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Welcome to
Kielder Yacht Club

Kielder Yacht Club is located on the shores of Kielder Water in Northumberland, United Kingdom, and enjoys unrivalled views of the tranquil landscape of Kielder Forest. The Club Marina is based in the Whickhope Inlet, part of the 27 miles of shoreline. The club provides both tranquil cruising and challenging sailing.


We are a friendly club in North East England, with a diverse membership coming from as far afield as Yorkshire, Scotland and Cumbria. We are always looking to welcome new members to the pleasures of sailing or cruising on Kielder. Our policy is to encourage both cruising and sailing events, as well as organising a full social programme – but club members may also simply like to get away from it all and relax with a peaceful days sailing.

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Our Discover Sailing 2020 Event
in partnership with the Royal Yachting Association
has been suspended until further notice due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Watch this space for updates.

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  • CLUB HOUSE - Toilets (including accessible), showers, galley, members room able to accommodate over 50 members, outside seating/eating area, stunning views and tranquillity.
  • CAR PARKING - Ample members parking, gated, key access. 
  • MARINA FACILITIES - Concrete launching slip, jetty, deep water swinging moorings, club tenders or member's dingy storage.
  • BOAT PARK - TRAILER PARK - TENDER PARK - All on location.
  • WINTER STORAGE - Over winter craft storage.
  • MOTOR CRUISERS WELCOME - Motor Cruisers are just as welcome as yachts.
  • AFFORDABLE MEMBERSHIP - Check out our very competitive membership rates.
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Kielder Yacht Club is not just about cruising the lake, we operate an extensive sailing calendar with enough activities to keep the whole family involved. We include everything from a gentle sail to a secluded inlet, rafting up with friends enjoying a good bottle of wine, to full blown regatta weekends. Of course, no sailing calendar would be complete without a good old BBQ.

Our social calendar operates 12 months of the year. During the winter season we make the most of our club house facilities by hosting parties, hog roasts and winter walks.

The club is home to both motor cruisers and yachts where members can enjoy a full calendar of social and sailing events or simply get away get from it all on Europe’s largest manmade lake.

Kielder Yacht Club is a family friendly sailing club in the heart of Northumberland located on the banks of stunning Kielder Water, the largest man-made reservoir in the UK.  

We are based on the shores of Kielder Water in Northumberland surrounded by the quiet tranquillity of Kielder Forest, one of the few remaining Dark Sky locations in the UK and one that can boast its own public Observatory.

Core Membership Fees 2020

Initial Joining Fee: £70
Full Membership: £260
Single Membership: £240
Associate Membership: £130
Student Membership: £10

The following fees are also payable to Northumbria Water for the season:

Registration - Boat only £28.50
Registration - Boat and Tender £41
Mooring fee – £436

Full membership:
Includes one or two named adults operating one boat afloat and all their children under the age of 18 years.

Single membership:
Covers one person only and Winter boat park storage. Is for members without partners or family, who essentially visit the club, and sail, alone.

Associate membership:
Covers individuals or families who do not own a boat, but wish to use the club’s facilities or sail on a boat belonging to another member. 

Student Membership: 
Covers those between 18 and 21 years of age, whose parents or guardians are members of the club, and who can satisfy the general committee that there are in full time education.

Summer Boat Park £65 (long term storage only)
Tender Boat Park Fee £15.00 per annum.

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New members are always welcome. Please email us directly or complete the following form if you would like someone to contact you about membership or you have any other questions.


We'll get back to you as soon as we can, but we would welcome your patience as this mailbox is not monitored 24 hours. 

Early History of Kielder Yacht Club

by Judith Robinson, Michael Money and Bill Holden

Charles McPhail, the second Commodore, and his wife May were walking at Whickhope one day and there below them on the hillside, men were working, putting in the moorings…. before the lake was completely flooded.

The inaugural meeting of the Sailing Cruiser Section of Kielder Water Club was held at the Duke of Wellington, Kenton Lane. Newcastle upon Tyne, on Tuesday, 7th April 1981

The mooring buoys were the pink ones, similar to those around the lake now. Tenders were pulled up on the shore just above the water line. There was a jetty. That was all there was.

The clubhouse, at this time, was still a green hut at Leaplish, shared by all sections of Kielder Water Club, who were the Sailing Club, based in the bay at Leaplish, the Yacht and Motor Cruiser Clubs, who sailed out of Whickhope, and the Ski Club. Their area was the large bay east of the Leaplish headland. It was 1981.

