Category Archives: Core Info

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.

Devon Sailing Experiences Newsletter (April 2017)

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Welcome to our Spring 2017 newsletter.

Devon Sailing Experiences in 2017

As many of our guests are aware, Devon Sailing Experiences is a family run business based in Plymouth, Devon. We run our business in a boutique way, with high levels of service, finishing touches and most importantly – great yachts. Our aim for 2017 is to continue to offer high-quality bareboat charters alongside our increasingly popular ‘experience’ packages.

New season, new skippers

Due to popular demand for our day sails and weekend sailing experiences, we are pleased to announce that we have expanded our team of skippers. Here are some details about our highly experienced, commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster skippers:

Nick – The founding member and director of Devon Sailing Experiences.

Gail – Gail has been part of the Devon Sailing Experiences team since 2016. She has been sailing for over 15 years and is a Commercial Yachtmaster (offshore). She qualified in 2012 following a circumnavigation of the UK. Since then, Gail has spent her time delivering yachts around the UK and Mediterranean. We are delighted to welcome her back for a second season.

Mick – With just over 11,000 miles logged, Mick has been a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster since 2007. He has worked in the Royal Navy as well as a RYA instructor. His friendly manner and professionalism make him an ideal skipper for your charter.

Mike – It was during his 26-year career with the Royal Navy that Mike was introduced to sailing. Since becoming a civilian, he has volunteered for a range of boating charities as well as cruising and racing his own boat. Mike qualified as a RYA Yachtmaster in 2013. We are pleased to welcome him to our team.

What’s on in Devon?

We have already started our 2017 season with trips to Fowey and Salcombe. Along with light winds and good doses of sunshine, high pressure has been dominating the Devon and Cornwall coasts. Now seems like the ideal time to remind you of some of the major events happening in and around some of our popular sailing destinations.

Salcombe

30th April – Salcombe Crabfest

2nd – 7th July – Doom Bar Merlin Rocket Week

5th – 12th August – Salcombe Town Regatta

Fowey

6th – 13th May – Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature

13th – 19th August – Fowey Regatta and Carnival week

15th – 16th September – Fowey Music Festival

Dartmouth

12th – 14th May – Dart Music Festival 

8th July – Dartmouth Royal Navy College Open Day 

30th July – Rockfish Crab Party 

24th – 27th August – Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta

20th – 22nd October – Dartmouth Food Festival

Plymouth

2nd – 4th June – Flavour Fest 

24th June – Armed Forces Day 

27th – 28th July – MTV Crashes Plymouth 

8th – 9th August – British Firework Championships 

16th – 17th September – Plymouth Seafood Festival 

Sailing Schedule

Our weekend sails are proving to be very popular and are quickly getting booked up. Due to the demand for these sailing experiences, we are happy to offer a midweek alternative upon request. After all, there are only so many weekends available during our sailing season!

During the next few months, 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.

Don’t forget, you can always follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive notifications of updates to the schedule.

Keep in touch

Following us on Facebook or Twitter are ideal ways to keep up-to-date with our latest sailing schedules, offers, opportunities and last minute availability. If you have any photos you have taken during your sailing adventures, we would love to share them on our social media pages and in our blog posts, so please keep in touch and email any you are happy for us to use. (We never mention names or dates in our posts, but they are great for us to use alongside our narrative.)

Don’t forget to review your experience

At Devon Sailing Experiences we are constantly looking for ways to make your sailing experience with us the best it can possibly be. Your feedback is extremely important to us. We would really appreciate it if you can spend a few moments adding a short review on TripAdvisor or Facebook. Our future guests would love to hear how much you enjoyed your day sail, or about one of the amazing destinations you visited during your weekend sail. As always, our thanks go out to all of our guests who have reviewed us already.

Happy sailing in 2017. We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Nick and Katie Rich

 

International Women’s Day

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With it being International Women’s Day today, it seems like an ideal opportunity to remind you about the wonderful women we have working as part of our small Devon Sailing Experiences team.

