Boating is back in England! In guidance issued on 13 May 2020, the Government confirmed that within England you can now leave your home to exercise and spend time outdoors.
The guidance confirmed that this includes:
“All forms of water sports practised on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority).”
This follows the publication, earlier this week, of the Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy which provided key information regarding what the population can do away from their homes. This includes:
- In addition to exercise, spending time outdoors
- Exercising outside as many times each day as people wish
- Driving to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance
- Day trips to outdoor open space, in a private vehicle
There are no restrictions on how far you can travel but you are still not permitted to visit or stay overnight at a holiday home or second home which means you cannot stay overnight on your boat.
Following these announcements, British Marine and The Yacht Harbour Association have concluded that the re-opening of marinas, for leisure boating customers, is now permissible subject to compliance with social distancing and hygiene guidelines. However, they are urging all boat owners to consider the following before they plan a day trip to their boat:
- Plan ahead – ensure the safety of those around you and try to avoid areas that may attract lots of people
- Check with your mooring provider before you travel. Be aware that many facilities may not yet be able to open and this could affect services such as fuel and pump out stations
- Only use your boat if you can apply social distancing at all times, including when mooring your vessel to leave a safe distance from others
- Travel with members of your household only, and only if no one in the group is displaying Covid-19 symptoms
- You may only meet with people that are not within your household if you apply social distancing. You should not meet with more than one person outside your household
- Be aware of the impact on emergency services if you were to get into difficulties. Think about what action you will take if your boat breaks down – recovery services may not be operating
- Apply all normal sensible safety precautions and always wear a life jacket when on deck
- Pubs and restaurants are not allowed to open as normal – although some may offer takeaway services. Check with any businesses you wish to visit before you leave home
- Be caring and considerate of local residents who may be nervous about the risks of increased numbers of people in the area
In addition to the above, it is worth remembering that there are currently no RNLI lifeguards on beaches and so if you are travelling to the coast, you should understand the risks and take extra precautions to keep yourself safe. The latest update from the RNLI can be found here.
The RNLI and the RYA continue to work together and are updating their advice regularly so you should keep an eye on their websites and social media for more advice over the coming days and weeks.
If you are considering a return to boating, don’t forget to check that your yacht or boat insurance is up to date and correct. If you would like an alternative quotation at renewal you can complete our online quote form here, or alternatively get in touch with the Admiral Marine team on 01722 416 106 for any advice you may need relating to your boat insurance.
We hope you have a safe and enjoyable return to boating!