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The Club's response to COVID 19

Club Opening - Phase 2:

Club Organised Group Sailing - update June 29th:
The Club launched its organised group sailing last week. The following groups have successfully taken to the water following current guidelines; Junior Optimist Sailors & Scow Potterers.

Organised Group Sailing for this week includes;

Tuesday 30th June – Junior Optimist Training
Wednesday 1st July – Junior Optimist & RS Feva Training
Friday 3rd July  – No group sailing activity
Saturday 4th July – Junior Optimist Training
Sunday 5th June – Junior Optimist Training


Rear Commodore Sailing - update May 13th:

Great News!
As of today, we are now allowed back on the water!


Dear Lisa,

Whilst adhering to government guidelines Members can now use the Club Dinghy Park, launch your boats from the slipway (in accordance with the Harbour Master's rules) and go sailing.

We have also put the Club tenders back in the water and opened the pontoons. Access is via your member’s cards on the black, back gate.

For the time being the Clubhouse remains closed and we will not be providing any support for sailing activities although we are examining options to do so as soon as we can.  

The Club is planning for a phased re-opening on a timescale that has yet to be determined.  Much depends on the viability of activities and the demand that exists for them. In an aide to get a better understanding of the immediate demand we have created a short waterfront facilities survey:

Your responses will help us to determine the likely demand and therefore make viable arrangements in the coming weeks.  It will require some planning and cooperation to achieve the necessary coordination and we thank you in advance.

Most staff are furloughed and for them to return we must maintain a safe environment for all.  This comes with the complexities of maintain separation and hygiene regimes suitable for the majority of Club Members.  In this planning we must also look to the future as restrictions may remain in force for months rather than days or weeks.

In the absence of a duty boatmen the use of the pontoons is restricted to daytime, 2 hour slots only. No overnight stays are allowed.   

We ask that Members are thoughtful and considerate of others in exercising this new found freedom:

  • Please follow social distancing guidance (stay 2 meters apart if possible). 
  • Make space for each other on the waterfront.
  • Please wash your hands regularly or use gel.
  • Rescues pose a risk to both the casualty and the rescuer and there is likely to be reduced rescue response capacity in the Harbour.  Please ensure that your craft is well maintained and that you sail within the limits of your abilities.   

Please continue take action to prevent the potential spread of infection. Recreational boating by its very nature can be an act of social distancing if some basic guidelines are followed:

  • No guests on your boat - Only those in your immediate household.
  • Maintain your distance from others in the car park, in the dinghy park, the waterfront and slipway.
  • Make as many preparations as you can at home so that you can launch as quickly as possible.
  • Do not beach your boat right next to someone else.
  • Do not raft up
  • Keep your distance on the water.
  • Go straight from to your boat and back - minimise unnecessary contact.

In looking at slipway use guidelines have been agreed with LTSC in order that we ‘sing off the same sheet’. These are:

  • All members should arrive already changed or to change in the car park
    • There are no indoor facilities available
    • The use of helpers to recover trolleys is encouraged to help keep the slipway clear
  • Government advice regarding self-isolation to be followed by all
    • Only you know your vulnerabilities
  • Members should bring their own hand sanitizer, food and drinks
    • There is negligible support
  • The Club remains closed
    •  toilet facilities will be an issue
  • Boats to be rigged in their dinghy park spaces unless there is a neighbour too close.
    • Only then should they move to the car park.
  • Boats must be fully rigged, including sails and the rudder, before moving to the slipway
  • All members must abide by regulations set out by the Harbour Master.
  • We must be considerate of the public use and may have to adapt our plans.
  • There should be two clear lanes, one for launch and the other for recovery.
  • There may be no more than one boat launching in the water at the slipway at any one time.
  • People waiting to use the slipway to launch must always be over two metres apart.
  • Helpers assisting launching must use hand sanitizer to clean hands and the trolley handles

Kind regards,

Perrin Towler
Rear Commodore Sailing

Rear Commodore Finance - update April 24th:

It appears that the effects of the Covid-19 virus will last longer than anticipated and we need to ensure that the Club and its Members continue to support all of our interests in maintaining a viable operation throughout this crisis, until we can resume normal operations once again.