The shed, a cricket pavilion from Annfield Plain, costing £300, brought over and put up by members, had not yet come to Whickhope. This was finally put up and declared fit for use by a Works Officer in October 1983. 

‘Resolution’ (lain Mungall) and ‘Fable’ (Charles and May McPhail) were the largest yachts, most members sailing in 15 to 22 feet size, not in the comfort experienced today. Racing was popular, members were keen, but all the races were friendly. There must have been some bad weather, but those days seemed to be sunshine and racing winds.

Membership had increased to 63 by 1987. The Motor Cruising section was still separate. After many years, in 1985, because both sections sailed at Whickhope, it was suggested it made sense to amalgamate the Motor Cruiser Club with the Yacht Club. This finally happened on January lst 1993 under the Yacht Club name.

Two mooring buoys, bow and stern, and laid north / south against the prevailing winds caused much discomfort for the boats and eventually, in 1983, they were re-laid east to west. Much later, in 1989, these were changed to the swinging moorings we have today. It cost £150 per mooring plus diver costs of £300 a day to install the swing moorings. This was paid for by the £6,000 per year paid through Kielder Water Club to Northumbrian Water for maintaining the moorings.

The clubhouse at Leaplish, the green hut, was formerly the construction site laboratory which was re-erected about where the Leaplish conference centre and swimming pool is now. Everyone had to take a turn at galley duty, which became more controversial and a nuisance as some good sailing weather was missed. In the beginning, the building was also shared by the Reivers of Tarset who ran a boat hire/sailing school from it before they got their own building at the head of the west slipway. Their building is now the Bunkbarn.

Caroline Waitt was the first “Water Sports Officer” and she dealt with registration, not only for club members but also for the large number of day visitors who brought their own boats to Kielder in the early years. Caroline served for the I982-84 seasons and she was strict. Yachts and owners had to conform to Northumbrian Water Rules, for example, flares on board were checked and all boats had to pass an engine noise test before Caroline allowed them to stay on the water.


Alan Hetherington came after Caroline for the next two seasons. He lived on site in a caravan when on duty and did much to reduce the theft and vandalism prevalent at Leaplish at that time. One of his reports included the following incident which occurred on 30th July 1987:

“Six youths aged 16 – 18 tried to use the Reivers rescue boat, but had no petrol. They then broke into the petrol store, filled milk bottles for petrol bombs and threw them behind Reivers’ building. Later an attempt was made to start a dumper truck The next morning the police collected them from their tents and they were charged.”

Boats on moorings at Whickhope did not escape, on one night 20 were broken into. Following this many members avoided using strong padlocks on the cabin door, better to have a broken padlock than a smashed door.

After many negotiations, Northumbrian Water (before privatisation), built a magnificent new clubhouse, at an estimated cost of £300,000, which is now the Boat Inn at Leaplish (This is much changed from the original building). Grants were applied for from the English Tourist Board, who wanted the toilets to be made public. The clubhouse was opened by David Scott Cowper on Monday, 6th June 1988.

David Scott Cowper, who practised as a Newcastle Solicitor, is renowned for sailing round the world and is / was frequently away sailing (or trapped in ice) in northern waters. Sadly, the plaque which commemorated the event of the opening and the organisations who had funded the clubhouse, has disappeared.

Les and Pat Ferguson were appointed as wardens for the 1988-89 season and they lived in the upstairs flat in the clubhouse. Pat ran the galley. Evenings and socials were held in the clubhouse as the clubs continue to do in their own premises, but again, it was for all three sections.

Les and Pat left to become stewards at the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club at Blyth. Gordon and May Greensill came shortly after Pat and Les. May followed on from Pat with more excellent cooking for hungry sailors. They stayed until 1991. Rumours had begun that Northumbrian Water wanted the building for themselves…. or to share it.

Launching and retrieving was at Leaplish. Easy enough to launch with cars, but Yacht Club members then had to sail or motor to Whickhope to their moorings. Ferrying cars between the two places caused some headaches, one family member / friend, had to be available to collect the car and return it to where it was needed. Sometimes this involved walking from Leaplish to Whickhope or vice versa. Many people were certainly very fit in those days!

At the end of the season, most yachts were stored over the winter at Leaplish, in the car park, which was not as large as it is now. Some boats went to the scouts at Hawkhirst and some were taken home. It was a full day. Again, members had to sail / motor to Leaplish and then help each other to haul out using cars.

