A Guide for Visitors and New Members
A Warm Welcome
The Commodore and all members of the Axe Yacht Club welcome you and hope that you enjoy the facilities we offer. A particular feature of the Club is that it is maintained and operated by volunteers from across the membership. Over the years this self-help ethos has significantly reduced the cost of projects and maintenance. This has enabled the Club to keep the cost of being a member of AYC low compared with other harbours.
The Club's activities are overseen by three Rear Commodores (Harbour Services, Activities Afloat, & Social) who are elected at the AGM each year. They are supported by a number of other Club members who volunteer invaluable knowledge, skill and hard work. This self-help ethos is the essence of AYC. Volunteering at AYC.
The Club leases the site, which extends from the roadway to the beach, from East Devon District Council. Public pedestrian access to the beach is along the rear of the houses on Trevelyan Road, and for safety and security reasons we do not encourage wandering through the boatyard. Vehicular access is via the main gate and barrier, which is operated by a key fob. The slipway is not generally available to non-members.
The Harbour Services team of volunteers help to maintain the facilities we all enjoy including the mooring basin, pontoons, boatyard, and clubhouse. The Bosun is contracted to provide general marine services for the Club including maintenance dredging over the winter months. The Harbour Services team headquarters is adjacent to the slipway and is known affectionately as 'Fred's Shed'. See Harbour Services for more information.
Members are welcome to introduce up to three guests to the Club in any one day and should sign their guests in the Visitors book, which is on the shelf in the Clubhouse entrance. The same guest may not be introduced more than three times in any calendar year. Visitors are expected to obey the Club rules. Visitors arriving by sea should make prior arrangements by telephoning the Bosun James Widger on 07939-044109 or by emailing the Rear Commodore Harbour Services firstname.lastname@example.org and should visit Fred's Shed at the earliest opportunity after arrival to confirm their intentions and requirements.
The boatyard is crowded and busy when boating activities are in progress and extreme caution is required when walking, working or driving. A speed limit of 5mph is in force over the whole site. Power and water points are available.
Above the beach area is the designated parking place and parking in the boatyard is prohibited except for off-loading. Members may obtain a parking permit from the membership secretary. This must be renewed each year and displayed clearly when parked at the Club. Overnight stays in vehicles or on boats in the yard are not permitted.
The Clubhouse offers a stunning view across Lyme Bay framed by the cliffs of Beer Head. It is open to members 24 hours a day with access controlled by an electronic fob programmed to each individual member's needs. The door is electrically operated and will stop if any obstruction is present. In addition to showers/toilets and changing facilities, there is a large function room, a kitchen and a well-stocked Bar. The Bar is open every Friday evening and Sunday lunchtime throughout the year. It is also open for the programmed social functions. During the season, it is usually open on Saturday evenings and sometimes opens on other days for post-race drinks or simply to allow members to enjoy the evening sunshine with a beer on the decking overlooking the bay. Sea state, wind direction and forecasts are displayed on a screen in the Club House, together with another screen showing a webcam view of the river entrance, which can help in assessing the position of the bar and the state of the channel. See Clubhouse & Social for more details.
AYC members enjoy a very wide range of water-based activities; racing, cruising, dinghy sailing, day boating, angling, power-boating, scuba diving, water ski-ing, kayaking and surfing. Having a membership with such a broad range of boating interests is a huge strength of AYC and sets us apart from many other clubs. See Activities Afloat for more details.
There are around 105 moorings on the pontoons in the basin. These are all allocated to club members and there is a waiting list. However, the Harbour Services team may be able to allocate one where the current user is away for the night, at a cost of £10 per night. Access to the pontoons is controlled via the same electronic fob as the Clubhouse and main gate. For safety reasons, no BBQs are permitted on any boat or pontoon within the harbour.
Launch and recovery should be made from the main slipway, off which pontoons are available for final preparations. Boats should be prepared for a quick getaway to avoid congestion. Help and advice can be obtained from Fred's Shed. The small slipway can be used to launch and recover tenders and small dinghies when not in use by the Canoe Club. Beach launching for dinghies is by use of matting laid over the shingle just to the East of the Clubhouse where a winch is available to help with recovery.
Using The Basin and Estuary
Boating in the basin, estuary and on the approaches requires considerable care because of strong currents of up to 5 kts, particularly during Spring tides, in moderate to strong winds and because of the shifting shingle bar just off the river mouth. General advice for harbour users is given for guidance only and the Club accepts no responsibility. Members & visitors using the Club and boating in and out of the River Axe do so entirely at their own risk and must carry third party insurance liability cover of £3,000,000 minimum. All harbour users are strongly advised to read the Pilotage notes - Axmouth Harbour Pilotage.
The Club owns a number of dinghies, which are available for use during organised sailing sessions. These allow members of all ages who are new to dinghy sailing to gain some basic skills, before considering buying their own boat.
The Club is affiliated to the RYA and offers RYA recognised shorebased training courses for members and non-members (VHF radio, diesel engine, first aid, yachtmaster, day skipper).
In 2015 the RYA gave approval for the Club to run powerboat courses and recent approval for dinghy instruction to be added to the Club's list of RYA recognised courses will allow us to certificate the courses we run for our members. If a suitable course is not available at AYC, members also have the chance to complete stages/levels of the RYA National & Youth Dinghy Sailing Schemes at nearby centres. It is important to emphasize that the Club is not a commercial RYA sea school and therefore does not offer dinghy training courses to non-AYC members. See Training for more details.
Security and Safety
Although CCTV and lighting is installed on Club premises, members and visitors should be careful to secure their own property as the site is fairly open to access by the public. Basic First Aid kits are available in Fred's Shed and the Clubhouse. An automatic cardiac defibrillator has been installed outside the Clubhouse main entrance. Dial 999 for police, fire, ambulance or coastguard.