Revised notice on Waterfront access


Update from the General Committee

Dear Members,

As you all know, we are in a rapidly changing environment. Your General Committee is endeavouring to protect Members and their families, as well as staff and contractors, from the worst-case scenario of loss of life in our community.

Last Friday we issued some guidelines relating to our Waterfront amenities. This was based on our interpretation of current legislation and our wish to comply with the overarching ethos of protecting the broader community and in particular our front-line emergency services and medical professionals.

It is still the General Committee’s belief that if you don’t need to be out, you should stay at home and not go to the Squadron.

Over the weekend we received some constructive feedback from Members who are concerned about being able to undertake essential upkeep on their personal property across the dinghy storage, Hardstand and swing moorings. After deliberation, we wish to re-calibrate our communication as follows:

The tender service will operate from the outer pontoon seven days a week during Waterfront operating hours (listed below). The pick-up area will be clearly marked with signage. Due to government-enforced social distancing regulations, the tender is limited to one passenger and one vessel skipper. We kindly ask that you are patient with our Waterfront staff who are running the tender service and maintain social distancing whilst waiting. Please call 9017 0161 on approach to minimise the wait. 

We are not able to guarantee that the Walker Bay dinghies can be adequately sanitised and safe to use. They will not be available for the time being.

Members requiring access to Hardstand vessels may do so during Waterfront operating hours. We ask that you call ahead so that we can plan and manage social distancing. 
This week: Monday – Thursday   7.30am – 4pm
Easter long weekend: Friday – Monday   8am – 5pm
Thereafter: weekdays 7.30am – 4pm, weekends   8am – 5pm. 

Members may access their storage lockers in the Members’ Shed, however please comply with the social distancing rules, be prompt and do not touch any items except your own. Members may not conduct DIY work in the Members’ Shed for the time being.

We would reiterate that:

The Pond is closed other than as a safe haven in emergencies

No DIY work is permitted in the Pond or in the Yard.

We can confirm that we are investigating the possibility of financial concessions in respect of dinghy storage, Hardstand and swing moorings. We hope to advise you of any concessions shortly, based on our financial modeling and our work in seeking rent reductions from the relevant government authorities.  

Whilst we respect our Members' ability to make considered decisions regarding their safety, and to interpret Government regulations and guidelines, we also take seriously our duty of care to Members, staff and contractors, and ask for your assistance by adhering to these policy changes.

The General Committee



Tips for vessel hibernation

By RSYS Waterfront Manager Ned Brown

Here is a useful check-list if you are concerned about your boat's wellbeing during the period ahead.

Check all mooring lines are secured properly. Consider setting up a back-up line from the mooring loop to a cabin or cockpit winch.

Ensure all sea-cocks and thru-hull fittings are closed. Ensure hoses and drains have been cleared.

Make sure battery switches are turned to the OFF position, and that battery terminals are clean and connections are not loose. If you have a solar charging system, make sure connections are in good condition and batteries are receiving charge. If you don’t have a solar system, solar “trickle chargers” are an affordable way to help keep your batteries topped up. They can be placed on your vessel and connected to your batteries via alligator clips. These are available from Whitworths and other marine outlets.

Check bilge pumps and float switches are in good working order. Check pumps on both manual and automatic settings.

If you have hard antifoul applied to your vessel’s hull (Ultra 2, VC Offshore, Vivid), you may want to contact a hull diver to wipe down the hull every 4-6 weeks. Most hull divers will be available through the lockdown.

Ablative antifouls (Micron Extra, Altex no.5 and Altex no.5 Plus) should require little maintenance, so long as your vessel has been antifouled in the last 12 months.

If you’re unsure what type of antifoul is on your vessel, contact us and we can assist.

Propspeed is a great product for your vessel’s running gear but requires regular use for maximum performance. Propspeed is not designed to sit stagnant or be scraped or scrubbed by a diver. If possible, you can put your engine into forward and reverse a few times every 2-4 weeks. This will throw off any growth that might begin to accumulate on your propeller.

Check hoses for signs of deterioration.

If possible fill diesel vessels with fuel. The more oxygen present in your fuel tank, the higher the likelihood of your tank developing diesel bug, which can cause complications in the future. There are diesel additives that can help prevent diesel bug.

Ensure anodes are present. If anodes are needed, contact us ASAP so that we can organise.

Remove all food items, bottles and cans containing liquids, bedding and clothes.

Clean fridges and freezers, leave doors propped open.


