Boating community urged to follow latest guidance

All quiet at the Arran Yacht Club this week.

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The boating community is being urged by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Scotland to follow the Covid-19 guidance during this new period of national lockdown.

Working with sportscotland and the Scottish Government, RYA Scotland has produced guidance covering the essentials that affect boating activities. The revised guidance recognises that travel is severely restricted by law and owners may only travel to their boat if it is kept in the same local authority area that they live in.

RYA Scotland, Sail Scotland and British Marine Scotland have joined together to encourage boat owners to utilise the services of staff at their storage provider if at all possible, in an effort to avoid making a journey, to respect that those providers may not be able to open and to advise owners to contact boat yards or marinas before travelling to confirm access.

The information is tailored towards RYA affiliated clubs and recognised training centres, including the Arran Yacht Club in Lamlash, as well as individual members and the wider boating community across Scotland and is designed to aid boat owners’ decision-making process and planning.

James Allan, CEO at RYA Scotland said. ‘Lockdown will be disappointing for everyone, but it is still possible to go boating as a form of exercise and spending some time afloat or near the water is great for our wellbeing.

‘It is important to remember we are in the grip of a pandemic that has become significantly worse in recent weeks, the overriding message for Scotland’s boating community is to ‘stay at home’ wherever possible as we must all help stop the spread of the virus.’

Importantly in this lockdown, owners may travel within their local authority to undertake essential maintenance on their boat but may not stay longer than the length of time required to undertake essential maintenance.

In the meantime, RYA Scotland has taken the decision to postpone its directly organised (non-virtual) events and training in response to these measures, to protect participants, volunteers and others, and to reduce the risk of placing an additional burden on the emergency services at what is a hugely testing time.

The RYA will be providing a range of online events and #SailFromHome activity. RYA Scotland will continue to host its online Connect sessions for clubs and training centres and deliver its regular podcast Off the Water to keep the boating community informed as the country moves through lockdown.