Recreation : Guidelines : Sailing - Yachts

Guidelines for sailingyachts

European marine features where the activity takes place

Code of practice

National representative bodies

There are estimated to be around 500,000 sailing craft currently in use in the UK, including yachts and dinghies. It is estimated that there are 900,000 people in the UK who take part in sailing activities every year. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national representative body for sailing activities and currently has 86,000 members. This figure also includes motor boat users who are members. There are also 1,500 clubs and organisations affiliated to the RYA. Not all members of local clubs are also individual members of the RYA.

Marine features where the activity takes place

For day boats and cruisers which are trailed, access is likely to be overwhelmingly via public access slipways, although some may launch from beaches. Larger cruising craft are kept on swing moorings, on pontoons at sailing clubs or within marinas. Within mSAC areas, the swing moorings are generally within estuaries, within the vicinity of intertidal mud and sand flats and sandbanks, or within large shallow inlets and bays.

Large areas of open water are the favoured locations for sailors, and therefore most of the activities will be concentrated on estuaries, and large inlets and bays within the mSAC areas.


Likely to occur

Unlikely to occur



Mud and Sand Flats




Inlets and Bays



(small craft only)




Sea Caves


(not possible for sailing navigation)

Grey Seal


Common Seal


Bottlenose Dolphin



Codes Of Practice

Tidelines, 1997 Available from the Royal Yachting Association

Navigate with Nature, 1998 Available from the British Marine Industries Federation

National Representative Body

Royal Yachting Association

RYA House

Romsey Road


Hants SO50 9YA


Royal Yachting Association Scotland

Caledonia House

South Gyle

Edinburgh EH12 9DQ

Royal Yachting Association

N. Ireland

Northern Ireland Sports Council

Upper Malone Road

Belfast BT9 5LA



Welsh Yachting Association

4, Llys Y Mor

Plas Menai

Caernarfon LL55 1UE


Characteristics of activity and management issues associated with sailing-yachts

Summary of potential environmental impacts associated with sailing-yachts



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