extremely good safety record. One substantial claim would push up premiums substantially and this would affect all BCU members and all affiliated clubs.
There is a summary of the BCU third party insurance policy here.
So why do we have to sign?
To have all members sign the participation statement is clearly a sensible precaution. Not only is it important from the BCU insurance company's point of view, it also affects the whole organisation of the Group. Who would want to be involved in the running of the Group if there was a greatly increased risk of being sued by its members? If we abandon the participation statement, this could lead directly to the disintegration and ultimately the dissolution of the Group. A signature is the only way we can demonstrate that members understand the risks involved, that they can only be mitigated and not entirely eliminated, and that they have to take responsibility for their actions. To not do this could even be seen as negligence!
While the participation statement and safety policy are probably far from perfect, I urge you all to bear in mind the implications of not having one, or having one that does not include the assumption of risk element. No participation statement - no OCSG, or at least no organised events.
Participation Statement - Another View (KeithM)
Although it is important to keep in mind the legal/liability side of things, it is my view that it is even more important to ensure that all who choose to get involved with the OCSG are suitably educated and made aware of how to go about canoe-sailing safely. If this is carried out then everyone will know what they should be doing and what to be aware of - so the likelihood of mishap or worse and the ensuing ramifications should be much reduced. The statements on the membership forms are an important part of this education process, including the "duty of care" that we all have to each other.
Book Review (MalcolmC)
Stitch and Glue Boatbuilding - Chris Kulczycki - ISBN 0-07-144093-3
The subtitle of the book is "How To Build Kayaks and Other Small Boats". The first few chapters are fairly basic, covering how plywood is made, how to use epoxy and polyester resin and what tools are needed. There is then a chapter on boat design, which also mentions programs such as "Plyboats" and "New Wave Systems Prosurf".
One of the most interesting things at the start of the book is the section on "lapstitch" joints. He has adapted the traditional lapstrake or clinker method of hull construction to be useable with stitch and glue. Basically each strake has a rabbet cut on its lower edge. This allows the planks to overlap but also to lock into place without the need for a mould. Unfortunately he does not give any details on how to design for this method. I can think of a way using the Carlson Design program but it would be a bit tedious.
Further chapters in the book cover all the stages of building a small boat hull, from marking out to stitching, gluing, scarfing and sheathing. Finally, there are full designs for eleven boats. Most of these are kayaks. Some are very similar to the old PBKs and some much sleeker. There are also designs for a flat-bottomed skiff and for a rowing shell. The last chapter covers putting a sailing rig onto a kayak. He presents a design for beautifully laminated amas and for what appear to be very slightly tortured-ply akas. All the mounting details are also given.
All in all a good book to get ideas from and, if so inclined, to build a complete boat from.