Later on, for well over ten years, John Richardson was helping at launch / haul out with his tractor. Umpteen members in the club have John to thank for sorting out their trailer / boat problems as he, frequently, was waist high, or above, in the water. Nothing was too much trouble for John and members owe a huge debt of gratitude to him before their own ‘ tractor crew’ came on the scene when John decided he could no longer continue with this demanding work.

More negotiations and finally, in 1991. Northumbrian Water approved the plan for each section to have their own clubhouse and their own area. The Sailing Club chose Tower Knowe and the Yacht Club stayed at Whickhope, as the Ski Club did in their own bay. The other two sections’ clubhouses were made of whole log construction. The Yacht Club’s was half log.

Originally, it was intended that the cabin Northumbrian Water had used at the Gateshead Garden Festival would become the clubhouse, but that never materialised and what is there now was built. Not in the original agreed position however. The main windows should have been facing down the inlet. Members began using the clubhouse from April 1993.

The official opening of the new clubhouse was on the Sunday of the August Regatta 1993, by Sir Michael Straker, who was given Honorarv Membership of the club and he remained interested in us until his early death a few years later.

There was a marquee in the car park and invitations went to the other sections, and many visitors were invited to the splendid buffet lunch. Celebrations went on well into night time. The midges joined the company then as they do now.

Once the sections split up, and became totally centred in their own areas, each club began to grow and get more and more facilities. The marina built at Leaplish in 1988, which Kielder Water Club had offered £2000 towards, was towed to Whickhope and moored where it is now by October 1993. When the marina was first put in at Leaplish it was deemed to be a great success provided the wind blew from the south or west only. 

The shed (or store) at East Wickhope was kept for a few more years. It was finally demolished sometime in 1999. It had served the club well, progressing from nothing to porta-loos and parties. Trailers stayed where they had always been stored. The jetty at Whickhope remained, since refurbished by members.

Each year since has seen more progress to comfort. Larger yachts and motor cruisers appeared, sadly, the enthusiasm for racing lapsed and members began to stay overnight on their boats. Social evenings continued, from meals served by Doreen and Sadie from Bellingham, to the ‘special’ evenings now and the Pie and Pea suppers. The ferry was also booked for the club some years for an evening tour of the lake with supper on board and sometimes with themed fancy dress such as ‘pirates’, and ‘millionaires’.

The Yacht Club membership is good and constant, always determined by the number of moorings available. Several Sailing Club members moved from dinghies to yachts, some so they could sail together with their families, others just wanted something larger with a little comfort. The Yacht Club and Sailing Club continue to share sailing events with each other, such as the Yacht Club Regattas, and yachts are always welcome in the Round the Lake races. Contact with the Ski Club is less easy because of having to avoid sailing into their bay, but friendships made when members were one club at Leaplish have continued and are as strong today as they were then.

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 and as we are today

Member's Area

Dear Kielder Yacht Club Member
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Kielder Yacht Club is re-opening on Saturday 30th May 2020 under strict restrictions.

Please see the Noticeboard Announcement below.

NOTICEBOARD

1

Kielder Yacht Club planned re-opening...

Good News!
Following approval of the Risk Assessment submitted to NWL by our Covid-19 Team we are pleased to tell you that, subject to very strict rules, the club will re-open on Saturday 30th May.
The Commodore has emailed all members outlining the restrictions that will be in place for the planned re-opening of the club. The committee has had to adopt a conservative and cautious approach in accordance with RYA and UK and national government guidelines. We ask that all members abide by the letter and the spirit of these rules to ensure our club can remain open. 
Please ensure you read the email in full and understand your responsibilities and what to expect should you visit KYC. We would be very grateful if you could also complete the Launch Survey as detailed at the bottom of the commodore's email.

Some points to take from the guidance to ensure our club can remain safe and open:
> Anyone who has suspected symptoms of Corona Virus or been in close contact with someone who has shown suspected symptoms must not come to the club. If anyone develops symptoms of Corona Virus after being at the club, they must immediately inform the club Commodore or Acting Vice Commodore.
> The clubhouse will only be open for members to use the toilets and you must supply your own sanitary and cleaning products. Wash your hands often. Take your rubbish home.
> Wear gloves when using communal facilities or equipment i.e. locks, tenders, ladders etc.
> Your must adhere to the 2m social distancing rules at all times around the club, and when using the jetties, give priority to members leaving the walkways.  
> There must be no overnight stays at KYC, in vehicles or boats.