At this stage, it is impossible to say what normal services will look like and we must manage the finances accordingly. I would like to assure you that your representatives, the General Committee and the Flag Officers are working hard to maintain a level of working capital and take advantage of all the government initiatives on offer.

We have successfully applied and received a grant of £25k, and a rate rebate worth approx. £15k. We have furloughed most of the staff and we will receive 80% of their salary as a grant.

I’m more confident than I was at the start of this crisis a month ago, that providing we continue to receive the full support of our Members, we shall be able to anchor into the wind and ride out the storm. Whilst activities are on hold, we are still able to have an online presence and several members are volunteering and providing interesting alternatives for our Members to enjoy. We still have to continue to pay the staff, maintain the premises, continue to communicate and look after our Member’s interests and queries, and plan for the re-introduction of activities.

All of this is a drain on our resources without any additional income from activities during the busiest period of the year. We need your support to ensure that we maintain our membership levels next year and not reduce our ability to take the Club forward into the next 100 years

Thank you for your support so far, 

Derek Tilley

April 02nd 2020 Update from Rear Commodore Sailing, Perrin Towler

Owing to the Covid 19 outbreak and in light of Government guidance and in conformance with the Harbour's position we have unfortunately curtailed all sailing activities on the water (Cruising Meets, Club and Open Race Events, Training Courses etc) scheduled for the months of April, May and June. The cancellation of events over subsequent weeks may be necessary and Members will be informed when these decisions are taken. The situation will be kept under constant review with the expectation that a return to normal sailing activities may be achieved as soon as practical.  


Club Dinghies - The Club has a small number of rowing dinghies in the water to allow Members to safeguard their boats and carry out essential tasks such as pumping out.


Dinghy Park - Members are still being asked to pay dinghy park fees as there is no alleviation of the lease from NFDC, which the Club must pay.  In the current circumstances cash flow is of enormous importance as the Cub has lost almost all its sources of income and we ask for your support in these uncertain times.


Crane Season Tickets - Some Members have already purchased season tickets and we ask for time to see how the next months develop.  If it becomes impractical to use the season tickets we will again ask for the Members' support in allowing the Club to roll these over to the 2021.

March 31st 2020

Message from Hilary Tudor - Member Assistance Coordinator

Just a quick reminder that there is a pool of volunteer members ready and waiting to provide assistance to other members who need it during this crisis. 

Please get in touch with me and I will find a volunteer who can help.  They in turn will be in touch with you.  My contact details are available from the Member's Handbook.

A useful source of information regarding local restaurants, pubs, shops and businesses offering delivery services can be found in the article entitled 'Covid-19: New Forest businesses offering delivery' on

Some options for staying in touch while social distancing

There are various software products available that can help you have voice / audio or video calls (1 to 1 or group) without running up your phone bill.  To take advantage of these you will need either a tablet or computer with access to the internet or a smart phone.  Your device will need to have a microphone and if you want to use video then your device will need to have a camera. 

General tips:

  • The communication happens over the internet so does not use your phone line however, to be on the safe side regarding charges, make sure you are connected to your broadband / wi-fi particularly when using a mobile phone to ensure there are no charges from your mobile service provider.
  • For video calls involving a group of people, a larger screen works better so that you can see everybody clearly.
  • Generally speaking the people who you wish to call will need to have installed or have access to the same software that you have chosen to use.
  • Apps for smart phones and tablets can be downloaded from your usual app store.  If using a PC and browser then you can find the software/website by using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.
  • If you don't feel confident, try a new product out with someone who won't mind if things don't work perfectly first time.

The products below are some that I have used but I am sure there are many others available.  They should work if you are using a relatively modern device.  If you get into difficulties then please contact me and one of our more technically minded volunteers will do their best to help you over the phone:


This can be used for calls involving up to 8 people.  You will be asked to set up an ID to use with Houseparty when you first use it.  You can either give the software access to your contacts list to help you set people up as friends on Houseparty or you will need the people you want to call to let you know what ID they have set up for themselves on Houseparty for you to be able to find them.  A useful tip when on a Houseparty call is to use the padlock icon at the bottom of the screen to lock the conversation if you want to prevent other friends from joining the chat when they see you are online. 

