) to minimize the risk of damage to club boats and equipment, 3) to ensure that the club can continue its lease as a tenant of the Kirkland Yacht Club Marina, 4) to ensure that the club can obtain liability insurance to protect the Club and its members when using club boats, 5) to promote harmony among club members, and 6) to provide the highest quality membership experience consistent with membership dues. To achieve these purposes, club rules are necessarily intended to be conservatively safe.


I. Rules Governing Member Use of Club Boats and Facilities

A.    Only a member certified as a Club Skipper may check out and use Club boats without Club supervision. To qualify to take the Skipper certification test a member shall be at least 18 years of age.

B.    In addition to the Skipper who signs the boat out there shall be at least one “able bodied” crew member, preferably at least 12 years of age to assist the Skipper.

C.    Skipper certified members are entitled to invite guests to accompany them during a sailing outing. The Skipper is responsible to ensure each guest has signed and dated the appropriate Waiver and Release of Liability form and the Skipper shall also sign the form in the space provided.   Underage persons must have a Waiver signed by their parent/guardian prior to any participation.

D.    Members that have received a Skipper in Training (SIT) card may check out a boat in order to practice for their S

kipper Certification Test. They are authorized to sail only if they have at least one adult crewmember and if winds are less than 12 mph.

E.    Members who use boats, equipment, and/or Club facilities in an unsafe manner or who are not complying with Club Rules may have their membership privileges suspended until they complete a special retraining program and/or agree to comply with Club Rules.

F.     Members are expected to act in a courteous and respectful manner while in the Marina and surrounding area and will instruct all members of their sailing party accordingly.

G.    Any member observed or reported to be operating a Club boat in an unsafe manner, in disregard of Club Rules, or in violation of any USCG, Federal, State or local laws and regulations will be asked to return the boat to the Club slip. If necessary the Board of Directors will hold a special hearing to consider whether the member’s Club privileges should be suspended or revoked.

H.    Pets are not allowed at any time on Club Boats and may not be left on the dock while out sailing.


II. Rules Governing Use of the Boats

     Check-out Procedures 

A.    The Skipper certified member shall sign out the boat in the clubhouse before sailing. The Log entry shall be filled out legibly and completely including the date, time of departure, wind speed and direction, time due to return, and the names of all crew and/or guests. The Skipper’s card shall be placed on the Check-Out Board and Guest Release and Waiver of Liability forms shall be signed and placed in the appropriate folder located next to the Check-Out station.

B.    If all boats have been checked out, a member waiting for a boat to return shall place his/her Skipper card on the “First Up” position on the checkout board. If the boat the member is waiting for returns earlier than indicated in the Check-out Log the member whose card is in the First Up position is required to be on the premises with 30 minutes of the time the boat actually returns. Otherwise, if other members are waiting for a boat, the member loses “first up” rights and his/her Skipper card will be returned to the file.

C.    Members with more than one Skipper certified family member may check out only one boat during an outing. All guests shall be in the same boat as their member host.

D.    Skipper certified members are responsible for instructing family members and guests in all safety measures and procedures to be followed during the outing. Members are responsible for the actions of their family members and guests while using Club boats and facilities. This includes full compliance with Club Rules as well as USCG, Federal, State and local laws and regulations.

E.    Members are responsible for cleaning up the boat, the dock area, and the clubroom after using a Club Boat. Skippers shall leave the boat in the same condition they would like to find it when they arrive. Leaving a boat or the clubroom in a dirty or messy condition is subject to a cleaning charge (of at least $50).

F.     During weekends, Fridays, evenings, and weekday holidays, Club boats may be checked out for a maximum of three hours. Upon returning if no one is waiting for a boat, the member may check the boat out for an additional two hours. This requires that they log the boat out a second time in the Check-out Log. 

G.    Provision for an Extended Time Limit. On Monday through Thursday, other than on holidays, one boat can be checked out for an extended period of time provided that:

 i.     When checking out the boat in the Log, the Skipper shall clearly indicate that the boat is being checked out for an extended period of time under provision ii (G) of Club Rules.

ii.     The boat shall not be taken outside of the normal designated club sailing area.

iii.     The boat shall be returned to its slip, be cleaned and ready for use no later than 5 p.m. so it will be available for evening use by other members.

H.    Boats Reserved for Training or Racing

 i.     Training. During the last week of April and during May and June, all boats will be reserved for new member training from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Saturday mornings. If a boat has not been checked out in the Log Book by 10:00 a.m. it is available for any member to use. Boats also may be reserved by a Club Instructor for supervised practice and on-the-water skills testing during the period of new member training.

ii.     Race Training. From April through August both J/22s will be reserved on Wednesday evenings for Race training and/or for racing, from 6:00 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. If a boat is not signed out in the Log by 6:45 p.m. it is available for any member to use.

 iii.     Friday Night Racing. From June through August the J/22s are reserved for racing every Friday evening from 6 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. (Occasionally the Blue Cat will also be reserved for racing on these nights). If one of these boats has not been signed out in the Log Book by 6:45 p.m. it is available for any member to use.

