For many CSSA sailors the first introduction to sailing is via a Taster day. These events are supported by CSSC and advertised on the CSSC web site, through individual club websites, or on Facebook and Twitter.
The next step is to get more sea time and for yacht cruisers this can be through, appropriately enough, Sea Time: day, weekend or week-long cruises offered by the CSSA yacht clubs, where you as an individual can join a crew.
Three CSSA clubs offer these great opportunities:
- Channel Sailing Division (CSD) based on the Hamble near Southampton;
- 5 Kingdoms Sailing Club (5KSC) based in Liverpool;
- The East Cost Yacht Division (ECYD) based near Ipswich.
So what does a Sea Time cruise offer … ?
- A boat – we have 3 modern yachts in the fleet:
- Sea Essay at CSD Hamble – Jeaneau 409 – 39ft – 8 Berth;
- YKnot at 5KSC Liverpool – Beneteau Oceanis 37ft – 8 Berth;
- Freyja Of Orwell at ECYD Ipswich – Najad 380 – 6 Berth;
- An experienced skipper. Each cruise has an experienced CSSA-approved skipper and an experienced mate;
- A crew. That’s you, and other like-minded club members. Our boats sleep up to 8 but the crew will usually be 6 including skipper and mate, so there is plenty of room;
- Sea Time Cruises aim to encourage everyone to take their sailing experiences further in a safe and supportive environment. Experience varies from complete novice to people looking to develop specific skills – helming, navigating or boat handing, for instance;
- The real secret of these cruises is the enthusiasm of people involved – you bring the energy to these events!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- The voyage begins! Weather, Wind, Tides and nature then really make the fun begin……
Often those relatively new to sailing are really looking to gain more experience to see if it is something for them. Sailing can be addictive… getting the right opportunities in a supportive environment is the way to develop the your skills. Sea Time is like having a coach with you, encouraging you to develop your sailing skills on the water. 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