You can use this application on smart phones and tablets by installing the Houseparty app.  You can also use your PC or Macintosh to access this service using the Chrome browser.    If you do not have Chrome installed already, then you can install it first at no extra charge (search for Chrome on a search engine).  Installing Chrome will have no effect on the web browser that you already use (e.g. Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox etc.).  Once you have Chrome, use it to go to,  scroll to the bottom of the screen and then click on the red button labelled 'Chrome'.  This will start up the application.  You can also download a web app extension from which will give you more functionality. 


This can be used to make audio or video calls to up to 30 people at a time and is installed as standard on Apple devices i.e. iPhones, iPads or Macintosh computers.  Use the + sign to specify who you would like to call.  This can be a single person or a list and the application makes use of your existing contacts list to assist you with this.  You then choose whether you want an audio or a video call.  The people you are calling will need to have an Apple device as well.  If they have an iPhone use their mobile phone number.  If they have an iPad you can use either their mobile number or their email address.  For a Macintosh use their email address.  If they have multiple Apple devices all of them will ring when you make the call.


This is a more complex application originally designed for business meetings but a Basic license is free and allows you to make video calls with up to a 100 people at a time. With a Basic license, 1 to 1 calls can be of unlimited duration but calls with groups of 3 or more are currently limited to 40 minutes.   You can invite someone to a call using email or text and they will be sent a link to use to join the meeting.  If the person you invite does not have the Zoom software installed they will be prompted to install it before they join the meeting which does not take long and will not cost them anything. 

This application can be used on smart phones, tablets and PCs and Macintoshs.  The app for phone and tablet download is called Zoom Cloud Meetings.  To sign up on a PC go to and click on Plans and Pricing at the top of the screen.


Many people already use this software on their smart phones for text based communications but it can also be used for voice and video calls for up to 4 people at  a time.  Once you identify who you want to call, you can click on the telephone receiver icon for a voice call or the video camera icon for a video call.  Once you are on the call with one person there is an 'Add participant' button on the screen to tap to add another person.

The app to download to your phone is Whatsapp Messenger.

Good luck!


March 30th 2020 - Commodore and Flag Officers Communication

My fellow Flag Officers have been working extremely hard over the last week interpreting the Government’s instructions regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and applying them to the Club as appropriate.  An extraordinary meeting of the General Committee was held by video conferencing last Wednesday to agree the actions proposed by the Flag Officers and these were implemented on Friday. The reports below from your Flag Officers give details of the actions that have been taken so far.  The Flag Officers will continue to meet ‘virtually’ each week and GC are due to hold their normal meeting this Friday, again by video conference call.

If any Member has any comments or questions on the actions taken so far please contact me by email at

I wish you all and your families the best of health at this unprecedented time and hope that life at your Club and in general can return to normal in the not too distant future.


Commodore, Roger Garlick


Almost all employees are now on furlough using the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  We have kept on a very small 'retained team': Kerry Priday (GM F&A), Vicky Leen (Sailing Manager) and Maria Shannon (part time Membership Secretary).  Kirsty Husband,GM Ops, continues to be on Maternity Leave.  Retained employees have been instructed to work from home whenever possible per the NHS advice that employees should "only travel to work when the absolutely cannot work from home".  Clearly, we need to make sure that the building continues to be secure and that any essential infrastructure work is carried out.

The Flag Officers are monitoring the continually evolving position in respect of Covid-19 on a daily basis and will take whatever steps are required to make sure the Club remains viable in the long term, and that we are ready to reopen as soon as we can.  Our priority at present is the safety of our members and employees.

The Harbour Master has asked us to make clear that the Club Dinghies should only be used for essential and preventative maintenance to safeguard boats on their river moorings.  We are happy to support this position.

We are shortly expecting to publish some ideas for social 'gatherings' in the new social-distancing world, and to provide some advice on video conferencing tools like “Houseparty”.

John Tudor

Rear Commodore Finance:

Following the closure of the Club the General Committee have reviewed a cash flow forecast which has been prepared on a conservative basis by members of the Finance Committee. This forecast has been prepared following the Government’s recent announcements regarding support for business and is based on the assumption that all but three essential members of staff are being furloughed immediately and for the next three months. In addition, all but essential expenditure has been stopped.

Providing we continue to receive the full support of our Members the forecast indicates that at the end of the year we should be holding cash and bank balances slightly in excess of the balances at the start of the year. The last management accounts that were produced for the five months to 28 February 2020 showed that we were £23k better than budget for that period due to careful cost control and improved Catering results.