I.      Sailing boats after sunset requires a special NSC certification and is authorized only for the most skilled and experienced Skippers. All other members shall return Club Boats to their slips by sunset. Members certified to sail after sunset shall return Club Boats to their slips no later than 11 p.m.

J.     Certification for Sailing After Dark. To be certified for sailing after sunset a Club Skipper must additionally:

 i.     Be certified by ASA or US Sailing through the Coastal Cruising Standard or demonstrate equivalent knowledge and experience.

 ii.     Demonstrate knowledge of International Navigation Rules 18, 19, and 23-31.

iii.     Provide navigation lights required after sunset by the Navigation Rules.

a.     If sailing one of the Catalina’s, check to be sure all lights are working properly prior to leaving the dock.

b.     If sailing a J-22, a member shall provide portable bow and stern lights required after sunset by the Navigation Rules.

 iv.     Upon satisfaction of these requirements the Club will punch the Skipper Card to show the member has qualified to sail after sunset.

K.    Spinnaker use is prohibited other than during racing or race training. See sub-paragraphs C and D under Section V of these rules. The provisions under those sections apply to use of a spinnaker at any time whether for racing or race training.


III. Special Sailing Conditions and Restrictions

A.    Club sailing is limited to the area bounded by the Evergreen Floating Bridge to the south, by Webster Point to the southwest, and by an imaginary line running from Sand Point to Champaign Point to the northwest.

B.    Whenever winds from any direction build to 15 -18 mph, (true wind speed), members shall return boats to the club slips as quickly as possible and secure them. With the exception of racing crews and heavy weather training classes, club boats shall not be sailed when winds in excess of 18 mph true are observed or forecast.

C.    In the event members are caught in an unexpected storm, squall, or heavy-weather condition, they shall sail the boat to the nearest point of safety (e.g., in the lee of some point of land), and/or secure the boat to a private dock if available. If sailing a Catalina set an anchor on a lee shore and wait out the storm before attempting to return to the marina and club facilities.

D.    Club boats shall not be sailed out of the slips. Sails should not be raised until the boat has motored well clear of the marina and the public piers at Marina Park.

E.     Boats shall not to be sailed back into the slips except in the event of motor failure assuming there are no safe alternative places to land under sail. Techniques for sailing into the slips will be demonstrated during Club training under the supervision of a club instructor or a Club Racing instructor but this is to be avoided during normal member use. (Note: The Club Training Manual explains the complications and risks that can occur when deciding to sail in. Members who sail boats into the slips accept responsibility for any damage incurred.F.     Swimming from Boats – Caution; Swimming from the boats is discouraged to protect the safety of members and guests. If members elect to swim the following shall apply:

i.         If sailing a Catalina 22, it’s best to deploy the anchor.

ii.         If the boat is afloat, the wind speed shall be less than one mph.

iii.         All sails shall be down and secured.

iv.         The outboard engine shall be shut off but ready to start.

v.         At least one skilled sailor designated by the Skipper shall remain on board.

vi.         The Type IV throwable PFD shall be accessible in the cockpit.

vii.         All swimmers shall wear a PFD.

viii.         A throwing line of at least 40’ or preferably a Rescue Throw Bag with 50 or 70’ is ready to be thrown to someone in distress.


IV. Equipment

A.    Skippers shall carry tools and equipment necessary to effect minor repairs under way. At a minimum these include pliers, a crescent wrench, a slotted and Phillips head screwdriver, some (electrical or similar) tape, a knife, and a few cotter and split rings. In addition, the Skipper is responsible to ensure there is a PFD or Lifejacket for each member of the crew, a Type IV throwable PFD, Signaling Mirror and a Sound Signaling Device.

B.    Before leaving the slip Skippers are responsible for 1) checking the boat for evidence of damage or unsafe conditions and 2) ensuring that all required and optional equipment is on board.

C.    A member who notices damage to the boat or any unsafe condition shall make a complete entry in the Trouble Log in the club room and fill out a Maintenance or Out of Service slip and place it on the check-out board. (Copies are available next to the Check-out Board). The slip(s) shall be posted on the Check-out Board under the name of the affected boat.

D.    If the maintenance problem(s) noted by the member would make it dangerous for other members to use the boat the Out of Service post should make that clear. In addition, the member shall make an entry in the Trouble Log, and call or e-mail a Board Member or the Maintenance Chair to report the condition. A list of officers and contact information is on the bulletin board next to the check-out board.

