Category Archives: Core Info

Meet our skippers: Mike Eggins

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If you have ever experienced one of our sailing days from Plymouth, you will have probably met Mike. This week, it is his turn in the hot seat in our series of interviews with the skippers.

When did you first get the sailing bug?
Like most people living near the coast, I got into dingy racing as a kid. Whilst getting into sailing was always an aspiration, my career as a marine engineer in the Royal Navy often precluded the free time. It wasn’t until I found myself running the outboard motor workshop at the RN seamanship school that I really had the opportunity to get back into the sport. I was soon teaching both sailing and powerboating to naval recruits, where I discovered a really enjoyable skill set.

What is your finest sailing memory?
It was with a naval yacht that I had one of my best sailing experiences – helming a Challenge 67 from Majorca to Barcelona in a good Force 10 blow when everyone else turned in with mal de mer. But sometimes there is as much enjoyment in the first time the engine is switched off and you start to feel the boat lifting under sail alone. One of the beauties of sailing is that there are always small pleasures to be had for everyone involved in the process – whether it is hoisting a spinnaker well, learning a bowline or just managing to make a cup of tea on one of DSE’s sailing days.

What is your favourite sailing destination on the south-west coast?
I have to say Fowey. It is the quintessential Cornish town which always provides a great welcome. Also, as a Cornishman, it would be disloyal to recommend anywhere east of the Tamar!

What is your ‘go-to’ sailing meal when you are on the go?
There is a lot to be said for the traditional Royal Navy meal Pot Mess. The ingredients are not a closely guarded secret – it consists of a suitable selection of tinned foods left to slow cook on the hob. My personal twist is the addition of marmite and ketchup to the gravy mix.

Force 3 or Force 5?
I suppose the answer to that one is always going to be force 3. It’s great to have experience of sailing in heavier weather, but it’s also nice when it stops.

Meet our skippers: Trevor Kirkin

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Want to know more about the skipper who you sailed to Salcombe with? Are you interested in knowing about what drives your day sail skipper to do what they do so well? We’ve asked our Devon Sailing Experiences skippers a few questions to help you learn more about them and will be blogging their responses over the next few weeks.

First up – Trevor Kirkin.

When did you first get the sailing bug?
Rowing my uncle’s 8’ clinker-built tender around Bosham harbour is my first, fond memory of boating and this quickly led to racing our 12′ Firefly on the Thames in London, with my father.

What is your finest sailing memory?

It was just a short hop from Duquesa (near Marbella) to Gibraltar, which brought a brilliant few days of coastal sailing to an end, but it ended in great hilarity! Motoring past Catalan Bay – a very light breeze was on the nose – thoughts of cool beers ashore growing stronger, we approached Europa Point and, with no warning, the Rock’s notoriously turbulent airflow gave us 35 knots wind over the deck for about 10 minutes or so. This Force 8, in the uncharacteristic brilliant sunshine, succeeded in utterly drenching the helmsman (me) in spray to the great amusement of my chums under the spray-hood! However, with an ambient temperature of 28 degrees C, my tee-shirt and shorts were crisp and dry by the time we came alongside half-an-hour later!
What is your favourite sailing destination on the south-west coast?
It’s a toss-up between Salcombe and Newton Ferrers, but on balance, the former wins! The approach to Salcombe is glorious; the welcome (from the Harbourmaster’s staff) is always warm and helpful; the fairway, The Bag and Normandy Jetty (out-of-season) options cover most weather eventualities; the (new) SYC ablutions are luxurious and the choice of restaurants/pubs is broad. What more could you ask for? Well, actually, anything other than a strong southerly when clearing The Bar on departure!


What is your ‘go-to’ sailing meal when you are on the go?
Assuming we’re stationary, it’s Spag Bog (made in advance and heated up while the pasta cooks) with a glass of Syrah or Chianti. If on the move, fresh rolls or baguettes with cheese (no pickle) or paté, followed by Rombouts-style (proper) coffee. (The filter bit normally stays in the mug if made in the sink!)

Force 3 or Force 5?
 Call me soft, but Force 3 is enough! You can use any sail combination you like and there’s scope for un-forecasted 10-knot gusts without it getting too uncomfortable.

Autumn Mileage Builders

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As per previous years sailing in the Autumn can be very rewarding with high pressure and lighter winds allowing us to sail both east and west with ease. We have just completed a 4-day mileage builder for one of our customers which took in Salcombe / Torquay / Fowey and Plymouth.  It also allows ‘sociable’ night sailing of a few hours each evening.

Discounts off our standard rate apply after September so if you want the quiet of an off-season sail with the upside of paying less it’s a good time to time to get involved and get sailing!

