Joining Instructions for Keelboat Sailing Courses

Start time 
This is found on the webpage you booked your course. (i.e. Learn to Sail, Improvers, Seamanship Skills).  It's on the same line as the date of your course.  Day 2 often starts up to an hour later, due to the daily change in tide times.  Finish times are approximate.

Covid 19 Safety
Please be mindful of each others well-being and safety, using simple measures such as hand sanitiser & possibly masks.  Obviously, please do not attend if you know there's a chance you could pass on the virus to others.  Note that the latest Covid symptoms are very similar to a common cold.  We recommend wearing your own waterproof jackets and trousers if possible.  We're limiting the time spent together indoors so are meeting directly at garage 3 where we'll fit you with a lifejacket and together pull the inflatable boat down to the slipway.  The theory part of your course is available as online modules ahead of the practical sessions.  A link to this will be sent after you've paid for your course and within a month of your start date.

What You'll Need to Bring

Suitable footwear for onboard the keelboat 
Trainers or wellies, deck shoes, crocks, grippy beach shoes and dinghy boots are all suitable.  You'll get wet feet while stepping from the slipway into the inflatable boat that ferries you to the keelboat.  If you want, you can change into suitable dry footwear (with non-marking soles) when aboard the keelboat.  Neoprene dinghy boots help keep your feet warm even when wet.  You might want to roll up your trousers a bit for stepping into the inflatable boat.

Waterproof jacket and trousers 
Please wear your own waterproofs if you have them.  Otherwise, we have a limited supply in adult sizes from small to extra large.  You might get splashed while launching the inflatable boat and and motoring out to the keelboat, so waterproof trousers are needed as well as a jacket. 

Warm clothing
It feels colder out on the sea than on land.  A base layer, microfleece and warmer fleece, depending on the overall temperature, are ideal.  Wear a hat or buff for warmth and to keep long hair under control!  If you wear glasses you might want to use something to secure them.  Quick drying fabrics are better than cotton if you have them.  It's advisable to bring a change of clothing and a towel just in case you get very wet.  You can leave these in garage 3 while out sailing.

When you 'gybe' the boat, a rope runs quickly through your hands so you'll need some protection to avoid rope burn.  Basic flexible utility gloves with some grip will do or cycling gloves or you can buy sailing gloves.  We have two pairs of 'Small' size sailing gloves left for sale for £10. 

Your own packed lunch
Depending on the time of high water and therefore the start time of your course, we'll eat aboard the yacht.  We need to keep bags to a minimum.  We have 2 waterproof bags for extra layers and food. Please make sure your food and drink doesn't leak inside the bag!  You'll probably not want to drink too much until after sailing though.

High SPF suntan lotion
The sun is more fierce out on the water. 

No Smoking 
Please don't smoke around the garage area or onboard the boat due to the fire risk with engine fuel.

Motion Sickness
If you have any concerns about motion sickness, please get something from the chemist.  There are effective pills and patches available.  It's really not worth the risk of spoiling your first experiences sailing on the sea.  Most people get their sea legs eventually but it's best to leave that acclimatisation period until after your sailing course.  

There's no toilet on the keelboat.  There's a bucket down below if you're desperate while we're out on the water!  It's called 'bucket & chuck it!'.  The best thing is to drink lightly before sailing and then drink lots to re-hydrate when you're back ashore.  There are toilet facilities on the promenade at the Clock Tower, Morecambe LA4 5BX (at the moment it's 20p) and we have a porta potti in garage 3 where we collect the life-jackets and inflatable boat.

Online Theory
We've sometimes been asked for pre-course materials.  Covid 19 has developed that idea into providing our own unique online modules for the theory aspects of the course.  We hope you enjoy being able to learn about some of the basics ahead of your practical sessions.  You can also refer back to the topics after each day's sailing.

General Information
The evenings are free.  There are numerous hotels and B&Bs along the seafront if you want to stay overnight.  Day two often starts 30 mins to an hour later because of the tides.  However, Manchester & Liverpool are easy commuting distances.  The new Bay Gateway gets you from junction 34 of the M6 to Morecambe in about 10 minutes.

This activity will be led by a qualified RYA Instructor and great emphasis will be placed on safety.  It is your responsibility to comply with all safety regulations and the Terms and Conditions of booking.  We reserve the right to postpone the activity due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances.  An alternative date will be mutually agreed.  Unfortunately we're not in a position to carry the loss of last minute cancellations by you.  You may wish to consider insurance for that eventuality.  If you cancel more than one calendar month before your course you forfeit just the deposit.  If you cancel within one month of the course you forfeit the full fee. 

How to find us:
Garage 3 (just past Morecambe Sailing Club, walking towards the boatyard)
Back Calton Street

Approaching Morecambe from Lancaster, follow the A589 (Broadway) all the way to the promenade.  Turn left and drive down the promenade.  You will see a white building on stilts on the seaward side of the road, turn left immediately before it.  This road leads to the Town Hall.  If you reach the roundabout you've gone too far! 

Turn next left onto Back Calton Street. The Sailing Club is halfway down the street on the right hand side and the garages are a little way further down the street on the right.  There's a Pay and Display car park at the far end of the street, next to the boat yard.  It charges £2 for 24 hrs. Click here for a map
If you have any problems, give John a call on 07721 891 615