Essential Reading for Crew 2020

2020 INFORMATION FOR CREW - essential reading for those contemplating sailing with EAST 


EAST is a charity not a commercial enterprise  

The cruising with VIPs section started in 1993 and is run entirely by volunteers  

EAST does not run courses nor offer instruction but provides an opportunity for VIP’s as well as sighted crew to enjoy the experience of sailing whilst learning new skills at the same time  


be at least 18 years of age 

be an EAST member.  See below for membership terms  

be healthy and fairly agile.  (See medical section below) 

for a taster event or “have a go” day no sailing experience is required  

for a 3-day ‘weekend’ priority will be given to those with some experience 

for the Summer cruise prior experience with EAST is essential, eg a taster weekend. 

the organisers reserve the right to decide whether “prior experience” is appropriate. 


In 2020 EAST is offering the possibility of taster day sails to non-members 

EAST offers full cruises only to members 

First timers to EAST may attend one weekend trip for which temporary membership is granted without charge 

First Time returners wishing to participate only in one weekend may pay a reduced membership of £3 per night 

4. THE 2020 PROGRAMME is: 

A Taster Weekend, Thursday evening 7th May to Saturday 9th May 2pm    

A FULL Weekend Friday, evening 29th May  to Monday June 1st 2pm  

an 8-day Cruise Friday evening 4th September to Saturday morning 12th September  

All cruises start and end at Suffolk Yacht Harbour, Levington, near Ipswich 

Transport from Ipswich to Suffolk Yacht Harbour can be arranged for those using public transport if arrival in Ipswich is between 1630 and 1800. 

All cruises commence with dinner on the first evening  

Yachts will sail to the same destination each day and crews aim to meet in the evenings 


all crew are asked to contribute per night to the boat kitty which pays for the costs of the trip (see also application form) 

the contribution includes all boat expenses incurred during the trip including berthing costs, fuel, meals and drinks taken on board  

Payment to be sent to Cruise co-ordinator with application/medical information form 

Refunds: Money will be refunded without any further liability: 

If no placement can be found  

if a boat is withdrawn and its crew cannot be accommodated on another boat 

if you withdraw more than 14 days before the event 

Travel to and from the boat is not included.  Any additional transport costs in the event of the boat becoming stranded away from home port are not included. 


Yachts are privately owned and all different, ranging from approximately 8 to 14 meters in length accommodating 3 to 6 people.   

Water: All yachts have a WC (using sea water) and basin, some have a shower but showers are normally taken when visiting a marina due to limited supply of water on board  

Electricity: mains power is only available when in a marina IF the yacht has this facility.  

Crew live and sleep on the boat, which could be at anchor or on a buoy or in a marina.   

Meals could be at irregular intervals 

The success of each cruise is dependent on crew being adaptable and willing to participate.   

Boat complement comprises a skipper, one, two or three sighted crew and one or two VI crew. The crew may be mixed gender. 

There could be several boats cruising in company in any event  

Allocation of places: every effort will be made to find you a place but this cannot be guaranteed until the number of boats is known.   

After crew have been matched to boats the skipper will contact crew members to discuss various details regarding travel, food dislikes, etc, etc. 


Participants do so at their own risk and neither owners, skippers, sighted crew nor EAST can accept any liability for loss, damage or injury.  

Participants are recommended to take out appropriate personal insurance.  

Participants are responsible for their own property including valuables 

Crew must comply with all safety instructions. Life jackets MUST be worn at all time when underway or in a dinghy. EAST strongly recommends life jackets are worn when walking on pontoons whenever applicable. Life jackets are not to be worn when below deck. 

The Skipper’s word is final. 

Guide dogs cannot be accommodated 

For safety reasons we can only accommodate persons who are agile enough to climb on/off the boat without assistance.   

Boats are no smoking areas although some skippers may allow smoking on deck 

MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATION: For the comfort and safety of all on board it is important we know your full medical details as well as any health issues.   

There are certain difficulties with which we cannot cope (e.g. incontinence, certain mobility problems) therefore our cruises are not suitable for persons suffering from these conditions. Also, all on board need to be able to take care of their own dressing, feeding, washing and toileting needs  

You will need adequate physical fitness to cope with the demands of living on a seagoing boat.  

You must be able to step up about 60cm (all boats differ) from a pontoon onto the boat, climb up and down steep steps between cockpit and saloon, stand when helming (steering), move around the cockpit when boat is moving, climb into and out of a rubber dinghy 

If you have concerns about this you are strongly advised to consult your GP/medical advisor 

EAST reserves the right to contact your GP/medical advisor if necessary and to not accept an application if so advised by our Medical Officer and/or your GP or if the skipper believes he cannot accommodate special requirements. 

It is the responsibility of all crew members to discuss any relevant medical condition or disability with the skipper.  Sailing can be demanding and tiring so bearing this in mind it is important to be very frank and honest with the skipper regarding health and medication issues.  Eg If medication makes you drowsy it is very important to share this information.  

Mobility difficulties will not necessarily mean you cannot take part but being honest about your state of health will allow us to crew the boat appropriately.   

Administering medicines and treatments: EAST can accept no responsibility for this.  It is responsibility of all crew to notify EAST in writing of any medical condition, medication or treatment that may place them or others at risk during sailing activities and if medication needs to be refrigerated. Please be aware sea sickness/vomiting/ diarrhoea  can reduce the effectiveness of some medication. 

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KIT LIST:  you must bring the following 

waterproof jacket AND waterproof over-trousers for sailing.  It might be possible to borrow a suit from EAST. Speak to your skipper after placements have been allocated 

waterproof/windproof jacket for going ashore (optional if sailing waterproofs are brought) 

non-slip SOFT shoes/trainers for on board (NO wellies, hard soles or high heels on board) 

“wet” shoes, (jellies or similar) if possible – for going ashore in dinghies  

sufficient complete changes of clothing (you will probably get wet) including sweaters/fleeces, thick socks, underclothes, etc 

warm clothing (it can be cold in the wind even if the weather is fine) including woolly hat with tie on string, scarf and gloves (to protect your hands when handling ropes) 

sun hat (with something to tie it on) 

sunglasses and sun cream (UV rays stronger at sea) 

if you wear specs – bring something to tie them on 

personal wash kit, towel etc. 

few plastic carrier bags – for wet clothing 

BEDDING: sleeping bag and pillow unless otherwise advised by your skipper 

All above in a soft bag/ruck sack.  Suitcases are not suitable and will be left behind in a car.