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Dribs and drabs

The low low season

By Chatter


January (and February) is a tough time to find decent days to go out sailing. In recent years, the jet stream seems to set in during these months and we’ve taken the view to have the charter boats out the water.

This leaves plenty of time for the essential maintenance tasks such as: anti fouling, engine service, replacing the anodes, rig checks (see below) and hull cleaning. Even this can be tough to do when the weather sets in.

Some people take their boats out for just a few weeks or they use the sea lift type systems which may mean the boat is out for a day. Personally, we believe that having some time with the boats ashore gives you a good period of time to check the things you don’t see for most of the year – the bit that stays under the water. I can’t see how you can do this in a few hours or days.

I often wonder why  people don’t bother with annual rig checks; the rigging is the ‘engine’ of a sailing boat and takes very high loads. An inspection at the top of the mast is vital to see if there is wear and tear on the halyards or a jam. How often have you taken down the fore sail? Good rig set-up also helps the boat sail better. As with everything boat based, I’m sure it comes down to cost. An engine service is your get out of jail card, so many just opt for that.

January also provides us with time to pop up to the London boat show (we haven’t had a stand there yet) and catch up with our friends in the industry …. then pretty much everyone takes a holiday 🙂

The Notions of Sailing

By Chatter

yacht charter

In our busy world of cramming stuff in and constant change, sailing and chartering has at times got mixed messages of what it should or could be, which can mean you don’t get the most out of it.

Sailing was, of course, a method of commerce – it had a function – get from A to B as quickly as possible. Commercial sailing has of course long been superseded by more efficient means. So what is it that makes sailing enjoyable?

For one thing, it breaks many of the modern constraints we find ourselves in. For example, you are at the mercy of the weather, which will define how long it takes to get somewhere, and perhaps even where you are going – not like the linear efficiency of a car and your watch. Your mobile phone may cease to get a signal and the contact to the outside world takes one step back. The drone of an engine, a constant in our modern transport, is replaced by the natural sounds of the wind and the waves, and the slightly odd feeling of moving through the water using just natural forces.

Then there is the art form that is sailing in itself: the handling of sails and trim, and the unpredictability of the “road” which may require different techniques to steer yourself along.

However, it seems that sometimes the expectation of a sailing holiday or yacht charter is managed  by how much you cram into a defined period of time. Without being pretentious, the point is rather the opposite – take your time and delight in the experience of just being there and ‘there’ doesn’t have to be how far you can get.

Stag weekend Sailing in Devon

By Chatter

Synopsis: Sunny spells / 18C / NE F3-4

Hope the chaps from Bristol had a cracking stag weekend sailing – even if some of the party had a rather unsure view as to whether they’d be ok on the blue, wobbly stuff! The sun was shining and the winds were not too challenging. Proceedings started on Friday night with a night out in  Brixham for a few beers with skipper, Tim, offering “advice” (the chaps were all in their late 30’s) not to over do it. He seemed to have some influence and the lads were back on board just after 12.

Saturday started with bacon butties prepared by the skipper and, lets say, a not too perky start to the morning from the crews. The plan was to do some basic sailing techniques in the morning, with a race out to (the euphemistically named)  Shag rock and on to Dartmouth for the evening out. All started well with the lads getting accustomed to the boats (Spellbound and Witchcraft) pretty quickly. With Witchcraft being the quicker boat, it was decided the the least competent crew should be put on board, which caused some good natured banter as no one would admit to be least competent!

Spellbound took line honours by passing the North Cardinal (Dartmouth approaches) first. After that, the teams were dispatched off the Kingswear pontoon and the 2 skippers took their leave, with the chaps all set for the main event out.

Sunday is best left to the sore heads and recovery. Enthusiasm for the sail back was markedly lacklustre 🙁

Barry and his 8 friends booked out 2 boats using our weekend package. For more information on stag weekend sailing or stag yacht charters, please use the contact details at the bottom of the site.