This is where we publish our boat related stories and articles, which range from world circumnavigation to rescue missions, humour and much, much more. So make yourself a coffee and settle yourself down to a good read.
A year ago today Citadel, a Jeanneau 54DS, set off from Gibraltar for the Azores. During the month of August in 2016 we sailed 2000 miles (a thousand each way) and spent 2 weeks cruising the anchorages and bars of the Azores. It was a wonderful experience even with the contretemps we encountered. Here are the lessons I took away:
When? - 14th to 18th July
Entries Close 4th March.
The planning has started. The shortest intercontinental yacht rally is on for the 30th June this year!
It is fallacious to think that Brexit is the end of the good times. It’s certainly the end of the UK’s relationship with the EU but it is inconceivable that mutually beneficial bilateral relationships with all European countries now comprising the EU and others still outside will not continue and develop further. However the uncertainty that derives from the manner of the UK’s withdrawal is bad. The sooner there is clarity the better. However some things are becoming clear. Yachting businesses need to position themselves to maximise the benefits and minimise any negative effects.
Continuing my account of the return trip to The Azores and back from Gibraltar:
Continuing my account of the trip to The Azores from Gibraltar:-
After seven days at sea we have arrived at the port of Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel, Azores. It’s been exhausting to be on emergency tiller for nearly 400 nautical miles. I had been looking forward to doing some sightseeing but before that I needed to make contact with the marine engineer who would replace the steering cable and the autopilot drive pin that had sheared. I had already had a short conversation with him by sat phone to explain that we would arrive on Sunday afternoon and he told me he would be along to see us on the Monday afternoon. He arrives on time as promised. He is German. He arrives wearing lederhosen which seem out of place but on reflection looking at the confined space he is about to climb into to examine the steering system I reflect that it’s the only material that won’t easily rip. The problem is quickly diagnosed. When Mike, one of my crew and a chartered mechanical engineer, gives a brief analysis of the cause of the problem the German gives him a withering look that says “another theoretician”!
A trip to the Azores 1000nM away from Gibraltar has been on my bucket list for the last three years. Every yachtsman who has ever been there tell me of the natural beauty of the islands and the friendliness of the islanders so on the 1st Aug Citadel with a crew of five (including my brave daughter Kim) slipped out of her berth at Queensway Quay Marina and headed west out of the Straits into a freshening SW breeze. With short tacks off the northern side of the Straits to keep clear of the Traffic Separation Zone we were soon heading out past Barbate and a first comfortable night at sea. The following afternoon we picked up the NE trade winds and headed out towards and beyond Cape St. VIncent. This was to be the worst night of all the 15 nights that in total we spent at sea. The wind increased to 25 and sometimes 30 knots and the seas were very confused with waves of up to 4/5 metres in height. We were getting wet and the boat was slamming with such force into the seas that at times I feared she would come apart. The following day conditions improved and we were once again moving in reducing wind and seas. A late breakfast with bacon butties banished that green feeling and no one was ever sick again all the way to Ponta Delgada.
Record Number of Yachts Take Part in the 2016 Ocean Village/Boatshed Gibraltar Morocco Yacht Rally and Raise £10,591.33 for the Gibraltar Red Cross. Forty-eight yachts including the star of the show, HMS Scimitar of the RN Gibraltar Squadron, took part in the annual yacht rally to Morocco in aid of the Gibraltar Red Cross. HMS Scimitar was there to provide search and rescue cover for the yachts. Their services were thankfully not needed but their presence at Marina Smir was hugely appreciated by the participants and the Moroccan public who were pleased to see the unusual sight of a British warship at Smir.
The Ocean Village/Boatshed Gibraltar Morocco Yacht Rally Gathers Momentum.
If you fancy a dip in the sea at Christmas, you are either brave/daft or raising money for charity – after all who would want to leave the comfort of their over warm homes to jump into icy waters if it wasn’t for charity!?
There is no escaping the fact that owning a boat can be an expensive business, but there are a variety of ways to economise. Here are some tips for you to consider.Berthing is probably the biggest single item of recurrent expenditure. Firstly get a yacht that is just under the 12, 15 or 18m berthing range. There is no point in getting a boat that is just over 12m and find yourself paying for a 15m berth. Marinas tend to give generous discounts for advance payment. With good planning you can take advantage of these discounts.
As an experienced yacht broker and boat purchaser I have found that the biggest obstacle to acquiring a boat is getting your wife to agree to it. She will come up with all sorts of objections and when all have been overcome she will say something like: “If you are SURE that’s what you REALLY want then go ahead”. If you go ahead and then something doesn’t turn out quite the way you expected you will get the “I told you so but you insisted”.
A week ago we had one of those life experiences that we can hardly believe even though the photographic and video evidence is there for all to see. Sailing from Saidia Marina at the eastern end of Morocco to Gibraltar on a 30 hour passage we came across a pod of 22 Pilot Whales. It was early afternoon on the second day with very light winds and a flat sea. We had been motoring the last 4 hours as the wind was not enough to push us along fast enough to not have to spend another night at sea.
Obviously, like cars, new boats loose a lot of their value the first day they are bought. Where boats are concerned buying a secondhand boat is often a better option than buying new. I know this from personal experience.
At the post event party held on Saturday 20th June at the Waterfront restaurant rally organiser Boatshed Gibraltar announced that the rally had raised nearly £7000 for the Red Cross. A cheque will soon be presented to the Red Cross. This more that triples the amount raised last year, the first year that the current organising committee took on leadership of the rally.
Boatshed Newsletter Summer 2015 - we have news and articles including - WIN a PADDLEBOARD Competition - How does Boatshed sell boats twice as fast? - News from America - The Truth about the used boat market - Life on a canal boat - 56 Point Boat checks - Join Planet Boatshed - plus why you absolutely need to SUP!
Many of the conditions and trends in the international used boat market that I reported upon in November 2014 continue and remain highly relevant to boat sales today. Overall, the market can be summarised as follow:
We are delighted to announce our new relationship with BWML. BWML is part of the UK’s Canal & River Trust (formally, British Waterways) a national charity whose primary role is the custodian and navigation authority for around 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England and Wales. Boatshed is now the exclusive external broker in most of BWML’s 20 locations, available to assist our customers with the sale and purchase of Narrowboats and other inland waterway vessels. Our brokers in these locations are experts in these specialist craft and familiar with the unique pleasures of inland boating.