Prior Posts

Launch Protocols for COVID-19 (posted 6/2/2020)

SHYC General Club COVID-19 Protocols (posted 5/23/20)

May 7 Commodore’s Post
May 7 CT Marine Trade Association’s COVID-19 Safe Boating Guidelines
May 7 Mudmaster Guidelines during COVID-19
April 13 Junior Programs – Level of Interest Inquiry
April 8 Commodore’s Post
March 31 Commodore’s Post

Current Post

Message from the SHYC Commodore (5/23/20)

Hi All-

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! With the weather warming, and June around the corner, we are all looking towards summer plans. Today’s post is about what the 2020 SHYC Season will look like in June and beyond.

Below are the highlights of WHAT we intend to offer in addition to updated SHYC COVID-19 Guidelines to follow whilst on Club grounds. I have provided a link for each offering that will take you to the details and protocols for HOW these services will operate. I encourage you to read the details on any service/offering that you plan to use. 

The SHYC Executive Committee followed the below framework to make our decisions on what we can open at the beginning of the season:

  1. The safety and well-being of our membership is the driving force guiding our decisions regarding the operations of the Club this summer
  2. Whatever we do, we must operate within the State, Local, and Public Health guidelines
  3. We must open in a slow and controlled manner with the ability to stop or retract if necessary
  4. Every plan we are launching has been approved by our “SHYC COVID Task Force,” a five person committee consisting of members with medical, legal, insurance, and regulatory backgrounds who also double as stakeholders from across the SHYC community: Julie Cron, Wes Cain, Whitney Peterson, Cutter Smith, and myself
  5. Every plan was further discussed and voted into place by the SHYC Executive Committee

Make no mistake, this season will be different. This will be a summer to relax with your family and get back to the roots of Sachem’s Head and sailing in general – just enjoying what it means to be on the water. That being said, we have designed a protocol that we feel will enable us to enjoy much of the Club this season whilst operating within the State and Local guidelines, with the goal of maintaining as many services as possible, even if in a limited capacity.

As I am sure you are aware, the current environment is incredibly fluid. As such, the protocol that we have developed and services we offer may change or be redesigned as new information is released, State guidelines are updated, and the Phases of Re-opening progress. I ask you to please remain flexible and an open-minded.

In order to safely open and operate, we will need EVERYONE’s participation in following the new guidelines and protocols. Keep in mind when you walk through those stone pillars that you are sharing the island with the entire membership, so please be considerate of the guidelines for the safety of all members.

To the extent the membership is unable to adequately abide by these protocols, we may have to reduce the level of services or restrict access to the Club. However, we are also hopeful that some of these guidelines may ease as we move through the Phases of Re-opening set by the State and local authorities.

Outline of what JUNE will look like at SHYC (under current State guidelines)
(The links below will take you to more details on each of these items)

  • Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for SHYC: We have updated the COVID-19 Guidelines for use of the SHYC facility. Please read these carefully and review them with your children and family.  The guidelines are included further below in this email, too. (Read/Print the SHYC COVID-19 Guidelines)
  • Opening Day: is scheduled for Saturday June 20. Due to gathering size restrictions, members will not be able to participate in the ceremony, but the ceremony will be shared online (details forthcoming)
  • Clubhouse: will remain closed, except for limited restroom usage (with increased cleaning frequency)
  • Club Grounds: Everyone will be required to carry a face covering whilst on club grounds (unless otherwise exempted) and sanitize your hands upon arrival. Guide arrows will be installed to help the reduce the crossover of foot traffic during high volume times. (Read more the Club Grounds Protocols)
  • Launch Service: to begin on schedule.  Weekends only from, 8am – 5pm, on June 6/7 and June 13/14. Starting Saturday June 20, launch will run daily, 8am to Sunset. Face coverings will be required and each trip will be limited to 4 passengers, plus the driver. (Read more about Launch Service)
  • Galley: will be open for limited outdoor seating for the weekend of June 20/21.  The Galley will then reopen on Friday, June 26 and we hope to offer daily service through Labor Day. If the weather cooperates, we may be able to offer galley service on June 13/14 as well. (Read more about the Galley)
  • Junior Programs: will begin on Monday, June 22.  We initially will only offer Sailing and Tennis lessons.  At this time, Junior Swimming is unfortunately postponed indefinitely. Sailing will be single-handed only for the first 2-week session.  We will run four, 2-week sessions.  Online sign-up will be available starting June 1. We are following the State and Local guidelines, along with incorporating guidelines from US Sailing, US Tennis Association, and the American Camp Association to inform our plans, procedures, and decisions. (Read more about Junior Programs)
  • Staff Safety: Staff will be supplied with adequate PPE, trained in new PPE and cleaning regiments, and be required to pass a daily health screening.
  • SHYC Racing: Races on Opening Day have been cancelled.  Details will be forthcoming on racing opportunities for the remainder of the season.
  • SHYC Social Events: The traditional Opening Day Cocktail Party, July 4 Dinner-Dance, and Thursday Night Dinners have been cancelled.  Stay tuned for our new ideas on alternative, fun ways to enjoy summer season at SHYC!
  • SHYC Dock Space Registration:  New this year, dock and rack spaces (for Opti, BICs, Lasers, Paddleboards, Kayaks, and small boats) will be reserved using an online Google Form.  Some spaces are limited, so be sure to submit your form ASAP. (Register your boat using the Dock/Rack Form)

