Scilly Isles boat tour

Our sailing holidays to the Scilly isles are probably the highlight of the sailing season. On first approaching these wonderful isles you will be amazed at the fantastic sight that opens up before you. The first thing that you will notice is the vivid colour, particularly the tropical flowers, the white sandy beaches and the fluorescent blue sea. At night the stars light up the sky like a static firework display. The brightness of all that you see is almost certainly due to the clarity of the air this far out to sea away from the pollution on the main land. For those who are interested in painting, on one of our voyages a professional artist will be on board to offer coaching.

Price is 720 £ per person at it includes all meals on board and hire of foul weather gear. Not only is this the best way to Holiday on these beautiful Isles, it is probably the cheapest!

And it just gets better; Each day you will have plenty of time to explore ashore and we sail amongst the islands and anchor by a different island where you can swim in the blue sea, watch the island’s wildlife and enjoy the fabulous and dramatic scenery, or merely chill out in one of the wonderful pubs. Standing on the island high points you can see well out to sea and all of the outlying islands. You will be amazed at the dramatic rock formations with the rolling ocean breaking over them. One of the days will involve a guided nature and wildlife tour by a local expert; the cost of this is subsidised by your voyage fee. The tour is of course optional, but strongly recommended. On some of our Scilly Isles holidays a professional artist will be available for those interested in having a go or improving their painting skills.

You Join Annabel J at her anchorage in St Mawes Harbour. The crew will meet you and take you out by boat to Annabel J where you will meet the rest of the guests and crew. After familiarization and briefings we set sail on the first leg of the voyage to the Scillies. This will
be a short evening sail to an anchorage along the coast where we will spend the first night.

Scilly Exploration

Afiter an early start we sail along the picturesque Cornish coast to the Scilly Isles. Sailing Annabel J is very much a hands-on experience so you will get involved in all aspects of running the ship; hoisting sails, steering, making tea, and if you like, learning navigation and other aspects of seamanship. The coastal passage to the Scillies is quite lovely as you are never out of sight of land; just as Lands End disappears behind, the islands start to emerge ahead. It is likely that you will see basking sharks, dolphins, seals and turtles along route. We will arrive in the early evening and choose our first island and first anchorage in the Scilly Isles That evening you can go ashore and start your Scillies exploration.

You will have plenty of time to explore, swim or sight-see and we will set sail through the breathtaking islands to our next stop each day. Sailing on a beautiful classic yacht has to be the best way to enjoy these fantastic islands. On one of the islands wild-life expert and tour guide, Will Wagstaff will be available to give a guided tour of the island’s history, wild life and flowers, Also our skipper is an expert at getting very close to the rocks so you can enjoy a close up view of seals playing in the surf and nesting Puffins.

We know that you will enjoy this unique and thrilling experience. Our sailing holiday to the Scilly islands will be a holiday of a lifetime and one that you will never forget.

How to Buy a Boat

Buying a boat is a bid investment, even a small boat is likely to cost you at least £20,000 while large sailing boats and yachts can run into the Millions. Firstly you must assess your finances to make sure that you can realistically afford to run a boat. Along with buying your boat their are other things you will need to take into account

As a rule of thumb the yearly cost to run your boat will be around 20% of the purchase price. This should be forecast into any large boat purchase as if you don’t maintain your boat it will depreciate quickly and you could potentially be left out of pocket from your investment.

Predicting the level of service for your boat can be different depending on locations, age of vessel but the below should be factored in to ensure your boat remains in good condition.

Engines and Generators: 20 years
Mast and boom: 20-30 years
Standing rigging: 5 years (racing); 10 years (cruising)
Running rigging: 10 years
Deck gear: 20-30 years
Upholstery: 10-15 years (20+ years for foam)
Liferaft: 12 years
Lifejackets: 10 years
Batteries: 4-7 years
Electronics: 8-10 years
Sails: 2-5 years (racing); 10-15 years (quality cruising sails)
Teak decks: 10-15 years (potentially 20+ if never scrubbed)
Canvas work: 15-20 years

Financing your boat

Specialist finance is available and there are specialist financial brokers that can help with arranging the correct finance for a large purchase like this. interest rates will vary depending on your circumstances, we spoke with a specialist finance broker from get me my mortgage about the best route to purchasing a boat who told us ‘there are several options that you can choose from when it comes to purchasing a large asset, the traditional route would be through a loan or finance policy on the boat, these can sometimes have a high interest rate which can greatly increase the cost. Another option is using the equity within a property to secure a home loan. These types of loan carry far less risk as they are secured on a high value asset and can mean a lower interest rate (depending on your circumstances), to find out more about this option click here.

purchasing a boat is a big descision not matter what kind, Depending on your experience with boats it may be an option to rent a boat for a year to get a feel for what owning a boat is like and see if you enjoy it as much as you think you would.

