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Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers Board Policy Decisions

As of Jan 8, 2018

The Tampa Bay Sea Kayakers Board of Directors has adopted the following rules for its members and guests. These rules should be read in conjunction with the club mission statement , charter, and Paddling Guide.

    A.  Non-Discrimination Statement

TBSK is hereby reaffirming our commitment to an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Harassment due to gender, race, religion, or other protected characteristics is both discriminatory and illegal and will not be tolerated by TBSK. Therefore TBSK expects all relationships between its members and guests will be free of bias, prejudice, and harassment. Complaints should be directed to the TBSK Board of Directors. (11/2013)

   B.  Membership

      1.    New Kayak Buyers - Purchasers of closed cockpit sea kayaks  (16 feet or longer) from local shops may receive a complementary one-year                    membership if the shop sends the buyer’s name and e-mail address to the club. The purchaser cannot be a current member of TBSK. (6/2010)
       2.    Directors - Members who serve on the Board of Directors will receive a free membership to the club for the year following their final year of                    service on the Board.(11/2009)

       3.    Trip Leaders –Trip leaders who lead or co-lead at least 4 trips a year will receive a free membership to the club for the following year.(5/2013)
       4.    Guests – Guests of TBSK  members may attend up to 2 events of the club before being asked to join.(2/2012)
  C.  Trips and Trip Safety
        1.    PFDs - On all TBSK sponsored paddle events, all participants shall wear a US Coast Guard approved PFD (Type I, II, III or V). It must be worn              in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction label. Trip leaders who wish to designate specific safety equipment requirements on their trip                shall post notice in the trip announcement.(11/2012)
        2.    Wet Exit Demonstration - If a beginning paddler is wearing a spray skirt and his/her skills are not known to the trip leader, the paddler must                   demonstrate a wet exit before the trip begins.(10/2010)
        3.    Length of Beginner Trips - Beginning trips are limited to 5 miles in length.(10/2010)
        4.    Guests - TBSK members must accompany their guests on any paddle.(10/2010)
        5.    Cell Phones - Cell phones may not be used while paddling. Cell phones may be used at breaks.(10/2010)
        6.    Cold Weather Paddling - If the combined air and water temperatures do not equal 120 degrees, then participants should be dressed for                          immersion with wetsuits, dry suits or “warm when wet” clothing such as fleece or wool.(1/2011)
        7.    Sails - Sails may not be used on kayaks during TBSK trips.(4/2011)
        8.    Lending a Kayak - If a member plans to lend a kayak to another member or guest for a TBSK-sponsored event, the member should email the               trip leader in advance to report the details. The kayak should be suitable for the skill level of the paddler. TBSK assumes no responsibility for                  damage or loss to the kayak.(5/2012)
        9.    Night Paddles - TBSK official trips include night paddles. Boats must be properly illuminated in compliance with US Coast Guard rules for                       travelling after dark.(7/2012)
       10.  Extended Trips - TBSK official trips include day paddles and night paddles out of the Tampa Bay area as part of an extended trip such as the                 week-long,  club- sponsored trip to the Florida Keys. Official trips do not include swimming, snorkeling or the camping portion of extended trips.               (2/2011)


  D.  Trip Leaders
       1.    ACA Certification – A member who is an ACA-certified trip leader or instructor will qualify as a TBSK trip leader without further training if the                 TBSK training coordinator is satisfied that the new leader is familiar with the Paddling Guide.        (5/2011)
       2.    Lead Beginner Paddles – All trip leaders must lead a beginner paddle at least once every 2 years.(10/2011)
       3.    Coaching at TBSK Events – Any member who has BCU or ACA certification or any recognized authority with a current coaching or instructor                 certificate may do coaching at TBSK-sponsored events.  The coach/instructor must submit to the Training and Safety Coordinator, in advance                 of the event, an outline of what will be done. Group size cannot exceed 5 unless another qualified coach or instructor is assisting; then the                       group size can be up to 10. The instruction can only be for what the member is certified to do. (5/2012)
       4.    Recertification – Trip leaders will be required to demonstrate rescue skills as outlined in the trip leader training syllabus once every 2 years,                   beginning 09/08/2012 (8/2012)
       5.    Inactivity – If a trip leader has not led a trip within the last 12 months, they will be placed on the inactive list, effective 8/31/2012. (7/2012)
       6.    For Multi-Day Camping Trips: (1/8/2018)
                     a.    Only one liability waiver is needed for the trip
                     b.    Trip leaders get credit for two trips, regardless of the number of days & sub trips during the outing.
  E.  Procedures for Cancelling a TBSK picnic (Nov 2017)

   If practical, picnics will be cancelled at least 24 hours in advance or by 12 noon of the Friday preceding the picnic.

  •            Th e President makes the decision jointly with the Training & Safety Coordinator & the Trip Coordinator. The Vice President will substitute if any          of   these officers is not available.
  •             If the picnic is cancelled, the President will phone the Activities Coordinators.
  •             The Trip Coordinator will phone the picnic trip leaders.
  •           the Trip Coordinator will post the cancellation on the TBSK web site so that it will appear on front page of the website and will send out an email            to  all members that the event is cancelled.

  F.  TBSK Service Dog Policy (Feb 2017)

        Normally, TBSK does not allow animals on TBSK paddles.  However, service dogs may be allowed on Level 0 trips provided:

            1.    Responsibility of Member With Service Dog

               To ensure that the trip is appropriate for a member with a service dog, the TBSK member must:

  • ·         Realize that only Level 0 trips would be appropriate for service dogs.
  • ·         Notify the trip leader that you are bringing a service dog.
  • ·         Ensure that the dog wears an appropriate PFD.
  • ·         The dog must be well trained  (e.g. for dogs that would mean no barking at animals or other kayakers and be able to be on the boat several hours without taking a pee break).
  •       2.    Responsibility of Trip Leader
  • ·         When notified that a service dog will be on the trip, determine if the trip is appropriate for a member with a service dog.  For example, you would probably want to avoid an area which has a large alligator population.
  • ·         If not appropriate, the trip leader can either contact the member and explain why the trip would not be appropriate (e.g. large number of                      alligators) or change the location of the paddle.
  • ·         Have the person with the Service Dog sign the Guest Waiver- Service Dog  Release of Liability
  • ·         Contact the TBSK President if the trip leader asks the member with a service dog not participate in a TBSK paddle. 

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