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Safety Boat Officer

These notes are put together to assist the designated Safety Boat Officer to carry out their duties. We would prefer all SBO’s to be trained and qualified as Safety Boat Officers but recognise that this is not always possible. There are however principles to be recognised and followed:-

It is up to you to ensure that all safety equipment including a radio is in the boat before you leave.

Kill Cords must be worn at all times

A Safety Boat  must be on the water or ready to go at all times.

Always put the boat between the casualty and the engine.

There are 3 different basic roles that the Safety Boat Officer completes depending on the day of operation. A combination of these may be used at other times such as during training programs or other special days:-

Sunday Racing – follow direction of OOD and typically move buoys around but always be on the water if any sailors are out. Attend all capsizes and offer help.

Saturday Leisure Sailing. On Saturdays, you are acting OOD for the day and as such helping attendees with any problems they may have. The crew  need to be on the water or ready to go at all times that boats are sailing. Many visitors tend to come to the club on Saturdays and you need to act as an Ambassador providing any information required. Much information is displayed on the notice boards especially for Training and visitors should always be made aware of our web site

Wednesday Nights tend to be short but busy times. As well as providing the Safety Boat Cover, the club offers 2 or 3 short (20 minutes) Pursuit races using Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) for staggered starting times. The Starting Times are on a laminated sheet normally kept in the Safety boat and show the delay for each type of boat from the initial race start. You need to set a course with the first leg upwind and relative to the prevailing conditions. Be aware that you may need to quickly haul in the anchor to attend capsizes.

Safety Boat Officer Instructions

Please arrive 1 HOUR BEFORE the event start time. It requires 2 people to operate the safety boat correctly. SBO’s are reminded of RYA advice when manoeuvring in the vicinity of crew in the water

When someone is in the water, stay in the helmsman’s seat and keep the boat between the casualty and your propeller.  Once in contact turn off the engine unless there is a compelling reason not to  e.g. a very close lee shore.

Follow the RYA Safety Advice. Kill Cords must be used at all times

At the end of the session please ensure all mud washed off the boat.

Trevor Carman September 2015


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