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Core Info

Newsletter (Spring 2020)

By Core Info

March 2020 Newsletter
With the 2020 sailing season about to start for Devon Sailing Experiences, we are excited to update you with our plans for the year. In addition to our current availability, read about how we have made a pledge to reduce single-use plastic in 2020 and how we are now an ICC assessment centre. 


Day and Weekend Sailing Experiences

Our day and weekend sailing experiences continue to top the popularity chart with a number of dates becoming fully booked already. Throughout the season, we are frequently adding additional dates to our sailing schedule to meet demand, so do remember to check back regularly.

If you were lucky enough to receive a voucher as a gift, don’t forget to book your date as soon as possible. Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase; you must book a date before your voucher expires. Due to weather and sailing conditions, our normal sailing season is April – September (only extended each side if the weather permits). As always, if you cannot see a suitable date, do get in touch and we will do our very best to help you.

Bareboat Charters for 2020
Our Bavaria 38 is relocating to Queen Anne’s Battery from April 2020. With 3 double cabins and a spacious saloon area, she makes an excellent yacht for families and groups of friends looking to explore the southwest coast for a week or long weekend.

Limited availability remains for May, June and August, therefore we recommend getting in touch sooner rather than later to secure your chosen charter dates. A 20% deposit is required to secure a date for you, with the remaining payment due 4 weeks before you sail.
Don’t forget – we offer a 10% discount on bareboat charters for all returning customers.

If you would like to request a date, please get in touch.

International Certificate of Competence (ICC)
Devon Sailing Experiences is now a recognised RYA assessment centre for the International Certificate of Competence (ICC). 

If you are planning a sailing holiday charter abroad*, you will need an ICC. 

Before booking your ICC assessment  you will need to ensure your sailing and navigation knowledge is up to speed (to the level of Day Skipper practical and theory). We recommend looking at the RYA Day Skipper Handbook or attending our RYA Day Skipper (Practical) course. Further information can be found on our ICC assessment page.


* Please check specific requirements for the country you are visiting with your charter company.

RYA Courses
We currently have 2 double cabins available on our RYA Competent Crew and RYA Day Skipper (Practical) course from Monday 13th April – Friday 17th April 2020. You are welcome to join us aboard our Jeanneau 409 at King Point Marina the evening before you set sail. You will have your own double cabin (unless you choose to share) with no single traveller supplements.

For RYA Day Skipper, do check the pre-course requirements before booking your place. If you do not currently hold the prerequisites, you are welcome to join this course to log miles and gain experience before undertaking a course at a later date. 

There are no pre-course requirements for RYA Competent Crew. This particular course is not suitable for under 18s. 
If you would like any further information, do get in touch.

Plastic Free Plymouth
We are pleased to announce that we have signed a pledge with Plastic Free Plymouth – Surfers Against Sewage to help us to reduce our use of single-use plastics (SUPs) from March 2020. You can read more about it and what it means for Devon Sailing Experiences in our blog post Our Pledge to Plastic Free Plymouth.

Environment Plymouth explains that “It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic.” 

You will notice some small changes when you join us for day and weekend experiences to enable us to initially target 3 areas. We look forward to welcoming your feedback and discussing any ideas that you could share to help us improve.

Terms and Conditions of Booking
By booking with Devon Sailing Experiences, you are accepting our Terms and Conditions. Please ensure you have read these before booking. We politely draw your attention to the paragraph regarding cancellation and rescheduling. If you are unsure about any aspect, please feel free to ask – we will always do our very best to help you.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Keep up to date with last-minute availability and stories from our skippers and guests by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Don’t forget to tag us in any of your own posts; we love to hear about your sailing adventures so if you have any photos you would like to share (or stories to tell) do get in touch.

We look forward to welcoming you to Devon soon.

Our Pledge to Plastic Free Plymouth

By Core Info

Devon Sailing Experiences are pleased to announce that we have signed a pledge with Plastic Free Plymouth (Surfers Against Sewage) to reduce our use of single-use plastics (SUPs) from March 2020.