E.    Skippers, their family and guests shall wear anti-skid boat shoes or soft-soled shoes that will not mark the boat. Shoes with black soles are prohibited. If a member or guest leaves dirty shoe marks on the boat the Skipper who signed the boat out is responsible for removing the marks before leaving.


V. Rules Governing Use of Club Boats for Racing

A.    Decisions about club racing will be the responsibility of the Race Chair operating with the approval of the Board of Directors.

The Race Chair will be responsible for:

i.     Maintaining, posting and communicating Club Policy related to Racing and Race Training opportunities throughout club membership. Club Policy shall also be posted in the Clubhouse.

ii.     Making recommendations to the Board of Directors related to which races the Club should participate in.

iii.     Assigning Club Certified Race Skippers and crew to ensure safety and to provide opportunities for any interested members who wish to participate in race training and/or in Club racing.

iv.     Coordinating racing instruction including opportunities for training and skills practice for any interested Club members.

v.     Providing a quarterly report to the Board of Directors containing an updated list of Club Members who are Spinnaker Certified and/or Certified Racing Skipper.

B.    Only a Club Certified Race Skipper may check out a boat for an approved racing event or to conduct member race training.

To qualify to be Club Certified as a Race Skipper a member shall:

1)     Pass a written test on the fundamental Racing Rules and the COLREGS.

2)     Demonstrate knowledge/application of the rules during several races.

3)     Pass the NSC Spinnaker certification requirements.

4)     Demonstrate the knowledge, skills and experience required to take full charge of a Club boat during a race.

5)     Have been an active race crewmember who, during many races in winds of at least 12-15 mph, has consistently demonstrated the skill requirements shown in items #1 through #4 above.

6)     Pass a formal vote of approval by a simple majority of Club Certified Racing Skippers.

C.    If a spinnaker is to be used in a race or in the training of club members, the minimum number of members on the boat shall be three:  One shall be a Club Certified Race Skipper and there shall be at least two crew members, one of whom has satisfied the Spinnaker Certification requirement of item “B-3” above.

D.    During member on-the-water race training sessions, if there are too few members to satisfy the 3 member requirement of item (C) above, and if the average wind is no greater than 12 mph, the Race Chair may authorize a minimum of two members on the boat. One of them must be a Certified Race Skipper. If the average wind increases beyond 12 mph use of the spinnaker must be discontinued.


VI. Maintenance and Accident Reporting

A.    Any member who notices damage to a boat, absence of required equipment or any unsafe condition shall make a complete entry in the Trouble Log and fill out a Maintenance or Out of Service slip (copies are available next to the Check-out Board) and post it on the Check-out Board under the name of the affected boat.

B.    Accident Reporting and Assessment of Liability For Damage.

In the event of an accident as defined in the U.S. Coast Guard booklet A Boater’s Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats, the Skipper (also known as operator) shall immediately notify a Board member and complete a Boating Accident Report as required by law.

i.         “The operator of any recreational boat is required to file a Boating Accident Report (BAR) if the boat is involved in an accident that results in 1) loss of life, or 2) personal injury which requires medical treatment beyond first aid, or 3) damage to the boat and other property damage of $2,000 or more, or 4) complete loss of the boat. Boat operators are required to report their accident to “nearest state boating authority.”

ii.         “Immediate notification is required for fatal accidents. If a person dies or goes missing as a result of a recreational boating accident, the nearest state boating authority must be notified without delay.

iii.         “If a person dies, disappears from the boat, or there are injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, a formal report must be filed within 48 hours of the accident.”

iv.         “For accidents involving property damage of $2,000 or more, or the complete loss of a vessel, a formal report must be made within 10 days.”

v.         For information on accident reporting call the U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Safety Unit 206 217-6200 and notify a Board member.

C.    If a member is involved in an accident or incident, which does not require reporting under the above requirements but does result in damage to a club boat, to club equipment, damage to another boat or property damage, the member shall immediately notify a Board member and complete an NSC Incident Report Form. (Copies are available in the clubhouse)

D.    A member responsible for mishaps, minor damage to club equipment or a loss of equipment shall notify a Board member in addition to the Maintenance Chair to make arrangements for assisting the Maintenance Committee with necessary repairs or purchase of lost equipment.

E.    When damage to a club boat occurs as a result of gross negligence, misconduct, or willful disregard of club rules, the club member will be held financially responsible. In addition, the Board of Directors will hold a special hearing to consider whether the member’s club privileges should be suspended or revoked. In cases of damage resulting from causes other than gross negligence or willful disregard of club rules, the Board will hold a special meeting to determine the extent of the member’s financial responsibility.

Neptune Sailing Club Rules – Board Approved March 14, 2016