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Registered Charity No 1089576
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SONAR Operation within Sailability

Updated 14 may 15

  • The operating area extends East to the White houses by Hove Lagoon and West to the Lancing Sailing club.
  • Under no circumstances we would go out in anything over a force 4 (expected over the duration of the sailing period).
  • We must have an authorised Skipper, one other agile crew member who can also go onto the foredeck at Sea. We will have a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 on the boat at any time.
  • We recommend each sailor bring his or her own spare clothing, waterproof clothing, Suncream, Water, Hat, Gloves
  • No disabled sailor can sail the Sonar unless they have attended a Sailability session first.
  • For sailing in the canal it is best at low water because there is no shipping movement. If sailing at any other time it is important to keep clear of all ships operating in the canal. Shipping movements can be heard on Channel 14
  • For communicating between boats please use channel 37.
  • Always maintain listening watch on channel 16
  • Our call sign is Josh or Geronimo and you need to call Shoreham Locks advising them that you’re intending to operate in the canal.
  • For operation outside the locks, the locks open on the hour out and on the half hour for return. If there are many boats it is recommended to go into the lock last.
  • The draft is 1.2m so it is possible that on occasions Josh could be aground in her mooring. Please do not take her out if this is the case.
  • When leaving Josh’s mooring, please ensure stern line is clear before manoeuvring out. We found the best method was to have one hand on the outboard and one on the Tiller, you can turn the outboard to make a tighter turn getting out of the mooring
  • When back in the mooring, please tie tiller centrally and all lines away from the mast.
  • Procedure for booking out Josh and Geronimo, email or call John Mactear giving at least 48 hours notice. Please also give name of skipper, names of all crew, details of contact person ashore and estimated time of departure and return.
  • The Kill cord should be hung up in the Cuddy. Petrol should be left on board. Please notify John Mactear if the petrol level is low.
  • All damages and incidents to be reported to John Mactear by email.
  • A log book will be kept on the boat, which must be completed after each trip, and incidents and damages also to be reported here.
  • We also agreed that each disabled sailor would have his or her own logbook, which the skipper would sign after each trip.
  • Richard Mason volunteered to keep club house keys at his house in Shoreham. He may leave these on a hook outside in case he’s not in.
  • Keys for Upstairs hang on a hook in the changing room. Please ensure they are always replaced.
  • Spares will be kept on board in a box in the cuddy
  • Emergency Procedure:- Calling club safety boat to full Mayday depending on level


Illness requiring immediate return to shore.

Agreed that radio safetyboat to advise details and receive help if needed. That we drop sails and return to Shoreham immediately

Hit on head by boom

Agreed that radio safetyboat to advise details and receive help if needed. That we drop sails and return to Shoreham immediately

Man Overboard

Agreed that radio safety boat to advise location, Safety boat to get relieved of duties ASAP and come to assistance. If no safety boat out radio other boats in vicinity. In the meantime, try to recover under sail, best method was two people gripping under armpits and lifting into boat next to shrouds.

Sea Sickness

Return to base under sail if possible

Gear Failure

Drop sails and return to Either Shoreham or Southwick

Examples of distress proceedure

(For use only when in grave and imminent danger and IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE is required)

Ensure transmitter is switched on and set to VHF Channel 16.

Then say:

  • Mayday Mayday Mayday,
  • THIS IS............................................... (Ship's name or callsign 3 times) MAYDAY followed by ship's name or callsign
  • POSITION............................................................................................
  • NATURE OF DISTRESS......................................................................
  • AID REQUIRED........................................................................
  • NUMBER OF PERSONS ON BOARD and ANY USEFUL INFORMATION....................................................................
  • OVER

Listen for a reply and if none heard repeat above procedure.


  • MAYDAY, NONSUCH, Position 54 25 North 016 33 West,
  • My boat is on fire and sinking, I require immediate assistance,
  • 4 persons on board, are taking a lifeboat, OVER.


Any message prefixed by one of the following pro-words concerns Safety. If you receive a message beginning with one of them pay particular attention and if possible write it down. Always allow at least 3 minutes for a Coast Station to reply before responding.

MAYDAY Means that a ship, aircraft, other vehicle or person/s is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance.


RELAY Means that the calling station is passing on a message from a ship, aircraft, other vehicle or person/s in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance.

PAN-PAN Means that the calling station has an urgent message concerning the safety of a ship, aircraft, other vehicle or person/s.

PAN-PAN MEDICO Means that the calling station is in need of medical assistance or advice.

SECURITE Means that the calling station has a message concerning the safety of navigation or giving important meteorological warnings

The following pro-words will be transmitted if you disturb the transmissions during a distress situation

SEELONCE MAYDAY Means that the controlling station, in a distress situation is telling you to begin and maintain radio silence. On receipt of this message you must cease transmissions.

SEELONCE DISTRESS Means that a ship station (that may be involved in a distress situation) is telling you to begin and maintain radio silence. On receipt of this message you must cease transmissions.


  • Anchor and lines
  • Flare pack
  • Paddle
  • Boat hook
  • Radar reflector
  • Bucket
  • Compass ( Audio compass is available, not kept on board)
  • Emergency Nav lights
  • First aid kit plus space blankets
  • Fog horn (mouth type)
  • Fuel
  • Log Book,
  • Three auto life jackets
  • Outboard Motor,
  • Radio (not kept on board)
  • Multi tool
  • Safety ladder
  • Spare shackles


  • Engine fuel and oil checked
  • Lines and standing rigging visual inspection for wear
  • Check for in date flares, throw line, paddle, anchor and lines
  • Check radio is charged


  • Engine fuel turned off
  • Engine raised and twisted correct way (resting nodules facing down)
  • Kill cord hung up in cuddy
  • Tiller tied amidships
  • At least two fenders either side
  • Lines tidied and hung up.
  • Lifejackets placed in waterproof container
  • Self bailers left in down position
  • Nothing left on show in cockpit
  • If moored alongside, bow and stern lines and 2 springs
  • If for and aft, at least one line at stern and two at bow
  • All halyards secured away from the mast
  • Bilge pumped dry
  • Logbook hung in Cuddy

All damages reported in log book and to John Mactear