We recognise that there is considerable uncertainty regarding how long the Covid-19 virus will affect our activities and so the forecast will continue to be reviewed as circumstances change. However, it does assume that those who have chosen to pay their subscriptions monthly or quarterly will continue to do so until the end of the year and that those who applied for Dinghy Park berths earlier in the year will be prepared to pay for them despite the fact that the slipway is out of use at this time. Part of the cost of these berths is the fee that we have to pay to Lymington Harbour Commissioners for access to the slipway. If LHC agree to a reduction of this fee for this year then this will be passed back to berth holders when received. If Members decide that they wish to cancel their Dinghy Park berth for 2020 then we cannot guarantee that a berth will be available for them in 2021 as we have a long waiting list.

We recognise that our cash and bank balances include the amounts that Members hold on their Club cards which amount to approximately £70k. We would hope that Members will continue to support the Club by leaving their current balance as it stands even though they are unable to make use of it at this time for Catering or Social events.

If the effects of the Covid-19 virus last longer than anticipated at this time then we may need to seek financial support from our Members in the latter part of the year and if so we will contact you all formally at that time stating the options that we think are appropriate.

Thank you for your support.

Derek Tilley

Rear Commodore House:

In these difficult times when we are confined to our homes we should think of our friends and those who may be isolated and rely on our club for fellowship and friendship.

Mary Bell who is leading our Social Committee is active in developing on line forums and chats on topics such as book club, talks, quizzes, chat groups and a virtual ladies lunch. Other ideas include an art club, coffee mornings, happy hour drinks and a newsletter.  Information about how you can join in these activities will appear on the website as they are confirmed.

Many of our members might be pleased just to hear from you on the phone and there will be those who may need help and support with shopping or getting medication. There is a group of volunteers able to take this on:  Hilary Tudor is organising this activity and will be sending out an update to Members in the next few days.

We will keep you informed as news of events or forums develop.

With best wishes from the Social and House Committee.

Peter Blick

March 29th 2020:

The health and well-being of our fellow Members and employees continues to be our top priority and, in compliance with Government advice, your General Committee has agreed that access to the Club and all sailing related activity including the Crane Lift will be curtailed for four weeks on a rolling weekly basis from 25th March.

The Management team will be meeting by conference call on alternate days to review and plan our response to the latest Government advice, and of course to determine when it might be appropriate to re-commence Club activities.  Any important information from these meetings will be sent to Members by email and the Club website will be updated where appropriate. 

To be clear, as soon as we determine that it would be appropriate to reopen the premises or to lift the restriction on sailing activities this will be advised to members and organized to take effect as soon as practically possible. 

During this time of closure the office will continue to deal with administrative issues and to plan for the time when Club activities are permitted to return to normal.

Whilst the dinghy park and balance pond will remain open Members are reminded that the Harbour Master has closed the slipway.  Access to the rear of the Club will enable individual Members to access the pontoons and a small number of Club rowing dinghies.  These should be used only to safeguard boats on river moorings by, for example, pumping out or for urgent essential maintenance such as fixing a leak or charging a battery which runs an automatic pump.

As soon as access to the Clubhouse was restricted arrangements were made to “mothball” kitchen and bar equipment.  Where possible, and in consultation with our insurers, the heating supply to unused rooms and the electricity and water outlets in outside areas has been turned off. 

In the meantime we thank you, our fellow Members, for your understanding in these difficult circumstances and hope to see you all soon, in safer times. 

March 22nd 2020:

Following the most recent announcement from the Government on Friday evening your Flag Officers have met to discuss the continued operation of the Club. 

As you know we have already shut the bar and restaurant and cancelled all social activities for the foreseeable future in order to protect our employees and Members and comply with the advice given by the Government concerning social distancing.

The recent Government announcement means we have to go further:  having considered all the options, and with the approval of the General Committee, we have decided that there is no alternative but to close the Clubhouse to Members completely.  Accordingly, from close of play today, Sunday 22nd March, we will be closing the Clubhouse to Members for an indefinite period.  This will be under continued review and we hope to offer some access to services as Government advice changes. 

