For many the first introduction to sailing is via a Sail Taster day that is often advertised on the CSSC web site or the media channels used by our individual CSSA clubs – Websites, Facebook and even Twitter feeds.
The awareness of these events also comes be word of mouth from family or friends and work colleagues who think they sea a “Sailor” before them! Ahoy!
Whatever route into sailing you take the next step for many is to consider how to gain more “Sea Time“!
The good news is there is a good next step up the sailing ladder and it is called “Sea Time cruising“.
These come in number of flavors- Week End Sea Times cruises – 3 days “Friday evening to Sunday Evening” and week long Sea Time Cruise 5 and 7 days.
Three of our CSSA Clubs have Yachts providing these great opportunities:
- Channel Sailing Division “CSD” based out of Hamble near Southampton
- 5 Kingdoms Sailing Club “5KSC” based out of Liverpool
- East Cost Yacht Division “ECYD” – Ipswich
So what does a Sea Time Cruise really offer you…. ?
Well, lets consider what this means in practical terms
1 – A Yacht – We have 3 great Yachts in the fleet :
- Sea Essay at CSD Hamble – Jeaneau 409 – 39ft – 8 Berth – with fleet 3 years….
- YNot at 5KGS Liverpool – Beneteau Oceanis 37ft – 8 Berth – with fleet 1 year 3 months!
- Freyja Of Orwell at ECYD Ipswich – Najad 380 sloop – 6 Berth – and the grand old lady of our fleet
2 – When we put these cruises together we start with allocating an experienced “Skipper” and “1st mate” together
3 – Our Skippers are qualified and bring many years of experience with them. They are adept at working with the 1st mate to form a team with the crew that are assembled.
4 – As our Yachts sleep 8 we tend to find the size of the crew will usually be 6 ( Skipper and 1st Mate ) plus 4-6 crew
5 – Sea Time Cruises aim to encourage everyone to take their sailing experiences further in a safe and supportive environment
6 – The Crew will be made up of people that apply for our Sea Time cruises at each club. You will be with others who are drawn to sailing. You all have one key thing in common you want to Sail!
7 – Experience of the crew on Sea Time cruises varies from complete novice to people looking to develop specific skills – helming, navigating and general boat handing
9 – The real art and the success of these cruises is the enthusiasm of people to get involved – You bring the energy to these events!
10 – Prior to a Cruise commencing the Skipper will reach out to you to understand your sailing experience and aspirations. They look to ensure everyone get’s the opportunity to be involved and develop sailing skills.
11 – When the crew gather on the day of departure everyone will get to meet at the Yacht. The Skipper and 1st mate will cover details of the sailing they have planned based on weather and tide in the local area. They will also brief the crew on the planned cruise and answer any questions that come up. It is also a chance to meet fellow crew members that will be working together on the voyage. The “meet an greet” is usually in the evening and is always a great chance to socialise and discussed experience and aspirations!
12 – On the day of departure time will be spent going over the safety procedures of the boat and the detailed crew briefing. This essentially ensures everyone is getting ready for the cruise and understands the essentials of the yacht.
13 – With the safety briefing undertaken and crew briefed the Skipper and 1st mate will assign duties to the crew for a safe departure during the initial part of the voyage. This will be based on experience and to ensure everything is done safely
14 – The voyage begins! Weather, Wind, Tides and nature then really make the fun begin……
Often people new to sailing are really looking to gain more time at Sea to get a view if it is something for them. Sailing can be addictive… Getting the right opportunities in a supportive environment is great to develop the your Sea legs. Sea Time is like having a “coach” with you encouraging you to develop the sailing skills you pick up. This will ensure you are ready to take your skills and experience to the next level. There are a number of structured courses available through our clubs which are excellent and really do need a specific article alone to do them justice!
Sailing schedules for out clubs covering Sea Time can be found at
Later articles will feedback on some of the experiences people have gained on Sea Time cruises during the 2016 sailing Season