Status
Definitions
Membership
General Rules of Conduct
Rules for the Berthing Area
Rules that Apply to the Operation of All BRCC Boats
Dragonboat Operating Rules
OC-1 & OC-2 Operating Rules
Canoes & Kayaks Operating Rules
Youth Programs and Teams
Disciplinary Procedures

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Status

These Operating Rules are established by majority vote of the Berkeley Racing Canoe Center Board of Directors, and can be modified and amended at any regular or special meeting of the Board. These rules are binding on all people using equipment owned or operated by the BRCC.

Definitions

Affiliated Youth Organization:
A school, camp, youth program or other organization that provides, coordinates, organizes or transports the participants in a BRCC youth program.

Certified Steersperson: A BRCC member who has been certified by procedures established by the BRCC Board of Directors to be the Person In Charge of a BRCC dragon boat. Certifications may be specific to the type of boat and the area of operation.

Extremely Calm:
Wind and wave conditions with essentially calm wind and no waves of any consequence. Reflections should be visible in the water surface. In no case will conditions be considered “extremely calm” if the wind speed is over five knots or if there are any visible white caps or small breaking waves along the shoreline. (Note that white caps usually appear in open water when the wind speed is approximately ten knots.)

Paddler:
Any person on board a BRCC boat, including team members, drummer, coach, steersperson, team prospects, guests and passengers, even if they take no active role in propelling the boat.

Person in Charge (PIC):
The person who directs the operation of the boat and has sole authority for all critical safety and navigation decisions, and directs the actions of all paddlers in an emergency. The PIC is the captain of the vessel. The PIC must hold the appropriate BRCC certification for the type of boat and the area in which it is operating.

PFD:
Personal Floatation Device, or “lifejacket.” Type III is the “work vest” or specialty foam vest type most often used for paddling. Type II is the “collar” type with head support, often recommended for non-swimmers. Type IV are approved buoyant “boat cushions” or throwable PFDs, and type V are USCG-approved inflatable PFDs. Note that type IV does not meet BRCC requirements, although it is good practice to carry at type IV near the steersperson’s position. Type V does meet BRCC and USCG requirements, but not CDBA requirements.

Youth Program:
An organized group of paddlers that participates in BRCC race practice, race competition, recreational paddling or public service event as a group, and includes some participants who are under 18 years old.

Membership

Fees and Terms
Membership in the BRCC shall be for a term of one calendar year. Discounts may be offered for late-season membership applications by first-time BRCC applicants.

The membership fees shall be:
General Annual Membership (18 and older, unless still in high school) – $100, after July 1 $50
College Student – $20
Students under 18 – free
Special One Time Event – $20 with practices before race event

Guest Paddlers and Team Prospects
Guest paddlers and team prospects may participate on a trial basis without joining the BRCC. All paddlers, including guests and team prospects, are subject to all BRCC Operating Rules and procedures. Except for special public events, no person shall participate in more than two practice sessions in any two-month period without becoming a member of BRCC.

Liability Waiver
All paddlers, guests and passengers, regardless of membership status, must complete and sign the BRCC liability waiver before participating in any BRCC water-borne activity. Paddlers, guests and passengers under 18 must in addition have the signature of their parent or guardian on the waiver form.

General Rules of Conduct

All BRCC paddlers shall conduct themselves in such a manner as to show courtesy, respect and consideration for all other Marina users whenever at or near the BRCC berthing area, parking area, using BRCC equipment, or engaged in any activity associated with the BRCC.

No BRCC paddler shall engage in any activity that compromises the safety of people or equipment whenever at or near the BRCC berthing area, parking area, using BRCC equipment, or engaged in any activity associated with the BRCC.

All BRCC paddlers shall observe all City of Berkeley and Marina rules and regulations that apply to operation of BRCC boats within the boundaries of the City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Marina.

No BRCC equipment, including paddles and PFDs, shall be borrowed for use on non-BRCC boats.

Disputes with other organizations or individuals shall be referred to the BRCC Board of Directors. Do not argue with other users of the Marina.

Rules for the Berthing Area

Never leave the dock gate blocked open.

Never leave the dock gate open by wedging it against the dock ramp. (This can damage the gate hinges when the tide level changes.)

Never leave the storage lockers unlocked when unattended.