We are lucky enough to boast Gail Wright as one of our skippers. Gail has been sailing for over 15 years and is a Commercial Yachtmaster (offshore). She qualified in 2012 following a circumnavigation of the UK. Since then, Gail has spent her time delivering yachts around the UK and Mediterranean. In 2015 she sailed from Barcelona to Mauritius, a journey of 10,000 miles which took 3 months with brief stops in Gibraltar, Las Palmas, Cape Verde and Cape Town. She has been part of Devon Sailing Experiences team in 2016.

She is keen to organise group sailing opportunities for everyone, male or female. However, it is worth noting that with Gail on board (pardon the pun!) it is possible for Devon Sailing Experiences to offer female-only sailing experiences. If you are interested in organising one for you and your friends, family or colleagues, do get in touch.

“Who should I contact?” I hear you ask.

Well, this is a job for our other super-woman. Katie Rich  (katie@devonsailingexperiences.co.uk) organises the bookings, yacht schedules, skippers, provisions, social media, finances and cleaning – a very diverse range of tasks, as you can see. When she is not in the office, she can often be found on the pontoon early in the morning or late in the evening ensuring that the yachts are immaculately prepared and waiting for our guests to arrive.

Thank you, ladies. Your work and skills are always appreciated.

Yacht Charter Sailing Destination: Plymouth

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Described as “Britain’s coolest little city by the sea”, Plymouth is a vibrant, waterfront city offering fantastic sailing ground for your yacht charter. In our opinion, there is no better place in the UK to start your west country yacht charter – that is why we chose it as our base. With it being so easily accessible by train, car and sea, and with so much going on throughout the year, a yacht charter from Plymouth should be on everyone’s to-do list.

Local area and Approaches

Plymouth sound is under control of the Queen’s Harbour Master, callsign ‘Longroom’. It is important to keep a radio watch on 14 and keep up-to-date with military activity and other commercial activity.  In addition to this, King Point Marina is affected by Brittany Ferries and the odd cruise ship, as the marina sits inside the commercial port. Yacht Haven and QAB are affected by the commercial traffic from Turnchapel.

The main feature of Plymouth Sound is the breakwater. If you want an easy life, use the eastern entrance as no commercial or military traffic will use this, but do watch out for dive boats that frequently visit the wreck off Shag Stone.

In general, Plymouth Sound is very well supported by navigational buoys. There is deep water everywhere, apart from the western side of Drakes Island. You do not need to keep to the main channel which is for the larger ships – in general, you are better to be outside of them.

Of course, as always, we recommend you check the Almanac for details.

Moorings – DSE recommends…

Within minutes of King Point Marina is Barnpool which is an excellent anchorage to explore Mount Edgecombe.

Just 30-45 minutes sail of King Point is Cawsands bay which is a popular lunchtime stop, with excellent shelter from south westerlies. You can also go ashore and explore Kingsands and Cawsands which have some great bars and food.

Cellar Bay, tucked just inside the mouth of the River Yealm, is a secluded spot perfect for swimming in settled weather. Deep keeled boats will need to check tide-tables and be aware of the sandbar in the river entrance, but this really is a beautiful place to visit for a picnic spot if you time it right.

Eating and Drinking – DSE recommends…

The Dock is based on the first floor of the £4m King Point Marina building in the coastal quarter. Overlooking the marina, it is a lovely relaxed restaurant serving delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners. (We go there quite often!)

A 12-minute stroll from King Point Marina will take you to the Royal William Yard. Within its beautiful, historic buildings, you will find a number of places to eat, including River Cottage, Seco Lounge, Wagamama and Le Bistrot Pierre. Personally, I love Le Vignoble for a pre-dinner drink. A wine bar with a difference! Here you can choose from over 200 wines from all over the world, sample tiny tasting glasses or sit and enjoy a large glass after a day out on the water. Also available is a great tapas menu and regular special events including wine tasting in a totally relaxed atmosphere – we like how they describe themselves as “not snobby or pretentious” on their website. (I’m sure our next visit is overdue!)