We run all the way until December weather permitting. Full refunds are given should the weather become too unsettled to sail.

Newsletter (Autumn 2017)

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Devon Sailing Experiences

Special offer on ‘Group Sailing Experiences’ for 2018

Price per person reduced from £795 to £699
50% off for 2nd person when sharing a cabin


Following the success of our group sailing event in September, we are pleased to announce some newly scheduled dates for 2018 along with a price reduction.

With your own double cabin aboard our 40’ yacht, our group sailing events offer an ideal 
opportunity for people who would like to sail a little furtherbut don’t necessarily have the experience or inclination to head out on their own. They are also an ideal solution for those who have difficulty in coordinating sailing dates with crew or groups of friends.

We have currently scheduled the following group sailing events for 2018:
Sunday 17th June – Friday 22nd June
Sunday 9th September – Friday 14th September

The new price is £699 per person, which includes your own double cabin, breakfast and lunch onboard the yacht, skipper, and mooring fees. We can offer 50% off the new price for the second occupant of your double cabin – a cost effective way to bring a friend or partner.

To receive updates about our latest group sailing opportunities, get in touch and we will add your contact details to our database. It is a great way to connect you with like-minded people and just set sail with a skipper. There is no obligation to book and your personal details will not be passed to anyone else.

More information about how our group sails work can be found here:
http://www.devonsailingexperiences.co.uk/2017/05/09/2719/

Thinking about the ideal Christmas gift?

Our sailing experience gift vouchers continue to be popular. With experiences to suit all levels of experience, we are bound to have the product that suits you.

Enjoy a bottle of Prosecco on us when purchasing a voucher for Christmas 2017!
(Exclusive and weekend charters only – see below for details)

Day sail vouchers are available from £99 per person. The price includes the cost of a fully-qualified and commercially endorsed skipper, as well as a light lunch whilst underway. Dates are listed on our sailing schedule.

Weekend sailing vouchers cost £299 per person. The price includes 2 nights accommodation onboard our yacht, breakfast and a light lunch whilst underway, mooring fees and skipper. When you purchase a gift voucher for this experience for Christmas 2017, we will put a bottle of Prosecco onboard for your first evening.

Exclusive day sail vouchers cost £499 for the day. You can invite your friends along for the day (up to 6 guests in total). Lunch is included, and we will also throw in a bottle of Prosecco for your party onboard the yacht if you purchase a voucher for Christmas 2017.

Weekenders and NEW 2-day sailing experiences

Due to the popularity of our weekend sailing experiences, we have scheduled exactly the same type event to run during the week – you will see them on our sailing schedule listed as 2-day sailing experiences. If you require any alternative dates that are not listed, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we will do our best to help.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Follow us on
Facebook and Twitter to receive notifications when we update our sailing schedule. Our social media pages offer a great way to keep up-to-date with our latest opportunities and last minute availability.

Check out the drone footage we have just started adding drone footage to our YourTube channel (courtesy of CC Drones)
Thank you for your feedback

Thank you to all our guests who have kindly left TripAdvisor reviews and sent photos for us to use on our blog posts. We love to hear about your sailing adventures with
Devon Sailing Experiences and feature them in our updates. If you have any photos you have taken or stories to tell from your time onboard one of our yachts, do let us know so we can share them with our followers.

We wish you all the best for the rest of 2017, and look forward to seeing you next season!

Nick, Katie and the Devon Sailing Experiences team.

September Sailing to the Isles of Scilly

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Our exclusive skippered charter to the Isles of Scilly in September was a complete success. Our venture to the west was helped by favourable conditions: with a NW Force 3-4 and tide on our side, it was one of our fastest passages to this part of the South West! The passage from Helford was just under 7 hours.

But it wasn’t easy.

Firstly, just look at the unreliable weather we experienced in August and September this year – high pressure was always close by but it was a complex picture. Our (normally) reliable apps that help us forecast wind speeds and direction were appearing less accurate and were changing regularly as sailing dates approached, making any planning for our skippered charters particularly difficult. It was frustrating for our skippers as they were often unable to predict what was going to happen one day to the next, let alone looking even further ahead to prepare for a trip to the Isles of Scilly.

However, as I am sure you are aware, the key to a successful sailing holiday is flexibility. And that is just what we got with our guests who were determined to reach this wonderful destination.

Due to the sailing conditions, our guests agreed to travel to Plymouth a day early to take advantage of favourable winds. After a night on the Helford River, an early start the next day meant they arrived at the Isles of Scilly by 2pm.

The first mooring was in Porthcressa – a bay located just south of St Marys. Our arrival was greeted by the pop of the champagne cork as our guests (who had attempted to get to the Isles of Scilly 3 times in the past!) had finally achieved their goal. With our early arrival, it was a trip ashore for a few beers in The Atlantic.