Sailing Ships

Steamers Vs. Sailing Ships

New England Shipping

After the Civil War, many changes came about in New England Shipping. One of the biggest changes was the growing importance of the steamship. In many cases, steamships were replacing sailing ships in industries which had never used anything but the sailing ships. Dreams of many young New Englanders to work on sailing ships as their ancestors had were put on the back burner because of the steamship. As the steamships grew more efficient and better suited to different tasks, this became more and more frequent. However, the sailing ships retained much of their usefulness for a long period of time.


Perhaps no other industry came to be associated with the steamship as much as the transportation of passengers along the New England coastline, and into New York. The steamships were ideal for this industry because they ran under their own power. Gone were the days of waiting for the right wind to come up so you could depart. It made for much more accurate scheduling and travel timeframes for the passengers. There were also many advances in the safety of steamships because of the risk involved with carrying human passengers. Technological advances like the double hall were first introduced on these ships to make them more seaworthy in case of an accident. There were also smaller steamers which made trips further upriver into towns like Bangor, or Augusta, which couldn’t necessarily be reached with the larger steamships.

Steamers also found use in the inshore fishing industry. Trips for this industry were much shorter, and therefore more suitable to the steamships, at least in the earlier days of this transition from sail to steam. They were also able to use their steam power for some of the mechanisms on the ship that were used for the inshore fishing. The steamers were not able to handle the often nasty weather found in the outer banks where the offshore fishing took place.

Sailing Ships

Sailing ships were able to continue in use for a long time, mainly in the coastal trade. One important factor in this was that foreign vessels had been banned, and the U.S. registered ships were able to fill in this vital need. One of their most important cargoes was coal, which was needed in large amounts due to the growing demand for electricity. Sailing ships would haul coal from the Chesapeake Bay area to New England. Because coal was not a high profit cargo, this incidentally led to the demand for larger schooners, sometimes with 4, 5, or 6 masts. Many of these were made in Maine and came to be known as “Down-Easters.” The more entrepreneurial of the sailing ship captains would also try to find a cargo to take on their return trip south. This was more often than not in the form of ice from the Kennebec River in Maine. Although the sailing ships were important to this industry for a long time, eventually steamers would take over, mainly because they could make 30-35 trips in a year, as opposed to sailing ships, which could only make about a dozen.

Sailing ships were also used for a long time in the offshore fishing industry. They were better suited for the rougher waters often found in the fishing banks off the coast of Maine and New Brunswick. They were also quicker for transporting ice-packed fish in time to meet the demands of the market. Many of these fishing boats were made all over New England. They had some interesting names like pinkies, sharpies, sloops, etc.

As you can see, sailing ships and steamships both had their advantages and disadvantages for certain types of trade and industry. Sailing ships were around for a long time, and held their own in many specific tasks. But perhaps it was inevitable that technology would prevail, and as steamships became more powerful, with more room, and more efficiency, they would take over many of the tasks that had previously been performed by sailing ships.

Boat Hull

The Best Boat Hull

Hull type is likely one of the first things you’ll want to decide on when you consider buying a boat

Many boater have strong beliefs as to which boat hull type is “the best.” As is usually the case, the answer isn’t simple. Boat hulls come in as many shapes and sizes as their owners, and while this can be confusing at times, it’s a good thing! The sheer variety of available hull shapes and sizes means that there is a hull type well-suited to your needs. You just have to figure out which one it is – here’s help.

Breaking It All Down

There are a lot of different ways of looking at hull types – multihull versus monohull, planing versus displacement, round bottomed versus flat bottomed – the list goes on! The first thing you’ll want to do is get a handle on each of these terms, and the pros and cons of each.


