Code of Conduct

The code of conduct has been developed to assist club members and members of the public to understand the standards of conduct that are expected of them.

Members include all membership categories listed in Sligo Yacht Club’s Constitution, i.e. Ordinary, Family, Honorary, Social/Shore, Senior, Junior and Temporary.

Members and their guests have a duty to promote and support the key principles of the Club, as outlined in this Code of Conduct and to maintain and strengthen the integrity of the Club.

General principles

• Members and visitors will show courtesy and respect to all others at all times both on and off the water.

• Sailors will conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner on and off the water at all times.

• Members and visitors will observe all rules and regulations as set out by the club and not act in a way that create risk to themselves or others

• Sligo Yacht Club does not tolerate harassment, bullying, threatening behaviour or swearing.

• All decisions made by club members must be in the interest of the club and not in the interest of individual members.

  • · Any breach of Sligo Yacht Club’s Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the Committee and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

Sligo Yacht Club is run by volunteers who work collaboratively to promote a love of sailing and competition sailing in the North West of Ireland. Personal time, expertise and dedication by many members is required to ensure the enduring nature, development and smooth running of the club.

Please report any breaches of the code of conduct in writing to the Commodore. If there is a breach of the code of conduct, procedures will be followed as per the code of conduct.

Key Elements

The code of conduct for Sligo Yacht Club is based on the following elements.

1. Conduct

Every member has a responsibility to promote and support the key elements of the code of conduct by involvement in club affairs. Through their actions, it will maintain and strengthen trust and confidence in the integrity of the club. This means acting ethically and in a good sportsman like manner when at the club or when representing the club both on and off the water. It also means acting in a considerate manner towards all club members and visitors to the club. Club members acknowledge the rights of all people and treat all people with courtesy and respect.

2. Behaviour

As a member of Sligo Yacht Club, it is your duty not to engage in behaviour that could constitute an act of disorder, misbehaviour, law breaking, discrimination or could be construed as harassment or bullying on or off the water. This means for example, not engaging in emotional, physical, sexual or verbal abuse including swearing. It also means not participating in any illegal activity, including possession or consumption of illegal substances, the supply of alcohol or tobacco to minors, stealing or destruction of club or private property of any kind. Conduct which is gross, obscene or loud in nature or any activity that brings the club into disrepute is inappropriate and will not be permitted.

3. On and Off Water Participation

Members, skippers and crew members participating in on water events whether they be in a club event, representing the club or sailing privately, are expected to display respect for all others participating in the event or who are on the water. Members must not act in a way that creates risk to themselves or others. Members participating in racing will accept briefing decisions, handicapping, protest and racing outcomes. Concerns about these types of matters are to be bought to the attention of the Commodore. Above all, members must not display rudeness or improper conduct off or on the water or do anything that is likely to be construed or considered as poor sportsman like conduct.

The current he ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2013 – 2016 and its intent with regard to sportsmanship and the rules of sailing will be followed by Sligo Yacht Club. , for example, Rule 69-Allegations of Gross Misconduct 69.1(a) states “When a protest committee, from its own observation or a report received from any source, believes a competitor may have committed a gross breach of a rule, good manners or sportsmanship, or may have brought the sport into disrepute, it may call a hearing….”

Members are also advised that participation in any event at the club may carry a risk to life or property. By taking part in club activities, members accept those risks. This means that members must at all times observe the rules and regulations as set out by the club from time to time.

Boats participating in any racing event at the club must be insured for racing.

6. Environmental protection

The environmental protection of the foreshore and waterways off Sligo Yacht Club is a vital concern to members and littering or discharge of waste material from a vessel is not permitted. Smoking is not permitted within the clubhouse, If a member must smoke, be aware of the impact of passive smoking on other club members and visitors. Dispose of extinguished cigarette butts in the bin.

7. Members Guests

Members will be responsible for all visitors they introduce to the club premises. They must ensure that whilst on the Sligo Yacht Club premises guests abide by the clubs code of conduct. This means the member will advise guests of the code of conduct and bear the responsibility for their guests or visitors. Members of the public may also visit Sligo Yacht Club.

8. Child protection

Parents/carers or parent substitutes shall be responsible for the conduct of persons in their care under 18 years of age at all times. Members, office bearers and volunteers who instruct or assist children in any club endorsed sailing instructors course

9. Personal dealings

You must not seek or expect preferential treatment for yourself or family members or friends because of your position either as a member of the club or volunteer of the club.

10. Access to information

It is the obligation of all members to maintain the integrity and security of all the club’s confidential documents and information. This means when dealing with personal information, it is in keeping with the Privacy Act.

11. Protests/disputes/complaints

Race protests will follow the usual sailing race protest process as per guidelines as outlined in the current Yachting ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing.

Complaints in regard to the organization of a sailing event may be directed in writing and addressed to the sailing committee chairman for consideration. Physical and/or verbal abuse or intimidation of any nature directed against event officials or volunteers is not appropriate and not permitted. Complaints about a person’s behaviour must be put in writing and presented to the officer of the day or any member of the management committee.

12. Disciplinary actions

Any refusal or neglect by a member to comply with the code of conduct, or if a member engages in any conduct deemed by the committee to not be in keeping with the code of conduct, shall render a member liable for disciplinary action. It does not matter whether such behaviour occurs on the club premises or as a member of the club outside club premises.

Complaints and or reports associated with the code of conduct against any member or members must be made in writing and given to the Commodore. The complaint will then be considered by a minimum of at least five committee members and a decision made if the complaint should be investigated. If the committee decides to follow through with an investigation, the committee will contact the member in writing. The member will be given full and fair opportunity to present his/her case either orally and/or in writing at a time and place to be determined. At the conclusion of the representations if any, which the member wishes to make, the committee will consider all material before it. A deliberation on any action to be taken may not be given immediately after the representation. Other information may need to be gathered.

