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May 2016

Yacht Charter Sailing Destination: Dartmouth

By Core Info

yacht charter

Famous for its annual Royal Regatta and the Britannia Royal Naval College, a yacht charter from Plymouth wouldn’t be complete without a visit to historical Dartmouth.

Local area and Approaches – DSE recommends…

The approach and entrance to Dartmouth is straight forward as everything is clearly buoyed and the water is deep. Your main concerns are the traffic, in particular, the ferries (lower and higher). They, of course, have priority due to their restricted ability to maneuver. The lower ferries operate just after the first right hand bend: you’ll see the small trots that belong to the yacht club. Be aware that 2 ferries operate here and the one which maybe loading on the Kingswear side is difficult to spot.

There is a single higher ferry which is a chain ferry. It is easy to spot and should be given a wide clearance – always go behind of course.

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

Moorings – DSE recommends…

Town moorings are on the left side of the river as you approach – they are short and usually crowded. We would advise using the deep water moorings further up the river on the right and use the excellent water taxi services.

Eating and Drinking – DSE recommends…

The Floating Bridge is a 5 minute walk from the town centre positioned near the higher ferry. It is a traditional pub with a roof terrace overlooking the River Dart. A lovely spot to enjoy a pint and watch the world go by. I fully recommend the beer-battered fish and chips!

Travel further up the river to the Ferry Boat Inn, Dittisham. A great location any time of year but obviously gets busy during the summer months. It is so refreshing to sit outside along the jetty with a pint. I love the way this pub attracts a mixture of locals and holiday-makers.

Directly opposite is The Anchorstone Café with its delicious, locally sourced food which can be enjoyed on it riverside terrace overlooking the Dart. It closes for the season from November, so don’t get caught out (like we did!) if you are sailing during the off-peak season. Another fabulous location.

Things to do – DSE recommends…

Book a tour of the Britannia Royal Naval College. The iconic building standing above the River Dart is a sight to admire and steeped in history. We have only visited on open days, but I am told that the private and public tours are well worth booking up.

Amble around the patchwork of narrow lanes and admire the Medieval and Elizabethan historic, listed buildings. Dartmouth Castle is a short, scenic stroll from the town centre.

Take a ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway from Kingsbridge to Paignton. I love sitting on the yacht moored on the River Dart watching the steam train travelling alongside the river. The route it takes has got to be the most beautiful one I know of.

Dartmouth Royal Regatta is an annual event held at the end of August. With live music, an air display by the Red Arrows and spectacular fireworks, it is definitely worth a visit. However, the river is hectic at this particular time of year, making it potentially dangerous for inexperienced sailors. If we sail here during the regatta, we just moor up in Dartmouth and stay put for a few days! Sometimes, there is no choice when you are rafted 5 to a can! There is a fabulous atmosphere, so we just stay and enjoy it.

Devon County Show, Exeter – sailing opportunities on display

By Core Info


Thank you to everyone who visited us at the Devon County Show this week – it was great to meet so many of you at the Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter. Sailing is our passion, so we were so happy to be there to share potential opportunities with you.

If you have never visited the Devon County Show, you don’t know what you have been missing. It is a huge, annual, well-organised and well-attended event. You are guaranteed to find something for everyone there: animals, steam traction engines, displays, local trade stands, food, beer, cider, machinery (lots of big stuff!), cars, fairground rides, games stalls, activities, holiday ideas, hot tubs, exhibitions…the list is endless. Each and every one of the traders we spoke to while we visited other stands was able to give friendly, professional advice and information regarding the service or product they offered. And believe me – Devon has a lot to offer!

We were fortunate enough to chat to huge range people – some who sail regularly, and some who have never set foot on a yacht before. We really hope that the latter group left our stand feeling inspired to visit us in Plymouth and give sailing a try. You now know that if you are staying/living in and around Exeter, sailing experiences are within easy reach.

As for those who already know how exhilarating sailing can be, we hope you are tempted to bareboat charter one of our yachts to explore the beautiful south-west coast.

Perhaps you already have your own yacht and would like us to charter it through Devon Sailing Experiences for you? (Now… there’s a thought!)

We were privileged to work alongside Tom and Jamie from One Marine, who bought along an example of the recently launched Invictus 240FX powerboat to display at our stand. Generating a considerable amount of interest at the show because of its balance of style and practicality, it appealed to families due to her high-sided cockpit (which is ideal for taking younger children out on the water). The Invictus 240FX can be fitted with the Suzuki 250hp Lean Burn outboard, which will offer superb performance with speeds up to 40 knots. With the first boat already sold into Salcombe, we expect to be seeing more of them very soon!

