We've partnered up with young sailing couple Steve & Inga.
Experienced mariner Steve and new-to-sailing Inga are exploring the coast on their Dolphin 31, Jasper. While travelling, Inga and Steve are sharing their experiences and providing top tips for fellow boaters.
Their first blog provides some great tips for longer UK sailing adventures and staycations. Check back soon for their next installment.
"The past year of sailing the East and South Coast of England, the Channel Islands and France has taught me many things about sailing and extended time onboard. From my own experiences, I have realised that sailing adventures in the UK have many aspects that should be considered"
Your boat is your home
The first thing you need to think about is the boat that will become your home while you are traveling. People have different opinions about them, but I am convinced, that a cruising boat should provide comfortable accommodation, is seaworthy and capable of covering some decent miles. After all, a boat is a floating home that you should rely on, it must be safe and you have to trust it.
Picture: Inga, Jasper Sailing Adventures
Know your boat, inside & out
Another important aspect about the boat is that you should know your boat like the back of your hand (or inside out). Undertaking as much boat work yourself within your capabilities or observing contractors’ activities will provide you with knowledge and understanding of where things are and how things work. I have never imagined learning how to service a diesel engine or plumbing a cockpit shower, but believe me, this did come in handy.
Picture: Final checks on Jasper at Fambridge Yacht Haven
Be ready to scrap your best laid plans
I have always been the one to have a plan, knowing what’s next, living without surprises, and having it all mapped out. During the UK sailing adventures, I had to learn that sometimes the best plan is not having one. Your plans might change depending on the unpredictable weather conditions and tides, so flexibility in mind is a must during sailing staycations. Sometimes you may get stuck in a marina for days until you can make a new itinerary again and set sails.
Picture: Working onboard at Lymington Yacht Haven
Are you really ready to set sail?
If you own a sailboat, you probably know that sailing the UK waters is far from easy. I admit that the skipper and the crew experience is imperative to set sails and be safe onboard your own yacht. I have completed sailing theory and practical courses in the Premier Sailing school. I kept my boat Jasper in Fambridge Yacht Haven and was sailing the River Crouch most of my summer. I think it was the perfect location for keeping Jasper and getting some experience as a skipper. Later in the year I felt I am ready to explore further waters and started planning about extended UK sailing adventures.
Picture: Night Passaging with Premier Sailing on the River Crouch, Essex
Becoming the dream team
When I met Steve, he shared the same interest to travel and sail UK and Europe on the sailboat. He has worked in the marine industry for the past 11 years, and I recognised his knowledge about the boats, his ability to do maintenance and repair works, and also being very competent in boat handling in the marina and tidal waters. After completing sailing courses and sailing River Crouch I considered myself capable of understanding meteorology, making passage plans, plotting the course, navigation and being on the helm giving directions to the crew. Also, due to practicing kitesurfing and foiling, my relationship with the wind was always very close, and I can feel the wind and sail the boat with closed eyes.
The aspirations to have a sailing adventure, and the combination of our skills and knowledge we made a dream team for sailing the South Coast of England, Channel Islands and Europe.
Picture: Inga & Steve
The 'b' word - Budgeting!
Setting long term sailing budget is always very difficult, but we should always have in mind how much we are aiming to spend throughout the sailing season. Budget can be very different and will depend on what the crew like to do. We both love spending time in the marinas that have great facilities and fast internet, doing things outdoors and going out for a dinner, but also we enjoy anchoring on the sunny calm days and cooking healthy meals onboard. The combination of both always compromises the costs and suits our lifestyle and budget.
Picture: Sailing past Beachy Head, East Sussex
Strap on and let's go further!
I will admit, sailing the East and South Coast of England is challenging, but at the same time is very rewarding. Every leg we did gave us extra bit of confidence and it encouraged us to carry on. We are now sailing South Brittany in France and enjoying every moment and experience. I would like to encourage you to find the balance between enjoying marina facilities, building miles under your belt and getting lost exploring nature and beaches of the UK while at anchor.
Picture: Mast high at Lymington Yacht Haven
Thanks for reading!
If you would like to hear more about our sailing adventures, follow Jasper Sailing Adventures and give us a like. Find us on Facebook and Instagram, or check out our little website jaspersailingadventures.com.
Alternatively, keep an eye on the Yacht Havens news page for our next instalment!
- Steve & Inga, Jasper Sailing Adventures