Recreation : Guidelines : Dinghy sailing and windsurfing

Guidelines for dinghy sailing and windsurfing

European marine features where the activities take place

Codes of practice

National representative body

The participation rates for dinghy sailing are included in the overall figures for sailing (500,000 sailing craft and 900,000 people in the UK who take part in sailing activities every year). There is no specific break down for dinghy sailing. There are estimated to be around 46,000 windsurfing craft in the UK with 600,000 people participating in the activity each year. Many of those participating in this activity do so on inland sites, although there are no figures on this.

European marine features where activity takes place

All but the largest sailing dinghies can be transported on roof racks or trailers and can often be carried to a launch point. This means that, in theory, the craft can be launched from any location to which landside access can be gained. Most dinghies tend to be launched from sailing clubs or public access points. Windsurfers are often launched from less formal access points such as beaches and mud and sand flats.

The craft have shallow hulls, enabling them to access shallow water areas which are usually off limits to larger craft. Access for dinghies is, to some extent, constrained by the depth of the centre board, although this can be lifted. As windsurfers may spend a proportion of their time in the water, either accessing deeper water or falling off their craft, the activity does not generally take place in the vicinity of reefs or other underwater obstruction. Windsurfers may as a result, however, trample on submerged marine features.


Likely to occur

Unlikely to occur



Mud and Sand Flats

(mainly as launch points)




Inlets and Bays






Sea Caves


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

Tel: 01703 627400


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

Plan Menai


BT17 9JU


Charateristics of activity and management issues associated with dinghy sailing and windsurfing

Summary of potential environmental impacts associated with dingy sailing and windsurfing


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