The following day heralded a change in wind direction and we were off to explore Tresco. This gave our guests the opportunity to spend the day exploring Tresco Abbey Garden and Vahalla Museum. Highly recommended.

With strong winds forecast from the south, the next day was going to be an ‘ashore day only’. We decided to relocate the yacht to St Marys, where our guests could go ashore and explore the island for the day. When mooring in the Isles of Scilly, you frequently have to move, as no one location has shelter from all wind directions.

With the strong weather over, it was time to use our SW winds to make the best speed to Helford. Sailing under perfect conditions in the sun with the yacht averaging speeds of 7 knots, we were back on the Helford River by 4pm, leaving us plenty of time to visit the Ferry Boat Inn.

The following day was our final leg back to Plymouth. In a strong southwesterly with impressive speeds, our leg was just 5 hours. Moored at King Point Marina by 2pm we were able to enjoy a much-welcomed shower in the first-rate facilities available there.

Many of our guests have ambitions to reach the Isles of Scilly, but are often surprised by how long it takes – it can be particularly difficult for inexperienced sailors or children due to the long passages required. This is why it is important for those wishing to undertake a trip like this with Devon Sailing Experiences are aware that, although it may be your dream, it may not necessarily happen. As with all our trips, your safety and comfort is our priority, so flexibility is the key. If you aim for the Isles of Scilly, but only get as far as Falmouth due to the conditions, it is important to accept that. However, if you make it all the way there and back in your scheduled time frame, the sense of achievement is amazing.

 

Our new ad – light wind sailing in Devon

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Been a busy few months at Devon Sailing Experiences. Wewould like to share this new video with you of our light wind sailing from Salcombe back to Plymouth this August. The trip was one of our 2-day experiences with four onboard.

The yacht is under full main sail with a code zero (explanation below). This enables the yacht to sail in very light breezes. In this instance, the yacht had a true wind from the west of 6-7 knots and we were sailing at 5. This allows us to keep sailing when others turn their engines on. With light winds come flat seas, so it is possible to keep moving at a decent speed so long as the wind is on a close reach or close hauled (see below). The video shows the yacht on a close reach.

The Code Zero

The code 0 is an asymmetric sail developed for a tight reach in light wind sailing. It has the most upwind performance from this sail type. The luff is as straight as possible, and the sail is flatter than other spinnakers. Due to the flatness of the code 0, it is usually made with a wire luff for strength, and of a heavier, less stretchy fabric than normal for a spinnaker. Due to the tight luff and flat cut, the code 0 can be fitted for roller furling.

Racing code 0 asymmetrics can come in different sizes and cambers for varying angles and wind speeds. Manufacturers offer similar cruising code 0 designs under different names, such as the screecher and reacher for upwind and downwind respectively.

Sail a Classic Ship to the Sea Shanty Festival (Dartmouth to France: 9th – 15th August 2017)

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Ever considered sailing a good, old fashioned classic ship? Well, this could be the opportunity you have been waiting for.

Due to a cancellation, there are 3 berths available on Looe Fishing Lugger, Our Daddy, sailing to and taking part in the Festival du Chant de Marin, France.

The Festival du Chant de Marin (or the Sea Shanty Festival) is held in Paimol, France, every 2 years. This year, it takes place from the 11th – 13th August.

Departing Dartmouth on Wednesday 9th August, you and your fellow ship mates will set sail to Paimpol where you will moor along with 200 other traditional sailing vessels.

Every two years some 130,000 festival-goers transform the quays of Paimpol into a sea of happiness. The traditional boats and music from the four corners of the world are certainly this festival’s recipe for success. After enjoying the 3-day festival (entrance fee included in the price), you will depart France and return to Dartmouth on Tuesday 15th August.

With the price reduced from £945 to £695, you can create wonderful memories with this fantastic week of sailing, singing, dancing and great food aboard a traditional, classic sailing boat.

Our Daddy is owned and operated by FY7 Charter. For further information about this offer, email katie@devonsailingexperiences.co.uk.

 

Newsletter (Summer 2017)

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Welcome to our Summer 2017 newsletter

Group Sailing – 50% off

We have scheduled a 5-day group sailing holiday along the south-west coast from 3rd – 8th September. Our group sailing experiences offer an ideal solution for people who would like to sail a little further but don’t necessarily have the experience or inclination to head out on their own.  We have a great offer this year with 50% off for the second occupant in your double cabin – a cost-effective way for you to bring along a friend or partner.

There are currently 2 double cabins left on this trip. Details about this particular trip can be found here or by emailing katie@devonsailingexperiences.co.uk.

