Sailing Guide

Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club is used by dinghy sailors, windsurfers, canoes, kayaks and SUPs. YDSC is an RYA affiliated members sailing club and an RYA Recognised Training Centre. It is not a public watersports centre. Day usage by non-members using their own equipment is possible under the day sailing arrangements, but only during club opening times.

Sailing is usually possible either during the club opening hours when there is a safety boat on the water, or at other times for members only so long as there are always two craft on the water who agree to look out for each other– known as buddy sailing. Club opening times are Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5.30pm (March to November) and Sunday 10am to 4.30pm (December to March) plus Wednesday evenings from 6.30pm onwards from May to August. Any exceptions are published in the calendar. Dinghy racing usually takes place on Sundays, Wednesday evenings and occasionally Saturdays. When dinghy racing is occurring, it is good manners to stay out of the way of the race, especially when they are starting.

For members only sailing outside opening hours (with at least two craft on the water in “buddy sailing” mode), it is usual to arrange to go when someone else is going, and at least one party must have a gate key. Buddy sailing is done at your own risk and careful consideration should be given to the conditions and your level of competency. This is usually organised via a Facebook Group. Day usage by non-members is possible, but only during club opening times. All craft kept or used at YDSC (including, but not limited to, dinghies, windsurfers, kayaks, canoes, SUPs) must be covered by third party insurance of at least £3,000,000. When on the water you should use a wetsuit or drysuit and a buoyancy aid.


The club has equipment that can be hired by members only.


The safety boat is usually (but not always!) on duty when club is open (weather permitting). The safety boat is there for the benefit of all water users, so in summer at weekends in most instances it should be on duty from 10am until 5pm, even if club racing has finished earlier. In Winter the safety boat may only be scheduled for Sundays. Check for a notification either on this site or Facebook if it is expected to be cancelled. Note that the safety boat driver and crew may come in for lunch when the dinghy racers leave the water. You may wish to leave the water when they do if you are worried about your ability to self-rescue. Remember that if the safety boat comes in there must be at least 2 craft on the water at all times.


There are two main concreted slipways for launching and landing dinghies, though they can be launched from anywhere along the shore between the club house and the windsurf rigging area. Water levels fluctuate. When water levels are low, the foreshore can be rocky and muddy and it is a long pull back up to the boat park. Club 4×4 vehicles can be used to tow larger dinghies, using a special device that links your launching trolley to the tow hitch of the vehicle.


Keys are available from the membership secretary to allow access to the gate leading to the club. A key for access to the clubhouse can also be obtained. Both keys require a returnable deposit (currently £50 each). The club gate is usually kept open during club opening hours. If you are buddy sailing outside of these times, then it should be left closed but not locked. Whoever opens up is responsible for ensuring that the club is locked up at the end, either by doing it themselves or by making an explicit agreement for someone else with keys to do so.


When sailing there are some ‘no go areas’ due to restrictions from Yorkshire Water. We must stay out of these areas or we risk losing the privilege of sailing at Grimwith. Sailing is allowed between the club house and the eastern end of the lake and between the club house and the far end of the dam at the western end. There is a line of buoys at the far end of the dam which should not be crossed, as shown here. Access to the water is only permitted from the shoreline in front of the club grounds. Landing on the shore anywhere else, including the north side of the lake (opposite the club house) is not permitted except in emergencies. Sailing is possible all year only because we help Yorkshire Water with maintaining wildlife habitat. You might see requests to help “reed bashing” parties – please come and join in if you want to have year-round sailing continue (or if you just want to help the birds!). The quarry area next to the car park is also out of bounds during spring nesting season; signs will be posted during these times.


The club is an RYA Recognised Training Centre and organises club training for both sailing and windsurfing at beginner, and improver level on various Saturdays throughout the summer season. There is also a programme of Race Development training and intermediate/advanced windsurf coaching.
The club also organises a full range of formal RYA courses for sailing and powerboating; dinghy and windsurf instructor courses. Please see the training section of the website for full details.


Members are entitled to store their boat in the boat park, there is a charge for this which is part of your membership fee. There is an extra charge for additional berths – see membership for details. Currently there is no formal space allocation in the boat park, it is a case of finding a free space on arrival. There is a boat park plan in the main club house which will aid you in finding a space. If new to the club, it is suggested you contact a committee member, and they will help you to find a space.


The sailing secretary on the YDSC committee is currently Peter Robinson. Please talk to him if you have any queries, ideas or feedback – even if it’s just to tell him they’re getting something right! Because the club is for sailors, windsurfers, and paddlers alike we would encourage you to mix, attend socials if that’s your thing and help with working parties. Working parties usually carry out maintenance in Autumn and Spring, eg. gravelling the carpark, painting etc.


Should you wish to eat in the galley it helps those running it if you can order hot meals before 11am. If you don’t order these by 11am hot food is not guaranteed to be available when you want it! Snacks are available at all times the galley is open, and there are vending machines when not. You can run a tab system – please talk to galley staff for further details. You may also eat your own food in the galley if you prefer. Small lockers for valuables are available to rent for a nominal sum.


As a member you are expected to do some “duties”. There is a duties system in place whereby club members are expected to undertake the jobs of running the safety boat and directing sailing races. Full details are on the Duties section of the website. If you have limited or no experience then the most suitable duty is usually assistant safety boat, unless you hold an RYA Power Boat Level 2 certificate required to drive the safety boat. The other duties of Race Officer and Assistant Race Officer require experience and knowledge of the rules of sailing. To register for a duty you can use the ‘DutyMan’ system, which has a separate login linked from the Duties page. A points system is in operation. Active race sailors are asked to accumulate 9 points, which encourages active racers to do at least some of their duties on Sundays – seems fair enough! Less active sail racers should get 8 points a year. For recreational sailors who don’t race, 7 points is fine. Wednesday evening duty earns 3 points, Saturday earns 4 points, Sunday earns 5 points. More details in the Duties section.


There are lockers available for short or long term use for a small, returnable deposit.


Camping is allowed at the club on special occasions, such as family week and special racing events. There is no charge for club members. Tents and campervans are allowed but not caravans. There is limited grassy area for camping at the east end of the carpark. Camping is only permitted on the windsurf rigging area if the tent is removed during the day.


Dogs should be kept on a lead at all times if brought to the club. They are not allowed in the club house.