Following popular workshops attended by many businesses including representatives of Devon Sailing Experiences, Plastic Free Plymouth, Plymouth on the Water and the University of Plymouth, Jackie Young is one of many people who have inspired us to audit our current use of SUPs and make some changes to how we run our small business.

So what is this pledge?

The pledge states: “We’re creating a plastic-free community network to free where we live from single-use. Together we’re tackling avoidable, throwaway plastic from beaches, rivers and green spaces all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it. Wherever you live, whether you’re onshore or inland, urban or rural, high-tide or high-rise, we’re uniting communities in the fight against single-use plastics. It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic and changing the system that produces it.”

So, starting 1st March 2020, we have pledged to:

  1. Work to remove at least 3 single-use plastic items from our day to day activities.
  2. Commit to include our stance on single-use plastic in communications.
  3. Raise awareness and support plastic-free initiatives in the community.

We will keep you updated with our progress…watch this space!

Newsletter – January 2020

By Core Info

Welcome to our January 2020 Newsletter

Devon Sailing Experiences would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! 

In our first newsletter of the decade, you will find information about local events in the southwest to help you coordinate and plan your bareboat or skippered charter, creating a sailing holiday or short break to remember. 

Dates for your Diary

Want to tie-in your 2020 bareboat or skippered charter with a local event? We’ve listed some of the important ones (with links to the events) below:

Plymouth Flavour Fest Friday 29th May – Sunday 31st May
Plymouth Armed Forces Day Friday 8th May
Plymouth Regatta Friday 10th July – Sunday 12th July
Salcombe Town Regatta Saturday 1st Aug – Saturday 8th Aug
Falmouth Sailing Regatta Friday 7th Aug – Sunday 16th Aug
British Firework Championships Wednesday 12th Aug – Thursday 13th Aug
Fowey Regatta and Carnival Saturday 16th Aug – Saturday 22nd Aug
Torbay Regatta Friday 21st Aug – Monday 24th Aug
Dartmouth Royal Regatta Thursday 27th Aug – Saturday 29th Aug
Plymouth Seafood Festival Saturday 12th Sept – Sunday 13th Sept

Bareboat Charters for 2020

Our Bavaria 38 is available for bareboat charter from Mayflower Marina from April 2020. With 3 double cabins and a spacious saloon area, she makes an excellent yacht for families and groups of friends looking to explore the southwest coast for a week or long weekend.

There is limited availability remaining for bareboat charter of our Jeanneau 409 in 2020 due to her being booked for skippered charters. However, if you had a date in mind, do email us with your requirements and a brief overview of your charter experience and qualifications, and we will do our very best to accommodate you. She is currently berthed at King Point Marina.

Don’t forget – we offer a 10% discount on bareboat charters for all returning customers. A 20% deposit is required to secure a date for you, with the remaining payment being due 4 weeks before you sail. If you would like to request a date, do get in touch.

Skippered Charters

Our day sails and weekend sailing experiences continue to prove popular. Dates are listed on our sailing schedule and are continuously updated. Additional dates are added upon request (subject to yacht and skipper availability), so if you cannot see a suitable date, do get in touch and we will do our very best to help you.

Exclusive Day Sails are suitable for families with children, and offer a hands-on day out on the water, with the option to drop the anchor for lunch and travel at your own pace. To book a date and discuss your requirements, please get in touch.

Group sailing experiences are scheduled on-demand (subject to yacht and skipper availability). This type of experience is suitable for people with a little more sailing experience. Single travellers, friends, couples or groups are very welcome to join one of our highly qualified and commercially endorsed skippers aboard our 42’ yacht. If you would like any further information about this type of sailing experience, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

We continue to offer RYA Competent Crew and RYA Day Skipper (Practical) courses on demand (subject to yacht and instructor availability). 

All our skippered charters and RYA courses take place aboard our Jeanneau 409, Bewitched. 