Please note that at the moment this does not apply to external areas which can be accessed using your key-card via the north gate.  We hope that this, at least, will enable individual Members to access the pontoons for boat maintenance and access to river moorings.

It is clear that we are in uncharted waters.  All businesses either directly or indirectly involved in sport or hospitality are currently under huge financial pressure.  The Flag Officers and General Committee are working tirelessly to ensure that, as far as we are able, we are in a position to resume our sailing and social activities in a stable financial position once we emerge from this crisis.  Difficult decisions will no doubt have to be made and we ask that you bear with us as the situation evolves.


March 20th 2020:

Following on from our earlier communications relating to the Coronavirus,  a number of club members have expressed a wish to provide support, where they can, to those club members who are being asked by the government to stay at home (currently those already ill or self-isolating and, soon, those in groups considered to be at higher risk from the virus).

To help our members to support each other through the next few weeks and months, Hilary Tudor has volunteered to co-ordinate this activity for the club and has asked me to pass on the following:

Please contact Hilary (details in the Member's Handbook) if you would like any assistance with the following:

  • Picking up shopping
  • Phone calls for a chat
  • Posting mail
  • Urgent supplies
  • Anything else that you think we can help with

Please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to help you.  Obviously, some of this assistance is only practical if you live locally to the club.   Please also contact me if you would like to get involved with providing any requested support.  It would be very useful to have a pool of people keen to help so that we have cover should we need to self-isolate etc. ourselves. 


March 17th 2020:

The Flag Officers have listened to the latest guidance issued by the government to take steps to reduce the risk of transmission of the Covid-19 virus.  The recommendations are particularly stringent for the older population who make up a significant proportion of our Club, and we take our responsibility to help reduce contact between individuals, particularly in large groups, seriously.  In addition, we have to consider the health and well-being of our employees.

To that end we have decided to close the Club’s Restaurant and Bar forthwith.  This will mean the temporary suspension of lunches, evening meals and bar service.  The kitchen will be closed.  We have also decided to cancel programmed social events on a rolling four-week basis.  This means that quizzes, yoga, bridge and film evenings for example will not happen.    

We ask for your patience in this rapidly evolving situation and your understanding when dealing with members of staff, who have themselves been adversely impacted.

We must remember that Members, especially older Members, have endured privation in the past.  We are working out ways in which we can continue the core Club sailing activities by maintaining a simplified programme of racing, cruising and training events on the water where people are in small groups.  We are minded that the situation may last for months, rather than weeks, and that our most useful role may well be to provide an outlet for ‘cabin fever’ and help maintain the morale and cheerfulness of all.  In that spirit the Clubhouse will remain open.

Kind regards,

John Tudor
Vice Commodore


March 16th 2020:

As a result of Government advice it would seem that people are now being told to avoid gathering in public places such as  Pubs and Restaurants. This will have direct implications upon the way in which the Club premises may be used by members and we are currently considering the wider impact of this.


March 4th 2020:

We regard the well-being of our employees and Members as a top priority.  As a consequence, I met with the Commodore to discuss Coronavirus and we agreed to pass on the following advice.  We will continue to monitor and respond to any government guidelines as and when these are released.  

We ask that employees and Members who have recently returned from high-risk areas (see below) follow government guidance and, if in any doubt or if you have any concern or symptoms, not to visit the Club for at least 14 days from your return to the UK.

Up-to-date information can be found here:

This information is updated regularly and Members who are concerned are encouraged to check this site for the most current information.

In summary, the advice about returning travellers is that anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing a cough, fever or shortness of breath, should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild. 

Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19th February should call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if they do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lock-down areas in northern Italy, as designated by the Government of Italy including in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano; and in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo
  • ‘Special care zones’ in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea including Daegu and Cheongdo
  • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19th February and develops symptoms, however mild, should stay indoors at home, avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111.  They do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms.

  • Northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

Members are asked to advise the Club if they are diagnosed as having contracted Coronavirus, or have been in proximity to someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus.  

Information about the virus itself and how to prevent it spreading can be found here:

In line with this advice, the Club asks employees and Members to ensure they are regularly washing their hands with soap and water, to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and to carefully dispose of any tissues when used.  We are also providing hand sanitising gel in toilets and other relevant areas.

We will update Members if and when this advice changes materially.