Course Reports

See how the main sail sets

Pic is not Wild Spirit but I have put the main sail back on ready for re-starting Milebuilder sailing out of Plymouth. We have a fully battened main which makes bending on the sail singlehanded an interesting task. One of the tricks is to use a sail tie from the headboard to hold up the slugs as they go into the track, this means you can get all of the slugs in but only have about 1.5 m of sail exposed to the wind. This technique comes from experience and it is the sort of thing you learn on a Mile building sailing course. Depending on the weather and trip you may also get several qualifying passages towards RYA YachtMaster and if you are ready for it the chance to skipper one or more.

Course Reports

2 Places left for July Milebuilder

2 cabins left for the Mile building course starting Plymouth evening 23rd July. We aim to have at least two 60NM Qualifying Passages for RYA YachtMaster on this Milebuilder sailing trip but one or 2 shorter days as well and Fowey is always a destination I like. How long does 60NM take? Well it depends on several factors but if we work out the tides correctly and we don’t have lots of tacking it is often less than 10 hours even with berthing on arrival.

Course Reports

Ready, Steady, No

Pic of Mini Subs used in 2nd World War, base was on Isle of Bute which would have been visiting at least once this year.

Whilst Day Sailing for Households may now be permitted we can’t run our Milebuilder sailing yet as this would be more than households and also overnight. If you are a genuine household that has people with relevant experience and qualifications you might be able to charter Wild Spirit for Day Sailing out of Plymouth but we don’t do dodgy so please don’t get in touch unless you can be legal. Our Mile building sailing trips out of Plymouth Yacht Haven are still scheduled to restart on 2nd August but we are just about good to go as soon as we legally can. We have a list of people who would like to sail ASAP but of course work etc may reduce the number who can actually go so do get in touch to add your name.

Course Reports

Milebuilder Destination change

Scotland 😛 testing link

It won’t be the one in the picture as this is South of Tasman Island from a Sydney to Hobart.

The Milebuilder sailing trip starting from Plymouth Yacht on 2nd September will now finish back at there on 11th. There is free Car Parking available and a good train Service to Plymouth. This is a Mile building trip but I am not sure how many night hours or Qualifying Passages for RYA YachtMaster there will be. Normally for a milebuilder we have an idea about the QPs etc in advance and we modify plans to suit the teams experience, desires plus of course the weather. This time we may have to factor in official controls as well so arriving in Alderney may be no issue but France might be.

Course Reports


Pic from Antigua bout 3 years ago when someone forgot it is IALA B area (Red Right Returning) not A–Left his Red Port at home.

This year’s revised cruising programme will be all IALA A with our Milebuilder sailing trips out of Plymouth and Lymington. Mile building sailing is great for those who have Comp Crew and above and who want to buiold experience and miles whilst being an active part of the team sailing Wild Spirit. Great for going on to RYA YachtMaster with Qualifying Passages and some night hours, but still time to explore ashore.

Course Reports

Plymouth Ho

Pic is of Starling Control at Lymington but we have moved.

Wild Spirit is now in Plymouth Yacht Haven and with the current ‘Lock Down’ will probably be there until early May. We were of course meant to be moving to Troon and, as I have paid for an annual berth there, this is still the ambition but it became clear a couple of weeks ago that this was not going to be a normal year for sailing. With this in mind a quick look at Fixed Costs and some negotiating with the Yachthavens group we decided to leave Lymington earlier than planned and berth at Plymouth instead as it saves £4000 p.a. — Yes the number of zeros is correct and Lymington is now well over £9000 plus electric on top. We run on a ‘Not for Profit’ basis, I don’t draw a wage and any surplus goes to Charity so £4000 is significant especially when we are likely to lose half the sailing calander due to Covid. Paul will give the options more thought over the next few days but still wants to run the Milebuilder sailing trips in Scotland. The Mile building course from Lymington to Troon is off and as both the 3 Peaks yacht Race and Scottish Islands Peaks Race are cancelled one option is to operate out of Plymouth when the situation improves. This would allow mile building sailing to several West Country Ports and the Isles of Scilly. For serious Milebuilders the ports of Brittany would be a possible option and I recall a particular little restaurant or 2 that could be revisited.

More soon

Course Reports

The first Mile Builder

Quite a bit of interest in the first Mile Builder from Lymington to Troon with 2 bookings already. The question of the qualifying course for a YachtMaster ‘Qualifying Passage’ has been raised again. Here is the RYA wording

A passage is a non-stop voyage from a departure port / safe haven to a destination port / safe haven. Where a passage must be of a minimum distance to meet exam pre-requisites, the distance should be taken as the shortest navigable route established when planning a safe and efficient passage.

As ever open to interpretation and I would argue that if the tides and weather forecast make it sensible then leaving Lymington and going east then round the IOW and into Poole is not only a Qualifying Passage but one which really puts navigation theory to the test. But you could argue that the shortest course is less than 20 NM, although if you accept this arguement then starting from Portsmouth and sailing all the way round Britian and Ireland and back into Cowes wouldn’t count either.(I have done this non-stop)

Fortunately our Mile building sailing up to Scotland has lots of non-contentious RYA YachtMaster Qualifying Pasages but if you are going to be Skipper on one of these then that is what you will do. If it has got my name on the bottom of it then it is going to be done right.

Course Reports

Successful RYA

The Day Skipper and Competent Crew courses finishing 17th November were successful but the Northerly winds that gave us such good sailing were also rather cold and we were grateful for the heating system. Both day skippers passed, the competent crews had done some pre-course study and learned their knots, they were a pleasure to have on board. Next course is scheduled for 3rd April After April 2020 our big focus is on RYA Mile building sailing with mile builder trips to Ireland, Scotland and the Shetlands.

Course Reports

2020–North to Scotland

Pic of us in Fair Isle on previous trip

For 2020 we are back to Troon and as well as the Scottish islands Peaks race we will be attempting to repeat our 2018 success of winning the 3 Peaks yacht Race. We will have milebuilder trips in the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland plus mile building cruises up to Troon suitable for those aspiring to RYA YachtMaster.