Terms and Conditions

By booking with Devon Sailing Experiences, you are accepting our Terms and Conditions. Please ensure you have read these before booking. We politely draw your attention to the paragraph regarding cancellation and rescheduling. If you are unsure about any aspect, please feel free to ask.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Keep up to date with last-minute availability and stories from our skippers and guests by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us in any of your own posts; we love to hear about your sailing adventures so if you have any photos you would like to share (or stories to tell) do get in touch.

We look forward to welcoming you to Devon soon.

Nick, Katie and the Devon Sailing Experiences team

Enjoy a Southwest Bareboat Charter

By Core Info

With our yachts being based in Plymouth, Devon, we are ideally located for you to explore and enjoy a southwest bareboat charter. Whether you are chartering for a weekend, 5-days or 7-days, we can help you devise an itinerary that is right for you and your crew.

Weekend Bareboat Charter

We will meet you at Mayflower Marina or King Point Marina (depending on the yacht you are chartering) at 16:00 on Friday. After a yacht handover, you are free to settle aboard the yacht for the evening. The locations of our marinas mean that you have easy access to some fabulous areas to enjoy for the evening: Royal William Yard and The Barbican offer a good selection of pubs and restaurants to suit all tastes. Alternatively, depending on the tide times, you may choose to head over to the River Yealm to visit Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo for the evening or alternatively anchor in Cawsand Bay.

Because of the ideal location of Plymouth for your southwest bareboat charter, you have plenty of choices about where to head for the weekend. If you have an easterly, Fowey and Helford River are popular destinations for our guests. A westerly, and you may decide to head to Salcombe. All of these destinations are easily accessible for a weekend bareboat charter, giving you plenty of time to return to the marina, refuel and clean your yacht before returning it by 17:00 that evening.

5-day Bareboat Charter (midweek)

You will be able to access your yacht from midday on Monday. We will meet you at the marina for the yacht handover, and after you have loaded your gear and provisions on board, there are plenty of sailing options for you.

Depending on wind directions, tide times and the abilities of your crew, you could head as far east as Dartmouth or Torbay and as far west as Falmouth; some charterers have reached the Scillies, but this can be quite a challenge and needs very careful planning with sailing conditions and timings to ensure the yacht is returned on time, so we would recommend a minimum of 7-days to try to achieve this. 

Your yacht will need to be returned to us at the marina by 11:00 on Friday, refuelled and cleaned. For this reason, many of our guests like to spend Thursday evening anchored in the shelter of Cawsand Bay, a short sail from the marina.

7-day Bareboat Charter

Our 7-day bareboat charters can run from midday Monday to midday Friday or 16:00 Friday until 11:00 Friday. Again, we will meet you at the marina for the yacht handover and then you will have a week to explore the stunning coastline of Devon and Cornwall.

Possible destinations may include Cawsand Bay, Helford River, Fowey, Falmouth or the Isles of Scilly to the west, and River Yealm, Newton Ferrers, Noss Mayo, Salcombe, Dartmouth, Torquay or Brixham to the east.

Again, your yacht will need to be returned to us refuelled and cleaned by the arranged time.

Tempted?

A 20% deposit will secure a date for you, with the remaining payment due 4 weeks before you sail. Further information about what is required for a bareboat charter can be found here: Bareboat Charter FAQs.

If you are a returning customer, you will be offered a 10% discount on our prices during 2020.


What are you waiting for? Book your southwest bareboat charter for 2020 by emailing info@devonsailingexperiences.co.uk or call 01752 424514.

An Environmentally Friendly Christmas Gift

By Core Info

Many of us are looking to have a little more environmentally friendly Christmas this year, and Devon Sailing Experiences may just have a solution if you are looking for an environmentally friendly Christmas gift. The answer is a gift voucher for a Day Sail or Weekend Sail

Listed below are the points that make a gift voucher for a Day Sail or Weekend Sail a great gift for you or your loved one, whilst looking after the planet.

No Christmas wrapping paper.

