Sailing The Mediterranean

Depending on where you live you may currently be watching the snow outside your window, or be spending your days lounging in the heat. One thing is for sure, you’d probably rather be out on the sea. If you don’t have the time to take off for a few months but you’re dying to get away, here are some truly lustful destinations that make the most amazing sailing for weeklong trips. Even though you may prefer to get out onto your own boat, the weather may not always allow it, but how about flying to a new destination instead and renting a boat for the week? The Mediterranean is perfect for this! You’ll be able to take in completely different sights and have the fun challenge of getting to know a new sailboat. Week trips are perfect for when you just need a little getaway but don’t have time to pack for months at sea. You can take it pretty easy and focus on just enjoying being out in the water, and by sticking close to land you’ll be able to do day trips ashore and packing food and supplies won’t be such a big deal! Here are some of the most beautiful places you can sail all year round that are perfect for those week or two little getaways. Take in magic scenery; enjoy the sun, food, and wine, on deck and on shore.


Croatia usually the first place you think of when you think about sailing in the Mediterranean, partly this could be because of their famed ‘Yacht Week’ Which happens once a year in summer, and partly because it is just so beautiful and the conditions are magic for cruising. Croatia sits in Eastern Europe along the Adriatic Sea. The Sea in Croatia’s territory is littered with over a thousand islands and only forty-eight of them are occupied, so you can see why it can make such fascinating sailing. It’s turquoise waters and still, seas make for wonderfully lazy days on deck.

Many tours and routes start at the harbor in Split, on the Dalmatian Coast. Split is a busy hub boasting a fun nightlife, bars and cafes and an interesting historic center as well as beautiful beaches. Often people can spend a week island hopping just on the small islands of Split. If it is nightlife you’re into then make sure you stay a night on or moored by, Hvar. There are some amazing walks that lead to even more spectacular views. This is often the first port of call when leaving Split. Sailing Croatia, as well as marveling in beauty and enjoying the nightlife is also a lesson in History, there are many ancient ruins to explore and cities rich in history and sailing the area you get much closer to the real natural wonders. Find secluded Anchorages and have bays all to yourself. The Adriatic coastline is perfect for family sailing and with only short distances between island it is definitely more of a holiday for those who wish to explore the land as well as the sea.


Across the Adriatic Sea lays the Eastern Coast of Italy. Trieste is another city, just above the Croatian boarder, known for its yachting. It holds one of the largest regattas in the world each year. This town is usually the starting point for sailors that want to take on the Slovenian Coast, and it’s a beautiful place to head to if a week in Croatia just wasn’t enough.

Still in the Adriatic Sea, you’ll find the Tremiti Isles. Crystal clear waters and white cliffs make up the unique landscape that you’ll want to explore. There are five Islands that make up the Tremiti Isles; San Dominio, which boast the only sandy beach in the group, and as a result is the most touristic. The advantages of being out on a sailboat is that you don’t need to be on a beach to enjoy a dip in the sea, just drop anchor and dive in! Then there is San Nicola, the most largely populated island. The other three, Capraia, Cretaccio and Pianosa are uninhabited mostly because of their hard vegetation and closeness to sea level; Pianosa can sometimes get completely covered by water. These islands however host bays that are perfect for quiet moorings and the alien landscapes will keep you transfixed.

Heading now to the Amalfi Coast within the Tyrrhenian Sea. Famous for its pastel colour fishing villages it sits at the base of some very dramatic cliffs on the Southwest Coast.You can start this voyage from the ports of Naples or Salerno and watch the line of houses and lemon trees and you sail past. Stop in at one of the many small towns and get yourself a seafood dinner, you won’t regret it.

While you are in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to sail from Naples over to Sardinia and Corsica. The Maddalena archipelago between Sardinia and Corsica is like another world entirely. Powerful winds will excite the sailor in you that has maybe not been quite so content in such peaceful waters. And the mysterious coves the dot the islands will make you feel like you’re one of the first explores here! With scores of islands in the archipelago, all with white sandy beaches, you’ll feel like you are in more of a tropical paradise rather than the Mediterranean. Head to Sardinia its self if you want to do a bit of mountainous hiking and enjoy the rich culture that is out on offer.

Right up to the top of Italy on its Western side lays the Italian Rivera and the ever-famous Cinque Terra. Another breathtaking stretch of coast, starting off in Genoa is perfect if you want to cruise around Cinque Terra or head over to the French Riviera. Genoa is Italy’s biggest seaport and an ancient maritime hub. If you stay within Italian waters, the Cinque Terra Coastline is a must. Sailing past colorful terraced houses perched on cliff tops is divine and there are plenty of places to anchor and head to shore to enjoy a day on the beach or a stroll up into the townships for a drink or gelato. You’ll find plenty of quaint restaurants where the pasta is fresh and plentiful.


Heading east again, it would be remiss of us not to put in a little plug for Greece. With thousands of islands that dot the Aegean and Ionian seas, you could spend years exploring just in the one area. Santorini, of course, is one of the highlights, we’ve all seen the postcards of the white and blue city emerging from the water, donkeys roaming like taxis and fishermen repairing their nets, and while of course this draws a huge number of tourists to it, they come for a reason, the place is breathtaking and so different to anything else you’ve seen. The city looks even more amazing from the water, so enjoy anchoring there for a while and watching life go by at a distance.