Official NHS health information and advice - View...

2

Overnight Moorings

We are delighted that Northumbrian Water have invested a lot of time and expense replacing the overnight moorings that will greatly benefit our membership and give us confidence when mooring . Thank you, we really appreciate it.
View the locations map...

Here, we retain a selection of the more important posts that you may have missed since the last time you visited us. These will be withdrawn when they are no longer pertinent, so visit the noticeboard regularly to catch noteworthy news, information or announcements that may affect you.

Club Moorings Allocation 2020
Check your email for the club Mooring Plan for 2020 dated 20th March. This plan replaces the version currently displayed in the clubhouse. No mooring may be changed without prior authorisation (except in an emergency). 

2020 Calendar

All club events are cancelled until further notice with immediate effect due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

March

28th - 29th Working Party Weekend

April

3rd - 5th Launch weekend

May

3rd Leaplish Trot Series – Race 1
9th Belling Belle Trophy
23rd Cruising in Company
24th Leaplish Trot Series – Race 2

June

6th    Leaplish Trot Series – Race 3
20th Solstice Barbeque
           Discover Sailing Event (Suspended)
21st  Leaplish Trot Series – Race 4
           Discover Sailing Event (Suspended)

July

5th Mystery Social Event
11th Club Barbeque
12th Leaplish Trot Series – Race 5
17th-20th Cape Cutter Association Race

August

1st Cruise in Company
2nd Commodores Chase Trophy
16th Leaplish Trot Trophy – Race 6
29th Regatta Weekend and Barbeque
30th Round The Lake Race

September

13th Leaplish Trot Series – Race 7
27th Leaplish Trot Series – Race 8

October

17th - 18th Haul Out
25th Haul Out 

November

14th Annual General Meeting

December

27th Christmas Walk

Weather


     

Member's Boats for Sale

Please note, boats listed are private sales and the club is not responsible for any details provided. All contracts whether verbal or written are solely between the seller and purchaser.

Ailsa Craig - Hunter Horizon 23

Offers in the region of £8,000
An easy to handle family cruiser with all lines leading back to the cockpit for single handed sailing. Roller furling headsail with self tacking jib. Good standing headroom below with sleeping for 4 adults and 1 or 2 children in the V berth. Further info...

Beginners Basics

Written by beginners for beginners

Calling for assistance:
Channel 16 (known as the calling channel) is used for emergencies only. Always ensure your radio is working before you take to the water, or for handhelds, the batteries are good and you have spares. Where possible, make sure as many crew and passengers know how to at least use the basic radio controls. Gain familiarity with Kielder Water and practice learning the locations and landmarks of the lake. You can find maps in the club house and you may find the Overnight Moorings Map useful for generalised locations. Invest in a paper map for your vessel, technology is not that friendly without power. You can also purchase Mayday cards that could be placed in your cockpit for reminders on how to call for help, or even make your own... why not? ALWAYS leave a Trip Slip at the jetty entrance informing others of your intended journey and return times. For advice on calling for help, take a look at this RYA link.

Talk Talk:
It's amazing how commonly our newer or less experienced sailors and cruisers praise the wisdom and guidance of our more experienced members. Whilst books and manuals are a good way to learn, there's nothing like asking someone in person and we certainly excel as a club in helping each other with those simple or tricky questions. We have such a diverse skill set and knowledge of sailing and boating, so please don't be afraid to ask someone if you need help or advice.

Fill 'er up:
Getting into the habit of having enough fuel for your intended trip may be an obvious one, and if you can't sail for whatever reason, make sure you can get back to base on your engine alone. Sure, but what about using a tender? Make sure the tender fuel tank/container is adequately full for any journeys to and from your mooring. It's not the first time a member has ran out of fuel and had to row to shore! If the club tender fuel container is getting low, follow etiquette and replenish the fuel from the bosun's supply.

Look cool:
There are a couple of handy basic pieces of cheap gear that not everyone takes on board... a cap and sunglasses. It's not uncommon to get terrific glare from the water, restricting your view, especially when coming in to our Whickhope jetty in the evening, when the sun is often in your line of sight.

Watch where you're going:
Binoculars are useful in a number of situations of course, but they can be handy to take a good look at the jetty when cruising back to base. Check for available spaces before you get too close to the landing and end up having to make an awkward last minute manoeuvre. Knowing where you are docking can also give you time to place fenders and ropes on the correct side of the boat before you get there. Don't forget to check the wind direction before you commit too.