When you order a Christmas sailing gift voucher, we will post your card voucher to you or direct to the recipient of the gift. As it is made of card, it can be easily recycled. You can present the gift in a paper envelope so there is no need for Christmas wrapping paper which may have hidden plastics inside. If you would prefer to not even receive a paper voucher (to cut down even more on waste and postage) we can simply email your confirmation which just assigns a booking reference. (You will need to state this preference when you purchase your voucher online.)

Sailing is an environmentally friendly mode of transport.

Greta Thunburg (environmental activist) chose sailing as her mode of transport to take part in the UN Sumit in August this year, and we know that she would have meticulously carried out her research. Greta made the non-stop 2-week voyage in a 60’ yacht, choosing this method of travel over flying and cruising. The only difference is that the yacht Greta sailed aboard (Malizia II) was stripped down to the basics – Devon Sailing Experiences will continue to offer you the luxury of onboard toilets!

Wind is a naturally occurring source of power.

Sailing is all about letting the wind fill your sails and using this natural power source to travel and enjoy the beautiful coastline that Devon and Cornwall offer. Although a diesel engine is required to enter and leave the marina, our ultimate aim is to sail for as much time as the weather permits. (It is worth noting that even Greta’s yacht had an engine on board for safety purposes.)

We are actively trying to reduce our single-use plastic

Devon Sailing Experiences is pledging to take steps to reduce our single-use plastic. You can read about our first step for 2020 here: How we are trying to reduce our single-use plastics. 

Dockside facilities to reduce waste

Our guests are encouraged to use the dockside facilities when mooring overnight. This means making proper use of recycling bins and using marina toilets/showers to avoid waste going straight into the sea, as well as using mooring buoys instead of anchors (where there is a chance of disturbing natural habitats).

Feel closer to nature

Our natural environment is not only visually stunning but supports life and therefore needs protecting. There is no denying the positive effect of being close to water; research has shown that bringing nature into your life can benefit your physical and mental wellbeing. There is no better way than sailing to give you the space to escape your day-to-day pressures and direct your thoughts towards how beautiful our surroundings are and appreciate how important it is to protect it.

We can’t think of a better gift for Christmas 2019.

Autumn: time for our annual yacht maintenance

By Core Info

Due to the unpredictable weather in September, a real change from the favourable conditions last year, our sailing season drew to an earlier end with our boats being lifted out of the water for annual yacht maintenance at the end of October.

Queen Anne’s Battery is hosting our boats for this year’s annual yacht maintenance. The overhauls will include rig checks, sail repairs, replacing anodes, engine servicing, gas checks, antifouling and polishing, as well as our usual interior deep cleaning and lifejacket and liferaft servicing. Brand new Almanacs for the new season will also be placed onboard.

Our yachts will be in tip-top condition and available to you for skippered and bareboat charters from April 2020. We are starting to receive enquiries already, so do get in touch to secure your preferred date with a 20% deposit.

News – Autumn 2019

By Core Info

As our busy 2019 sailing season draws to an end (a little earlier than last year due to the weather), we thought we would update you with our plans for the 2020 sailing season. Below you will find information about our 2020 sailing schedule, gift vouchers (ideal for Christmas!), our efforts to reduce single-use plastics, RYA courses and 10% discount for bareboat charter returning customers

Our 2020 Sailing Experience Schedule 
Dates for 2020 day sails and weekend sails are now listed on our sailing schedule page. Our longer group sailing experiences are scheduled on demand – please request a date and book your place early to avoid disappointment; they were very popular during 2019. You may book your sailing experience directly from our website. As always, we will add more and more dates throughout the season. If you can’t see a suitable date just get in touch and we will do our very best to help you.

Sailing vouchers make great gifts for Christmas
Looking for a special gift for the person who has everything they need? We recommend a Devon Sailing Experiences gift voucher. When your friend, colleague or loved one receives their voucher, they can go to our website and book a day sail or weekend sail at their convenience. An ideal gift that will create long-lasting memories.

