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Dinghy Sailing


(Published Jan 2017 replacing version Nov 2009)

What is dinghy sailing?

The term Dinghy Sailing refers sailing boats which have no built in accommodation or fixed keels, and are not designed to provide stability to the vessel via its weight. They will have movable centreboards or daggerboards.

What is a dinghy sailing permit?

The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for the young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be led by someone holding the appropriate permit.

Additionally young people (under 18) can take part in adventurous activities for themselves with personal activity permits. A Dinghy Sailing permit is required for all Dinghy Sailing taking place except in class C water. Definitions of water classifications can be found in POR.

Levels of permit

Dinghy sailing permits can be issued for any class of water. Each class of permit can be further restricted (such as through non tidal etc) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of any person.

Types of permit

There are three types of permit available for dinghy sailing. These are:

Personal - Allows a young person (under 18) to take part in dinghy sailing with others with a personal dinghy sailing permit.

Leadership -Allows the permit holder to lead dinghy sailing for a single group.

Supervisory - Allows the permit holder to remotely supervise more than one dinghy sailing group.

Permit limitations

Personal - If you hold a personal dinghy sailing permit you can go sailing with others who hold a personal dinghy sailing permit. It does not allow you to go sailing with anyone not holding a dinghy sailing permit.

Leadership - If you have permit to lead Dinghy Sailing then you can look after a maximum of six dinghies or nine people (whichever is less) at a time, and need to remain on the water with these dinghies all the time.

Supervisory - If you hold a permit to supervise Dinghy Sailing then you can supervise up to three groups. All supervised groups should be within communication range of the permit holder who will need to be in or have immediate access to a rescue craft. You remain responsible for all the groups you are supervising, but can designate someone with the appropriate skills to be the leader of each group.


When supervising other groups the holder of a Dinghy Sailing supervisor permit needs to designate a leader for each group. This designation lasts only for the current activity while the permit holder is supervising.

People designated as group leaders should hold the skills and be responsible enough to control the group safely in the waters that they are in. There is no problem with making young people group leaders if they are up to the role, and it can be used as a useful development tool.

Rules relating to dinghy sailing

Rule 9.7 Adventurous Activities Permit Scheme

Rule 9.8 Adult groups undertaking activities

Rule 9.13.1 All water activities

Rule 9.13.2 Life Jackets and Buoyancy Aids

Rule 9.13.3 Classification of Waters

Rule 9.13.4 Activities on class c waters

Rule 9.13.5 Boats

Rule 9.13.6 Charter Vessels

General activity rules

Rule 9.1 All Activities

Rule 9.6 Use of External Centres and Instructors