Safety and Welfare


Contact the club's Safety & Welfare Adviser by clicking here.



Every time you walk into the boathouse and are handed the keys to a few thousand pounds worth of highly tuned racing machine, it is your job to know how to set it up, look after it, and get the best out of it. Don't rely on others. Learn about what makes boats go fast but, above all, learn about what makes boats safe.



Safety Tip of the Month:



Early morning and evening outings are becoming increasingly darker and it is vital that everybody using the canal does so with adequate lighting. Not only is this a legal requirement but it is common sense and an integral part of our club's safety policy - white light in the bows, red light in the stern.




Please also note that lights should be attached firmly to the boat (not to any moveable part or to the rowers or coxes). All batteries must contain adequate charge for the duration of the outing. If lights fail for any reason, you must stop the outing and remedy before resuming. There are no excuses for failing to abide by this rule, so please ensure that you are a stickler for it.


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Steering and Navigation


Minimum standards to be adopted


Any person steering a boat takes on a highly responsible role and must:


• Communicate effectively with their crew


• Be aware of their position at all times relative to circulation patterns, hazards and other water users


• Maintain a high level of attention both visually and aurally in order to be able to assess situations and take appropriate action to avoid accidents


• Learn and use concise commands for boat control both off and on the water – and to be able to use these correctly, clearly and instructively


• Understand and observe the local navigation rules and the audible and visual signals given by others with whom the water is shared


• Know how to stop the boat safely in an emergency


• When visiting unfamiliar water, take particular care to learn of local hazards, weather conditions and rules of navigation




Capsize Drill on the Union Canal aka The Ditch

The prevailing etiquette is to extrapolate oneself from the boat and walk to the bank. When ashore, be sure to discard socks.


Navigation for rowing boats on the Union Canal

Rowers travelling west have right of way over rowers travelling east, unless a rower travelling west is being caught by another rower also travelling west, when the slower rower should allow the faster boat to pass.


When allowing other boats to pass, always pull into the south bank (opposite the towpath).


All boats should give clear audible warnings to other canal users.


All rowers encountering powered boats on the canal should pull over and allow the powered boats to pass.


All boats going out after sunset must carry lights mounted securely and prominently on the boat and with sufficient battery charge to last the outing. White lights forward, red lights to the stern, must be clearly visible to other canal users.



This section will include comprehensive information about the club's safety and welfare issues, including a less glib description of capsize drills.


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 "Scotland's Oldest Open Rowing Club 1846."

St Andrew Boat Club is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

Registration number SC045608

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