East Coast - Maximise Sailing Performance

Sailing trip on the East coast, picking up the boat on Friday evening at Bradwell Marina on the Blackwater Estuary and returning on Monday afternoon about 4pm.

Who's it Suitable for?

The focus of the weekend will be to help people develop the skills and techniques needed to maximise sailing performance under spinnaker and white sails, and to manage heavy weather sailing under storm jib and trysail. The weekend will be most beneficial to those who already have some sailing experience, or are between RYA qualifications, who are planning to extend their experience through undertaking longer passages, racing or offshore adventures.

Update 6/2/14: Includes a race on Sunday if everyone's up for it.

Its ideal preparation for anyone who'd like to join me on my Dublin to Gosport cruise in July, or perhaps a race.

What does Advanced Sailing Mean?

Throughout the long weekend we'll practice:

Multiple headsail peeling and handling
Headsail shaping and adjusting angle of attack
Car positioning, outboard sheeting
Spinnaker rigging, packing, setting
Spinnaker trimming, gybing, dropping
Mainsail trimming, shaping, de-powering, reefing,
Storm Jib setting, trimming.
Trysail setting, trimming, boom lashing
Boat prep for heavy weather sailing
Crew stations and roles when sail handling

Depending on the wind direction, we'll perform our spinnaker drills on Saturday as we head up the coast sailing around the end of both Clacton and Walton Piers as we make a full day passage to the beautiful river Orwell where we'll spend the night in Suffolk Yacht Harbour with dinner in the light ship.

Then on Sunday, sailing a course around the principality of Sealand, we'll head back into the wind to practice our reefing, sail changing and advanced trimming, finishing either in Burnham – On – Crouch or at Brightlingsea where we'll take dinner ashore in one of the Yacht Clubs.

On Monday we'll head back towards the Blackwater, rigging the storm jib and trysail and stop off for lunch at one of the West Mersea Seafood bars.


If travelling by train, take the line out of Liverpool Street to Southminster. There's 2 direct trains at the end of the working day, alternatively change at Wickford. If coming by car, there's plenty of parking at the marina but you'll need to arrive with a £1 coin. The marina is 5 miles away from the station, but a car can be arranged to transport those arriving this way. Just let me know before hand.

Depending how promptly people arrive on Friday night, we can take a 5 minute walk to the Green Man pub in the local village. This is a very popular pub with a very warm welcome. Last orders for meals are taken at 9:00pm so if we are going to do this I'll book a table in advance.

The Boat

The boat we'll be using is a 38 footer, not unlike a Sigma 38, very stable and a powerful sailing vessel which is commercially coded. On this trip she'll accommodate 6 crew members plus myself, in shared cabins. As a race skipper I'll be on board to assist everyone to ensure you get the most out of this trip. I'm quite happy for others to take the lead on navigation, helming, and acting as skipper for the day whilst I concentrate on making sure that everyone develops their skills throughout the weekend. Cost

The cost of the weekend will be £195 per crew member (as long as we fill the boat), which will include provision of breakfasts and lunch on board as I'll do the provisioning. We'll share the costs of marina / mooring fees, which depending on where we go will amount to something like £20 each. All evening meals will be taken ashore.

Crew members should bring their own, sleeping bags, waterproof clothing e.t.c. The boat will provide life jackets and other essential safety equipment.

Here's to an activity filled weekend.