The RSYS Waterfront team are on hand to assist Members in any way.
Please call Ned or Louise in the office on 9017 0161 or email

Letter from the General Committee


Dear Members,

Your General Committee has been meeting regularly to discuss the ramifications of the Government’s latest announcements. We deliberated the MIA, BIA, RMS, Health NSW and our own legal advice, and agreed we should be guided by the primary intent of the regulations. Government imposed isolation restrictions are structured to keep people at home, keep them safe and reduce the anticipated load on our health system. The safety of our Members, staff and community is our priority and the primary factor in our decisions.

In light of these developments, RSYS infrastructure will be available to facilitate access to your boat only for emergency access and only to transport the skipper to prepare for the months ahead.

From Tuesday 7 April:

  • The Pond will be closed
  • Tender service will not operate
  • RSYS dinghies will be stored away
  • Members’ own dinghies, Zodiacs etc. may not be launched from RSYS premises
  • Access to moorings, Hardstand, dinghy storage etc. will be restricted
  • Fuel service will cease to operate
  • DIY and contractors work on the Hardstand and Pond will not be permitted

There are exceptions however: RSYS premises may be used as a safe haven in an emergency, and you may drop off your boat for pre-arranged RSYS boat repairs/essential maintenance (Note this may change). In this event, you should vacate the hardstand as soon as practical.

We appreciate that Members may want to access or even remove their boats before the above edict is in place. This will need to be a coordinated activity to reduce the number of people on site. Louise Alves from our Waterfront operations will be coordinating this activity for Yachts, Hardstand boats and Dinghies.  Times will need to be confirmed with Louise to ensure that we follow the social distancing rules and do not have too many people at the Club at any one time. Members are invited to book a two hour slot between the following times:

Saturday 4 April until Tuesday 7 April from 8am - 5pm

Tenders will only be able take one Member at a time.  Louise can be contacted by email or call 02 9017 0161.

On a more positive note, our Waterfront staff are on hand to offer the following services to Members with boats on the Hardstand, RSYS moorings and those who are signed up to the RSYS Tender service.

  • Complimentary daily visual inspection. The Waterfront Manager will contact you for further instruction/permission should any issue be observed.
  • We are working on a program to have staff board your vessel and start your engine, check the bilge and batteries, please let us know how we can help.
  • The Boatshed remains open for all your maintenance and repair needs. The team has undertaken an intensive program of cleaning and realigned staff shifts to minimise any risks associated with the work environment.

Please contact Ned Brown to arrange an onboard inspection or 02 9017 0161.

Your Club will monitor all Government announcements and Members will be contacted if there are any material changes that will safely allow a change to the Squadron’s policy.


The General Committee

Update from the General Committee


Dear Members,

Following the General Committee (GC) meeting last night, we thought it was very important to provide an update to all our Members on what was discussed and the current position of our Squadron.

Most of you no doubt are close enough to the news hitting us each day, however, we wish to share with you our current views upfront which are assisting with our decision making.

- Timing: We have all heard that this Pandemic will last for somewhere between 3 months (if we can flatten the height of the Bell-shaped curve through strict social distancing) to approximately 18 months (worst case of a scalable vaccine being implemented globally.) We all hope the issue of flattening the Bell-shaped curve plus the shortening of the length through fast work and great scientific minds occurs. In the meantime, your GC has explored and will continue to review all options, both the worst and best scenario. We are currently planning for a most likely scenario of approximately 6 months, with tightening Government restrictions in the meantime and ultimately these restrictions being lessened leading into our spring sailing season.

- The globe has seen pandemics before, some worse than others in scale, all having a devastating impact on the communities involved. But History says communities bounce back. We know this so well in our sailing community. To use a sailing analogy: Covid-19 is not just a black southerly buster coming through but could be like a tornado if we don’t all work individually and together to find solutions. So we must “batten down the hatches” and ride it out. We will survive this as a Club but we all must work both individually and together to ensure this.

- The Squadron is currently in a solid financial position. We have no debt and have built up cash reserves for the car park project of approximately $800,000. However, this cash position will not last even in the most likely scenario unless we dramatically curtail both operational and capital expenditure. In addition, with our now dramatically reduced operational revenues, we will have to turn to ensuring our Members' subscriptions due next month is consistent with our Club’s “Member for Life” philosophy. The GC has and will continue to prudentially manage your Club's finances.

- Our priority is how best to support our Members and staff through these difficult times. With the right planning and prioritising and all working together, we are confident that we can get through this situation and be ready to welcome you and your guests back to enjoy the Squadron as soon as allowed.

