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Too Much Information

30 Nov 2014 11:44

Reading through some recent sailing magazines I am amazed by the complexity of all of the various ‘necessary’ electronic gadgets. These are overlaid, interlinked, talk to one another and perhaps conspire against the skipper. I think if I were starting sailing nowadays I’d find it all quite daunting.

 I can remember sailing into Poole about 10 years ago. Our old boat only had a depth finder and GPS, but onboard we had a young yachtmaster who had a handheld device that showed our course and position. Whilst the rest of us admired the view his attention was focused solely on our slow progress on his 2” screen. At regular intervals he advised me of our ETA, which was irrelevant, but I thanked him nevertheless.

 Since then things have moved on at a pace, but is it necessary to equip your boat with all of these devices, which are costly and quickly become out of date. Well, I suppose it depends on how you use the boat, where and when.

 My first offshore trip was an attempt to get to Cherbourg from the Solent on an old German cutter. It was rough and even in the Solent I can remember being waist deep in water on the foredeck, changing the headsail. The merciless skipper was trying to bring the novice crew up to speed, and thought a days exercise thrashing backwards and forwards in these conditions would be good training.

 The next day we set off on his planned course from the Needles. Paper chartwork and dead reckoning of course. Naturally the wind was blowing directly from Cherbourg. With 10 on board the cockpit was crowded and we all took turns being on the weather side ,which was attended by many soakings, as we tacked back and forth,. After 22 hours beating to windward Captain Bligh concluded that Aldeney was a better bet, and 3 hours later we were happily moored up.

 I’m glad that I was so ignorant of our position on that trip, staring at that 2” screen would have been soul destroying. Nowadays few skippers would attempt such a trip without a chartplotter and that’s a good thing, but does your boat really need to be bristling with electronic devices to get from the Hamble to Yarmouth on a fine summer day, I think not.



End of the Season

28 Oct 2014 11:03

End of season, well, looking out today I'd say not, but it can be deceptive. I've never been an all seasons sailor and prefer reflection and planning ahead at this time of year. 

I did my last trip last Monday on the 20th, just before it got really windy. By contrast that day was overcast and somewhat colder. A 35 mile trip from Wells-Next-The-Sea to Fosdyke in the Wash. The wind force 4-6 was on the nose and together with the moderate sea gave us a bumpy 11 hour trip. 6 layers of clothing did not stop me getting cold, so to quote a friend it will be ready about lee ho from the armchair, until late March for me.

I was asked recently if it were worth looking for an owner to boat buddy at this time of year, or wait until the spring. I'd say get that relationship going now and give a hand over the winter with some jobs. Have an input now into next years plans and remember if you wait until spring that owner will have other offers.

More opportunities

14 Sep 2014 16:48

The diversity of adverts on Boat Buddy's website always amazes me. Just posted is a great opportunity for sailing from the river dart for a boat buddy with a sense of humour that is willing to help out with the boat. It costs you nothing and I wish I lived closer.
Next is a lifestyle change. Fancy two years sailing around the Med before setting off to the Caribbean. Well this skipper is looking for a boat buddy to do just that
There is something for everyone out there and BB is about getting people together to enjoy all forms of boating. It's free to look and advertise and the small upgrade fee due if you want to make contact is used to support the advertising budget.

Norfolk Broads Sailing

17 Aug 2014 10:25

Just back from a three in a boat trip on a traditional gaff rigged yacht on the broads. For those sea sailors who consider the broads a bit tame, I say try it. Conditions were windy with some rain and although you can virtually step ashore on the rivers it's not without its challanges. Tacking up those narrow channels, full of motor boats, with wind sometimes blocked by trees and then at blowing hard through the gaps, was interesting. Some boaters seemed to be on a tight schedule and racing along, but everyone seemed to be enjoying it. We witnessed several collisions and someone even bumped into our boat whilst moored. All minor events really though.

For the sailor the broads are good for re-learning sailing in a safe environment. It's all to easy to put the engine on. Leave it off or running in neutral and try sailing off of a pontoon. Use the mooring lines to move the boat into the right position, or push off with a boat hook. For motorboats this is a great place to, although those sailors do get in the way a bit!

