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Monthly Archives

August 2015

Sailing Gift Vouchers for Birthdays and Sailing Gift Vouchers for Anniversaries make the Perfect Gift

By Core Info


“What can I give to the person who has everything?”

Well, it seems that some of our customers has solved that age-old problem for themselves. An increasing number of our guests have found sailing gift vouchers for birthdays and sailing gift vouchers for anniversaries make the perfect present.

And we have sailing gift voucher options to suit all budgets.

Martin was stuck for a birthday present for his younger brother, Shaun. Being an active kind of guy, Shaun had tried most things, but sailing was not one of them. Our day sail options ( allow people to get as much hands-on experience as they are comfortable with, so this turned out to be an ideal birthday gift him.

A couple of our other guests, June and Robert, were the first to admit that they are no longer as active as they used to be. However, when June saw the day sail package for 2 could be as active or as relaxing as they liked, she thought it was the ideal special anniversary gift for her husband. She loved the freshly prepared lunch at anchor at Cawsands (which she washed down with a glass of wine) while her husband happily fished off the back of the boat.

Tony was also looking for a special anniversary gift. His wife, Sandy, had hinted at a romantic night away – he wanted an affordable night away. A gift voucher for one of our weekend sail packages ( ) was the solution for both Sandy and Tony. What can be more romantic than spending two nights on a 40’ yacht and admiring the beautiful coastline that Devon offers?

In our opinion, sailing gift vouchers for birthdays and sailing gift vouchers for anniversaries make the perfect gift for the person who is impossible to buy for. With sailing gift vouchers available directly through us or through the Red Letter Days website, buying a special present for a loved one couldn’t be easier.


New to sailing (but not sure if it is for you)?

By Core Info


“I like the idea of it, but have never tried sailing before and I’m not sure how to get into it.”

If this applies to you or someone you know, Devon Sailing Experiences has the perfect opportunity for you.

Roy, who was new to sailing and is now one of our regular guests, first booked a day sail from Plymouth with exactly that thought in mind. He explained that he liked the way that a day sail from Plymouth with Devon Sailing Experiences meant that he could take part in as much (or as little) sailing as he liked. His experienced skipper took full responsibility for the safety of the yacht, while encouraging his enthusiasm to learn how to hoist a sail, take the helm, tack and jibe. That was it for him – from never trying sailing before he was immediately hooked and now regularly checks our sailing schedule (and requests his own dates) to come out with us.

Whilst taking a break in the South Hams, Katherine saw a day sail from Salcombe advertised and brought her 8-year-old daughter along. Both of them were new to sailing and had never tried sailing before. It was ideal for them; their skippered yacht charter enabled then to be picked up from Salcombe first thing in the morning and they returned to exactly the same spot after a fun-filled day on the water (with a lunch stop at a local anchorage). They shared some great action-packed photos with their friends on Facebook.

Day sails are not the only option for those new to sailing. A weekend skippered charter from Plymouth or Salcombe means that our guests have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a sailing experience. Louise and Malcolm booked a skippered weekend charter from Plymouth. They commented on how amazed they were with the level of comfort (Egyptian cotton bedding and towels, on-board heating, entertainment system) and the quality of the yacht (a new 2015 Jeanneau 409).

And you don’t need to invest in any specialist gear to try out sailing. We just ask our guests to bring non-marking footwear (everyday trainers will do), warm and waterproof clothing (everyday clothing for living in the UK)

If you (or someone you know) like the idea of sailing but have never tried it before, why not purchase a voucher for a skippered yacht charter from Plymouth or Salcombe? We have something for everyone. Vouchers are available from the Devon Sailing Experiences website, or they are now available on the Red Letter Days website.


Chartering a yacht: what you need to know

By Core Info

Chartering a yacht

So you have thought about chartering a yacht in Devon or Cornwall. What kind of things do you need to look out for and what are the pitfalls?

Chartering a yacht

First off, you need to know whether you will be allowed to charter, the sailing conditions and the costs (boat insurance etc). In the UK , it is more difficult to sail and more expensive to charter than chartering in the med. Usually you’ll need a minimum of an RYA day skipper ticket – the practical tidal one, not the theory part. On top of that, you will need to have skippered before (probably a few hundred miles worth). It’s worth remembering you are in charge of something that is anywhere from £20K to several hundred thousand pounds so it’s worth being honest with yourself.

If you’re not certain or don’t want the responsibility, you have 2 options:

1) Skippered Charter. You can still do as much of the skippering as you want, but you have the crucial element of having someone to fall back on and take away the anxiety of mooring or problems you may encounter.

2) Refresher training. At Devon Sailing Experiences we can put a yacht master instructor on your boat for the first day or two. This helps with confidence and will also help you learn key skills you may not get with RYA qualifications (RYA training is quite a broad brush with a set criteria).

Booking early

Waiting until July or August to book a yacht charter will mean you’ll be disappointed, or you’ll end up with something that really doesn’t work for you. You’ll be surprised at the number of calls we get in August for August. Ideally, you’ll be booking in Jan/Feb/March to secure the boat that you want. Ask for photos so you know what you’re getting and whether the yacht is kept clean and tidy.

Security deposit 

All charter companies require a security deposit. This usually ranges from £1000 plus and it covers damage (or insurance excess) that you might of caused during your charter. In reality, it won’t cover anything significant but things like gel coat damage would be covered.

Your Yacht Charter

If the cruising ground is unfamiliar, ensure the yacht you are chartering has (at it should do by law) up to date charts and a plotter.

Don’t try to be too ambitious early on – the almanac contains the distances to your destination  but are assuming your VMG is 100% (i.e you are heading directly to your destination without the need for tacking or gybing). Weather plays a big factor on you, your crew and the angle you can sail (or motor) to the destination. If you’re sailing into strong winds, don’t forget that the sea state and the fact you’ll be tacking will add significant constraints to your plans. Have a back-up plan.

Don’t be afraid to stay in the harbour; you’ve sailed to a nice place so why not enjoy it for another day rather than go out in unfavourable conditions.


Sailing, unlike power boating, is not about getting from A to B as quickly as possible. It’s about enjoying the experience of being out on the water and using the natural elements to drive yourself to the destination …. enjoy it!

For photos of your yachting experience see our partners at marine digi pics