Got a sailing voucher? Don’t let it expire!
If you have a voucher for a sailing experience, we recommend that you book your place as soon as possible, as we get very busy during the summer months. You can follow this link to the sailing schedule. Your sailing experience must be booked within 12 months of the purchase date. This date is stated on the covering letter that accompanied the voucher. It is important to bear in mind that as we approach the end of the season (September/October) fewer dates will be available due to weather and sailing conditions, so please give yourself plenty of time to book. 
As always, if you cannot see a suitable date, just get in touch to request one – we will always do our very best to help.

Skippers for 2020
We are sorry to say goodbye to Emmanuel Farrington who will be leaving our team at the end of the season. She will have completed her BSc Marine Biology and Oceanography at Plymouth University and will be off travelling the world. We wish her all the very best and will miss her energy, enthusiasm and expert skippering skills.
Mick Chantler, Trevor Kirkin and Tim Sunderland will continue to skipper our day and weekend sailing experiences. We will also be joined by some new faces next year – details to follow. 

Plastic-free Plymouth
Inspired by PlasticFreePlymouthSound and  SavingTheEarthOneTipAtATime, Devon Sailing Experiences are pledging an attempt to reduce our single-use plastics. As with all habit changes, we are taking it one step at a time. Our first focus is on water bottles. Read about our plan in our blog post, and don’t forget to follow the link to our Facebook page to leave your opinion on our approach (or share your ideas).

RYA Sailing Courses
Devon Sailing Experiences continue to run RYA Start YachtingRYA Competent Crew and RYA Day Skipper (practical) courses. RYA courses are scheduled on demand. You are very welcome to request a date to be added to our schedule, however, we are only able to run a course with a minimum of 3 students. All courses are subject to yacht and instructor availability. 

Bareboat Charter
Our Bavaria 38 will be available for bareboat charter from Mayflower Marina from April 2020. Don’t forget – we offer a 10% discount for all returning customers. A 20% deposit is required to secure a date for you, with the remaining payment being due 4 weeks before you sail. If you would like to request a date, do get in touch.

Terms and Conditions
By booking with Devon Sailing Experiences, you are accepting our Terms and Conditions. Please ensure you have read these before booking. We politely draw your attention to the paragraph regarding cancellation and rescheduling. If you are unsure about any aspect, please feel free to ask.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram
Keep up to date with last-minute availability and stories from our skippers and guests by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us in any of your own posts; we love to hear about your sailing adventures so if you have any photos you would like to share (or stories to tell) do get in touch.

We look forward to welcoming you to Devon soon.

How we are trying to Reduce our Single-Use Plastics

By Core Info

Inspired by PlasticFreePlymouthSound, SavingTheEarthOneTipAtATime and GretaThunburg, at Devon Sailing Experiences, we are pledging an attempt to reduce our use of single-use plastics (SUPs).

Habits, no matter how damaging they are, can be hard to break so we are going to take it just one step at a time – after all, one small step is better than no step at all. Our first area of focus is our use of single-use water bottles.

Current use of single-use water bottles

Devon Sailing Experiences provide water (as well as tea, coffee, hot chocolate, juice and squash) to our guests during their time aboard our yachts for a skippered charter or during RYA training courses. We always have a full tank of clean running water aboard our yachts, yet until now, we have still chosen to provide bottled water for our guests. 

Lots of it, too….

For every day-sail (with a maximum of 5 guests plus a skipper) we ensure that there are at least 18 bottles onboard. For every weekend sail (with a maximum of 4 guests plus a skipper) we ensure there are 30 bottles onboard. 

Let us assume that every weekend between April and the end of September, our yacht is carrying out a weekend sailing experience. 26 weekends with 30 SUP bottles a time – that means we give our guests a total of 780 SUP bottles throughout the sailing season. In addition to the bottles, each set is wrapped in – you guessed it – more SUP packaging.

I can’t even begin to visualise what 780 plastic bottles look like – can you? And our small, family-run business is responsible for that huge amount of plastic alone.

