1. Check the weather, tide and start time before setting off.

  2. Arrive approx. 1 hour before start time and report to race officer.

  3. Wear appropriate clothing as safety boat can be a cold experience. The crew should be dressed ready to go in the water if needed.

  4. Always wear buoyancy aid when operating the ribs.


1. Safety of people is the safety boat driver’s priority above anything. Recovering and towing boats is second to people in the water. (count heads & alert others by radio /shouting if necessary. Cut engine completely when prop near person in water)

2. Watch over the whole of the sailing area; if you are helping one boat, ensure you keep a watch for others requiring assistance

3. Prioritise if there is more than one incident

4. Check communications regularly

5. Retrieve equipment (but ALWAYS BE AWARE of more urgent requirements)

6. Use the safety boat appropriately e.g. avoiding major damage to engine by blocked cooling water system (picking up mud & gravel in shallow water), or clutch /gearbox damage.


BEFORE USE Check that you have:

  1. 1st aid kit & knife,

  2. paddle(s),

  3. key & kill cord,

  4. check fuel and oil level – remove filler caps and visually check (gauges are unreliable)

  5. anchor,

  6. towing lines, (make sure they are not long enough to foul the prop when coiled)

  7. buoyancy aids,

  8. radio check.

  9. Check prop - clear of debris before start up.


  1. Use the rib as per the dinghy schedule in the book were possible.

  2. Connect fuel tank and open vent valve on top of tank.

  3. Prime engine by squeezing fuel primer bulb until hard.

  4. Attach kill cord, raise idle lever and choke engine if cold. Start engine and let run for a few minutes (to check for water flow & fuel blockage)

  5. Kill cord - always use (attach to driver, preferably around upper leg) - check working.

  6. Water tell-tale - do not use engine unless good flow - check regularly - if blocked return to shore slowly to avoid seizing up engine. You may be able to unblock the tell-tale with a piece of wire.

  7. Beeping from the controller means that the engine is overheating or low oil pressure – turn engine off – allow to cool and then return /paddle to shore as soon as possible to avoid seizing the engine.

  8. Care of gears - only touch clutch lever when engaging, otherwise flat of hand on throttle lever. Positive engagement of controls.


  1. Before a manoeuvre: engage Brain (& communicate) – Steer - then engage gear!

  2. Always reverse away from the slipway until level with the jetties

  3. Tilt engine and turn off as approaching the shore

  4. Communications:

  5. Inform crew before all operations, especially high speed manoeuvres.

  6. Check regularly that your radio is working and that you are able to communicate with others.

  7. Crew seated – Driver to give clear instructions where crew is to sit, especially at high speed.

  8. Shallow water - Stop & tilt engine - paddle out to deep water.

  9. Escape route – Always plan for when things go wrong.


  1. Fit outboard engine muff and run the engine with fresh water checking tell-tails are strong

  2. Remove temporary buoys and other equipment used from the rib and store.

  3. Wash down rib and engine

  4. Store rib in garage with engine down.

  5. Turn off radio and isolate battery.

  6. Remove fuel and put tank in fuel store

  7. Report any problems encountered to the race officer

  8. Lock fuel store and garages.

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