12 minutes in the opposite direction will take you to the Barbican – another historic waterfront location with plenty of bars and restaurants positioned around the dock. It is particularly buzzing during the summer months when the warmer weather sees plenty of visitors eating and drinking al fresco. A wonderful atmosphere which is typical of what Plymouth has to offer.

Things to do – DSE recommends…

No visit to Plymouth is complete without a visit to Plymouth Gin Distillery. Black Friars, the working home of Plymouth Gin since 1793, is the oldest working gin distillery in England. Why not book a tour or a tutored tasting session while you are staying in the area?

Climb the iconic Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse on the Hoe. The original tower was built on the Eddystone reef in 1759, but relocated stone by stone to its current position in the early 1800s. Beautiful views of Plymouth Sound. There is a fab clip of Passenger singing from the lantern room last year.

Take a plunge at the art-deco Tinside Lido, voted one of the top 10 best outdoor pools in Europe. Built in 1935, it is a piece of quintessential British seaside from a bygone era.

Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium is the largest in the UK and can be found close to Sutton Harbour and Queen Anne’s Battery. Filled with local (and not so local) sea life, this wonderful, all-weather education centre is definitely worth a visit for adults and children alike.

The Plymouth Pavilions host a range of performances: John Bishop, Mickey Flanagan, Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais, Elbow, Passenger (see clip – I had to add it to this blog post twice because I think it’s fab!), Kaiser Chiefs, Craig David, Billy Ocean, Jools Holland, Professor Brian Cox (I tried and failed to get tickets earlier this year for Nick’s birthday)…I could go on. If you are chartering from Plymouth with us and staying in the area, it is always worth checking out who else is in town.

Devon Sailing Experiences Newsletter (January 2017)

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Isles of Scilly

Happy New Year from Devon Sailing Experiences and welcome to our January 2017 newsletter!

Group Sailing Opportunities for 2017

We continue to receive more and more requests to join our Group Sailing database. The idea behind this database is to provide sailing opportunities to individuals or groups of friends who would like to try a longer sail (5-7 days), but are not able to get a crew together. We can help you by providing an experienced skipper and contacting other people who may be interested in joining you. This sailing opportunity is suitable for all levels of experience and is a great way to keep the costs down while experiencing the enjoyment of staying onboard a luxury 40’ yacht. For more information, click here.

Join us on a sail to the Isles of Scilly

Fancy joining us on a group skippered charter to the Isles of Scilly? Following a successful trip last year (see photo at the top of this newsletter) we are considering running one in June 2017. If you think it could be for you, please email katie@devonsailingexperiences.co.uk to register your interest. There is no obligation to book.

We are now on TripAdvisor

Had a particularly enjoyable day sail? Want to tell everyone about the amazing location you visited during your weekend sail? Then please share your experience with others on TripAdvisor. Not only do we appreciate your feedback to help us improve, it provides insightful information for our potential future guests who want to select the right experience for them. Our sincere thanks go out to those who have reviewed us already.

Did you know that we regularly add blog posts to our website?

Our latest posts include why we think sailing should be included in your list of New Year resolutions, recommendations about local sailing destinations, and commentary about current events (sailing related, of course!). To be notified of a new blog post, follow us on Facebook or @DevonSailingExp on Twitter. Following us on social media is an ideal way to find out about our latest sailing schedule updates, offers, opportunities and last minute availability.

Changes to our bareboat charter arrangements for 2017

From 2017, bareboat charters will continue to be provided with basic bedding (pillows, pillowcases, sheets, hand towel in the heads and tea towels) as well as cleaning equipment. We have found that this is suitable for most bareboat charters who often prefer to bring their own sleeping bags with them.

