Block Island Club ("Club") Policies

Welcome to the Block Island Club.  We hope you enjoy your time sailing, swimming, playing tennis or just relaxing.  To ensure that members and their guests enjoy the Club and stay safe, the following policies are in place.  Please make sure to review these before participating in any Club activities.

Table of Contents

General Policies
Boat Policies
Boat Storage Policies 
Swimming Policies 
Tennis & Tennis Court Policies 
Class Policies 
Driving Polices 

General Policies

Prior to using the Club, all members must complete the required membership forms, including the waiver of liability.  Parents (or other responsible adult) enrolling a child in a class must complete the Medical Release form prior to a child’s participation in any Club class or other type of activity.Payment for Club membership is due at the time of registration.  Members are responsible for any fees that are incurred due to bounced checks or returned payments.  Please consult the Membership section of the Club website for membership types and fees.Members are welcome to use the Club building and facilities, as well as the docks and grounds during Club operating hours.The Club building and office are open daily from 9am to 6pm Monday through Saturday. 10am-4pm Sundays during the summer months.All members and their guests must comply with the Club’s policies contained herein and on the Club website.Members can host a guest for up to 3 days. If more than 3 days, the guest must become a member. This pertains to all club activities including keelboats.Grandparents who have purchased an Adult Individual/Couple membership may bring their children and grandchildren (18 years or younger) to the Club and have them take lessons for a total of five (5) days. Membership will be refundable up until June 15th for the year that they were purchased.All personal property, including boats, sails, lifejackets, and other equipment stored on the Club premises are the owner’s responsibility. The Club is not liable for lost, damaged or stolen property.Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or other responsible person over the age of  15 unless the child is participating in a class.   Children age 12 and older may use the Club outside of a class, during Club hours, without a supervising adult.The Club reserves the right to suspend any member or their guest’s use of the Club or its facilities and equipment if they fail to obey the Club’s policies or otherwise pose a danger to themselves or others, or are a threat to Club property or the property of others located at the Club.To ensure that all members and guests feel comfortable at the Club and enjoy their experience, the Club’s membership is non-discriminatory and no bullying is tolerated.  We expect all members, including children, to treat everyone with respect and courtesy.      No illegal drugs may be possessed, used or sold on Club premises.  Any possession or use of marijuana that is legal under the laws of the state of Rhode Island is also prohibited on Club premises.  Any conduct of this type shall result in cancellation of one’s membership.  

Although possession and responsible use of alcohol on Club premises is allowed by anyone 21 or older, the following policies apply to alcohol consumption on Club premises and while using Club property.

No one under the age of 21 may consume alcohol on Club premises.Anyone sailing a Club keelboat, boat, kayak or paddleboard shall not consume alcohol while doing so and be below the legal intoxication limit prior to taking out a Club boat.Although all swimmers swim at their own risk when no lifeguard is on duty, swimmers should refrain from drinking alcohol while swimming and should not swim if they have been drinking.No alcohol may be consumed on the docks or near the swimming area.


Policies for use of all types of BIC Boats

ife jackets:  While in a keelboat, motorboat, sailboat, kayak or on a paddleboard, a life jacket must be worn at all times by adults and children without exception.  

Who can use BIC boats outside of a class: 

Membership requirements: Anyone wishing to use a boat must be a member of the Club or a guest (see Membership section on the Club website) and be the required age.  Boats and crews must be signed in and out at the Clubhouse office according to boat check-out procedures.   Members can reserve a boat up to two weeks in advance.

Age requirements:  A member or guest must be at least 18 years of age and approved by the head sailing instructor to captain a keelboat.  A member or guest must be at least 15 years of age to sail a 420 without the presence of an adult on board, unless an exception is made by the head sailing instructor.  A member or guest must be at least 12 years of age to use a kayak or paddleboard without an adult on board or nearby to supervise and provide assistance if required.