Current situation

As you will all be aware, our circumstances are changing on a daily basis. Regrettably, the last week has been one of the most difficult in the Squadron’s long history. The following points are important to note;

- Staffing: 

In the current environment with announcements daily from different levels of Government, we have been forced into closing parts of the Club. As a result, we had to stand down 70 staff. This was obviously extremely tough on our staff / management, and Members who knew many of these great individuals. The decision had to be made to protect the future of our Club and to also allow the staff to access the recently announced government support. We stood them down with the hope that one day they will be able to rejoin us if they so choose. We also provided a modest ex gratia to help them all until Government support kicks in next month. 

- Clubhouse, Waterfront and events:

The clubhouse is closed with the exception of the Cellar and the newly introduced frozen and ready to eat take away options. These are proving to be extremely popular, so please look at these online. We can arrange home delivery of these meals as well as anything from the cellar.

All Club events are now cancelled until 1st September.

Accounts and Administration will be generally working from home with minimal staff onsite.

All Sailing is cancelled including the “Academy” until further notice. This now includes the Combined Clubs Winter Series as well as the Winter Youth Programs.

The Waterfront operations are currently open, including the tender service, and we encourage our Members to make use of this facility now more than ever. We will be announcing a new service to Members shortly to check / service boats during this period. This may change in the future if further restrictions and definition of essential services are changed by the Government.

All Capital works have been deferred. Expenditure of the Car Park repairs project will be the first capital works project to be recommenced once we are in a financial position to do so.


We now need your support more than ever. We continue to look to our Members for support if possible, to renew their subscriptions. Our annual subscription renewals are due to be sent out mid next month. We appreciate that this is not the best timing, but are hopeful that our “Member for Life” philosophy will help us through this time. Please note the following;

The 2020/21 Membership rates will be frozen at the same level as 2019/20.

We remind our Members that they can pay on a monthly basis by direct deposit (this year without any administration charge.)

We plan to offer Members the opportunity to pay two years of subscriptions upfront at the 2020/2021 rate. This will not only significantly help our cash flow but will also be a discount for Members with no subscription increase in 2021/22 for those who pay in advance. We understand that not all Members will be able to take this up.

As a Club, we fully respect that everyone’s personal circumstances are different and we will continue to work through scenarios for dealing with the impact of this crisis on our Members. As part of the Squadron’s philosophy of “Membership for Life” the GC is examining options to support Members to continue with their membership until the Club is fully operational again. If any Members are experiencing difficulty, please contact the CEO or any of the Flag Officers, and the Finance Committee will consider any requests and make recommendations to the General Committee for sign off.

The Future

The GC are continuing to explore all the many ways that our Club can remain strong albeit under these exceptional circumstances. To this end, our Sub Committees will continue to meet on a regular basis. This is now happening electronically and has already started this week.

Over the next few months, we will be introducing some new online courses so that our Members continue to feel engaged and part of our wonderful community. We appreciate the great work all involved in RSYS communications and particularly Ms. Isabel Wartho. We are calling for help from any member with information technology “hands-on experience” in web mastering and social media platforms to support Isabel and the team. Please contact Will Pettigrew if anyone is interested.

Finally, as we mentioned above, these are challenging times which this current generation hasn’t seen before. We want to thank all our Members for their understanding and ongoing support. We must acknowledge and sincerely thank our Management team for being able to steer us through these recent headwinds. In particular, we would like to recognise the professional leadership of our CEO, William Pettigrew.

Please all stay healthy and reach out to other Members, and also to your GC Members if you need any assistance during this period.
The General Committee

Boatshed is open!

If you’re stuck at home and concerned about your boat, rest assured, the RSYS Waterfront team will keep a close watch on all Member boats in Careening Cove, Neutral Bay and Shell Cove. If your boat is on the Hardstand, we will check your cradle, covers and inspect bilges on a regular basis.  
For a small charge, we will board your yacht or motorboat, inspect the covers, check the batteries, run the engine, examine the bilges and bilge pumps and advise you of any issues. To book this service, please contact Louise Alves
Going for a sail? Our tender service is operating as usual, albeit with a maximum of 4 persons per vessel. Fuel is also available.
Why not take advantage of this quiet period to attend to repair and maintenance jobs? Our staff are on hand for anti-foul jobs, shipwright, electrical and mechanical work. Please submit a job request here 
We have undertaken an intensive program of cleaning and realigned staff shifts to minimise any risks associated with our work environment.
Please feel free to contact Ned or Louise on 02 9017 0161 if we can be of assistance. Our focus is supporting our Members and their vessels during this challenging time.
Stay safe. 
Ned, Louise and the Waterfront Team