Never leave the combination locks set to the combination when open. (The locks will snap shut when set to any combination.)

Always leave the berthing area clean and free of paddles, PFDs and personal gear.

Never block passage by other berthers who need to walk through the BRCC berthing area on their way to other boats.

The Person in Charge, usually the Steersperson, is responsible for insuring that the boat is properly tied to the dock, that all equipment is put away and that the lockers are locked before leaving the berthing area.

Rules that Apply to the Operation of All BRCC Boats

No BRCC boat shall be operated without an appropriately BRCC-certified Person in Charge (PIC), except as explicitly authorized by these Operating Rules. This person shall have authority to direct the course of the boat, the activities of all people on board, and the methods used to recover from a swamping or capsize.

All paddlers, including members, guests, team prospects and passengers must fill out and sign the BRCC Liability Waiver form.

All paddlers, including members, guests, team prospects and passengers aboard a BRCC boat shall wear a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD (lifejacket) of type II, III or V at all times, except as follows:

Unless otherwise instructed by the Person in Charge, adult BRCC members who have answered ‘Yes’ on their filed Swimming Declaration Statement may remove their PFD while on board a dragon boat during daylight hours. The PFD shall be kept in close proximity to the paddler and available for immediate use. This exception does not apply to the person acting as Steersperson, and never applies to any person in a Small Fleet boat (OC-1, OC-2, Kayaks and canoes).

Guest members, youth team members, the person steering, and all paddlers participating in youth practices or open house events shall wear a PFD at all times without exception.

PFDs and paddles shall be rinsed in fresh water after the last use on Saturdays when the weather is conducive to quick drying. Rinsing on other days of the week is optional.

All BRCC boats operating after sunset shall display adequate navigation lights as required by COLREGS. A functioning red/green bow light and a white stern light are required. Batteries must be reasonably fresh. A powerful flashlight shall also be carried, immediately accessible to the steersperson.

Dragonboat Operating Rules

Authorization for use:
No BRCC dragon boat shall be operated without prior approval of one of the following members of the Board of Directors: President, Vice President, Competition Director, Outreach Director or Fleet Captain. Such approval may be in the form of a standing weekly practice schedule.

Person in Charge
There shall always be a single designated Person in Charge (PIC), who must be on the boat whenever a dragon boat leaves the dock. This person shall be a BRCC certified dragon boat steersperson, with certification for the area in which the boat is to be operated.

Steerspeople certified by CDBA or other organizations may be approved to be in charge of a BRCC dragon boat on a temporary basis only by the BRCC Board of Directors.

Responsibilities of the Person in Charge
The Person in Charge (PIC) is responsible for the safety of the boat, paddlers and guests. Although other people with or without steering certification may be allowed to steer, for example for training purposes, the PIC must remain on the boat and remains in charge of the boat. The PIC is fully responsible for the actions of alternate steerspersons.

The PIC shall be intimately familiar with these Operating Rules and with the BRCC Procedures Manual for Dragon Boat Operation in the Berkeley Marina.

The PIC is responsible for confirming that all paddlers and guests have signed waivers and are wearing PFDs as required. The PIC should also be aware of non-swimmers on the boat, and paddlers with physical or medical limitations that may affect how they are directed in an emergency.

The PIC is responsible for assuring that all required safety equipment is in working order and on board the boat before departure, for returning safety gear to the locker after returning, for insuring that the boat is tied up properly, the dock is left clean and the lockers are locked after use.

Safety equipment in the waterproof safety bag or box should be individually checked for proper operation, where possible, before each departure.

Except at scheduled practice sessions for which the PIC has been designated in advance, the PIC shall complete the BRCC dragon boat sign-out form before leaving the dock.

The Person in Charge is responsible for the conduct of the boat and crew, and shall maintain a high standard of courtesy and consideration with respect to other marina users.

Area of Operation:
Dragon boat operation is limited to the area within the Berkeley Marina and protected by the detached rock breakwater.

When boat traffic in the Marina is unusually heavy, practice should be moved away from the main channel, to the east or south areas of the Marina, or to the water close to and sheltered by the rock outer breakwater.