As mentioned above, we have revised our SHYC COVID-19 GuidelinesThese are in effect as of today, May 23.  This amends the SHYC COVID-19 Guidelines from April 8.  We suggest that you review these in detail with your children and family.  The updated SHYC COVID-19 Guidelines are as follows:

  1. If you feel sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 (outside of your role as a medical professional), please do not come to the Club.
  2. Members who choose to visit Club grounds during this time should be aware of the potential risks. Individuals over the age of 65, or with underlying health conditions, should consider not visiting the Club*
  3. Members only – we ask that during these times of social distancing and limited gatherings that you refrain from bringing guests down to the Club unless guests are going straight to the launch and to your boat
  4. All members (children and adults) must carry a face covering with them while on Club grounds.   Wearing a face covering is mandatory in the following situations:
    1. While on the foot bridges
    1. On the launch
    1. If you are within 6 feet of any other individual outside of your household
    1. Per the State of CT, face coverings need not be worn (i) if doing so would be contrary to his/ her health or safety because of a medical condition, or (ii) for children under the age of 2
  5. Sanitize your hands immediately upon arrival to the Club by land or sea, after going to the restroom, before and after eating, and after coughing/sneezing. Wash your hands with soap and water at one of our two newly installed outdoor sinks (CDC recommends 20+ seconds of washing), using one of our new alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations, or using BYO alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  6. No more than 5 people per group, each group strongly recommended to be a part of the same household.
  7. Maintain adequate social distance between groups (6 ft + recommended)
  8. Follow the counterclockwise directional arrows around the Club grounds during high volume times.
  9. The Clubhouse itself is closed, except for limited restroom usage.
  10. If you use Dock Carts or Dock Hose, BYO disinfectant and wipe down all surfaces that you touch before and after use
  11. If you use the deck furniture (chairs/tables) outside of galley hours, BYO disinfectant and wipe down your all surfaces that you touch before and after use.
  12. Parents are responsible to ensure their children respect these COVID-19 Guidelines, as well as the SHYC House Rules. Children under 12, and those that cannot follow these guidelines independently, require adult supervision at the Club (sitters over the age of 16 qualify).
  13. All guidelines remain in effect wherever you are on the island; including the rocks, the docks, the porches, the decks waiting for the launch, tying up your boat, rigging your boat, getting your kayak/paddleboard in the water., etc.
  14. No rafting of boats on Club docks 
  15. Review the CT Marine Trades Association’s Safe Boating Guidelines
  16. Please follow all CDC, local, state, public health, and federal COVID-19 guidelines
  17. The SHYC Executive Committee has empowered the Club Manager and Waterfront Director with the ability to ask members not obeying these guidelines to remove themselves from the premises in order to ensure a safe environment for all.

While this guidance provides a way for the members to enjoy the Club as safely as possible, all risks to members cannot be fully mitigated.

*We welcome all members regardless of age and underlying health conditions, but please come to the Club on your own accord and know the risk you are taking by coming to a public area – this applies to the young and healthy just as much as it does to members that are older or with a compromised immune-system.

Looking forward seeing many of you down at the Club in just a matter of weeks! As always, please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the SHYC Executive Committee with any questions or comments.


Michael J. Schnitt
Commodore, SHYC