Mykonos is a party paradise for if you’re feeling youthful and want to stretch your legs by dancing. Long beaches and great food bring thousands here. If you’re wanting more of a quiet journey you can still enjoy sailing past, but you’ll probably hear music pumping from the shore!

Corfu is a must see, it’s mix of Venetian, British and French heritage give it an interesting style of architecture which is fun to explore. With a backdrop of cypress trees and olive groves, the rugged landscape is softened. A diverse place to sail around, Corfu offers plenty of beaches rich history and great fresh seafood for the foodies among you and it’s mostly peaceful waters are great for trips with the family or if you are new to sailing. If it’s a bit more wind you are after however, head north where things start to pick up and you’ll find yourself gliding.


Not the first or even fifth place people think about when sailing in the Mediterranean is Turkey. Turkey is somewhat of a hidden gem and a great place to go if you’re looking for something a little further from the tourist crowds. In Turkey, you can get a mix of the lux westernized resort life and the truly simple Turkish living. Mediterranean Fjords can be found with transparent water, and why not rent a traditional Turkish style Gulet boat for your journey. A Gulet is a wooden vessel, generally with two masts that vary between 14 – 35 Meters. A sleek and beautiful old design, and a wonderful way to really get the feel of Turkey.

Fethiye, a small port city on the Southwestern coast, often referred to as the Turquoise Coast, is a popular starting place for sea voyages. A place truly full of ancient mystery and turquoise seas, it’s worth staying on last a few days there and exploring before heading out to sea.

The Lycian Cost in the Southwest makes up a large part of the Turkish Riviera. Sailing down it you will watch ancient maritime cities float past, call in at hidden pebbled coves and if there’s one thing you have to go ashore for it’s the Lycian Way hiking trail. The trail in full is twenty-nine days but you can hop on and off it at various places along the coast.

Bodrum is another gateway coastal town, originally a fishing village it has gained popularity and become somewhat of a seaside Gem tourists flock to. Come to shore here and experience the winding lanes and alleys that make this city so unique.

Sailing in Turkey is such a different experience and you’ll often come across a lot of sailors that are there for the adventure of it all. There are times cruising past the coastline where you’ll feel like an ancient explorer or pirate! Definitely a place to sail if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.

Head to the Mediterranean now!

So what are you waiting for, book a flight and head to the Mediterranean now! It’s maybe not the most challenging sailing but it’s perfect to take a relaxing trip with your partner and or kids. With so many places to stop in and day trips to do, you’ll have the best of both worlds and not have to spend months preparing. Do yourself and favor and get and out explore now!

Cabin Storage Hacks

It may not be every seafarer’s dream to set sail on a 64ft yacht, some prefer the simplicity and feel of a smaller vessel that gets them just that little bit more connected to the ocean around them. But the one thing most people do want is enough cabin storage space! If you have a smaller sailing boat you may get a little jealous when you see the spacious galleys of larger vessels and kitchens set up almost like that of a house. It can be a mission to constantly try and fit in all of the things you need for just a few days, let alone a few months on board. It’s a good feeling to have things easily accessible so you are not constantly trying to rummage around underneath beds and seats just to get that bag of rice for dinner. Stress no longer small boat owners! Here are a few ideas that will help you get creative when it comes to your cabin storage. Simple little tips and tricks that will have you wondering why you hadn’t already thought of that. Take a read below and see what you can implement into your cabin to make life on the seas just that little bit smoother.

Wall and Ceiling Space

There are only so many cupboards and spaces under seats and beds that you can stow your things, that’s why if you’re in a small vessel it’s a good idea to take advantage of your wall space to hold various thinner items that don’t protrude too much. And don’t forget your ceiling space. There are still things you can manage to fit that either sit flush along the ceiling or dangle down from the spaces where you don’t generally stand.

Elastic Webbing

This netting it amazing and has so many uses. Easy to install, it’s as simple as putting in four screws, and reasonably cheap, it’s the perfect storage solution for tight spaces and a great way to make sure your things are secured if you hit high seas. Here are a few examples of it’s uses.

Shoe Storage

When you want to head into shore or you’ve come down to sleep after a long day on the deck you’ll need somewhere easy to stow your shoes, on a ship it’s not as simple as just leaving them by the front door. You need somewhere out of the way but still accessible. That’s why using these elastic nets are perfect. You can screw them just inside your cabin entrance and they will be out of the way but so easy to find. Say goodbye to missing sandals. Using this netting will make sure you’ll never have to misplace a shoe again.  If you have reef or weatherproof shoes that may be damp you can consider putting on of these netting up on the outside of your cabin too so you don’t have to get the smell of damp through your cabin.

Elastic Cord

Another version of the webbing is the elastic cord. This is great because you can use it to fit the spaces you already have. By adding some easily screwable hoops you can look the webbing to side panels or even better, the ceiling, and make the most of every bit of space. Great for storing your charts and maps so they are out of the way but easy to grab. This elastic chord will keep things in place in the roughest seas.

Canvas Bags

Canvas bags are great because they are flexible and can be easily flattened out when you don’t need them or squeezed into tight spaces to create an extra bit of room.  Here are a few clever ways to use them.

Roof Space

Again we are making the most of our roof space. Hanging canvas bags from the ceiling can be a great place to store clothing and make it easily accessible. Because you can use hooks to dangle it down it means you can easily take it off and stow it away if you hit rougher seas. It’s a really nice and convenient way of being able to reach your clothes for those more cruisy journeys.