Sailing competency:  A person may not sail a Club boat unless they have demonstrated the ability to competently rig, launch and safely land the boat without verbal or physical assistance from a BIC instructor.  In order to be certified to use a kayak or paddleboat, the user must demonstrate the ability to transport the kayak or paddleboat to and from the water’s edge, launch it and safely land it.  

Restrictions on areas of use:  Opti sailboats, kayaks and paddle boats may not leave the Great Salt Pond.  Motor boats, Colgate 26 keelboats and 420 sailboats may be sailed into the ocean with approval by the head sailing instructor.   Kayaks and paddleboards should not go in the channel lanes leading to and from the opening of the Great Salt Pond into the Atlantic.  Boats are not to be sailed unreasonably close to moored and anchored boats, moving boats, launches, docks or buoys. Boats are not to be sailed up onto the beach and boats are not to be purposefully capsized.

Block Island Club Staff may suspend the sailing/kayaking privileges of any member or their guests if they fail to obey these rules or otherwise pose a danger to themselves or others, or are a threat to Club property or the property of others.

Sailing and returning of boats:

Rigging and unrigging requirements:  Those using a Club boat are responsible for rigging and unrigging the boat, returning the boat to its proper location, and returning boat equipment to the proper location in the Clubhouse.  If the boat checked out is already rigged and on the beach or dock, the person is still responsible for de-rigging the boat, returning all equipment and hauling the boat to its proper location.  Boats are not to be dragged.  Club members and their guests are responsible for any equipment that is lost, damaged or destroyed due to their own negligence, carelessness, recklessness or poor seamanship.

Equipment pairing with boats:  Riggings, rudder/tiller assemblies, centerboards and sails are numbered.  The numbered items are to be used only with the hull of the corresponding number.  Borrowing of shackles, pins, lines etc., from boats on the premises is NOT permitted.  If any item is missing from your assigned boat, please see a Club staff member for assistance.

Boats are not to be sailed unreasonably close to moored and anchored boats, moving boats, launches, docks or buoys.  

Sailboats are not to be sailed up onto the beach or purposefully capsized.  

Procedures for removing boats from the water:

Optis: returned to rack and properly derigged

420s: returned to rack and properly derigged

Keelboats: returned to mooring and properly derigged, written instructions will be provided.

Kayaks: Kayaks should be paddled to the water’s edge.  They must then be emptied of water, carried to the kayak area, and turned upside down.  Paddles are to be returned to the storage area on the beach side of the Clubhouse.

Paddleboats: Paddleboards should be paddled to the water’s edge.  They must then be carried to the paddleboard area. Paddles are to be returned to the storage area on the beach side of the Clubhouse.

Safe Behavior: To ensure everyone’s safety:

No diving from docks or boats.  

No running or roughhousing on docks.  

No items made from glass shall be carried onto the docks or into the boats.

No sailing alone without following safety procedures and permission from the Head sailing Instructor.  

Weather Conditions or Needs for Classes: The head sailing instructor or designated assistants may, at their discretion, restrict the use of boats, kayaks and paddleboards in certain weather conditions or if boats are needed for scheduled lessons and races.  The manager, head sailing instructor or designated assistants may also, at any time, based on their own opinion and experience, cancel sailing for all or a portion of a day due to weather, an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances.  

Poor Boating Conduct: The head sailing instructor or designated assistants may suspend the sailing, kayaking or paddleboarding privileges of any member or guest if they fail to obey any Club policy or otherwise pose a danger to themselves or others, or are a threat to Club property of the property of others.  No refunds of rental fees will be granted in such situations.

Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability:  As indicated above in the General Policies section, anyone sailing or riding on a Club boat must sign the required forms, including a waiver of liability, available at the office in the Clubhouse.

Additional Policies for Use of Club’s Colgate 26 Keelboats

In 2016, the Club obtained six Colgate 26 keelboats as surplus property from the U.S. Coast Guard.  Additional policies apply to the use of the Colgate keelboats due to level of sailing skill required to sail them and the cost of maintaining them.  Please see the Keelboats section on the Club website for the additional policies that apply to renting and using these boats.


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