17 March 2022

Sailing Round Britain webinar

By Lauren Evans Assistant Manager

Sailing Round Britain is the next instalment in Haven Knox-Johnston’s unmissable series of Helpful Hints webinars. The webinar took place Friday 11th March at 10:00 GMT, if you missed it, you can watch the recording here.

If you are thinking about your next adventure, or just want to improve your confidence onboard, sailing round Britain is an experience of a lifetime which is more accessible than you might think.  This webinar aims to guide you through planning a cruise round Britain – whether you’re aiming to whiz round, or take more time and explore the amazing wildlife, views and differing dialects that Britain’s coastline has to offer. With a heady mix of seamanship, passage planning and new experiences… the coastline of Britain is waiting for you to explore it, and we’ll happily bet that when you’ve done it once, you’ll want to do it again and again!

What was covered in this webinar

In this webinar, our seasoned RYA Instructor, Colin Stracey (owner of Premier Sailing), guides you through all you need to know about planning and making the trip, interspersing useful information with memorable anecdotes from his six trips sailing round Britain. This webinar is for you if you’ve ever wondered:

Which way to sail round Britain – clockwise or anti-clockwise?

– What time of year to leave.

– Going through the Caledonian Canal vs over the top

– Victualing and food required.

– Charts and pilots needed.

– What spares to keep onboard, e.g fuel filters, impellors, fuel, fan belts.

– Safety factors to consider, and equipment to take.

– How much sailing knowledge, experience and confidence you need.

– What type of boat can you do it in?

– What size and experience level crew do you need?

After the presentation, the floor was opened to questions from the audience, who not only asked great questions such as those below, but also shared their expertise and experience too.  Watch the recording to find out:

Your
Questions

  • If leaving from the Solent, clockwise or anticlockwise?
  • What do you think of online apps like RYA SafeTrx and What3Words for safety backup?
  • What is the view of using MoB systems that show up on AIS v PLBs?
  • Do you normally have to book ahead for somewhere to moor up?
  • Do you have any rule of thumb guidelines on fuel quantities
  • Do you use / recommend any particular pilotage book?
  • What is the largest vessel that can get through the Caledonian canal.  Are there any depth restrictions on the route through?
  • How much of the canal can be sailed rather than motored?
  • Do you think this could be done in a small catamaran (e.g. 37-39 foot loa), especially going through the Scottish locks?
  • What should we budget for the entire trip? Mooring/fuel/food etc
  • In Scotland / western isles is it safe to leave the boat at anchor and go ashore or do you always need to leave someone on board?  Ie is the holding secure?
  • Are there any places you would recommend for leaving the boat for periods of time? (e.g. a couple of weeks to accommodate crew commitments)
  • Are holding tanks mandatory for Caledonian Canal?
  • What watch patterns did you adopt?
  • Have you ventured around the ‘outside’ of Ireland?  If yes, any thoughts?!
  • How limiting is a 1.8m draft on the East Coast north of the Wash up to Scotland?
  • What applications have you used for weather prediction?
  • Would you always file a passage plan? Or when would you?
  • Do you think its realistic to attempt such a passage with just two people on board (assuming boat size of between 30 and 40ft with both crew fairly experienced), or is it too much of a slog!
  • There are some large tidal ranges on the route. How much chain do you carry and/or recommend?
  • Is it suitable to take your dog?
  • Could this be done in a Newbridge Virgo Voyager 23 foot sloop safely?
  • I’m planning to take my Sadler 32 round the top anti clockwise from Falmouth. I’ve not looked at the detail yet but going via Shetland looks like a good option. Any thoughts please?
  • I’m looking into single-handing my Moody 346 clockwise next year for the Alzheimer’s Society. The boat has radar, but do you consider AIS as almost mandatory equipment?
  • What is the smallest yacht you would recommend to do this journey, anything thing particular to thinks about in a smaller boat?
  • Would you advocate crossing to the East coast of Ireland from Lands End (going clockwise) as there are more places to moor than up the West coat of Britain?
  • If you’re shorthanded – ie don’t sail through the night – where do you stop north of Lowestoft, or do you just settle in for a blast to Whitby…?
  • Could you provide a little more detail about your approach to paper charts?  You mentioned Imray I think?  Do you use Coastal, Approach and Harbour charts?  Antares charts?

Useful list of Safety Equipment and Spares!

Get a discount on Imray Charts

For more information on the full list of Imray charts needed for the trip round Britain, and to access their bulk buy Sailing Round Britain discount.

About Colin Stracey

Colin started sailing aged 10 with 3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts and has continued to sail throughout his working life. “I am forever indebted to the Scout Troop for giving me the skills and encouragement to sail.” After a career in the Merchant Navy with Union Castle Line, Colin retrained and worked in industry and the third sector, notably with the National Trust where he looked after commercial activities including Steam Yacht Gondola, and with CREATE Tottenham where he worked with disadvantaged young people.

For more information on Premier Sailing

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