The Wash

5 Aug 2014 13:38

The summer is still going strong and I'm looking forward to some Norfolk Broards sailing soon. This is altogether different from coastal sailing, but great fun and quite testing. Tacking up some of the narrow rivers whilst avoiding the hire boats in fickle winds does provide a challenge. 

As a Boat Buddy I've managed to squeeze in a weeks south coast sail, and a day sail in the Wash. The Wash was new to me, lots of tide running and sandbars everywhere. There were hundreds of seals taking it easy. It's an area I've never sailed before, but these days with chart plotters the channels are easily followed and if you are interested in wildlife it's there in abundance. 

If you haven't contacted an owner yet you ought to because although you may have posted an advert a direct approach may be just what that skipper is waiting for.

Happy boating.

West Country Sailing

9 Jul 2014 09:25

Just back from practicing what I preach, a weeks sailing down in Devon and Cornwall, Torquay to Falmouth, a new area for me. The coastline is beautiful with lots of places to visit from quiet anchorages to busy marinas. We found Fowey particularly interesting, it's very pretty if you go up the river a bit. Time constraints, as usual meant me leaving the boat, the owner is carrying on, eventually arriving in Liverpool in August. It was great being a BUDDY on this trip, and if you fancy it there are opportunities to join him.


23 Jun 2014 15:36

Well, we are past the longest day, but hopefully not past the halfway point as regards the weather. It's been good so far, and if you haven't checked the site out lately, please do so.

On balance we need more Buddys at the moment. Owning your own boat and pleasing yourself is really great, but a Buddy can bring a worthwhile contribution to the party. It is also a great way to get to understanding what it takes to own a boat. If you are contemplating buying a boat after doing some courses I'd recommend being a Buddy initially. It's a lot different to just turning up to crew.

If you can't see what you want on the site either as an Owner or a Buddy, please put your own advert on stating your requirements, it's free. 

Free Sailing in Med

24 May 2014 14:25

Boat Buddys is all about putting Boat Owners in contact with Boat Buddys. There are lots of owners who really do need a hand, and lots of buddys that would love to help. Unfortunately it is not easy to communicate and just how do they find each other.

Boat Buddys is here to help. The latest Boat Owner advert offers free sailing in the Med in return for helping sail the boat. Wow, what an opportunity.

Adverts on this site are free, so let's hear about you.

April Offers, Wow.

27 Apr 2014 08:43

Looking back at April adverts I can see some amazing opportunities offered by Boat Owners.

How about getting aboard a classic wooden motor boat on the Thames. The owner/skipper needs help with the boat and a few odd jobs doing.

Or, for only £750 you could have as much use as you want of a Gibsea 84 in Greece. It would cost more than that to charter one for a weeks holiday.

Or, what about a business opportunity partnering the skipper of a large classic motor launch in Turkey. The launch which has an interesting history, is available for charter holidays.

Boat Buddys, you are needed, so have a look through the adverts and see if you can offer the kind of help/skill which could bring about a rewarding experience.

Happy Boating. 

2014 So Far

23 Feb 2014 10:58

I did wonder what 2014 would bring, well so far lots of wind and rain, but spring has been in the air a few times in the last week and the days are getting longer. I've been doing some armchair planning and will revisit the Norfolk Broads as well as several other areas this year.

I sailed the broads a few years ago in one of Hunter's Edwardian yachts ( 3 men in a boat ). These old gaffers have no engine, and in the narrow tree lined channels present quite a challenge. Progress is not assured and your sailing skills are tested to the limit as the wind varies greatly in strength and direction. Then of course there are the big hired cruisers and trip boats to contend with. All great fun, and power usually gives way to sail. Although having done both it's a pain when you encounter a sailing boat towing a dingy on a long painter.

We hope you are all making plans as well. If you fancy the Broads or anywhere else for that matter, why not put a free advert on the site. There just might be an owner looking for you.

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