Our plan to reduce single-use plastic during 2020

We are not for one minute saying that we will stop using all SUP from now on, but we are going to do our very best to reduce it, starting with our water bottle usage. We spent a long time researching and considering alternatives and asked for advice from a number of online communities. Ideas included water-in-a-box, reusable glass (and plastic) drinks dispensers, as well as the suggestion that guests should just bring their own. In the end, we have decided to ask our guests for their help with one simple step – but first, we would like your opinion.

Would you be happy to bring your own refillable bottles?
We will be asking this question on our Devon Sailing Experiences Facebook page on 30th September and would love to know your views. Do follow the link after this date and let us know your opinion on the matter.

Of course, our water tank will continue to be regularly refreshed – this happens naturally during the busy summer season due to the regular yacht useage. We will continue to ensure that we keep cups and for guests who have forgotten their reusable drinks bottles. We also have to legally provide spare bottles of water on board for emergency use.

Summary

By taking this step:

– Are we encouraging reusing rather than throwing away? Yes.
– Are we cutting down on single-use plastic? Yes.
– Will we continue to review our business and make other small changes to help reduce waste? Yes.

We would like to thank PlasticFreePlymouthSound for raising awareness, SavingTheEarthOneTipAtATime for the fantastic ideas they share in their online community and inspiring us to make one small change for the planet, and of course GretaThunburg who is showing the world great things can be achieved by thinking differently.

We will keep you updated with how it goes and our next steps.

 

Yacht Bewitched to the rescue…

By Core Info

It was “all hands on deck” for our skipper and crew during a recent 2-day sailing experience. Bewitched, skippered by our experienced instructor Mick Chantler, was involved in the rescue of a stricken craft last week.

At approximately 1230 on Saturday 22nd June, a small 20-22’ day sailing boat was spotted very close to Renny Rocks with its mainsail half hoisted and one of its crew waving both arms frantically to attract attention. Upon closer inspection, it became clear that the vessel was in danger.

Falmouth Coastguard was alerted. Plymouth Inshore Lifeboat was tasked to assist in the rescue.

In the meantime, Mick and his crew were on hand to assist.

The cruising area around Renney Rocks needed to be approached with caution; there was just 4 – 6 meters of water to work with. Upon discovering that the boat was stuck with no propulsion, Mick and his crew managed to stay head-to-wind and float a towline to the vessel on a fender. After some time, the crew of the stricken boat had a line attached.

However, after beginning to carefully tow in the shallow waters, it became apparent that neither vessel was moving. It was clear that the stricken boat had a fouled propeller and was secured to the sea floor, suspected to be a crab pot line. Because of this, they were instructed to cut the tow line.

By this point, the Plymouth Inshore Life Boat had arrived on the scene. This enabled Mick and his crew to recover the towline and get into the safer, deeper water whilst the experts took over.

Our thanks go out to Mick and his crew, all guests of Devon Sailing Experiences, for their professional assistance during the rescue. And as always, thanks to the RNLI, Plymouth Inshore Lifeboat and Falmouth Coastguard.

West country sailing regattas 2019

By Core Info
Sailing in the west country

Have you ever experienced a west country sailing regatta? If not, you will have missed out on visiting one of our local quaint and historic towns. You will have missed the high-quality street performers and bands scattered throughout the location. You will have missed the fantastic firework display closing the celebrations. And, of course, you will have missed the enjoyment of the sailing.

But don’t worry. For your convenience, we have listed the west country sailing regatta dates below. If you are planning a visit to Devon or Cornwall during the summer of 2019, we really would definitely recommend a visit.

12th – 14th July – Plymouth Regatta
3rd – 10th August – Salcombe Town Regatta
10th – 17th August – Falmouth Sailing Week
18th – 24th August – Fowey Regatta and Carnival
23rd – 31st August – Torbay Royal Regatta
29th – 31st August – Dartmouth Royal Regatta

Hope to see you there!