Thurston Outdoor Education Centre: Drascombe Longboats policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Venue
  3. Staffing
  4. Equipment
  5. Rescue boat
  6. Operating considerations

Revised: January 2022


Thurston OEC has two Drascombe Longboats. The Longboats are large dinghies that provide the opportunity for participants, in small groups, to journey under sail, engine power or rowed (pulled).


Usual venue is Coniston Water.


  • Ratio: The normal instructor / student ratio within the plated capacity of the Longboat.
  • Staff should be trained and experienced to the level of the appropriate RYA qualification and have in-house approval.


  • Participants should be dressed appropriately for anticipated weather.
  • Suitable footwear is essential.
  • Buoyancy aids must be worn by staff and students when afloat, being on the jetty and when swimming. 
  • Staff should carry a knife, whistle and means of communication, i.e. a mobile phone and VHF Radio.

Rescue boat

  • The safety boat is only driven by those with an RYA Powerboat qualification. The lake speed limit of 10mph must be observed except in rescue situations.
  • The kill cord must be used at all times.

Operating considerations

  • Wind and water conditions should be checked before the session and monitored throughout.
  • Due to the nature of the craft a conservative attitude to how they are sailed should be applied in order to minimise the possibility of a capsize.
  • Consideration should be given to sail choice or reefing and if conditions become unsuitable the session should be abandoned.
  • The activities of other lake users should be considered, in particular other boats and ferries.
  • Single craft Longboat sailing should take into account observed and forecasted weather and wind strength. It is recommended for single sailing craft the forecast wind strength be up to and including Beaufort Force 2 maximum without prior agreement.
  • When both Longboats, or one Longboat and the Whaler, are in operation a suitable method of communication between boats should be established so that either can act as safety cover for the other Longboat.
  • When sailing the centre plate must be tied back to secure it in the lowered position - to prevent the plate retracting in the event of an inverted capsize.
  • When rowed or motored a Longboat may operate solo.
  • When using oars, a briefing should be given on care when tossing and lowering oars. Rowlocks should be removed after use.
  • Briefing should be given to keep fingers clear when approaching or alongside jetties or other craft.
  • Report any breakages or damages.