In the Cupboard

Cupboard space is always tight in a small vessel, but instead of trying to pile everything on top of each other so you end up with a landslide each time you open the door, try storing things in individual canvas bags. They will allow a little more space that draws as they are malleable and you can organize your things into groups and label them easily so you’ll know which bag you need to pull out to access what you’re looking for. They also have the extra feature of keeping things just a little more damp proof and protected if by any chance the cupboard door is flung open.

Fabric and Plastic storage racks

That nifty plastic shoe rack that entered our lives in the nineties has become somewhat of a legend for people who own small homes, campers or boats. So versatile, and easy to hang you can use them to store so many different things. There are a few variations of the old trusty plastic shoe rack now that back organization just that much easier.

Hanging bookshelf

Onboard you’ll have map books and manuals and hopefully some good works of fiction to help you relax on smooth sailing days. Storing them in draws can get messy and not to mention bulky. These fabulous hanging shelves are perfect to store your books in. Streamline to the wall they take up hardly any space and you won’t have to dig through mountains of books just to find the one you are looking for. Easy to attach they hold a fair amount while still looking neat and tidy.


Electronics Holder

With so many different devices we now have both for entertainment and navigation and safety there needs to be a simple solution to storing all those annoying chords that come with it and our smaller devices in a way that is orderly. Well, we’ve found the perfect solution. This hanging rack features pockets of different sizes that are made of clear plastic so you’ll know exactly what to grab, no labels or boxes within boxes needed. All laid out in front of you and so easy to stow your cords away without having to tie them all.

Kitchen Storage

Kitchen storage can be especially tricky on a small vessel. If you are out for months on end chances are you will be preparing more basic food, but it’s still nice to have a clear area with more space to jazz things up a little. From dish racks to food storage, bellow is where you’ll find the best tiny kitchen hacks going around.

Chopping board/drainer

We are in love with this nifty invention. Such a great way to save on space for both storage and while you are preparing your meals. The chopping board sits over the sink to provide you with some extra bench space (because we know there’s never enough of that on a boat!) While the strainer can be pushed flat or down as an easy way to drain veggies or pasta after cooking, or even for washing your salad in. The beauty of it is it drains straight into the sink and you don’t have to worry able storing a strainer separately. When you’re done just rine it off and push the strainer back in line with the board and you can stow it easily anywhere.

Foldable Dishrack

It’s not always easy to dry the dishes as you go, especially if you’re cooking on your own, and most dishracks take up a lot of space and are not that sturdy, things can often slip out with the motion of the sea underneath you. Introducing this amazing creation. Another foldable kitchen wonder. Because of its high sides, there is no worry about plates sliding out onto the floor if you hit a wave and it folds down to a small size that is easy to stow as soon as you’ve finished using it. A must for every vessel, big or small.

Plate Storage

On a ship you cant have plates stacked on top of each other that easily without them moving around constantly. An even hanging your cups from hooks will get annoying with them constantly banging together with rolling of the ocean. This rack can be mounted fairly easily on your sidewall and it a great way to store your cups, plates and even condiments in an accessible way. Simple to get out but tightly packed so they won’t rattle around, it’s also a pretty good looking little unit.

Cutlery Holders

This Idea blew our minds. So simple and an easy do it yourself project if you have a spare half hour. Sitting ticked away on the inside of a cupboard door you’re maximising space that’s for sure. Each utensil has its own pocket and again, won’t rattle around so much in open seas. Attachable by screws the same way the elastic netting is. it’s super easy to install and will keep everything nice and orderly.

Food Storage

On a smaller boat, you are not going to have a lot of bench space for fruit bowls or cupboard space to store all your food boxes. We’ve put together a few of the cleverest ways to stow food in a handy way that will minimise any chance of spillages and make the most of your small amount of space.


Hanging Cloth Baskets

These hanging baskets are the cheap and easy solution to fruit and veggie storage. The can fold away to practically nothing and can be stowed in a draw and then taken out when you call into port next and filled with all your fresh fruits and roots vegetables that don’t need to be refrigerated. Depp enough so that your food is not going to tumble out even if they start to swing, they loop onto a wooden rail so if you don’t already have one you may want to install one. ith a bit of doweling from your local hardware store and some hooks you can put on up in no time and then you’ll always have the great option to put up these bags. and the rail can also double for a tea towel airer!

Foldback Clip Hanger

This is a genius idea of ways to store those small packets of things. Seasonings, herbs or soup mixes. Just make a small rail inside your cupboard and attach some S hooks to it, then use foldback clips to seal packets once opened and hang them easily from the hooks. This saves on space and also makes it so much easier to find what you’re looking for.


Jars and containers

It does not pay to keep all of your dry foods in their original packaging. Often the carboard boxes are far bigger than the actual product amount. This is where getting clear glass jars or plastic containers really makes a difference. Not only does it seal for freshness but it will save on space and make it much easier to find what you’re looking for.


Basket Hanging Shelves

Sometimes in cabins, you have those awkward cupboard space that’s you don’t quite know what to do with. If you have a long cupboard without shelves it can often be a bit of a space waster as it’s impossible to neatly stow everything on top of each other. That’s why this having basket system is such a good idea. You can knock it up within an hour using some rope and baskets from a dollar store. This will provide you with some extra space to store fruits and veggies and is perfect for things like onions, garlic, and potatoes, keeping them out of the light and away from your other foods. And the best part is it’s easy to take down if you ever do need the long hanging space!

