Further Update from Commodore on Marina Re-Opening

17 May 2020
Further Update from Commodore on Marina Re-Opening

Since our last update, the Taoiseach confirmed more details on the commencement of Phase 1 of the Road to Recovery.  Sailing is a sport included in the limited and phased return commencing on 18th May.  The Irish Coast Guard have also issued a press release emphasising the importance of continuing to observe current Covid -19 guidelines, as well as attending to personal safety when engaging in any water-based or coastal activity.  This replaces the previous press release advising against all recreational water-sports.
This means that, as well as HYC allowing access to boats, a limited return to leisure sailing is possible subject to the constraints of taking leisure within 5Km from a person’s home and returning to Howth Harbour after leaving there.  HYC propose to strictly follow the Government guidance by adopting the following.
1.       The marina will open on Monday 18th May at 09:00 to allow boat owners only to check their boats on the hard and in the marina and to carry out necessary work on them.  This includes marina winter visitors as they have to prepare to leave the marina. This restriction is to facilitate an expected higher than usual traffic volume on the marina as over 300 keelboats boats will not have been checked or prepared for launching by their owners for over 2 months.  Access will be by membership or visitor card only and each individual must swipe in to be recorded for contact tracing purposes.  The crane will be operating as usual and, if booked, an additional member (owner plus assistant) will be required alongside the crane operator and a supervisor to comply with the social distancing and grouping requirements.  Owners may also schedule an approved contractor, e.g. rigger, electrician, sailmaker etc., with a CIF Covid19 Induction certificate to work on a boat.  ‘Boat owner’ only access will be for 4 days from Mon 18th to Thur 21st May.
As structured racing is not planned to start until a subsequent Phase and the priority is to get anti-fouled keel boats launched in the coming weeks, dry sailing will not be available until a later date.
2.       From 09:00 on Friday 22nd May, ‘household’ members and fellow members may join a boat owner aboard in the marina or for a short sail as long as the 2m physical distance and maximum gathering of 4 can be maintained.  The Rear Commodore, Sara Lacy will be emailing dinghy Class Captains with updated details about dinghy sailing following the most recent Government and Coast Guard announcements.  Access to dinghy sailing is currently constrained by the cruisers that are still on the hard and thereby impeding the provision of ‘safe’ spacing for rigging dinghies.  We will work with the dinghy Class Captains over the coming week to put in place a scheduling system and safety RIB cover to help get junior and adult member access to dinghy sailing while meeting the Phase 1 limits.  
3.       For the foreseeable future after May 22nd, Club access without prior approval will be for members only.  In Phase 1, persons living in a member’s household are also permitted to access the marina but must accompany the boat owner whom they are joining when accessing and exiting the Club.  Their access will be subject to the boat owner confirming by email to marina@hyc.ie not less than 24hrs in advance of the visit who the household members proposed to come into the Club are, along with each visitor’s personal email and phone contact details.  Members will be responsible for briefing their guests on the Club’s CV19 protocol and for their compliance with it.
4.       All members, contractors and guests must be ashore and have left the Club facilities by 2100 each evening. Overnighting will not be permitted for the moment.
These measures may seem restrictive but they are necessary to comply with the Government guidance and the legal requirements, particularly with respect to allowing us meet our contact tracing responsibilities.  We want to protect everyone using the Club, including our staff, and appeal to everyone to co-operate in implementing the above measures, which I am confident will be revised as the situation permits. We would also ask you to please familiarise yourself with our Covid-19 Phase Procedures & Protocall Documents prior to visiting HYC (links below).

I hope, like me, you are all looking forward to getting back on board and out for a sail or motor next week and look forward to seeing you in Howth YC in the near future.