Extra bedding (duvets and duvet covers) and bath towels can be supplied at an extra cost of £50 per yacht. Please let us know in advance if you would like the additional bedding and towels, and we will ensure it is ready and all set up for your arrival.

Full bedding will continue to be provided for our weekend experiences and bespoke skippered charters.

Sailing Schedule

We have started adding dates for day and weekend sails to our 2017 Sailing Schedule. Don’t forget to take a look – especially if you received a Devon Sailing Experiences gift voucher for Christmas. From April, it will be constantly updates with new available dates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive notifications of updates. If you can’t see a suitable date, do get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.

Keep in Touch

We are looking forward to receiving more of your photos during the 2017 season. Please keep sending them because we genuinely love it when you do (especially when you don’t mind us using them on our blog posts including Facebook and Twitter). We never mention names or dates in our posts, but they are great for us to use alongside our narrative.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Nick and Katie Rich

Make sailing one of your 2017 New Year Resolutions

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yacht charter salcombe

10 New Year Resolutions to Make in 2017 by Eleanor Aldridge – we absolutely LOVE this blog post. Why? Well, to us it screams, “Try sailing!”

Here is how we see it.

“I will make an effort to travel more sustainably”

You can’t get any more environmentally friendly than travelling under sail. And after a day on the water, what could be more rewarding than mooring up in the small Westcountry towns of Salcombe or Fowey to visit some of the quirky, independent restaurants and pubs? With locally sourced food and beverages on offer, sustainability is at the core of our offering (see our Responsible Travel policy.)

“I will see more than the big sights”

Being able to access the most beautiful coastline in the UK (in our biased opinion, of course!) is a definite advantage to travelling under sail. Our base location in Plymouth is a stone’s throw from the South West Coast Path, so combining a trek with a day or weekend sail is an option for the adventurous.

“I will be confident in travelling my own way”

Whether you are travelling solo, with friends, with a partner or family, we have an option for you. Never sailed before? Not a problem. From beginners to seasoned sailors, we have something to suit your needs. You can view your sailing options here (hover over ‘Adventure Sailing’ to see them), or get in touch to arrange a bespoke package.

“I will go on an unforgettable journey”

Whether you are new to sailing or have hundreds of nautical miles under your belt, you never forget taking the helm and sailing a yacht for the first time. Your skipper will encourage you to take part in as much (or as little!) helming and yacht management as you choose. He or she will also provide lunch whilst underway.

“I will visit at least one new city”

Our base location in the city of Plymouth remains under the radar for most people, but should it? Read this review in GQ magazine by Holly Bruce. Make Plymouth your new city for this year before too many people jump on the bandwagon.

“I will stay somewhere incredible”

Can you think of anything better than dropping anchor in a secluded cove and enjoying lunch on board a yacht? How about staying overnight onboard whilst listening to the waves gently lapping on the hull? Then, waking up to the beautiful surroundings of the River Yealm/River Fowey/Salcombe Estuary…wow!

“I will take time to appreciate nature”

With no mobile phone signal (hurray!) you will have nothing more to do than sail the yacht with the scenic west-country coastline constantly in your view. Perhaps a pod of dolphins or a seal will put in the odd appearance. We have photographic and video evidence – see the next point.

“I will improve my photography skills”

Taking photographs from the cockpit of a yacht is a skill in itself, but the results can be amazing and definitely worth the effort. See previous point.

“I will learn about the history of the places I visit”

Our base location in Plymouth has so many historic stories: Bronze Age beginnings, the Pilgrim Fathers, Sir Francis Drake, British Naval history, survivors of the Titanic, destruction during the Blitz…I could go on. Happy researching.

“I will have fun”

The most important 2017 New Year Resolution of all. Try sailing and you will have ticked all the boxes of the checklist in Eleanor Aldridge’s 10 New Year Resolutions to Make in 2017.