Bathroom Storage

Sailboats so-called bathroom is one of the smallest places on the ship. With no big mirrored medicine cabinets to store first aid or lotions and potions and no bench space for your daily moisturizer, cleanser, or sunscreen, how do you store everything, not in a bottomless toiletries bag? We have a few ideas for you.

Hanging Toiletries rack

Another take on the plastic shoe rack, this netted toiletries rack can hang off your shower curtain. Because it made with a fabric mesh the water won’t collect at the bottom of compartments and create slime. Easy to put all your soaps, shampoos and conditioners and even toothbrushes in. Again, because it has a seethrough design you won’t have to scavenge and search for what you are after.


Metal Clips

Another very clever design we have come across is this hook system. Metal hoops with clips attached that slide easily along a hand towel rack or shower curtail rail are handy for your lotions and sunscreens. And easy to unhook when a tube is empty. We love this idea because you don’t have to unhook anything just open the lid and squeeze out and everything stays right in its place with no mess!

Above Deck Storage

Now we know this post is mainly about getting things in order bellow deck, but we couldn’t resist slipping in this one last above deck storage hack. It’s the easy solution we’ve all been waiting for!

Tool Box Hack

A toolbox on a boat is essential, but finding a good place to store one where you can access the right tools quickly is another story. This is by far one of the best storage solutions we’ve seen. Creating a toolbox on the underneath of you hatch door!! You can firstly create this at home in the shed, just get a string piece of marine ply and measure it up to fit the inside of your chosen hatch. Then layout on the wood the essential tools you may need at quick notice.It can help to trace around them or stick them down with tape while you measure out how much elastic you will need and tack it into place. This can easily be done by yourself in less than a day and the finished product is a tidy toolbox that takes up next to no space and will save you still rooting around in your old chunky box trying to find what you need.

Think Creatively and get the most from your cabin space

With small sailing boat storage, it’s important to get as creative as you can. without creating clutter tries to think of every available space as a possible place for storage. Most of the solutions and ideas we have given you are cheap and easy to install. You don’t need to have fancy new appliances to create the space you need. With some creative thinking and a trip or two to your local hardware store, you’ll be able to create a cabin that is tidy, organized and accessible.

Best Luxury Marine Technology Gifts This Christmas

With Christmas approaching there are probably a million things on your wish list already, but if you’re struggling for ideas for yourself or your partner who loves to sail never fear! We’ve put together a list of our favourite new technology based accessories to make sailing life that little bit breezier and to really spoil your loved one (or yourself) this Christmas. From smart watches to sound systems there is sure to be something for everyone.

Smart Watch

It’s amazing what we can do with technology these days. There are apps for just about anything and luckily for us this includes navigation and boating safety. Having an iPad or tablet is a great accessory for your sailboat but it’s not always easy to carry that or even your phone around on the deck, so here come in smart watches! These amazing watches can do so much and more from the comfort and ease of your wrist. Take a look at our pick of the bunch.

The Garmin Quatix is an original. Giving you the ability to control aspects of your boat from your watch! You can control your boats autopilot or transfer routes from your iPad without even having to use a wire. Garmin has log been a leader in aquatic technology and boating life. They tailor their products to suit the boating entusist. These watches are made for the salt water, sun glare and the myriad of other things that come with boating life. The Qautix is your first step into the world of marine watch technology. Giving you the freedom and control that you need onboard.

Garmin is a brand synonymise with water life. With a step up from the Garmin Quatix, comes the Quatix 5 Marine GPS smart watch. It connects to compatible chart plotters and other marine electronics to give you autopilot control, data streaming such as wind, depth, temperature and speed. It’s functions don’t stop there. With activity profiles to assist you in other activities like hiking and cycling, the Quatix 5 Marine GPS smart watch is a real all rounder. For the more serious sailor it offers a great racing feature that include a virtual startling line and a distance to startline. A race countdown timer and tack assist are just some of the other features the smart watch has on offer. A one of a kind watch and a prefect gift for the sailor who thinks they have everything.

DeckWatch from Vesper Marine is a smart watch app that takes boating safety next level. The app can give you instant information helping you avoid collisions. It can even help with Man Overboard situations. It uses Andriod Wear 2 and connects your watch directly to your smartAIS Transponder. This is perfect for rough seas and bad conditions as it sends alrets directly to your wrist. It’s a safety feature you do not want to miss out on

Sound System

Some days out on the water it’s nice to take in the sounds of the ocean, the gulls and the wind around you. But other days having music onboard can really help to complement or set the mood on deck. As we know, the ocean seas can do some strange things to sound so sometimes regular portable sound systems don’t quite work the way we ant them to. Here are a few options of speakers specifically made for the seas to give you the clearest sounds possible.

Fusion RV-FS402 Sound-Panel. This is a 200 watt dual speaker with a shallow mount that is specially designed for use on the water and to suit boats and yachts from big to small. With a single unit containing four inch dual speakers, a passive radiator and tweeters are pre tuned to work well together. The Fusion RV-FS402 Sound-Panel is built to IP65 environmental standards which gives you the peace of mind to know you’ll be getting crisp quality sound out on deck.