Outside Operation:
A BRCC Steersperson certified for outside operation may take a BRCC dragon boat outside the marina, provided:

a) The wind speed is clearly under ten knots (no whitecaps visible on the open bay).
b) The boat remains within 100 meters of an accessible shoreline (rocks, rip-rap or beach, but not the fishing pier or an isolated breakwater). The northern limit is the northwest corner of Cesar

Chavez Park, and the southern limit is the site of the (now closed) Hs. Lordships Restaurant. There are no exceptions for “extremely calm” weather.

Extended Outside Operation
A BRCC Steersperson certified for extended outside operation may take a BRCC dragon boat outside the marina, provided:

a) The wind speed is clearly under ten knots (no whitecaps visible on the open bay).
b) The boat remains within 500 meters of shore.
c) Small craft warnings are not posted by the Coast Guard for central San Francisco Bay.
d) Total live load in the boat is less than 3,000 lb.
e) The boat shall not go south of the Emeryville peninsula or north of Brooks Island.

The allowable loading and distance from shore cited above may be extended, within reasonable limits and at the discretion of the PIC, only when the weather is “extremely calm” as defined by these Operating Rules.

Longer trips may be approved in advance by the BRCC Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis. Longer scheduled or approved trips will generally require a seaworthy safety boat, with capacity appropriate for the number of dragon boat paddlers, to accompany the dragon boats.

Required Safety Equipment:
Each BRCC dragon boat operating inside or outside the Marina shall carry the following safety gear:

1. At least one USCG approved type II, III or V PFD for each person on board.
2. At least four small bailers.
3. At least two large bailing buckets for the 6-16 boats, at least one large bailing bucket for the Champion and 10-person boats.
4. Whistle, looped around the steering oar or worn by the steersperson.
5. Functioning Marine VHF radio, submersible or in a submersible container with spare fresh.
6. SOLAS approved smoke flare, submersible or in a submersible container (not required on the Champion dragon boat except for operation outside the marina).
7. At least one cell phone in a waterproof bag or container, with emergency numbers for local ambulance and Coast Guard.
8. 6-16 boats only: Suitable anchor (at least eight pounds, Danforth type recommended) with adequate chain and
9. 6-16 boats only: High-visibility anchor marker buoy.
10. A container of low-dose aspirin.

If operating after sunset or before sunrise, inside or outside the marina, add:

1. A powerful waterproof flashlight or spotlight with fresh batteries and spare batteries. The flashlight shall be readily accessible to the Steersperson. A second flashlight is recommended.
2. Navigation lights that meet COLREGS requirements. This includes a red/green combination bow light and a white stern light with 2 nautical mile visible range. Batteries shall be reasonably fresh. Dragon boats may not operate after sunset unless both of these navigation lights are present and functioning properly.

Equipment Storage:
The smoke flare, VHF, aspirin and all spare batteries will be kept in a waterproof safety box which is stored in the dock locker. It is the responsibility of the Person in Charge to insure that the safety box is brought on board and secured in the boat before the boat departs, and returned to the locker after the boat returns.

Depleted or questionable batteries should never be returned to the safety box.

The anchor, anchor chain and line, marker buoy, small bailers and large bailing buckets may be left on the boat. It is the responsibility of the Person in Charge to confirm that these items are in the boat before departure.

The cellphone should be in its own waterproof bag, or may be in the safety box or carried by any paddler. Emergency numbers should be in the safety bag or box or programmed in the phone.

The Berkeley Marina office number is 510-981-6740. The preferred emergency number for Berkeley EMT is 510-981-5936, or 510-981-5911 for all emergencies. In a medical emergency, the best place to meet an ambulance is usually the launching ramp on the north side of the marina, just west of B-Dock.

Navigation lights, when required, are to be fixed to the boat. The flashlight required for nighttime operation should be available for immediate use by the Steersperson. A spare flashlight will usually be included in the Safety Box.

Maneuvering In the Marina:
Dragon boats shall comply with all government right-of-way rules for avoiding risk of collision.

Avoid blind corners whenever possible. Do not operate close to the edge of any channel, and do not make tight turns around large boats or berthing areas that may obstruct vision to or from another boat.

Always be prepared to break off a timed practice run if there is risk of collision, or the perceived risk of collision, with another boat.

Note that government right-of-way rules do not give human-powered boats any special right-of-way over powerboats or sailboats.