If a complaint is made against a member of the committee, then that committee member will not play any part in deciding whether a complaint should be investigated. Further, they will not sit with other committee members in deliberation of their action or any determination of action or measures to be taken.

If the committee considers upon the material finally available to them, that the conduct of the member is not in keeping with the code of conduct, the committee will determine the appropriate action or measures to be taken. Such action may include termination of membership, suspension of specific rights and privileges or other such disciplinary measures as the committee at its absolute discretion determines.

A member who is disciplined as a result of misconduct will be notified by Committee in writing. Members have the right of appeal which must be made in writing to the Committee within 14 days of receipt of their disciplinary notice.


The Club Secretary will present the complaint and any other facts at the next scheduled Committee meeting. The Committee will determine the next steps in the processing of the complaint and if deemed necessary implement this Disciplinary Procedure. The Committee can also convene an emergency meeting (consisting of a minimum of 5 committee members) in the event of a complaint or incident requiring immediate action.

Failing a satisfactory explanation of the alleged complaint, the Committee may remove from office, suspend, or expel the offending member/s or apply such penalty as they may determine. Any vote on disciplinary action shall be carried by a two-third majority of the Committee present and voting on the proposed action.


A member who is dissatisfied with any disciplinary action taken against him/her may appeal to the Committee against that action. Unless an appeal is lodged in writing within 14 days it will be assumed that the member accepts the Committee’s decision. Grounds for appeal are as follows:

  • The severity of the disciplinary action.
  • A failure by Committee to follow procedures as detailed in this Code of Conduct. Letters of appeal must be addressed to the Commodore, Sligo Yacht Club and give full details under which the appeal is being brought.


Appeals will be heard by the Committee of Sligo Yacht Club.

Whenever possible the Committee will meet within 14 days of the appeal being lodged. The appellant will have an opportunity to present his/her case at the appeal. He/she will also have the right to be accompanied by a friend or representative at the appeal if desired.

The Committee may confirm, amend, or reject the disciplinary action which is the subject of appeal. Where possible a decision will be given to the appellant immediately after the meeting and confirmed in writing at a later date.

There is no further right of appeal against the Committee’s decision.

Possible Additions to SYC Constitution and Membership Processes

 “The Committee may suspend or expel from membership of the Club any member whose conduct shall in the Committee’s opinion be injurious to the Club provided, however that no Member shall be suspended or expelled except by a majority of at least two-thirds of those present at the Committee Meeting and only after the Member has been given an opportunity of giving an explanation of the offending conduct.”

 “The Committee shall make such by-laws, rules and regulations as they think fit as to the management of the Club premises”.

Members are required at membership renewal to sign a declaration that they have read and agree to adhere to the Clubs Code of Conduct.

Insurance and Safety

• Members of the Club, their guests and visitors, use the Club facilities entirely at their own risk, and the Club will not accept any liability for any damage to or loss of property belonging to members, their guests or visitors to the Club.

• The Club will not accept any liability for personal injury arising out of the use of the Club facilities, or out of the participation in any event organized by the Club, whether sustained by members, guests or visitors, whether or not such damage or injury could have been attributed to or was occasioned by the neglect, default or negligence of any of the officers, committee or servants of the Club.

• It shall be the responsibility of all boat owners or skipper to ensure that any boat in their charge shall be seaworthy in accordance with class rules and/or Club bye-laws and shall obey any local harbour bye-laws.

• Sailors and persons afloat in RIBs or other boats shall wear personal flotation devices at all times.

• Kayak users shall wear personal flotation devices according to the rules of the appropriate Association

• All persons taking part in any Club event shall obey the instructions of the Officer of the Day and his/her assistants at all times.

• It shall be the responsibility of each boat owner or skipper to ensure that his/her boat has adequate third party risk insurance, and to be able to provide proof of such insurance if asked. The executive committee shall set in place the necessary insurances for the Club as a whole.

Other notes:

• Members should look out for the safety and wellbeing of other members ; always go to the assistance of any one in trouble.

• Members should respect others equipment and the club equipment returning it in the condition in which they found it or better.

• Report any breakages or faulty equipment to the relevant officer.

Conduct on the water

• Always wear suitable clothing for the conditions – it is always colder at sea, and wetsuits in summer and drysuits in winter are recommended. The onset of hyperthermia can be very rapid if you are not adequately clad. Parents/guardians must ensure their children have the right equipment. The duty officer can warn you not to go sailing if he/she considers you are not suitably equipped.

• Don?t take out a boat that you are not capable of righting in the case of a capsize – dinghies do capsize, be prepared. Practice capsizing but tell the safety boat and the duty officer that you intend to do this beforehand.

• Check that all rigging is sound, and sheets/ropes are not frayed and are rigged properly.

• Be sure you know how the centreboard/daggerboard is operated and check it is easily operated. The same for the rudder.

• If you are unsure of your ability to control the boat with full sail up, reef the sail if possible, if not don?t sail.

• Know where the hazards are : the rocks on either side of the slipway ; the submerged headland at Deadman’s Point- stay to the west of this.

• Know what the wind direction is: where will you be blown if you lose control? don?t sail too close to a lee shore.

• Know what the tide is doing – don’t leave trolleys or equipment below the high tide line.

• Don?t go afloat until the safety boat is on station.

• For club sailing: stay within the designated sailing area ,

• Keep clear of other boats and know the basic rules of sailing.

• Don’t go afloat if it is too windy!! The duty officer can cancel club sailing if conditions are not suitable.