What we're about

This group is for anyone who wants to go to sea on a sailing yacht, and lacks the necessary yacht and fellow crew members - although it is very much open to anyone who has a yacht and just lacks crew. I briefly ran a similar group a couple of years back, which resulted in a small crew coming together, and now want to give it another go with the aim of getting something more established set up.

If you are an experienced sailor, the idea is that you will be able to get together with other similar members to charter a boat and go sailing. Obviously you'll need someone in the group capable of acting as skipper.

For those with no experience, we have already run one special weekend of sailing with more experienced shipmates and will doubtless do so again. We may also put together groups to go off to one of the sailing schools in Plymouth to do a course, first to learn basic crew skills and then basic skippering skills.

We're also organising social events in Exeter pubs to give an opportunity to find out more, or chat about cruises past and future.

At present there is no formal membership and no subscription charge. Meetup makes a charge for operation of the group, which is recovered by a £10 charge per weekend sailing with the group.

Upcoming events (1)

Long weekend cruise, early October, not for novices - sign up to show interest

This is a three-day cruise open to anyone who has spent a bit of time at sea and is happy to go offshore for a whole day or night. Susceptibility to seasickness is not a bar, provided you know which pills work for you. In signing up for this event you are NOT booking a berth - you are just expressing interest in doing so. I will then form a crew from among those interested. I am not obliged to offer you a berth, and you are not obliged to take up any such offer. Edit: since this event seems to be generating a lot of interest already, I should say that I will take account of when you register interest. Other things being equal, those who sign up early have a better chance than those who sign up late. The cruise runs from Thursday evening to Sunday evening. What we do will of course be influenced by the wind and waves, but a likely plan would be to potter round to the Yealm for Thursday night, then sail east or west (for Falmouth, maybe) or across the Channel for Guernsey. The boat I propose to use is Sea Shanty, a 16-year-old Bavaria 36 that is in good shape (she is shown in the photo above). She has three double cabins, and two single berths in the saloon. How many crew I can take will depend partly on willingness to share cabins, but it's likely I'll take four or five to make a total crew of no more than six. COSTS The boat will cost £650, so for a crew of five £130 each. (Actually a bit less, because I've just realised October is low season.) I'll be adding £10 a head to go towards my Meetup charges. Overnight moorings and diesel will add a bit - maybe £15 a head. All in all, reckon on about £150. Of course there will be food and drink costs, too. We'll probably go ashore to a pub for supper, but anchoring off Sark is an attractive option. There is also a returnable security deposit to fund - £750. If the boat is damaged, this goes to cover the uninsured loss (the 'excess') that any insurance policy involves. It is extremely rare for the deposit to be called on, but we have to be prepared for the worst, so for a crew of five I would need each member to stump up a further £150 each. All being well you would get it back about 10 days after the cruise. Lifejackets will be provided. Waterproof clothing is not included. GETTING A BERTH I will want to review the available people, and take account of qualifications and experience in forming a balanced crew. Then I'll invite the crew to meet, so that we can all get to know one another a bit and discuss possible plans for the cruise. Once we are all committed, I'll want a 50% deposit from everyone. It is important to be clear that in proposing this cruise I am not operating a business or acting in any way commercially. I am creating an opportunity for a group of people to get together and decide to go sailing, and I am offering to act as skipper and deal with the charter company because someone has to. I am qualified to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore level, and have something like 15,000 sea miles under my belt, including many miles operating commercial events in another life. Feel free to post comments or queries, or message me with any private queries. Note that there is a social gathering in July which is a good opportunity to ask questions. Chris Gill

Photos (27)