These vessels really are just what they sound like – they have more than one hull. Catamaran and pontoon boats are two very common examples, though more exotic multihull vessels, like trimarans and even quadmarans exist, too!


Pros: – Multihulled vessels are extremely stable boats, compared to their monohulled counterparts. They make excellent family or party boats for this reason.

Cons: – Multihulls with cabins tend to have strange or cramped internal design until they get quite large. It’s difficult to cram all of the storage and living space into the available space. – These vessels tend to be less efficient at low speed, typically, designers take this into account, and give the boat a little extra oomph, but this is not always the case.


A single-hulled vessel. Monohulled vessels have really been the only choice for most of human history, and the majority of boats today fit this description.

Pros: – Monohulled vessels tend to move a little easier in the water at low speeds. – Available space below deck is all in one place, leaving substantially bigger and more accessible living quarters and storage.

Cons: – Though this is not always the case, monohulled vessels tend to sit lower in the water, making shallower areas less accessible to them. – As a rule, these boats are less stable than multihulls.



This hull type is restricted to powerboats in all but a few strange exceptions. Planing hulls are designed to ride on top of the water. At speed, these vessels skip along the surface of the water like a stone. Planing hulls tend to be flat bottomed.

Pros: – A planing hull requires significantly less power to maintain speed than a displacement hull. These babies really fly!

Cons: – Handling is significantly impacted when up on plane, as very little of the boat interacts with the water in predictable ways. Every boat you’ve ever seen in a video flipping over at high speed was a planing hulled vessel. This just doesn’t happen to displacement hulled boats.


Typically rounded in shape, displacement hulls get their names from the way they push, or displace, the water around them out of the way, allowing the boat to achieve buoyancy. Displacement hulls tend to be round bottomed.

Pros: – Within their optimal speed ranges, displacement hulls are as efficient as they get, and tend to glide smoothly though the water.

Cons: – The physics that allow displacement hulls to float also prohibit them from surpassing a certain speed, the square root of their waterline length in feet times 1.34 in knots. This is a long way of saying that these boats are for transportation and leisure, and not for racing up and down the lake all day.

Of course, there are hundreds of variations within these categories. Chines, V-shapes, keels, power – each variable brings you a few degrees closer to, or farther from your dream boat. If you have the patience for it, use this article to narrow your choice down to a few variables, and go hang out near a busy dock or marina. Boat lovers are an extremely friendly group, and everyone loves talking about their boat. Explain to a few people that you are in the market, and want to know how they like their hull-type. You’ll get an earful, and likely get a chance to test-drive a number of hull types before you buy. If you’re on the fence, just buy one of each.

sailing Lessons

Where to Take Sailing Lessons in New York City

Imagine being able to sail your own boat in New York out on Long Island Sound, or up the Hudson River to visit the historic river towns. Just think of all the places you could sail just around New York alone, and when you go on vacation, anyplace there is water, just hoist sail and go where you please, when you please.
Taking sailing lessons would make a great project for your vacation this summer. Something different, out of the ordinary and something that will make friends and family alike sit up and take notice.

Offshore Sailing School has three locations in the New York area

At Chelsea Piers, New York, Liberty Landing Marina just across the river in New Jersey and Fort Schuyler in the Bronx. All three locations have beginner lessons, but each one has different advanced classes.

The beginner class takes three very intensive days, with 6 hours on the water and 1 ½ in the classroom each day and you will get certified as US SAILING Basic Keelboat.

The American Small Craft Association

This is a non profit organization. They work in cooperation with the parks department. The cost of the basic lessons is very reasonable, but there are just two sessions a year. They have been doing this for 30 years, a good deal of experience. They sail on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Park and also dock at the Flushing Marina in Queens, New York

The Croton Sailing School is just up the Hudson River in Croton and sail on Haverstraw Bay and the Hudson River. Their basic lessons are a two-day affair, and ver intensive beginning at 8:45. They also have a basic sailing plus program, with one more days of sailing.

Port Sailing School

If you would prefer learning out on Long Island, there is the Port Sailing School in Port Washington. Their basic course is a three day one, which can be split between two weekends. It consists of classroom instruction, 24 hours of sailing and a final exam. You will be classified to sail a 23 foot sail boat.