If you’re in and out of the boat a fair or bit doing day trips to shore you may want to consider a slightly smaller more portable option for your sounds. The Fusion Stereo Active. Like it’s big brother it was built to be around water, delivering clear and crisp sounds across the sea. You can play your music via Bluetooth and it also has an AM/FM Weatherband Radio. The battery life is second to none boasting twenty hours playtime. It has a waterproof cavity and actually floats! So gone are the stresses of an accidental Speaker Overboard situation! Another one of it’s great features is it’s compatibility with Smart Watches including the Garmin Smart Watch. A perfect present for the music lover in your life.

Solar Chargers

Now having a lot of technology on board is all well and good, but having ways to charge them is something to think about. You probably already have power hooked up, but it’s always nice to have some backup, particularly portable backup. Here are a few solar chargers that will do the trick just fine and ensure you’ll always have some power when you’re on the go.

The Upow 5000mAh Portable Charger Solar Power Bank is a inning combination of solar panel and a LED flashlight. It’s built for the elements with rubber cover that seals all it’s ports from anything the ocean and beach and send its way. It is compatible with most 5V USB charged devices and with it’s a Grade lithium battery it’s charging time is lightning fast. This is great for day trips ashore when heading back out to the boat to charge your phone or portable speaker is just too inconvenient.

When you are wanting to charge more than just your electronic devices then it’s great to have a PulseTech SP-5 Solar Charger onboard. The Pulse technology increases battery life dramatically by three to five times so say good by to dead boat batteries! It is a military grade and covered by Lexan which makes it the sturdiest solar panel out there – perfect for rugged days out on the ocean. With a seventeen foot chord it’s easy to mount in a lot of places. And the best part is for all it’s high grade it is still super simple to use. The perfect present for someone who spends a long time out on the sea.

Waterproof Device Cases

Having out devices such as smart phones and tablets out on the water is incredibly convenient. With all the amazing apps you can now get your hands on that making boating and boating safety just that much easier, having devices on board really is a must. Bust as you know, being up on deck can be unpredictable and you don’t want to get caught out and risk losing your phone overboard or getting water damage on your iPad due to not having a proper cover. Here are some covers that will help turn your device into a perfectly durable on deck companion.

LifeProof Nud for Iphones and Ipads. This Genius brand was one of the founders of durable and waterproof casings. Their new Nud range offers a unique sealing around the edges of the screen so you are still able to touch your screen easily without having to navigate thick plastic over your screen. All cases have the advantage of being factory tested and undergoing additional testing so you know you’re getting a working product. They live up to a military standard for shock protection, so you don’t have to worry about those on deck fumbles. They can withstand an hour of water emersion at 2m and are completely splash proof. A great product to ensure your device stays safe onboard.

If you, or a loved one who likes to spend as much time in the sea as floating on top of it then it’s time to take water casing to the next level with the WaterShot Pro. The Watershot is designed to be an underwater camera housing for your iphone. It has a specially made Wide Angle Lens Port which can increase the field of vision to 110 degrees. With a handgrip and wrist lanyards it’s easy to keep a hold of. You can also add mounting accessories to it with a pistol grip and lighting tray. This baby can be taken to depths of 60m so it’s perfect even for scuba diving! It’s a fun gift for the underwater photography lover.

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping

We’re sure something on this list will spark your excitement. So this Christmas why not give both a fun and practical gift that is perfect for your sailing companions.

Making sailing safe for kids

If you’re a sailing enthusiast that also happens to have kids then your top priority will be their safety on board. You want to be able to spend days or even weeks out of the open sea and have your kids enjoy the feeling of being under full sail while also being able to concentrate on actually sailing and also enjoying the ride with out the constant worry of the, being in immediate danger. Of course as a parent you will always have a bit of worry and always instinctively be on the lookout for their safety but there are things you can do to really minimize the risk of accidents happening to give you more peace of mind and also to give the kids a bit more freedom.

The first thing we think about when we think water safety is of course life jackets. These are essential and worth investing in good quality and comfortable jackets that kids will not want to rip off, but there are also a lot of other products around to think about that can help your child stay on board and if worst comes to worst, be able to survive in the water while waiting to be rescued.

Bellow is a guide to some of the things we’ve found most useful when sailing with children.

On Deck Safety

Let’s start by trying to keep your kids on the boat! Having a good tethering system is the best way to ensure your children can enjoy being up on the deck while you are sailing but also be safely away from edges and without risk of falling overboard.


Depending on your vessel you will have your own way of putting in a jackline. Many think the best way to put it on for children is straight down the middle and using a shorter tether to ensure they are at no risk of getting close enough to go over the sides. This can be tricky however when it comes to navigating the mast. You want to minimize unclipping as much as possible, so one suggestion we have heard is to create two jacklines down the center either side of the mast, this will give the children a little more freedom to get around without them having to clip and unclip to get around tricky areas.

Wichard LYF`Safe Jackline comes in a range of sizes to suit your vessel and can also be adjusted in size. It has an easy setup and can be fitted with almost every deck fastening. It features reflective stitching that is wonderful at night and the adjust casting has a special locking mechanism to prevent accidental webbing release. A great and lasting product.

Children’s Harness

Now once you have your jackline in place you’re going to need a harness and tether to keep your children in. It’s important you choose a harness that fits correctly and is comfortable for your child.

The WEST MARINE Child’s Safety Harness is perfect for young sailors. They have cut down on some of the hardware so that what they have is close to a weightless product but that can withstand a 1000lb pull on the chest strap. Using strong nylon Nexus webbing it is made to be worn tether forward while a cross back strap kept it firmly in place. There is the option on a between the legs strap which can help stabilize the harness.