Paddler Age Limits
18 and older: Paddler must sign the BRCC waiver form, and become a BRCC member if paddling more than two times in any two-month period.
12 – 17: Parent or guardian must sign the waiver form.
8 – 11: Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the boat, or by adult supervisory staff if participating in a scheduled group event. Properly fitting PFD of appropriate size must be worn at all times. Parent or guardian must sign the waiver form.
7 and under: Allowed on the boat with parent or guardian.

Properly fitting PFD of appropriate size must be worn at all times. Parent or guardian must sign the waiver form.

OC-1 and OC-2 Operating Rules

This section of the Operating Rules applies to all single-person and two-person outriggers that are owned, leased by, or on loan to BRCC and all other outriggers stored at the BRCC dock.

The OC-1 and OC-2 may be used for recreational paddling or time trials by all qualified BRCC members.

All use of the OC-1 and OC-2 shall be logged in the OC sign-out sheet before leaving the dock. Any damage, leak or mechanical problem that occurs during OC use, or noticed by the paddler during OC use, shall be noted in the OC log sign-out sheet.

A foam PFD shall be worn at all times by all OC-1 or OC-2 paddlers or passengers. No exceptions. No inflatable PFD, regardless of type, is permitted for OC operation due to the head impact hazard from the ama during a huli.

A safety leash shall be used by all OC-1 paddlers and at least one paddler on an OC-2. No exceptions.

The OC-1 and OC-2 may be used by non-member guests for supervised time trials subject to event-specific approval by the BRCC Vice President, Small Fleet Manager, Competition Director or a Team Coach specifically authorized by the BRCC Board of Directors.

After Sunset
Lighting that is visible from all directions is required after sunset. A single bicycle style wearable light is generally not sufficient, unless two such lights are used to provide visibility from all directions of approach. Paddlers are also encouraged to carry a flashlight in addition to continuous positional lighting.

Areas of Operation
Operation of the OC boats is limited to the area within the Berkeley Marina protected by the rock breakwater unless otherwise approved by the BRCC Vice President or Small Fleet Manager, or as permitted by other provisions of these rules.

Paddler Requirements for OC Use:
Before use inside the marina, the paddler must be checked out by the BRCC Small Fleet Manager, Vice President or other qualified club member designated by either of the above for the following abilities:

– Storage and handling of the boats
– Basic operation and paddling skills
– Ability to tread water: Must have answered affirmatively and signed the BRCC Declaration of Ability to Swim form in order to use the OC 1 or 2.
– Ability to self-rescue after a huli (capsize).
– When using the OC 2, there must be two paddlers in the boat
– Paddlers doing a supervised time trial in the front seat of the OC-2 need not meet the swimming or self-rescue requirement.

Before use outside the marina – in addition to the above requirements the paddler must be checked out by the Small Fleet Manager, BRCC Vice President or other qualified club member designated by either of the above, for the following abilities:

– Leave a departure and return message for the Small Fleet Manager or note expected time of return in the OC sign-out sheet.
– Know about and wear appropriate clothing
– Must have an awareness of weather and wave conditions
– Have a designated safety partner who remains within hailing distance at all times. The safety partner may be the second person on the OC-2, or another BRCC member in any other BRCC boat. The Small Fleet Manager may temporarily waive the requirement for a safety partner on a case-by-case one-time basis only.

Canoes and Kayaks Operating Rules

This section of the Operating Rules applies to all canoes and kayaks that are owned, leased by, or on loan to BRCC and all small craft other than outriggers stored at the BRCC dock.

A PFD shall be worn at all times by all kayak or canoe paddlers and passengers. No exceptions.

Canoes and kayaks may be used for recreational paddling or time trials by all qualified BRCC members.

All kayak and canoe use shall be logged in the Small Fleet sign-out sheet or online sign-out and reservation system, leaving departure and estimated return times and other info called for in the log form.

Guests
A non-member guest or a non-qualified BRCC member may paddle as one of the two paddlers in a two-person boat, or under very close supervision by a qualified BRCC member in a one-person boat. The BRCC host shall remain within close hailing distance of the supervised guest at all times

All guests must complete and sign the BRCC liability waiver, must wear a PFD at all times, and are subject to all applicable BRCC rules.

BRCC members hosting non-member guests or conducting kayak training are required to have passed the Key Test portion of the BRCC written Steersperson Test.

BRCC Members are limited to hosting and supervising only one non-member guest at a time.