We currently maintain a ‘group sailing’ database for individuals who may be interested in booking a cabin onboard our 40’ yacht, Bewitched, where they can meet like-minded people and just set sail with a skipper. If you would like your details added to the database (no obligation to book), just reply to this email and let us know. Your personal information will not be passed on to anyone else.

Thank you for your TripAdvisor reviews

We are pleased to say that we are currently rated as Excellent on TripAdvisor. However, to improve our rank in the ratings for Boat Tours and Water Sports, we need more reviews. For a small, family-run business like ours, your feedback is vital. If you have not already done so, please consider writing a short review for TripAdvisor. We know (through talking to you – our guests) the importance of up-to-date online reviews to encourage future bookings, and we truly welcome your feedback as we strive to offer you the best yacht charter in Devon.

Sailing Schedule

Over the summer sailing season, we will be continuously updating our weekend and day sailing schedule. As always, if you can’t see a suitable date, do get in touch – we will always do our best to accommodate your requirements.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive notifications when we update our sailing schedule. Our social media pages offer a great way to keep up-to-date with our latest opportunities and last minute availability.

We also love to hear about your sailing adventures with Devon Sailing Experiences and share them with our guests. If you have any photos you have taken (or stories to tell) from your time onboard one of our yachts, we would like to share them on our social media pages and in our blog posts. We never mention names or dates in our posts, but your photos are great to use alongside our narrative. Please keep in touch and email any you are happy for us to use.

Enjoy the rest of the sailing season. We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Bespoke Sailing Holiday in Devon and Cornwall

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Having just arrived back from an exclusive charter with guests who wished to visit the Channel Islands, we thought now would be a good time to mention the options you have should you wish to book one of our popular (and excellent value) 5-day exclusive charter experience for your sailing holiday in Devon.

Exclusive charters onboard our yacht Bewitched offer many benefits to you and your family or friends. Firstly, it’s your boat so you can either have the yacht to yourself or invite others – the price remains the same. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about which is the best destination on a particular day – our skippers are local and know the best locations given the current weather and tides. We have experience of working with our guests to ensure the best possible holiday based on your requirements.

Furthermore, our yachts come highly specified both inside and out: extras such as a code 0 and asymmetric spinnakers make sure we can sail in most conditions. Inside we have heating, ensuite facilities and bluetooth entertainment equipment. Bedding and towels are provided.

Throughout your bespoke sailing charter, you can choose to get involved as much as you like – become the navigator, helmsman or sail trimmer. Alternatively, you can just relax.

A 5 day exclusive charter sailing holiday in Devon, Cornwall or further afield is just £1,999.

Destinations include local coves and sandy beaches, Fowey, Salcombe, Falmouth, Dartmouth and Torbay.

Departures from King Point Marina, Plymouth.

South West Coast Sailing Holiday (3rd – 8th September 2017)

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sailing in devon

Looking to take part in one of our group sailing opportunities during 2017? We have just scheduled a 5-day sailing holiday along the south west coast for 3rd – 8th September 2017.

With your own double cabin (one en-suite) on-board our 40’ yacht, our group sailing events offer an ideal solution for people who would like to sail, but don’t necessarily have the experience or inclination to head out on their own. They are also an ideal solution for those who find it difficult to coordinate sailing dates which are convenient for their own crew or groups of friends.

Here is a very brief guide to a typical 5-day group sailing holiday experience:

Arrive at King Point Marina on Sunday evening where your skipper will show you around our flagship yacht, Bewitched. You may choose to meet up with the rest of your group for drinks and dinner at The Dock, a wonderful restaurant overlooking the marina, or you may decide to head to the Barbican or Royal William Yard to choose from a selection of pubs and restaurants for your evening meal. After a good night’s sleep onboard the yacht, set sail for your first destination….

…and that is where the plan ends!

How your week continues depends on the wind, the tide, and how far you would like to go. There are plenty of destinations available on our 5-day sailing holidays to explore – you can read about them here. Wherever your sailing takes you, we will ensure you are back in Plymouth by 4pm on Friday, with plenty of time to catch your train home for the weekend.

No previous sailing experience is necessary, as your fully-qualified and experienced skipper will encourage you to take part in as much (or as little!) helming and yacht management as you choose.

The price at £795 per person includes the cost of a fully-qualified skipper, 5 nights accommodation onboard the yacht, your own double cabin, mooring fees, breakfast and lunch whilst underway. Evening meals and meals taken ashore are not included. If you are booking with a friend or partner and are happy to share a double cabin with them, the 2nd person travels at half price.

Please note that this sailing experience will only run with a minimum of 3 guests booked onboard (a maximum of 5 guests).

If you have any questions about this wonderful opportunity, or if you would like to book, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.