A good tether is also very important. The Wichard Proline Tether with a 1m 1 Clip and 1 Loop is our choice. This features a snap hook that can be used one-handed. It has an ErgoLock system where the snap hook automatically locks and closes with a wider opening so it’s a lot easier for young hands to use.

They also have an interesting feature called Overload Indicator Stitching. This is stitching that shows where it is more used and when it should be replaced. This way you’ll always know that your child’s tether is in good working order.

Children’s Lifejackets

When it comes to life jackets for children you really don’t want something that will be too big and bulky. It a child can’t move freely in their jacket then chances are they will take any opportunity to take it off. Lifejacket shopping is something you should really do with your children so they can try on different types and styles to see which one fits their size and body shape the best. Having said this, it is also an item where you cannot compromise on quality, so at the end of the day that will be your main focus. You need to consider the age of your child also, for preteens and teens you will not need as much neck support but for a smaller child, it’s great to look into jackets with the neck support that can turn their face floating side up. These tend to be a bit bulkier but the extra safety feature can be worth it.

One that we love for kids in the older age bracket is Austral’s Otter 2.0 Youth PDF. As well as being a safe and comfortable jacket is also environmentally friendly, using organic Kapok that is extremely buoyant as its fill. It’s a great jacket that allows older kids a bit more room to move and comfort, so they won’t mind keeping it on all day.

MOB Signaling Gear

As much as we don’t want to think about worst-case scenarios it is something we have to prepare for. MOB (man overboard) signaling gear is something worth investing in and teaching your children how to use. To start with, never underestimate the simplicity of a whistle. A whistle does not rely on batteries and electronics, simply a child’s blow. This can still be an effective and not too expensive piece of safety gear. A floating knife for older children can also be something that comes in handy for having to cut their way out of and ropes that may be surrounding them or tying them down. Not a nice thought, but like I said, we need to think about worst-case scenarios.

You can also get Man Overboard gear that can transmit signals containing your position and ID via an Automatic Identification System. The McMurdo SmartFind S20 AIS MOB id one such device. It is designed to be fitted to lifejackets and manually activated but there is also the option to get it properly fitted with an inflatable jacket so that when the jacket is inflated it automatically sends out your signal. It also has a flashing LED light on it that makes it easier to spot your child. These devices while expensive, should not be overlooked. As much as we can plan for good weather and calm seas we are still at the mercy of nature and need to be as best prepared as we can be.

Teaching safety

You can have all of the right equipment and have your children in lifejackets 24/7 but the most vital thing you should be doing before taking them out of the water is teaching them the importance of safety. Swimming lessons are a great place to start. These days there are swimming lessons even for babies! So there really is no excuse to not have your children learning how to swim from an early age. Having them familiar with the water can help them to not panic in a dangerous situation and of course, help them stay alive. If they are only having lessons in a pool it could be a great idea to also take them to the ocean and get them swimming in different kinds of water. Getting familiar with being in waves can really help them navigate rough water. Also giving kids lessons about currents and rips will help them in knowing the dangers that they can face in the water and have the confidence to stay calm because they know what to do.

Being able to have full command of your kids on the ship is also of utmost importance. Your children should know that when you give a command it should be followed immediately because it is for their own safety. If your children can’t obey orders then consider not taking them out on voyages until they can. If you are preparing for a big trip, or even just, in general, it can be a good idea to run through some safety drill with your children first, do some role-playing and help prepare them as best as you can for what can happen in an emergency and how to deal with it. Showing them things like how to radio for help could be a life-saving skill.

Sail with Peace of mind

Once you do have your kids and yourself kitted out with safety gear you’ll find the whole experience a lot more relaxing. Knowing that you have taken all the precautions you can for the safety of your children will be a weight off your shoulders and help seriously reduce the risks of dangers and heighten the likelihood of survival if things do become out of your control. Now all that is left to do is enjoy the amazing feeling of being out of the water with your family.

Five Cabin Essentials for the Crinan Classic

The Crinan Classic is the annual race that takes place within the Crinan Wooden Boat Festival held annually in July in the port town of Crinan on the West Coast of Scotland. Crinan was originally names Port Righ which means ‘kings Port’ so you know it must be an amazing place! The Port Village is situated on loch Crinan and has a maze of canals perfect for exploring. Sailing around Crinan is about as picturesque as it gets and being surrounded by wooden boats of all shapes and sizes and ages is both fascinating and wonderful. The wooden boats bring back a real sense of nostalgia and remembrance of ages past as well as celebrate the amazing craftsmanship of new master boat builders and the fun of people making their own boats as hobbies. Set on the stunning backdrop if the mountain Mul, you’ll have plenty so feast your eyes on. It’s a wonderful family event and a must for wooden sailboat enthusiasts.

Now that you are excited to get to the Crinan Boat Festival and be apart of the Crinan Classic we’ve put together a few cabin essentials that are a must for the Crinan Classic.

Maps and a GPS

Maybe it goes without saying but even at a fun event like this one it’s good to be fully prepared with maps of the area. When all else fails a good old traditional sailors map will still help to get you out of and sticky situations. So make sure you bring with you the relevant and up to date maps of the area. A GPS is also an essential. It’s always more comforting to know exactly where you are and be able to tell others your exact coordinates easily. Make sure your GPS is in good working order before bring it on board. And lastly a compass is an essential! No good trying to read a map without one and if you’re traveling during the day, well that rules out simply steering by the stars! Make sure you have a options with your navigational equipment because even as reliable as your GPS may be you never know when you may have a malfunction or some bad luck renders in useless so it’s always important to have back up.