All of the New York Sailing Schools are also sailing clubs and you will be invited to join after you complete your beginner course and if you are enjoying your sailing experience, it is a good idea to join. They have special sailing events in exotic locations, and you can take further courses all the way up to being able to race. There are many different levels of certification. You can go as high as you want.

Of course, you will be the most popular person in your neighborhood. The expert sailor who will be taking everyone out for a sail on all the nice warm summer weekend, but as long as they bring the food, why not?

Sailing in green sailors

Lessons in Sailing from the Green Sailor

I am relatively new to sailing, but I absolutely love it

My husband too; we are what you would call “green” or inexperienced sailors. I am always looking for sailing articles and information. I don’t often find what I am looking for, so I decided to share my own adventures in sailing. Also, I can share my lessons learned along the way.

In May 2010, I completed the American Sailing Association (ASA) sailing course ASA101 Basic Keel Boat. I took the class at BaySail sailing school in the Chesapeake Bay in Havre De Grace, MD. Everyone at BaySail is very nice, and the location was perfect. It was only about an hour and 10 min drive from my home in York, PA. I was hooked and my husband and I bought our first boat in July 2010. It is a 1988 35′ O’Day named Escape. I love her; she is a great boat! We bought her in Annapolis, MD and sailed her ourselves to Tidewater Marina in Havre De Grace, MD. Also, right on the Chesapeake Bay, Tidewater and BaySail are right in the same marina. That trip turned out to be my biggest adventure to date, but that’s a story for another time. I can tell you the saying I have heard “if it is going to happen, it is going to happen on the water,” is definitely true. Am I crazy? Probably. Am I having fun? Most definitely.

Tidewater is a very nice full service marina, but the more we sailed we found that the bay area around Havre De Grace was a little too confining for us. If you check out a navigational chart of the head of the Chesapeake Bay area (available at the NOAA office of Coast Survey), you will see that a lot of the water is too shallow to sail in with a sailboat with a 4’11” draft. So, we found ourselves sailing down the channel towards Baltimore, MD often in search of more open sailing waters. This spring, we found a new home marina in Middle River, MD.

Today’s lesson on

On April 2, 2011 we sailed down to Bowley’s Marina, Middle River, MD. The trip was about 30.2 Nm (nautical mile) down the lovely Chesapeake Bay and took us about 6 hours. It was a little cold (~40 °F) and cloudy but we had great wind and great sailing. The winds were running around 14 knots (one knot = one nautical mile per hour) with gusts of 20 knots. We sailed at our cruising speed of 7 knots for most of the trip on a close reach or beam reach.

Today’s lesson comes at docking time

This day was actually the second time we docked at this marina, but this day was windier. The water was much choppier than the last time we were there. Like the lubbers (an inexperienced sailor) we are, we did not have our fenders out when going into the dock. Big mistake.

Fenders, in case you do not know, are typically made from vinyl, and they are inflatable. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, but most commonly for sailboats they are cylindrical in shape. They can cost anywhere from $20 – $500 depending on size. Fenders are hung along the edge of the boat’s hull to protect it from damage that can happen when the boat bumps into the pilings or dock when docking or tied up in a slip.

I was taught that you don’t want to sail around with your fenders hanging out; it is bad etiquette and it looks stupid. However, you should put your fenders out before docking. Well, on this day my husband and I did not have our fenders out. I am not sure what we were thinking. I think we were a little too confident. We have had a few very successful and graceful docking experiences lately. But, as I said earlier, it was pretty windy this day.

Lesson of the day; bad things happen to your boat when it bumps into the dock !

Even when you are not going anywhere fast, damage happens quickly. The dock ripped our stern navigation light completely off, and we destroyed part of the gunwale on the starboard side. I learned my lesson. Fenders will always go out when docking. I am also adding permanent fenders to the pilings in our new home slip since we will be there a lot.

Happy Sailing!

Porsche Speed boat

Three Awesome Speedboats

A speedboat is a great purchase to make because they are so much fun. It does not matter if you are lying on the deck, water skiing, wakeboarding or behind the wheel. A day on the water is exciting and at times very relaxing. A speedboat is sometimes referred to as a motor boat. Some have engines on-board and some of them have an outboard motor.