We are looking forward to attending similar events in the future. Follow us on twitter and Facebook to keep updated. We look forward to meeting you.



Yacht Charter Sailing Destination: Salcombe

By Core Info

yacht charter salcombe

Salcombe is the ‘must-sail-to’ destination when you yacht charter in Devon, and just a 4 to 5 hour sail from our base location at King Point Marina, Plymouth. We want to ensure our guests have a great experience of sailing in the west-country, so we’ve put together some personal recommendations about places to moor, places to visit, and places to eat and drink. What else do you need from a yacht charter holiday?

Local area and Approaches – DSE recommends…

Salcombe, in our experience, has helpful and welcoming harbour staff. It pays to call on the radio before you reach the first set of swing moorings to ask for directions.

With regards to approaching from the west, there isn’t much to concern you. There can be a significant swell just off Bolt Head particularly in a south westerly, but it can be avoided if you stay 2nm off shore. Most people just plough on through – but if you do, expect a bumpy ride.

From the East, the main issue is the Start Point race. If you’re staying in close, depending on wind strength, you’ll nearly always want to go with the strong tide or at slack. If you have a strong westerly then you may want to go at slack or a little tide against otherwise it will be a rough to very rough. Staying a few miles offshore makes life a lot easier… if adding an hour to your journey.

Much has been made of the Salcombe bar – in truth it’s fairly benign. Staying close to the western side clears the bar even at low spring tide. The bar becomes dangerous when you have a strong southerly wind and an ebbing tide. If you’re there in that situation you’ll see breaking lines of waves all through out the entrance.

As always, the best place to check the up to date detail is the Reeds Almanac.

Moorings – DSE recommends…

Depends on the time of year and how much peace and tranquility you want! The main swing moorings are all located off the town, which is a busy in the summer and is an interesting place to be. High season, you’ll raft 3 or so per can, you’ll also have plenty of wash from the various boats and water taxis until late.

The Bag is a quarter of a mile or so away from the town and is generally quieter with floating pontoons. You can’t walk ashore from these pontoons, but there is an efficient water taxi service.

Eating and Drinking – DSE recommends…

The Victoria is a fantastic, traditional pub on the main high street (and a personal favourite!) It offers spaces to sit and enjoy a pint and a packet of crisps as well as cosy areas to enjoy a wonderful meal and superb wines. With its large, sunny beer garden, it’s an ideal place to visit as an adult only group or with families. We have always enjoyed great service from the staff.

The Winking Prawn is a well-established restaurant that overlooks North Sands. With a relaxed atmosphere and casual service, you can enjoy a buffet breakfast or scrumptious baguettes for lunch. The seafood platter is one of our favourites. We would also recommend heading down in the evening on a tender for the barbecue feast with lots of fish, meat and veggie delights.

Dick and Wills offers refined food in its bistro overlooking Salcombe Estuary. With its upmarket feel, this is the one that we save for special occasions. Because we love eating alfresco when we can, it is an ideal place to go to as it still offers the option to dine inside if the weather isn’t as anticipated. We love the locally caught seafood, although there are plenty of meat and vegetarian options, too. Great service.

The Ferry Inn boasts great views from the edge of the estuary, making it an ideal spot for you to admire your yacht (which is likely to be moored close by) with a pint in your hand. We often pop in here for lunchtime cider in the sun – it can get busy on sunny days (peak and off-peak sailing season) because everyone else has seems to have the same idea.

The Forticue is a friendly ‘locals’ pub near the water. It’s the place to go for live music and sports TV. We have always found the food to be good value and plentiful.

Things to do – DSE recommends…

I love to amble along the Fore Street when I am child-free and visit the wide range of independent shops that are scattered amongst some of the more high profile stores. Because of the old, narrow streets, pedestrians have priority, enhancing the shopping experience.

Visit one of the many unspoilt beaches Salcombe has to offer. North Sands and South Sands are easily walkable from the town centre. Alternatively, we like to jump in the tender and cross the estuary to East Portlemouth.

Our friends at the spectacular Salcombe Harbour Hotel can offer you a spa treatment after a challenging day on the water. Booking is essential, so it is worth checking out what they can offer before you arrive in Salcombe.