A Heater

A cabin heater is something that may seem like a luxury, but even in summer the temperature in Scotland can get cold, particularly at night and if you’re planning on staying onboard your vessel then there’s no way you want to be awake and shivering all night. You can get great cabin heaters to suit about every size of cabin, and it will have you in a lot more comfort which will in turn give you more energy for sailing. If you are unable to have a cabin heater on board for what ever reason, then give the humble rubber hot water bottle a go to pre warm your bet or even stuff under your jacket if you’re sitting out in the cold. They are inexpensive and all you need is some hot water which you can boil your self on your stove top.

Sanitation Systems

A proper sanitation system can be again a bit of a luxuary seeming item, but there is nothing worse than trying to find privacy when you feel the need to relive yourself in the middle of a busy boat harbor. Trying to scramble to the harbor toilets can be just as bad and at a busy event like this one there are bound to be lines. So make sure you have your own system in place which is hygienic and will make your life a lot easier. There are plenty of different models you can choose from and boat harbors will have waste disposal unit also to make your life easier.

A Cooker

Getting a good cooker can be a game changer and something you will always use. Even if you are only using it to heat water for your coffee or tea it’s already a good investment. There is a range of cook tops designed specifically with sailing in mind so you down have to stress as much about and open flame finding a wooden surface in the rolling and lurching. Although of course with any cookers you need to be careful and not leave them unattended. Getting a cooker on board will make your life so much easier because you’ll have the flexibility and freedom to make your own hot breakfast lunch and dinner if you so choose which is great if you are staying out on your boat for a few days during the Crinan Classic. Do your research and find one which suits your cabin space and needs and it will not be an investment you regret.

A Ladder

Simple as it sounds it one of the biggest must have’s. Even if you are not planning on taking a dip in the Scottish Lochs you never know when an unexpected man overboard situation may occur and it’s good to have an easy way of getting back in the boat. Not only for safety reasons are they a must but also just getting gin and out of the boat on a regular basis, during the Wooden Boat Festival there are a lot of vessels around and you may not always get the ease of being right up against the dock, getting into a tender may have to be an option for you so it’s best to have a ladder to make life as easy as possible.

Get Racing!

Now you’ve got the basics together its time to get on over to Crinan, get out into those picturesque lochs and get your wooden sailing boat racing. With your Navigation equipment and cabin essentials you’ll be ready to face anything and do it with ease and comfort. Enjoy all that the Crinan Classic Has to offer and enjoy the majesty and craftsmanship of the amazing wooden Sailing boats you see around you. Have Fun!

How To Get The Most From Your Day Sail

If you are like most, have a full time job and family and don’t have the luxury of sailing whenever you get the whim, then chances are if you are wanting to get out in the water you may only get the chance to go for a day sail more often than not. While we would all love to spend a week out at sea every few months for some of us it is just not possible so to still get our fix we have to head out into the open seas as often as we can even if it means only being out there for an evening or a day. So how do you make sure you can get the most out of your day sail to optimize your time on the water and make it as stress free and fun as possible; here are a few suggestions that will have you out on the water and as relaxed and ready for fun as possible.

Plan ahead

Now It’s not always possible to plan ahead too far in advance as weather patterns and swell conditions can change, but there are still a few things you can have ready and prepared so that when you see the perfect conditions head your way just in time for the weekend you can almost ready to jump on board and set sail.

– cleaning

This may sound like an obvious one, but making sure your boat and equipment is clean can be a real time saver. This is always best done straight after your last sail. Make sure to really clean the deck and cabin, if cushions need washing them take them back with you and get it done. As you know with sailing it’s important to keep everything, no matter how weather proof, clean of salt so take the time to give your ship a good clean out after each trip, this way you wont be hurrying to do it the night before. If it’s been a while in between sails then make sure to do a check up and clean out every few weeks.

– Checking equipment

Every sailor knows you need to keep on top of equipment maintenance. If you are not sailing to often still do regular check ups of your equipment to       make sure everything is working especially your safety gear. Electronic equipment is made to be reliable but still with a lot of exposure to sun and sea things can go wrong. So make sure before each sail you do your own checks ups, that way if there is a problem you can get it fixed in time for your next adventure and don’t get caught out finding you have malfunctioning equipment the only day you have off to go sailing all month!

– Plan your route

If you are able to have a bit of foresight into the weather before you go out then it’s great to pre plan your route. Knowing where you want to head, if you will be mooring at all and going to shore. That way you will be able to make a suitable list of things you will need to prepare for your destination.

– Have a checklist!

Most importantly make yourself a checklist. You can make a basic one that you can use for every sea voyage, reminding you about safety gear and other things you may keep at home but need for the boat. If you have a good checklist then it’s a lot easier to keep track of exactly what you need and not get caught out once you are on your sailing boat by something you’ve forgotten.

– Book Ahead

If you are going to be doing a day trip that involved mooring off somewhere for a while, then make sure you book ahead and check with the right authorities if there is space and if you are able to moor on those dates. No good turning up and not being able to tie up.