Get plastered before you sail:
Well, when we say plastered, we mean of the first aid variety of course. Next time you rummage around your cockpit make sure you know where your first aid kit is and let any crew or passengers know, making sure it is fully supplied with unexpired stock.

No Soggy Bottoms please:
Extra clothes for changing conditions and temperature drops may be obvious, but what if you get very wet? Always have a full change of clothes in your car as well as perhaps your boat. Your bottom and car seat will thank you on your journey home.

Be a meerkat:
Always maintain concentration to avoid colliding with other boats. Other vessels, obstacles or even the shore can creep up on you in a jiffy, so don't assume that as you can't see anything now, that you can relax and take your eye off the surrounding area for a while.

Pain is not gain:
Some of us are not as young as we used to be…. you know who you are!
A gentle stretch and limber up before heading out on the water isn’t such a silly idea whatever your age and fitness. A pulled muscle starting an outboard, hoisting up the mainsail or bending down to grab a pickup buoy could potentially cause more problems than it first seems, especially if you are sailing alone. Firstly, know and consider your limitations, but examples depending on your flexibility and capability may include marching in place while swinging your arms, slow and smooth shoulder shrugs or rising on your toes. Probably, doing a warm up on shore would be advisable, as you may be swimming too should you try these onboard!

Got any tips to share?
kielderyachtclub@email.com

I'm currently looking at quotes for my yacht insurance. What on earth is maximum hull design speed in knots?
Maximum hull speed is a calculation to predict the maximum speed of a yacht based solely on its waterline length. Maximum is not really a correct term here as this speed can be exceeded, but for the purposes of your insurance the formula to calculate your answer is:

Maximum Hull Speed in Knots = 1.34 x Square root of the waterline length in feet.

Fortunately, insurance companies tend to offer a range of selectable options when answering this question, for example, 20 knots or less, or more than 20 knots, so it's unlikely your calculation needs to be very accurate.

Buying a lifejacket is a minefield. Any advice?
Lifejacket styles and features are wide and varied these days and it's a common topic of discussion when trying to select one suitable for your needs. This will not be a 'purchase and forget' item, maintenance and servicing should be considered, so it's not just a case of picking a nice colour that matches your deck shoes.
Here's some great advice about lifejackets on the RNLI site. Go there...


Got any questions for this section?
kielderyachtclub@email.com

Windward – Term which denotes the direction from which the wind is blowing.

Leeward – Direction opposite to the current wind; sometimes called ‘lee’ as well.

Tacking – A basic manoeuvre of turning the bow into the wind, which changes the direction from which the wind blows from one side of the boat to the other. This will also shift the boom of the boat from one side to the other in a more controlled fashion.

Gybing – The opposite of tacking, but not as common as it involves turning the boat directly into the wind. The manoeuvre consists of turning the boat’s stern through the wind, which changes the direction of the wind from one side of the boat to the other.
WARNING! Gybing without preparation can be dangerous. Unlike tacking, gybes require very careful control of the mainsheet as the boom, mainsail and the slack mainsheet can slam across the boat very quickly. Anyone near the boom or mainsheet runs the risk of being hit and seriously injured or worse. This is why you should always take special care with good communication to the crew and passengers when gybing.

Documentation

Note: For your protection, the links below will open a PDF file in another page. If you are requested to download or open anything other than a PDF, you are advised not proceed and kindly notify us.

Handbook

Membership guidance on how the club functions, what services are provided and what is expected of members.
View...

Disciplinary and Grievance

Documentation describing standards of conduct and promoting fair treatment for all.
View...

Club Constitution

Documentation outlining the purpose of the club and the duties of the club's officers along with membership definitions, club management and meeting details.
View...

Kielder Water Rules

Northumbrian Water Ltd rules and regulations governing the use of Kielder Water.
View...

External Links

The following links are provided as a convenience. They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Kielder Yacht Club of any services or opinions of the corporation or organisation. Kielder Yacht Club bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. These links will open in a new window.

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Address

Kielder Yacht Club
Whickhope Anchorage, Hexham Northumberland. NE48 1AX


Club Location: Visitors 

The Whickhope turn off is easy to miss, check out these additional location markers to help with your visit.

Travelling from the East
See road...

Travelling from the West
See road... 

 

Lat Long
55°09'56.2"N 2°30'14.4"W
55.165622, -2.503986

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