The Plan (Version 0.1)

April 18, 2014 at 10:16 am

So, I’m planning 3 months off work so I can go sailing.  I know I’m really lucky in that I’m freelance so can be flexible like this.  I have found a house sitter who is known, but not too close (he’s my Chiropractors brother) and is willing to stay 3 months for a contribution towards the bills.  The dog is all set to go to my Mum’s for the summer (and I think it will be nice for them both), and my good Mother is also willing to look after the order fulfillment side of my business while I’m gone.

I’m trying to figure out if I can possibly go cruising and carry on working 2 days a week.  All I need is a hookup for the laptop and WiFi. I can tether my phone (which has unlimited internet) and this has been tested well on land.  The problem is the hassle of trying to get to a Marina for electric hook up 2 days a week, and the impact of that on my sense of freedom.  Who knows what will happen with the weather this summer and I can imagine myself just worrying how I’m going to get to a marina berth for *next Tuesday* and whether the phone signal will be good enough.  I can see it being a bit of a nightmare to be honest, though of course the income would be nice.  I’m still deciding on that one…

However, my manager asked me the other day if I was going to be checking in with the Coastguard on each passage, to which I of course replied a confident, “Yes, of course!”.

Now, I hate using the radio. Probably something to do with growing up in the Solent and sniggering at all the posho’s asking Solent Coastguard if a F7 would make them spill their G&Ts.  “This is Yacht Elvira” said in Received Pronunciation was a very long running family joke…) and it is a few years (maybe 4?) since I did my VHF course so I admit I’m a bit rusty… So I’ve made up a prompt card which will fit nicely on the back of the Mayday card I’ve already done.   It’s more of an ‘aide memoire’ rather than a verbatim script though, and I’ve added the “Prowords” out of the Almanac for a bit more confidence/authority.

I have also registered with the CG66 scheme, a voluntary safety registration scheme where you record your details and a contact of someone ashore.  Details of this scheme are here

So. The (current) plan is to launch around the end of May, have a shakedown to Poole maybe with some stops at Worbarrow Bay and Studland (and I may go to Cherbourg from Weymouth if the weather is absolutely right. I think it would be good for confidence as I do know Cherbourg quite well), and then head out West across Lyme Bay to Brixham and hop down west all the way to the Isles of Scilly.  Then round and up across the Bristol Channel, definitely stopping at Lundy. I would like to get across to Ireland also if there is time.

There’s a great article in this month’s Yachting Monthly, “How to sail around the British Isles” with a great map.  The pink areas are what they call “Primary Cruising Zones” and the green areas are “Wilder Holiday Zones” (and I do like the sound of that….).

I have circled my hoped cruising area for this summer in red.  Fingers crossed for decent weather now.

The Plan

Scanned from the May 2014 Yachting Monthly Magazine


Moules Frites?

April 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

My insurance has just come round for renewal (which must mean I have now owned Duet for 2 years!) and my automatic renewal from CETA has come in at £141 odd.

This is a substantial increase on last year despite 2 years no claims now …and I don’t think it covers over 13 miles offshore anyway; and if you go from Weymouth to Dartmouth straight across Lyme Bay you are more than 13 miles off in the middle!

So I’ve just called GWJ for a quote and after answering lots of questions about the value of my outboard and whether I have a trailer, and what’s my dinghy worth, the nice lady listened with interest to my 2 years no claims bonus, and details of my Yachtmaster Theory and Powerboat Level 2 qualifications.  I was given a quote for £115 with a £150 excess for a total boat value of just under £5k fully comp.  This would cover me for all waters of the UK; so down to Scilly, and even over to Northern Ireland.  However, when I asked about cover for across to France I was told a flat ‘no’.  Apparently they don’t insure boats under 24 foot cross channel. So no to France and the Channel Islands.  No, no, no: The boat is too small.  The lady said I could put the boat on a trailer and take it on the ferry.  I said it kinda wasn’t the same, but she didn’t laugh. I could tell she thought I was a bit crazy.

So I asked the Oracle of all things Hurley and within minutes I had a suggestion to try Euromarine who apparently are one of the few who will cover Brest to Elbe, including all parts of the Channel, for boats under 24 foot.  I rang them and spoke to another nice lady who took my details and although she had to go and check with the underwriters for confirmation she came back and said they would cover me fully comp for UK Inland and Coastal Waters including Continental waters from Brest to Elbe including the Isles of Scilly for a cost of £133.64 which included No Claims Discount and IPT.  This is with a £100 excess, and on a total value of £4250 (not sure how it came in different, but at the end of the day my purchase cost was £3k and I’ve added equipment).  I did have to provide a scan of the Pre-Launch Report I had done by a Surveyor when I bought the boat in 2012.

So I’ve gone with them… Maybe Moules Frites after all?  …Maybe to supplement the pasties.

Moules Frites

Photo stolen from

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