Waterfront Committee

Your waterfront section on the BYC web-site is designed to provide BYC sailors with information sources, rules and tools to facilitate utilizing their own boat as well as the club and its properties. Town of Bristol and Bristol Harbor information is also provided. Also, listed are emergency procedures for hurricanes and dock removal. A tour of the web-site waterfront section is suggested. Member suggestions to the waterfront committee for updating and improving this web-site are encouraged and welcome.

Waterfront Mission:

To provide safe, efficient, fair and timely access to the waterfront for BYC members and guests through a system of docks, launches, launch ramps and storage.

Brad DeWolf, Chair of the Waterfront Committee

2014 Waterfront Survey

Thanks to the 138 BYC members who responded to our survey of your opinions on the waterfront. You may read a Summary of the Results, and also detailed responses to each item.

Waterfront Rules

The waterfront is under the direction of the Waterfront Staff: Chief Steward, Dock Master, and launch staff. They are responsible for enforcing the waterfront rules. The Chief Steward or the Dock Master may temporarily suspend privileges if warranted. Your cooperation and support of the Waterfront Staff is expected and greatly appreciated.


1. The Waterfront Staff may limit privileges of any yacht they feel is abusing their privileges. They may extend these waterfront privileges for good cause.

2. Club work boats may only be used for authorized uses after the Steward grants permission. Authorized use includes tending to moorings and transporting of outboard engines, fuel and propane for non-commercial purposes and within Bristol Harbor. Exceptions to this rule may be granted by the Commodore.

3. No smoking is allowed on launches or club boats.

4. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed on club property once off the dock, unless purchased at the club bar.

WATERFRONT General Safety

1. Due to safety precautions no open fires, grills, or fireworks of any kind are allowed on the float, pier, or yachts alongside.

2. Recreational swimming, diving, or fishing from the floats or piers is not permitted. Appropriate footwear must be worn on the docks at all times.

3. Towing by launches will be at the discretion of the Waterfront Staff.

4. Anyone under the age of 13 must wear life jackets from the inboard end of the dock until they return to shore.


Launch Safety

1. Follow the directions of the launch driver at all times.

2. Anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while on the launch.

3. Use the launch boarding ladder to board and disembark from your boat.

4. Outboard engines, fuel and propane tanks over five pounds are not allowed on the launches. See General Rules for use of work boats.

5. Launch service may be suspended during periods of severe weather.

Launch Usage

1. Launch service will only be provided to vessels having paid for the service.

2. During peak times there may be a limit of 2 persons on the launch per vessel. A flag (red flag with the word Limited and below Limited the number 2) will be flown from the dock house flag pole if this restriction is in place.

3. On Wednesday (race) night there is a limit of 2 persons on the launch per vessel. Vessels without auxiliary power may exceed the 2-person limit. No dock house flag will be flown.

4. In order to minimize trips always assemble your crew on the launch float before requesting the launch or make a brief stop at the dock to pick up all of them.

When requesting a pick up from your boat

1. Call the dock staff on Channel 68 (if you do not have VHF, give 3 prolonged blasts from your horn)

2. Provide the following information to the dock staff:

a. Name and location of your vessel

b. Number of passengers that will disembark

c. Have a small light on vessel after dark.


Outside Docking

1. The north most float is intended for picking up and discharging of passengers. A five minute tie up limit is in effect unless Waterfront Staff deem otherwise.

2. On weekdays during the hours that the launch is operating yachts may tie up to the outer float for a period of time with the permission of the Waterfront Staff.

3. On weekends during the hours that the launch is operating (from 1200 hours on Friday until 1700 hours on Sunday or holidays) there is a 20 minute tie up limit and vessels must be attended. Waterfront Staff may give permission for brief unattended stays.

4. While a yacht is tied to the docks, dinghies must be tied outboard of the mother vessel.

5. No tie-ups are allowed on Wednesdays, from 1600 hours until 2000 hours during scheduled times of the Wednesday night racing series.

Inside Docking

1. All tie-ups to the inside docks require a reservation. No vessel shall be allowed more than nine (9) nights on the inside floats in any given season.

2. Reservation requests are best made at the dock house. They may also be made by telephone or email. Reservations require a confirmation from the Waterfront Staff.

3. It is generally expected that yachts reserving these inside float spaces will have some activity on board during their stay alongside. Work sessions, socializing and staying aboard overnight are considered appropriate use of these spaces as are loading, unloading and washing down your boat. Situations where yachts spend excessive time alongside with no activity aboard wastes dock space that could be used by other members, and will not be permitted.

4. Arrangements for work or repairs by outside contractors that require dock space are expected to be carried out in a timely fashion.Make reservations to come alongside with the Waterfront Staff. Insist that your outside help arrive and perform their work at agreed upon times. Be sure there is a good reason that your contractor needs the boat at the dock to get the work done and that it is not there simply for his convenience.

5. Reservations require the boat name, owner, telephone number, and times of arrival and departure. The default arrival time is 1300 hours. The default departure time is 1100 hours.

6. Weekends: 1200 hours. Friday 1700 hours. Sunday or holidays. Yachts are entitled up to three (3) weekend reservation days per season. No combinations with weekday reservations are permitted. Members who exceed their annual allocation may be placed on a waiting list that is reviewed at 1100 hours on the requested day for space availability.

7. Weekdays: 1700 hours Sunday 1200 hours Friday. Because total reservation days cannot exceed nine (9), depending on the number of weekend nights used, yachts are entitled to use six (6) or up to a maximum of nine (9) nights for weekday reservations.Only two (2) consecutive weekday nights within one week are allowed. Weekday reservations may not be combined with weekend reservations.

8. The Waterfront staff may allow exceptions for good cause as appropriate. The Steward or Dock Master may temporarily limit privileges for any yacht believed to be abusing their privileges.


1. No tie up to outside dock on Wednesday from 1600 hours through 2000 hours.

2. On Wednesday (race) night there is a limit of 2 persons on the launch per vessel. Vessels without auxiliary power may exceed the 2 person limit. No dock house flag will be flown.

3. No sail folding on the dock is allowed between 1600 hours and 2000 hours.

4. Yachts will pick up and disembark crew at the outside dock.


1. Lockers: January 1 through December 31

2. Summer Storage: April 15 through October 31

Includes: dinghies, kayaks, boats, and trailers.

3. Winter Storage: November 1 through April 14

4. Annual storage: April 15 through April 14 of following year

5. Launch services: April 15 through October 31

6. Moorings: April 15 Oct 31

Waterfront Committee Meeting Schedule

The Waterfront Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 1830 hours.

© Copyright 2008-2019 Bristol Yacht Club.
All rights reserved.

Contacting BYC

P.O. Box 180
Poppasquash Road
Bristol, RI 02809

Phone: 401-253-2922
Fax: 401-253-3283

Latitude N 4140'32.3"
Longitude W 7117'16.6"

VHF: Channel 68

Email BYC