Get Out Early

To make the most of your day trip, get out on the water as early as possible. If you’ve done all your planning in the week leading up then you should be able to just roll out of bed and head down to the harbor at first light. If you only have your one day of sailing every month or so then you want to be making the most out of it. So set sail and dawn and don’t come back until dusk. Make sure you have the rest of your weekend planned and sorted before you go out so that you can stay out as late as possible without spending the afternoon stressing about being back in time for dinner or to prepare things for work or a gathering the following day. If you’re all pre planned not just for your trip but also for your next few days then you will be able to have a stress free day adventure.

Going Ashore

If one of your plans for your day is to go ashore then make sure you have everything prepared, for the picnic or hike you may be doing. Take a few small backpacks and remember to bring water bottles so you can stay hydrated on land. Pre plan where you will be going ashore so that you know where it is safe to moor or drop anchor.

Staying on Deck

Don’t be afraid to keep your day trip a strictly on board affair. If you only have a day out on the sea why not make the most of it and enjoy lounging around on deck. Pack a picnic lunch and even dinner and a little wine and just enjoy being out on the open seas without the stress of having to jam pack too much in to your day trip. It’s okay to not do too much and just relax, this is your adventure after all!

Be Flexible

You can be the most planned person out there and still something can go slightly wrong and your plans will have to change, so it’s important to be able to be flexible. Always have a few other options in mind, and if you’re not one hundred percent certain about the weather then make sure you have a few plan B’s and C’s in mind.

Enjoy Yourself!

Remember to relax and enjoy just being out on the open water. Your day trip is the perfect way to rejuvenate yourself and get back your excitement for adventure and love of the ocean. Let the salty air calm you and let yourself just   be present in the moment.

The Rise and Fall of Wooden Sail Boats

The start of boating history as we know it, was wooden. From all corners of the globe, civilizations begun their sea explorations and voyages on vessels carved from all kinds of wood, favoring what ever was native to their lands and coming up with unique hull and sail designs created to suit their needs and the oceans around them. From small log canoes on the amazon to great tall ships coming out of Europe, wood was the only option for boat building. In modern times sailing boats became not just a means to an end and a way to get from A to B, but a pleasurable craft for personal adventures and day voyages. Beautiful wooden craft came onto the market, made for aesthetics and comfort just as much as practicality. These boats came in all shapes and sizes but the one thing they all had in common was the craftsmanship that it took to create them. In the 1960’s the Fiberglass sailing boat started to become popular, due to its ability to be made quickly and by a mold, which would see a sort of mass production taking place. It seemed overtime fiberglass would take over the sailing world completely. The ability to create identical boats that could preform on more elite levels was appealing to most. So what space did it leave for the humble wooden sailboat? And are it’s days over completely?

Why Wood?

Wood was originally used in the creation of sea vessels for it’s buoyant properties and it’s abilities to be sealed and become somewhat waterproof.

Each boat as made by hand and even in more modern boat making practices, no two can be exactly the same. Wooden boats were made to suit the individual’s purposes and certain trees were often planted and farmed to make the best boats they could.

So now in this day of fiberglass and plastics, why would you chose wood over a streamline often cheaper version of the sailing boat you wanted?

Out of Fashion

One of the reasons behind the fall of the wooden sailboat is the invention of fiberglass, which brought on a whole different way of creating boats. With the fiberglass boat came a cheaper option and also an option to not spend so much time and money on repairs as was one of the downfalls of the wooden boat. People liked the practicality that fiberglass had to offer and that the constant need for repainting and sealing was gone, and instead a quick scrub down would suffice. So Wooden Sailboats went out of fashion in favor of the sportier easier model. Some argued the new model was more reliable and less stress involved in the maintenance than using the timber version.

The Art of Bespoke

Many people are turning back to wood because of the beauty of have a bespoke craft. The aesthetics of a wooden boat hold a certain nostalgia that have people thinking about sailing in more of a dreamy romanticized way, taking them back to simpler times when sailing was purely about the pleasure of being out on the water. A bespoke sailing boat is a one of a kind affair, and many people are going back to the old ways of wanting custom made, not only in sailing boats but in their clothing and furniture we are seeing a comeback to the old ways of crafts and a new appreciation for artisan goods. Having a wooden sailing boat made ensures a one of a kind lux that many people enjoy and to see the process and to have a story behind the making of the vessel is just as important to some as the vessel it’s self. In now more than ever a certain glamour has been places back upon ‘vintage’ and ‘handmade’ That is bringing the wooden boat back into fashion once again.

Advantages of Wood

Apart from pure ascetics there are some advantages to the wooden sailing boat that many enjoy. These days the way that wood can be used and treated has helped the modern way wooden boats with a lightweight and good strength to weight ratio. The design of a wooden boat can also be so much more flexible than getting it made out of other materials. With the right wood your boat can be both strong and flexible and will not fatigue. Wood, when farmed correctly can be a great renewable source.

The Modern Wooden

There are not as many master boat builders round as their use to be, due to the lack of demand but when you find a skilled boat builder then you will see the true art form that is wooden boat building. Many modern day boat builders implements some more modern technologies into their work like a layer of epoxy and fiberglass to sheath the wood and keep rot at bay. But you can still find boat builders that take on only the traditional approach using old tools and modeling their boats on traditional ships.

Would You Choose Wood?

So having seen it’s advantages and disadvantages would you choose wood? If you were after a beautiful vessel that holds the love of nostalgia for daytime cruising, you really can’t go past the beauty of a wooden ship. There is nothing quite like having a one of a kind hand made vessel to get you underway and slipping through the water.