The speedboats with the on-board motors

They include yachts, pleasure crafts, off shore fishing boats, boats with decks, fishing and skiing boats, cabins, wake-board boats and plenty more. Small fishing boats usually have an outboard motor. Each type is geared towards a difference purpose. What is the best type of speedboat to purchase? If you enjoy water-skiing or wake boarding the pontoon boats, jet boats, deck boats, bow riders are perfect for you.

Tige 22V

If you are into wake boarding than the Tige 22V is your best bet. It has the wake board towers on it; they easily remove when it is time to play. This speedboat has wrap around seating, even in the deep bow so the passengers can enjoy the water at the front of the boat. There is a towrope included to your group can enjoy your time on the water.

Rinker V-6 or V-8

The 19-foot Rinker V-6 or V-8 has an open bow for more seating, and you can comfortably seat up to eight people in this boat. There are all sorts of creature comforts in this boat including a radio with a CD player. This one is also good for lounging in the sun or water skiing

If partying on the boat is your idea of a good time, then gather about twenty friends and a few cases of beer and relax on a pontoon boat. Pontoons are great for enjoying time on the water either gliding around a lake or up the shoreline. Some optional amenities on these boats include barbeques, entertainment systems, and refrigerators

Porsche Speed boat

The coolest speedboat on the market is the Porsche Speed boat nicknamed ‘Fearless 28’. Its got a V10 engine from a Dodge viper and its has 550 horsepower. It has seating for five people and what a ride they will have. This boat is equipped with a high-end stereo system in the cabin and cockpit. This boat has a hefty price tag that most of us will never be able to afford but it is nice to dream once in awhile. If you would like to see this boat in action, watch this Youtube video.

Ice Boater safety

An Iceboater on Staying Safe on the Ice

Are iceboats safe?

Iceboaters, those seemingly crazy folks who tear around on frozen lakes at breakneck speeds in little sailboats with razor-sharp runners, know that there is no such thing as safe ice. We do not guess at ice thickness, we measure it. We never assume anything, and we know that no amount of fun is worth risking a tragedy.
We never step on the ice without some type of traction device on our feet. Ice skates and contraptions that slip over boots such as Yaktrax or Stabilicers work fine; also metal-spiked golf shoes; or even hex-head screws in the soles of old boots. You need traction so you don’t slip and fall, but also you may need to assist someone who has fallen through. Someone in a panic could unintentionally pull you into the water.

Ice-claw safety is must

Always have “ice claws” and a whistle on a lanyard around your neck; we do. Buy ice claws at tackle shops or make them yourself with dowels, glue, and nails. They are sort of like a pair of screwdrivers with the shafts cut down to an inch and sharpened, tied on the ends of a long cord. When you fall in, you drive them into the ice and pull yourself out.

Ice is never 100% safe. Whether 4 inches, 8 inches, or 18 inches where you measure, there will be less elsewhere. Lakes rarely freeze entirely at the same time so thicknesses will always vary. Also, rain and melt water can “pond” and seep through cracks, opening them up into “drain holes.” Winds widen out the holes and as they skim over they become thin-ice traps. Rain might activate underwater springs to erode ice from below, and moving water near outlets or dock bubblers creates invisible thin spots.

Ice is more dangerous as Winter turns to Spring

With longer days and sun high in the sky, once-solid ice can quickly percolate and crystallize so that you will drop right through it. Rescue on this type of “rotten” ice is difficult and dangerous.

What happens when you fall in?

Because you never go on the ice alone or without a cell phone, your companions immediately separate to distribute their weight and then they call 911. For your first few seconds in the icy water, you will concentrate only on catching your breath and on staying afloat. As you recover from the cold-water shock, you can use your ice claws to pull yourself up onto the ice surface. Without ice claws, you can try to put your forearms flat on the ice, get near horizontal in the water, then use a very strong frog kick, pushing straight UP with your arms, and fall forward onto solid ice. Never stand up right away. Stay flat to distribute your weight, and slide or roll to thicker ice before getting up and moving to warmth and safety.

Most iceboaters carry safety gear and know how to use it

If you cannot get yourself out, hold yourself quietly on the edge of the ice with your forearms, and maybe your friends can wave down a passing iceboat. They can also transport you quickly to shelter or to meet the rescue squad on shore. Your friends might look towards shore, where many lakefront homeowners will leave rescue gear at the shoreline.

Ice is great fun for the entire family on crisp winter days. Just respect it, and never assume that any ice is ever safe.