Course Reports

RYA Mile building trip to Alderney

Pic of one of our race teams in Cherbourg after a cross channel race.We have a max of on for Milebuilder sailing trips.

Alderney is one of our favourites for RYA Milebuilder courses and we often stop in to Cherbourg as well. It always depends on the weather plus team aspirations and strengths. Alderney can seem a bit daunting for those with limited experience as it involves gates, big tides and the Aderney Race. As well as miles and experience the RYA mile buildwers also give you the opportunity to be fully involved with passage planning and sailing Wild Spirit, a comfortable fast cruiser that won the 2018 3 Peaks Yacht race. Our Mile building trips normally include at least 2 Qualifying Passages for YachtMaster and often team members can skipper one of them.

Course Reports

Mile builder destinations

Pic of us in a restaurant in St Vaast–this is race team we only have 6 max on for Milebuilding sailing trips.

Where do we go to on Mile building sailing trips? Well it always depends on the weather plus team aspirations and strengths but we do have some favourite spots. One of them is St Vaast on the Cherbourg Peninsular which can seem a bit daunting for those with limited experience as it involves gates, big tides and things to hit. The RYA mile buildwers don’t just give you miles, they also give you the opportunity to be fully involved with passage planning and sailing Wild Spirit, a comfortable fast cruiser that won the 2018 3 Peaks Yacht race.

Course Reports

How many on a RYA course?

Picture is internal layout of Wild Spirit–with the table down it is 4 double berths.

When we get to 4 students on a RYA course we normally mark it as full. The RYA max is 5 and we might go to 5, if we do it may well be a regular who wants to build experience and this is a practice adopted by many schools.

Some schools advertise a maximum of 4 and this may be related to the size of their yacht. Think of the height of a half pint glass and a pint glass. By the time you take out fixed spaces such as the engine compartment the volume of a 40 footer is about twice that of a 35.

For RYA Milebuilders and our cross channel sailing mile building we normally have a maximum of 6 on board and this our preferred number if we are doing some night sailing.

Course Reports

Who is on the course?

Not the fella next to me in the picture (I am on right)

We like to get a mix on RYA courses and if we end up with 3 Day Skippers we normally won’t take a 4th as it works best to have a Comp Crew on board as well. Several reasons for this but the big one is that DS is a very intensive course and we want you all to pass. If we get one or 2 who need a lot of coaching over boat handling it starts to eat into the time available and it is a big syllabus to fully cover. The Comp Crew is more straight forward but we believe it is good for you to see what the DSs are up to as it is probably your next step in sailing. We prefer to have at least one DS with our Comp Crew as they should be able to keep a look out on day one and even Instructors have to visit the heads.

For RYA Milebuilders and mile building sailing trips we often have an experienced regular on board. We indicate where we are hoping to go but the aspirations and skills level of the team are important plus, of course, the weather.

Cruising Reports

Night Hours–what counts?

One of my Caribbean 600 team asked if all night hours at sea counted. My answer was ‘No, only those where you are an active team member’. So if you do a RYA Mile building sailing course with us the hours we sign off are those where you are up top, navigating or doing things down below. The number of night hours we do on a cross channel Mile builder trip will vary with team aspirations but we normally have at least one overnight crossing so you can understand collision avoidance and use of nav lights.

Cruising Reports

Nab Tower and back

Saturday 6th April sees our first race of the season out to Nab Tower which is East of the IOW. It is a JOG (Junior Offshore Group) race so always a fun event with good social scene as well but some really experienced opposition.

Our first big Mile Builder sailing trip is in May. Mile building sailing towards RYA qualifications such as YachtMaster is often confused with getting miles on delivery trips. We give all team membewrs the chance to be actively involved in the various aspects of planning and sailing the legs that make up the complete trip. This is so much different from a delivery where you may just listen to an engine for 2 days as you chug along under autohelm with the excitement of making a cup of tea from time to time.

Course Reports

Paul Away

Pic of pigeon that caught a ride with us on a cross channel.

Paul is away from 7th to 17th March but we won’t need a carrier pigeon as e-mails will reach us every day. All the RYA Milebuilders and mile building sailing courses will be running as per web site and these will include cross channel trips whether we Brexit or not.

Cruising Reports

RYA Milebuilders Summer 2019

For summer 2019 we will offer several Milebuilder trips, these are also called RYA Mile Building. These are rather different from the Delivery trips which some offer, sold as ‘mile builders’.

Pic of us in Fair Isle on a previous trip. That was part of a great Mile builder all the way round Britian and Ireland and then back to Lymington so definitely not a ‘Delivery’. Our RYA Mile building sailing trips last 5 or more days and visit several ports. They are likely to include at least one night sail and you will be involved in all aspects of sailing Wild Spirit if you wish. Some people focus on areas for development such as practical navigation skills and passage planning and, accepting the need to sail safely, one to one coaching is given. For the number of days on one of our Mile Builders you won’t sail as many miles as a delivery but you will gain much more knowledge. You can also build miles and experience by just sailing on one of our RYA courses. If you wish you can just sail, but if you want, we will also involve you in Navigation, Passage planning etc in order to keep developing your skills.

Cruising Reports

Row, row, row your boat

We have had a couple of requests about how to row a yacht from would be 3 Peaks Yacht Race teams. The picture above shows a square section aluminium extrusion attached to stanchions with U bolts and the rowlocks fitted to it. The only rowing that could be involved in our cross channel milebuilders or RYA mile building sailing is from an Anchor or, more likely, a mooring buoy to the shore, though we normally carry a small outboard for these purposes.