The time trial canoe may be used by non-member guests for time trials after approval by the Small Fleet Manager or Vice President, or by a person designated by either of the above to authorize such use.

Minor Guests
Non-member youth who are under 18 years of age may only paddle a one-person kayak when they are closely supervised from another boat by a parent or guardian who is a BRCC member and who is qualified for kayak use.

Parents qualified as above may supervise two minor children in a double or two single kayaks only with advance authorization from the BRCC Board of Directors.

Minors who are members of a BRCC youth team may paddle a one- or two-person kayak under close supervision by their BRCC-designated team coach. For time trial testing, the coach may supervise from the dock and may supervise more than one boat concurrently, but only within the area needed for the time trials.

After Sunset
Lighting that is visible from all directions is required after sunset. A single bicycle style wearable light is generally not sufficient, unless two such lights are used to provide visibility from all directions of approach. Paddlers are also encouraged to carry a flashlight in addition to continuous positional lighting.

Areas of Operation:
Operation of the canoes and kayaks is limited to the area within the Berkeley Marina protected by the rock breakwater, unless otherwise approved by the BRCC Vice President or OC Small Fleet Manager, or as permitted by other provisions of these rules.

Paddlers approved for operation outside the Berkeley Marina shall stay within 100 meters of the west shoreline of the Berkeley Marina, and between the site of the (now closed) Hs. Lordships restaurant to the south, and the NW corner of Cesar Chavez Park, to the north.

The time trial canoe is never permitted to operate outside the marina.

Paddler Requirements for Canoe and Kayak Use:
Inside the marina: The paddler must be checked out by the Small Fleet Manager, Vice President or other club member designated by either of the above for the following abilities:

– Storage and handling of the boats.
– Basic operation and paddling skills.
– Basic understanding of right-of-way rules with respect to other boats in the marina.
– Sufficient swimming ability, with PFD, to reach shore in the event of a non-recoverable capsize or swamping.
– OC only: Successful demonstration of a huli recovery under supervision of the Small Fleet Manager, BRCC Vice President or person so authorized by the Small Fleet Manager.

Outside the marina: In addition to the above requirements, the paddler must be checked out by the Small Fleet Manager or BRCC Vice President for the following abilities:

– Kayak only: Demonstrated ability to perform a “wet exit” and recovery, consisting of exiting the kayak and bailing it out from the water after a capsize or swamping, and re-boarding without letting go of the paddle.
– OC only: Successful demonstration of a huli recovery under supervision of the Small Fleet Manager, BRCC Vice President or person so authorized by the Small Fleet Manager.
– Swimming ability as described in the BRCC Swimming Declaration form (tread water for ten minutes and swim 100 meters).
– Paddlers going outside the marina are encouraged to bring a dragon boat “safety box” containing a VHF radio and a smoke flare.

Youth Programs & Teams

All people aboard all BRCC boats, including program participants, guests, passengers, adult coaches, persons in charge and adult representatives from the affiliated youth organization must wear PFDs at all times. The exceptions elsewhere in these Operating Rules shall not apply to youth programs.

Youth programs shall only operate when there are two adults on board each dragon boat:

One of these adults shall be a BRCC member fully qualified to be a Steersperson and Person in Charge for the weather conditions and area of operation. This person is responsible for the safe operation of the boat, and has complete authority to direct the boat’s operation and the actions of all paddlers in an emergency.

The other adult is directly responsible for managing the youth participants, and may be a representative from the affiliated organization, or a BRCC member who agrees to assume this responsibility.

Regularly scheduled high school teams may operate without a second adult on board, as approved by the BRCC Board of Directors.

Disciplinary Procedures

Any BRCC Board member may suspend the Small Fleet use privileges of any member who is in violation of BRCC Operating Rules or Bylaws. Suspension means that use of any BRCC OC, kayak or canoe as paddler or as passenger is not permitted.

The duration of such suspension is 14 days from notification of the member who is in violation of BRCC rules.

The BRCC Board shall confer via email within 24 hours of notification of the suspension to confirm or modify the terms of the suspension. If the suspension is not confirmed by the Board, the suspension expires in 24 hours.

For particularly egregious infractions, or repeat infractions, the BRCC Board may impose longer suspensions or other penalties as it considers appropriate. Deactivation of the member’s gate key or termination of BRCC membership are possible outcomes.